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Thread: If you could design a sewing table...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    DH is getting ready to start on my quilting table, so I need to have a final plan of it's design. Since I am very new to quilting and sewing in general, I'm kinda winging it :oops: and I'm hoping for some advice from all of you who know more than me :D

    I'm starting with a 7' x 4' oak table top without any legs. It expands to 9' with 2 leaves about 2' in from each end. The things I'm thinking of having DH do are:

    1. a cut out to drop a machine in so it will fit flush with the tabletop (with an acrylic insert) The cutout will be for the biggest machine, but machines will be interchangeable with the inserts.
    2. a light box mounted underneath with a Plexiglas top to the left of the machine cut out (a cutting mat will cover it when not in use for a quick cutting area)
    3. Supports for the table will be box units (think kitchen cabinets) - I'm thinking two units of drawers, one unit with shallow shelves for mats and templates, and one wine-rack type unit for stabilizers.

    The plan for the entire room includes antique type cabinets for fabric and a thread cabinet with pull out shelves. The embroidery only machine will be up on an antique buffet since I don't need to sit to operate it, and the buffet drawers will hold all the supplies for that machine.

    My goal is to have a place for everything (not that I'm good at actually putting things away!) So please help me out here, and let's put those expensive power tools of DH's to work! If you could design your dream quilting table, what would it include?

  2. #2
    lin
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    First of all, I'm green with envy that your dh will be able to build you this wonderful sewing unit! How lucky are you? :D I think the ideas you've shared sound fabulous so far!! I especially like the light box/cutting area and the cabinets with the narrow areas for mats, etc. I have two baker's racks in my room that have wine racks and I put all my stablizers, freezer paper, rolled up paper templates, etc in there and they fit so nice. :)

    IF my dh could (would?) build me a sewing unit, I'd be sure to have him add an area to my left to hold the bulk of my quilts as I'm machine quilting them. Right now, I just stick two sturdy tv trays next to me. That works ok for holding the weight of the quilt, but they tend to shift a little more than I like and I have to keep adjusting them.

    Someday.....:D

  3. #3
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Ok, I'm jealous!
    I don't think I could add anything....I'm still in awe that you are having this built!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    Trust me ladies, not a day goes by that I'm not thankful I have a 'tinkerer' :lol:

    Quote Originally Posted by lin
    IF my dh could (would?) build me a sewing unit, I'd be sure to have him add an area to my left to hold the bulk of my quilts as I'm machine quilting them. Right now, I just stick two sturdy tv trays next to me. That works ok for holding the weight of the quilt, but they tend to shift a little more than I like and I have to keep adjusting them.
    To the left...as in a U shape table? There will be plenty of space to the left of the machine, but in thinking about the space next to me in front of the table, would a roll-a-way cart type unit work for that (as long as I remember to lock the wheels.... :D )

  5. #5
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Mine is a "tinkerer" too. He just does it on multi-million dollar submarines. lol
    Let's just say....that's about all the tinkering I allow him to do.

    We needed a screen door on our house (we rent).
    I told the landlords WE would pay for a nice one and wouldn't want repayment. They refused. So, I thought about making a screen inset, since we can't mount anything to the door frame. Hubby said he'd build it Yea right! NOT!!
    So, off to Home Depot I go. I get the 1x3s, screen, little metal do-da things to hold the wood frame together (didn't want to nail it or wood would split) and some wood screws. I get home and hubby says we had wood screws. Sure we did. 4" ones! He said they'd be fine. UGH!!
    So, after I finished my coffee, e-mail and whatnot this morning (or yesterday, whichever you prefer) I get out in my carport and put this thing together. I forgot one thing. I can staple gun the screen in, but it will tear if I don't have some sort of binding over top of it. Do I have any screen binding? Nope, but I do have some leftover quilt binding! Let me tell you. Not only did I do a GREAT job on the screen insert, but it's pretty too with the purple binding around it. lol
    GIRL POWER RULES!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    tlrnhi that is sooo funny! A couple of years ago when Mom and I were going to cake decorating classes, DH decided to have a go....lets just say its a good thing you can eat mistakes in cake decorating! Everyone has their niche, and his just wasn't that!

    Give your DH a big hug for me - we appreciate what he does beyond measure! As for the door, girl you just rock! I love the thought of purple binding on it :lol:

  7. #7
    bj
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    Roben, the only thing I would suggest (unless you have a separate cutting area) is to have your cutting area a little higher than your sewing area...saves on the back because you aren't stooping over so much to cut.

  8. #8
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bj
    Roben, the only thing I would suggest (unless you have a separate cutting area) is to have your cutting area a little higher than your sewing area...saves on the back because you aren't stooping over so much to cut.
    I find the height of my deep freeze is the perfect height for cutting.

    I have a Horn Sewing Cabinet. Unfortunately it has been in storage for the last 4 years and I miss it terribly! But one thing I do love about it is the extension on the back of my cabinet that I can open up and out to give me another 4 feet of space when I am machine quilting. it supports my quilt perfectly!

    I love your light box idea!!!

    Say do you hire out your hubby?? I'll be needing a new sewing studio designed when I get my house before the end of this year :)

    Cheers

  9. #9
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Make a board that fits securely on the bottom of a drawer with pegs on it that your spools of thread will fit on, just like in a spice drawer, it keeps the thread right at your finger tips & out of the light & dust.

  10. #10
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Here's a link showing how this person made their sewing table cut out. I think if you do a search on webshots you may find some other ideas too.
    http://www.putfile.com/pic/3753311

  11. #11
    DJ
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    Roben ~ I have a handy DH also. I know you'll love your new sewing table.

    tlrnhi ~ You're very handy yourself. I'm not . . . when I got frustrated with DH not finishing the trim on a window, I decided I'd decorate it with duct tape (he hates duct tape). Here's what I did . . . and not too long thereafter, he finished the window with some beautiful oak trim!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    lin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roben
    To the left...as in a U shape table? There will be plenty of space to the left of the machine, but in thinking about the space next to me in front of the table, would a roll-a-way cart type unit work for that (as long as I remember to lock the wheels.... :D )
    Not a "u" shape exactly, just something to your immediate left and about 2-3 feet deep from the table edge back. The depth of my two tv trays works ok, but it could stand to be a little deeper still. I think your roll cart could work, but like you said, DO remember to lock those wheels or your quilt could try to escape!! :lol:

    Some people just put their ironing board there to their left, and bring it down really low. Whatever works for you. I just think that if my dh DID ever make me a table, I'd have that left-side extension. :)

    I just checked, and....YEP...I'm still green! :mrgreen:

  13. #13
    lin
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    Omgosh DJ...that's hysterical. Is there anything you CAN'T do with duct tape? :lol:

  14. #14
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    I sew at the same "table" I have for cutting, pinning, etc....
    we built it from 2x4's and there's a whole shelf underneath for fabrics :mrgreen: and sitting on the floor underneath in bins are things I don't need to get to real often...
    the table is 54" wide (double bed size) 85" long and 36" high so I can stand comfortably without having to lean over at all...
    I sit on a 'bar' chair for sewing - I put my sewing machine pedal on a little doodad I made to raise it up higher plus it keeps it from wandering...

  15. #15
    Junior Member fabuchicki's Avatar
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    Make sure it is height adjustable for when you are getting fatigued and make the front edge rounded so that the quilt doesn't get caught on it when you're doing free motion quilting.

  16. #16
    all4quilt's Avatar
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    Can I say just one word? JEALOUS! LOL!! Sounds fantastic!!

  17. #17
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    DJ that is HILARIOUS!!!!!! But hey dh got working on the trim!!! wow I am also amazed that there are men out there that don't like duct tape.. I thought ALL men loved that stuff!

  18. #18
    cottagelover's Avatar
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    All of it is great. I think the table height is soooooo important. What are you comfy with.
    Also as I have had a sewing area at my other house, it was L shaped and with an office chair to kind of roll around the area made it great.
    behind me on the wall was shelving divided into area.
    It really was amazing. However since I wasn't quilting then, I didn't have a drop down which I would have him do now.
    Isn't it wonderful to have someone who can build to specs without the cost of hiring?

  19. #19
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roben
    tlrnhi that is sooo funny! A couple of years ago when Mom and I were going to cake decorating classes, DH decided to have a go....lets just say its a good thing you can eat mistakes in cake decorating! Everyone has their niche, and his just wasn't that!

    Give your DH a big hug for me - we appreciate what he does beyond measure! As for the door, girl you just rock! I love the thought of purple binding on it :lol:
    He told the guys on the ship what I did. They asked WHY he didn't do it and did I have to ask to use the power tools. He said no, that the power tools are mine and HE has to ask to use them and I usually say no and tell him to go fix a submarine somewhere. lol
    I'll have to get a picture showing the purple binding.

    I'll give hubby the hug from you. He really is a good guy, just not good at fixing "home" things. I don't let him fix the cars either!!! lol

  20. #20
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ
    Roben ~ I have a handy DH also. I know you'll love your new sewing table.

    tlrnhi ~ You're very handy yourself. I'm not . . . when I got frustrated with DH not finishing the trim on a window, I decided I'd decorate it with duct tape (he hates duct tape). Here's what I did . . . and not too long thereafter, he finished the window with some beautiful oak trim!
    Too funny! Ya know...sometimes we have to do what we have to do.
    Navy wifes tools....duct tape and WD-40. If it leaks, tape it, if it squeeks, squirt it!

  21. #21
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilting Aggi
    DJ that is HILARIOUS!!!!!! But hey dh got working on the trim!!! wow I am also amazed that there are men out there that don't like duct tape.. I thought ALL men loved that stuff!
    Have you seen the prom dresses made from duct tape?

    Here are just a few.....

    http://www.ductbills.com/?p=6
    http://grafixnews.net/node?page=4
    http://couponmeister.com/blog/DuctTapeProm.jpg

  22. #22
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlrnhi
    Quote Originally Posted by Quilting Aggi
    DJ that is HILARIOUS!!!!!! But hey dh got working on the trim!!! wow I am also amazed that there are men out there that don't like duct tape.. I thought ALL men loved that stuff!
    Have you seen the prom dresses made from duct tape?

    Here are just a few.....

    http://www.ductbills.com/?p=6
    http://grafixnews.net/node?page=4
    http://couponmeister.com/blog/DuctTapeProm.jpg
    oooh that is just hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!
    hmmmmmmmmmmmm I wonder... what about a quilt made out of duct tape????

  23. #23
    Super Member Harmony's Avatar
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    How about a lilttle place you can reach while seated at your machine to put a pad and an iron so you don't have to get up to press seams? I know Joanne's has one that is about a foot long that's a cutting board on one side for trimming and a heatproof pad on the other side for pressing. You'd still want to set up your ironing board, of course, but this would allow you to press as you go at least some of the time.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your wonderful ideas and input (I thought the purple on the screen door was great, but the duct tape over the window - priceless!) I plan on making an ironing surface - I have the Teflon fabric and the Insul-Brite and will probably use the roll-a-way top for pressing and cutting when I'm piecing and it can double as support when I'm quilting. DH and I talked about it tonight, and he gently reminded me that a quilting frame is also on his to-do list - but I figure he's a busy guy, I'd better hedge my bets!

    He just walked by, read this over my shoulder and said "Tell them my quilting is eating into my woodworking time!" I think I'll just leave that one alone :roll:

  25. #25
    Super Member blahel's Avatar
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    Roben you are so lucky to get a custom made sewing table...i have a husband who is a carpenter but i went out and bought a horn sewing cabinet as i needed one before i got too old to sew..hehehe. I love my horn sewing cabinet because i can fold it away but must admit i dont often do that but i like the fact that i can lock it up so noone can take my scissors and things so when i am sewing i know i will be able to find everything. The cabinet is a great height for sewing at but is no good for standing and cutting at as it is too low as i have a bad back. Great idea about the light box. The only thing i wish my cabinet had and that is space on the right hand side as when you are sewing your quilt takes up most of the space on the left and all the pins and scissors and rulers are all under there somewhere! Show us pictures when yours is finished..

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