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Thread: Question about height of sewing counters

  1. #1
    Senior Member tebill's Avatar
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    Question about height of sewing counters

    We are getting ready to renovate the sewing room a wee bit. We are putting in wood flooring which I'm excited about. My husband is going to make an L-shaped counter top setup for my quilting machine and two embroidery machines. Because I want to move the machines around for occasional large projects (such as a quilt), I don't want the machines set into the counter tops. If you have a moment, would you please measure how high your sewing counter/table etc. is if your machines are sitting on top? I have an old sewing desk which is 29" high but it's a bit high for me considering that machine sits on top - quite different from being set in. I'm 5'5" if that helps. Thank you so much for helping! We only want to build this once!

  2. #2
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    stand up straight, flat footed facing your kitchen counter. Now bend your arms next to your side at the elbow. with your hands out, that is the height of a PROPER cutting surface. Most counter tops are too high for me actually..unless I have shoes on!

    NEVER MIND..you want a sewing machine height...that depends a lot on the chair you plan to sit in. Mine is about 28" and it is too high if I use my stability ball chair, and I have to have an adjustable office chair if I choose to go that route. Just like the cutting table, your sewing machine should be at the level of your bent arms, any higher and you will get neck, shoulder and back pain!
    Last edited by jaciqltznok; 12-20-2011 at 08:09 PM.

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    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    Amen to that. You want to enjoy sewing not getting a pain in the neck and elswhere.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tebill's Avatar
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    Just like the cutting table, your sewing machine should be at the level of your bent arms, any higher and you will get neck, shoulder and back pain![/QUOTE]

    Thanks so much! So when I sit with my arms bent, the throat of the sewing machine should be at my finger tips I presume. I was originally thinking 27" for the height but perhaps that's too high, too!

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I appreciate that you want the counter to do double duty.
    However from the ergonomic vantage, it isn't so easily done, as the sewing machine height needs to be lower .... the cutting or work table height should be higher.

    A good adjustable chair, might help you. I use an adjustable drafting chair ..... it's lowest is the highest of a typewriter chair. The only problem with setting the countertop higher, sewing on it, and having the chair higher .... you may find it too far to the ground to the foot pedal.

    Thinking out loud here ..... wonder? could you set the machines into the countertop .... and have a lift up lid/countertop for when you are sewing, and then drop it down in place when you are using it for other purposes? (not sure if there'd be enough height difference?)
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  6. #6
    Senior Member tebill's Avatar
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    I have a wonderful cutting/work unit that's 73"x 42" and is a perfect height for standing at. I have a Horn adjustable sewing chair plus an adjustable office chair so that should help with some of the height issues. I also use acrylic extension tables on my MegaQuilter and Designer 1 embroidery machines - at times. My worry is that my present sewing desk is too high and I end up with shoulder and back pain when doing a lot of sewing/embroidery etc. Thanks so much for your thoughts! Food for thought!

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    Senior Member Rylandon3's Avatar
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    I have back problems and the correct height of your table is so important. Mine is at elbow height and I also keep a pillow at my lower back.All of this helps me...sure don't want to give up my quilting.
    Can't wait to see your finished room.

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    Super Member SunlitenSmiles's Avatar
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    Remember to have a toe kick.....................can get your spine out of whack if no room for toes when standing ~ or if sitting, well that is a whole other story

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    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    this is something you have to measure your own needs for---my table is 30" high and works good for me- but you said 29" is too tall for you---it also depends on your chair===you could try using a (folding table-like a card table) with adjustable legs and try different heights until you find the right combination for you---we are all different- and what works for one may not work for the next...
    if you try with a table with adjustable legs-remember you need to use the chair you are going to be using---since chairs fit us at different heights too- i'm one of those people with long legs but a short body---when i drive the seat has to be back for me to not have my knees on the steering wheel-but at a normal height i look tiny behind the wheel-can just barely see over it---so have to raise the seat---
    it is nice when you have a good ergonomic adjustable chair you can also fit to you.
    congradulations on the renovations! i hope you manage to make your space perfect for you!
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  10. #10
    Junior Member QuilterChick's Avatar
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    I just measured my Horn cutting table, including the casters it rolls on. It is exactly 35" from floor to surface of top. My sewing table (a solid butcher block computer table), is 27" exactly to the top and 60" long and is exactly at my bent elbow when sitting on a swivel office chair. (I am 5'6"). Then my Pfaff sits on top of the surface and it is very comfy. When hubby is done with your renovation, send him over here. I've been dreaming about a sewing "center" that wraps around 2 corners of the room. Ahhhh, dream on.

  11. #11
    Senior Member tebill's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for measuring for me! Everyone has been so helpful! I brought one embroidery machine into the computer room today and put it on a counter top there. That helped give me a better idea of having a lower counter top. I'm going to go with 25" as my chairs are adjustable and the machines are all quite high from the thread plates to the machine bottoms. I hope you get your sewing center soon! It makes such a difference to have everything "ready to go!" Now that hubby is on a roll, he's going to put in wire shelving in the closet, too! It's so exciting to make positive changes!

  12. #12
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=QuiltE;4799051]I appreciate that you want the counter to do double duty.
    However from the ergonomic vantage, it isn't so easily done, as the sewing machine height needs to be lower .... the cutting or work table height should be higher.

    A good adjustable chair, might help you. I use an adjustable drafting chair ..... it's lowest is the highest of a typewriter chair. The only problem with setting the countertop higher, sewing on it, and having the chair higher .... you may find it too far to the ground to the foot pedal.

    A friend has a set up like this, her DH made a shelf under the counter at the correct height for her feet and foot pedal to rest on. works great for her.

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    Super Member feffertim's Avatar
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    good information. Thank you

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    Thanks everyone, this post has really been helpful for me.

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    I am tall so I can have the challenge of things being to low. I do use a computer chair which raises so I can be comfortable at different levels. Good luck. A cutting surface is much higher but depends on your height. Could you cut comfortably at your kitchen counter. That gives you the height you need.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Highmtn's Avatar
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    Thanks for this thread! I've been thinking my kitchen counter top is too tall, but according to this it's not.

    I just took a FMQ class last Saturday, and the instr went around and discussed proper heights with us which is exactly the heights recommended here.

    : )
    .
    "It's a *fine line* between HOBBY and MENTAL ILLNESS"~ Dave Barry

  17. #17
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    I have a large kitchen counter height table that is both for the sewing machine and the cutting. It is a free standing kitchen island actually, that I bought specifically for the sewing room. I use an adjustable drafting stool to sit while sewing. I love it, I like working at that height much better than I did when I using a desk for the sewing machine.

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