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Thread: Anybody quilt in an RV?

  1. #1
    Junior Member tjk829's Avatar
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    Anybody quilt in an RV?

    My quilt room at home was huge. I had a koala cabinet and a 4 ft x7ft custom cutting table with tons of storage. I have an Ellisimo Gold 2 machine and my stash was stored in floor to ceiling shelves sorted by color.. and it was good. Then my DH retired and we took to life on the road. I tried bringing my machine but it was too big and in order to sew I had to set up outside, that didn't work so well. The table was shaky, the chair too short so I propped it up and every time I moved it fell off the props...sigh. I stored fabric and notions under the bed and that worked ok but there is just no room to lay anything out for cutting and quilting a finished quilt is the stuff of nightmares...We don't want to modify the RV by taking out furniture to make room so I need to try and make it work within the space I have. I bought a smaller machine to take with but that doesn't solve any other issues..has anybody figured out how to make it work? This year I am spending my time restoring vintage machines and learning how to repaint them and apply decals but I really want to be able to sew as well..any ideas appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    following . . . I've experienced similar problems so I've stuck with small wallhangings and mug rugs. Reading and crocheting are much easier so my quilting takes a back seat when I traveled. But that's been reduced with health problems and a dog with anxieties.

  3. #3
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    I sew in the summer for 4 months when we leave the heat in AZ. We go the the white mountains where is much cooler in July thru Sept. June is still kind of hot. I try to cut everything I want to make at home. I just don't do quilts. I sell my goods at some craft shows but mostly on my own. I make aprons, table runners and purses and baby quilts. and place mats and jewelry draw string bags and lots more items. I bag every thing for like projects together. I take my Bernina with me and lots of notions and tread cutters and mats. I put my machine on the table in the RV but I to have problems with a chair. I bought a big office chair but gave to my daughter because it was just to big. I have a small ironing board that I put on the counter. Of course I come home in the fall so I don't think I could quilt anything but a baby quilt if I was a full time RV'er. I thought about outside but to much weather changes - wind and rain and hot and cold. I take all my sewing stuff in plastic totes and some times they stay outside in the table which is under the awing.
    Suzanne
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  4. #4
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    I don't know what the front of your Rv looks like, but my brother has a class A with swivel seats. He built a folding table that fits over the dashboard and has a leg to hold it up in the center between the chairs. He sets up his computers (he works online) and sits in the passenger seat. Maybe you could arrange a table like that to sew on. When not in use the table goes under the mattress.
    I promise not to buy any more fabric until I see something I really like. Or it's on sale. Or I think it might match something.

  5. #5
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I honestly don't know what to do about your sewing /cutting situation, but there are options for folding design walls. Sorry dear, that is all I have to offer. If you want to drive your rig up to the boonies of Ontario, we can offer electric hook up and I would be quite willing to share my sewing space. Love company.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  6. #6
    Junior Member CurliQ's Avatar
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    Are you full timing RVing?
    ~Sharon

  7. #7
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    We are not full time RV'ers, but have spent months on the road while on trips. I pre-cut quilts to sew and bring along some of the leftover fabric in case of mistakes, or buy some of Jordan Fabrics pre-cut log cabins and work on those. I find the Judy Niemeyer patterns are very easy to pre-cut and take along on a trip. If you are full-timing it is going to be much harder. The way I worked it, I might have to take larger segments for borders, but everything else was pre-cut. There are lots of quilt shops that have a sew night and you can bring anything to sew on. I bet they would let you cut your fabric instead of sewing. For cutting, I had a 4 ft grey folding leg table that I would put outside on a non-windy day to cut fabric. I brought along my bed risers so that cutting didn't kill my back. I use a 24x36 mat. I am not good at cutting on a small table.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  8. #8
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    Have you thought about the quilt-as-you-go method for larger quilts. It allows you to work/quilt one block at a time instead of trying to maneuver the whole quilt under the machine. Then, when you got home you could put all the blocks together or as Barb suggested maybe you could take the blocks to a quilt shop "sew time" & attach them there instead of in the RV.

  9. #9
    mem
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    I’ve sewn and quilted in our 42’ fifth wheel since we sold our house and started full-timing several years ago. Have several full-timing friends who are also sewers and quilters. It is a challenge, and we all meet it in different ways.

    Some of my friends have toy haulers and take over the “hauling room” as their sewing room. Others sew on their dining table, setting up and putting away their machine as necessary to use the table for actually dining. Some of us have sew-ezi tables...I would not give mine up for anything. My friend in a motor home sets hers up at the end of the dining table. We got rid of the sofa in our trailer and that’s my sewing space...sew-ezi table in middle with sterilite plastic drawer units on either side and a smaller one under the table. I use a small swivel chair; set up a large TV tray (wool mat on top) on my right as an ironing station. Most everyone likes the height of the kitchen counters for cutting, but I prefer the dining table.


    I do not like sewing on the dining table..find it too high and awkward. In our previous trailer that had the usual full complement of living room furniture, I was able to scrunch my sewing table in behind one of the chairs.


    The rv park where we stay for 6 months in the winter has a clubhouse with large tables which we use to cut and sandwich quilts. I don’t bother to take my machine up there, but several women do. I also belong to a quilt guild here that has sew days..many winter Texans also belong and they do their cutting and sandwiching there. We have one of those white folding tables with adjustable legs which I set up inside the trailer to cut, sandwich, etc., when we are in a place without a good, usable clubhouse. Many quilt shops have days when you can take your machine and sew in their classroom space or use their tables for cutting.


    It sounds like you are full-timing. Do you stay in one place for several weeks or months at a time? What size/type rv do you have? If you want to share more specifics either here or in a pm, I’ll be glad to continue talking with you about this; friends who are in a unit similar to yours will also have suggestions, I know.

    Margaret


  10. #10
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    without taking out furniture I don't have any ideas for you, I kicked my recliners to the curb because we never sat in them, and use that space with a real table and good chair. A good place to get a ton of answers would be the RV Quilters group on facebook. a really nice group with weekenders to lifetimers.

    mem, love the tv tray with wool mat for pressing, good idea, thanks!

  11. #11
    Super Member QuiltingVagabond's Avatar
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    We don't full time, but I have taken sewing projects to do sometimes. We have a 40 ft fifth wheel and the kitchen has a counter that I can easily use a 24 x 36 cutting mat.
    Apparently there are a lot of RV quilters, this summer at our manufacturers National Rally we are having a mini retreat and shop hop (Shipshewana IN area). I already have a full house of people wanting to sew at the retreat, wish we had a bigger space!
    Also there is a great group on FB - RV Quilters
    QuiltingVagabond aka Kathy

  12. #12
    Super Member travelinggramma's Avatar
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    There is an RV quilters group on Facebook. I have been quilting for over 15 years in our fifth wheel. I have a folding lifetime table that has three heights so I can use it for cutting or sewing. I use the clubhouse tables whenever I can and need. Some parks even have a designated sewing room.
    I have even put up a screen tent outside and was able to spread out a bit more.
    The only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary.

  13. #13
    Junior Member tjk829's Avatar
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    Yes, we are full-timers. We return to our home base for the summer but our son and his family live in our house while they remodel theirs, once their house is done, we plan to sell and only have our house on wheels. We still stay in the RV even when we are home.

  14. #14
    dlv
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    Check out Quilt Roadies on Youtube. In one of her older videos she showed how she stored her quilting stuff in their rv. She also talks about how she preps projects to take on the road. I really enjoy her videos.

  15. #15
    Junior Member tjk829's Avatar
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    We are full time. We stay anywhere from 4-6 months at a time in one location. We also are work campers. We have a 41 ft Overland diesel pusher with one super slide. We did remove the jackknife sofa today and are hoping that a folding craft table will fit in the space, I found one that folds down to 18 x 20 inches and unfolds to 48 inches, but we also moved the TV into that space because it was killing our necks to watch it when it was hanging above the front seats. Since the table is on wheels I think I might be able to place it by the dining table and have a workable space. I was really spoiled by my old sewing room and am really struggling to adjust to the mini space..

  16. #16
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    Can you tell me me about the Lifetime Adjustable Table? I see on their website, they have four to choose from. Which one did you pick and why? I'm 5'1". We are newly living full-time in a 5th wheel.

  17. #17
    Member QuiltinCats's Avatar
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    We sold our house and I have been full-timing and quilting in 2 different motorhomes for over 9 years. The hardest part for me was finding time to quilt in-between traveling, touring areas, and family. Hubby was so excited to be retired that he could not sit still! After growling a few times that I needed my 'quilt' time, we have a tentative schedule that works well for both of us.

    Storage was a problem until I downsized my fabric and our daughter gave me a corner to stack rubbermaid tubs packed with the fabric that I could not give up. I have gone through most of it.

    Looking at storage options online and in stores for small apartments gave me some great ideas such as the roll-up iron mats from Bed, Bath and Beyond; using space bags to store more fabrics in small spaces, and hooks inside closets to hang tools.

    I have a large Brothers sewing machine which is not easy to move. I have used our dining table and a folding table outside. Picnic tables are never the right height for me so I never used one. Last year, we bought a newer motorhome with a built-in desk in the bedroom, but it is tall. Now, I sew standing up. I find it quite convenient in our small space and keeps me moving. I use the bed to setup blocks and the kitchen counter has the iron mat and cutting board, so lots of walking back and forth.

    I use our bed to lay out quilt blocks or to cut large pieces of fabric and batting. I just make extra sure the bedspread isn't in the scissors when I start cutting. I also use the campground community centers when they have the large tables. Also, checkout the campground's community calendar. There are many RV quilters on the road now and they often have a couple of hours a week for a quilt gathering. Someone else mentioned Facebook's group RV Quilters. They are an inspiring group with quilting events that you can attend and they are always willing to help you solve your problems.

    Happy Quilting and Happy Trails!

  18. #18
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    I would think the hand sewing of the binding or other hand sewing (making hexes, etc) projects would be good take along projects.

  19. #19
    Super Member southernmema's Avatar
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    You might want to check out on Facebook, "RV Sewing and Quilting" group.

  20. #20
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    We have a 36' 5th wheel. There is a little corner "counter/shelf" that my machine fits in. I set up a card table for cutting. I have a small portable ironing board. I also have one of those ironing board/cutting boards that you just flip over. I lay out my pieces on the bed. This works real well when my husband is outside so I am the only one inside (can't hear any grumbling....haha). If he's inside, we are usually in a place that has the satellite for Dish. :-)

  21. #21
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    My inlaws had a Winnebago and we used it a lot when our kids were growing up. I never had a machine with me but I did a lot of hand quilting and knitting.

  22. #22
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I quilt in a class C motor home. I have a small TV tray that DH put some batting and fabric on and I use as an ironing table. I have a piece of an old cutting mat cut small that I use to cut on. On this last trip I brought a chair my friend handed down to me. I really liked that as I can set it to different heights. Before I have used a cheap plastic garden chair from Walmart or a simple metal folding chair. This was an up grade from it. I throw the chair on the bed when traveling. I make different precut kits to make on my trip. It is easier then taking piles of fabric and patterns.
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    Last edited by Annaquilts; 01-11-2019 at 09:22 AM.
    Anna Quilts

  23. #23
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    We have been full-timing now for 3 and 1/2 years. My husband does grumble once in a while because I have taken over the dinette table. I actually have two machines with me, thank goodness as my FW is incapacitated at the moment. I have one good sized cupboard and some under the bed storage for fabric etc. The machine I am not using lives under the dinette table. As with most RVers, we do not have a lot of company. We have some storage at home so I do have some fabric there but we are in Quartzsite, Arizona for 5 months each winter. There are quilting groups in some of the RV parks and in several churches. You say you work camp. Is there a clubhouse or dining room that you could use in the off hours. Just yesterday I sandwiched my quilt with the group I sew with. Much easier than trying to do it in the RV. Our RV is 36 ' long. One of the biggest things is to be organized, have limited projects and fabric!!!!! I have a limited number of rulers and tools with me - nothing like some of the pictures of sewing rooms I have seen. My ironing board is an old cutting board 9" x 13" with a towel on top which I set on the bar. I cut and sew on the dinette table. It is doable and lots of fun, you gotta find a way, you can't not quilt!!!
    Last edited by Kelsie; 01-11-2019 at 01:12 PM.

  24. #24
    Super Member Darcyshannon's Avatar
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    I think that it is a good time to do piecing and blocks and then making the quilts once you have sewing time somewhere you can lay it all out. Baby quilts or lap quilts would be fine.

  25. #25
    Super Member IrishgalfromNJ's Avatar
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    I follow a blog by Barbara, Cat Patches, who is a quilter and she traveled around the United States in an RV for over a year and did some quilting in her RV. She does a lot of embroidery, but she also had her machine with her. Her journey starts on Sept. 11, 2017, here is a link to the first post of the trip. https://catpatches.blogspot.com/2017_09_12_archive.html. She posted just about everyday and it was fun to follow her around the country. She takes really good photos, too.

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