Machine Quilting Set UpJun 11th, 2012 | Category: Machine Quilting
Our quilt is layered and basted, we have chosen our needles and threads, and tested our choices on a practice quilt sandwich. As our series on machine quilting continues, we turn our attention to setting up a workspace for machine quilting. What follows is an updated version of my February 23, 2011 post.
In order to successfully machine quilt any size quilt on a home sewing machine, we don’t want our quilt to drag while we are stitching. We want the height of the quilt to be flush with the needle plate and the weight of the quilt to be balanced. Not only does a quilt drag when it falls off the edge of the table, it drags if it hangs below the height of the needle plate. This occurs when a sewing machine sits on top of a table.
There are beautiful sewing machine cabinets designed to address this very problem. Available in a wide variety of sizes, finishes, and price points, these cabinets feature a recessed shelf which allows the sewing machine to sit lower than the table top.
How I longed for one of these cabinets! But I had a problem: I didn’t have enough space in my sewing room. Two Ikea-style tables fill the center of my studio.
To add a sewing machine cabinet, I would have to remove a table. This did not appeal to me because I like having those two tables together. They come in handy for all kinds of tasks, including basting! But how could I set up my workspace for machine quilting so that my quilts wouldn’t hang over the edge of my sewing machine? My solution was to build a custom table-top for one of my work tables.
Here’s how it works. Position the sewing machine on the table as far to the right as possible. Measure the width and the depth of the space used by the machine. Also measure the height to the needle plate. From a sheet of melamine, plywood, or other laminated sheet the same size as your table, cut out a section measuring the width and depth of your sewing machine.
Build a base underneath the table top to raise the height equal to the sewing machine. Having this base inset a few inches from the edges is a good idea.
Place this unit onto the original table top, lining up the edges.
Now, the height of my sewing machine is equal to the table top and my quilts are well supported. They don’t drag while I am machine quilting and I was able to keep my two tables.
And that beautiful Koala Studios Quiltmate Plus IV sewing cabinet? I have one on order for my new cottage studio!!