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Thread: Ideal sewing desk?

  1. #1
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    Ideal sewing desk?

    I'm discovering (as I'm getting back into sewing after a long hiatus) that a quilting room ideally would have a cutting table and a sewing desk. I have a decent size table for cutting, but need (or really want) a sewing desk. Could you tell me your favorite and must-have (or would love to have) features in a sewing desk?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Reba'squilts's Avatar
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    I don't have the anwser...but I have been looking at the sew easy table on the web. The one I would be interested is around 500. More money then I want to spend. My machine is heavy, Viking Diamond, so I need something steady. BUT if I get this..then I probably need something else to use when I use the embroidery system. I saw a wonderful huge old desk at the habitat store yesterday...would be big enough to build in machine and use the other side to embroider. My DH does not want another job! So I do run on!!!! I will be watching for the anwsers with you! Good luck with your quest. Carol

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    I use an old office desk - a big metal one. I got it when a local company remodeled, and they were selling the desks for $15.00. It's an ugly shade of green, with a faux wood top. I love it. Big top, big drawers.

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    What would be ideal would be to afford the ones like they have on the sewing and quilting shows and videos. That being said most deal with what you can afford. My sewing table is a utility table (6ft. long) that folds. Wal Mart for 30 bucks. it's also my cutting table. I am using a small bedroom (considering myself lucky). I saw a huge office desk at the Goodwill but DH and I both decided it would be too difficult to get down the hall. My house is very small.

  5. #5
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    I use a wood desk that I got at a discount furniture store for a great price (slight damage). Lots of drawer space and also store things under it.
    Peace is one of His greatest gifts.

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    I love 30 inches long (or more) tables, and if you have a cutout in table for the machine, all the better. I like that tables have plenty of leg room. Some sewing cabinets have drawers right up next to your legs. I like the free movement and generous space of tables, so I can pop up and down freely. You can always add drawers or cabinets, even if it is roller carts, but I hate the sewing machine space to have drawers right up at my legs. I really like to be able to swing around in my chair and move about freely. This can be very important not just for comfort but also to minimize stiff joints and edema.

  7. #7
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I have a Arrow Gidget II which is a nice table, but I have a big heavy machine like you and it does work for embroidery but it is small so doesn't leave a whole lot of working space but it is a solid table that does a good job, and you can find the for about 180 without the insert and around 125 with insert which is a little cheaper than the sew ezi which is similar in size but a little small. My dream table is a koala, but those cost quite a pretty penny so those will wait
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  8. #8
    Super Member QuiltingNinaSue's Avatar
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    I have sewn on a cheap typewriter table that I put together myself for years with an ironing board on one side of it and a cutting table on the other side of it. I have seen nice looking sewing cabinets on QB that women have built, so if you do a search on QB, it might give you some ideas.

    That said, this year, my dh said to take the tax refund and get what I wanted for my sewing room and I did; plus a little more than the refund for the sewing room I wanted. Since I sew with Bernina and love it, I ordered the Horn desks. Three of the fold up kind (cheaper) and one good quilting sewing cabinet that we will share 'cause he quilts with me and sews his kilts. It is big, and does take a while to 'learn' it, but the 550 'fits' in quite well. All are very sturdy and fit in nicely and two were on sale which helped the price (by $500). I have a Bernina 1530 and Bernette Serger, adding a Bernina 550 and Deco 340 embroidery machine and a cutting table from JoAnns. Oh, and I will turn 71 years old this year, have worked full time and raised three children with DH, married for 47 years, so I thought it was high time to outfit my 'hobby' room.

    Each to their own comfort zone of doing it their way. The small typewriter stand was about $23.00 and worked just fine for me and pieced a lot of quilts. Good luck in finding your set up that you want. I looked at various folding tables on line, priced very sensible, and other alternatives. Check out estate sales, auction sales, good will stores, garage sales, local Craig lists, Wal Mart adjustable tables, four foot long about $59.00 and want ads in your area.

  9. #9
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    The best sewing desks are the ones that fit you. At the end of the day, the machine doesn't care about where it's sitting, but your body sure will.

    I'm short, so I needed a shorter desk. All of the desks I saw were pretty much the same height. My shoulders were around my ears, my back super stretched out, and I felt like I was reaching for everything. Yes, you can take some of it up with an adjustable chair, but feet dangling in the air is not good for your legs. Yes, you can use a step stool or something to elevate your legs too.

    And -then- I saw the price tags. I can buy a lot of fabric and vintage machines for that! And I was going to have to modify or add things to make it fit me?

    Or you can fit the desk to you.

    The same goes if you're not height challenged.

    Something that can recess at least your main machine is best. You'll fight the fabric less, and not be as sore as a result. Something that can recess any machine you have (if you have more than one) is the ideal.

    As a general rule, something sturdy and made of real wood or metal will hold up longer than something that's made of man made materials or wobbly. Particle board should have the screws tightened once a year. Additionally, a heavier, sturdier desk will absorb more vibrations from the machine, especially the heavier and high speed ones

    These were my requirements. The desk I wanted didn't exist. I'm one of the QBers who built / modified.

    We cut 2" off the bottom of the legs. We cut a hole that would accomodate any machine I have, and cut Lexan inserts for each machine. We created a height adjustment for the machines to be level with the top of the desk. We routed the ledge for the insert to sit on. This was all done to a Government surplus desk.

    When I say "we", I don't mean the royal "We", as in I gave DH the instructions and said bring it back when it's done. I did as much or more of the work than he did. With a little time and patience, you can do all of the work yourself. The only tool that consistently over challenges me is the router. I'm sure you could get DH or a family friend to route a quick ledge if push comes to shove.

  10. #10
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    I use a table from ikea

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    I am 78 years old, and I have to say I sewed for many years on a TV tray - the old medal kind. In '02 my husband bought me a Pfaff 7570 with the embroidery unit, and a few weeks later he bought a Horn cabinet, which I love. We got it new at the same sewing store we bought the machine at, and since I just ran across the receipt recently, I know we paid $800+ for the Horn cabinet. But it has been worth it.

  12. #12
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    Love love my sewing table. Has a well that the machine sits in. Has 24" BEHIND the machine, 26" to the LEFT of the machine and just enought room to the right to put my coffee mug! Nests into a corner so when I'm quilting, the fabric puddles behind the machine. Has one drawer for stuff, and a slide out sheft to store two machines...my back up work horse and serger.

    I've looked at new sewing tabes and many have a flip up/dow shelf so it WON'T fit into a corner. Lots of table don't have much room to the left or back. That's important for me. I have room to store my rulers in a slotted organizer, and several notions "sorters".

    This is similiar to what I have. http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...ectedIndex=121

    When I bought my serget 23 years ago the GAVE me the sewing table. Nice huh?
    If you don't work on it you'll never finish it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member wytetygeress's Avatar
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    I also have a heavy Machine. I love the idea of having a fancy desk that they sell, but could not bring my self to spend that kind money. I built mine. Completely out of plywood, 2x4 and 4x4. I added fabric sides and curtain. It has a cut out so my machine sits flush with the table. I took the scrap from the cut out and put "legs" on it. This way when I want to use my embroidery unit I just put it in the whole and set my machine on top of it. My table is huge. Something like 4 feet by 5 feet. And even though I made it 36 inches tall, I have cinder blocks under it to rise it another 12 inches. ( I use a bar stool as my chair). Here is a link to my post showing the actual table. http://www.quiltingboard.com/mission...o-t210090.html I would say if you are handy with power tools ( or can find someone) making your own table may be your answer. Sorry if this is so long.
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  14. #14
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    My husband bought a Taylor Made Quilter's Vision for me. I just love it! The craftsmanship of the desk is superb.
    Attached Images Attached Images


  15. #15
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    I have an old cafeteria-type long table. It's HEAVY. I can move it by scootching it, but I can't lift it. The good thing is that it doesn't move or jittle when I have the machine cranked up and zooming along. The table isn't perfect (no recess for the machine,) but I love that it's stable as a rock. I would recommend making that one of your search criteria.
    "Accomplishment is a consequence of effort" -- Michael Crichton

  16. #16
    Senior Member Katia's Avatar
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    I used an old office desk for a long time. It was great, but very ugly. This past spring my husband started watching Craigslist and found a beautiful executive type office desk. It is real wood and L shaped and has lots of room, Some drawers and that sort of thing. We put shelves on the wall above on one side. Hubby offered to cut out a hole for the machine to sit into, but I can not bear to cut the pretty wood. I also have a sewing cabinet that is on rollers that I can put next to the desk if I need to. It is the type where you can inset the machine. So when I am wanting to get a lot done I can wall myself in with work space. LOL. But I have found I pay for that with a lot of back and leg pain from not moving.

  17. #17
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    I have two computer tables, very heavy and sturdy, one folds so it can be put away. Other one is in storage shed until/if I ever get room. Have two folding 6' tables, but lack room for them too.

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    Thank you all so much for your input. I really appreciate all the suggestions and thing to keep in mind. I am going to take my time figuring out exactly (or as close as possible) what suits me. For now I will continue to move my machine out of the way when I need my whole table for cutting. (It's about 20 pounds, not terrible.) My new craft room is still evolving and I imagine I'll be moving things around till things are "juuuuuuuust right" (i say in my best Goldilocks voice).
    For now I am content and feel blessed to have a guest/craft room where I can leave everything out and no one bothers it, and I can shut the door on it. It's my happy place, freshly painted in pale yellow that is very cheery, and I am able to produce things of beauty , which is what it's all about, right?

  19. #19
    Junior Member mimmy96's Avatar
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    I have 2 big wood kitchen tables in my room (they both match) One I used for my cutting table (I put bed riser under the legs on that one to make it tall enough not to hurt my back while cutting)... and the other I cut out an area for my machine and it is great!!!! Love it! I looked at most of the sewing tables that is made just for that, and they were not big enough for my liking! So I went with kitchen tables.,.. You can always find them for a good price used!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Scraplady's Avatar
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    I'd say get one as large as your space can accomodate, and something very sturdy.

    I have an old computer desk that I got free from a company DH was working for. They were going to throw it away! It has a thick particle board top, and a steel base that supports the top all the way across so no sagging. It doesn't have drawers, but a shelf at the back that holds all kinds of things and I have my Sterlite drawers up under it. It is 24 X 48" and has served me well for 25 years. Just last month I finally got the nerve to cut an opening and recess my machine, something I've been wanting to do for a LONG time. Check local thrift stores, you can often get a great price on a desk or table that just needs a coat of paint and a little TLC.
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    "Piecin' a quilt's like livin' a life...The Lord sends us the pieces, but we can cut 'em out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves, and there's a heap more in the cuttin' and the sewin' than there is in the caliker...I've had a heap of comfort all my life making quilts, and now in my old age I wouldn't take a fortune for them." (Eliza Calvert Hall, Aunt Jane of Kentucky)

  21. #21
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    If you are on pinterest, check there. I just bought a desk (expensive!) that has the hydraulic lift. But when I look at the sewing spaces of some well known quilters, a huge number of them use a plain desk or table. Made me feel kind of like a spoiled brat when I saw that. lol

  22. #22
    Super Member calla's Avatar
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    DH used a wooden door, sanded sealer, sanded and sealed again. Perfect.....calla

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