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How is your quilting space setup?

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kmrchr posted on Sun, Nov 7 2010 7:57 PM

I am pretty new to quilting and one of the hardest things seems to be my setup. I have a tall quilters cutting table which I like but I seem to do a lot of stand up to cut, sit and sew, move to the ironing board, sit to sew, stand to cut, etc... Do any of you have a quilter's workspace that you find meets all your needs without killing your back in the process?

 

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Suggested by Jeanine

I have options depending on what type of a project I am working on.  I have a tall cutting table that I can layout large cuts of fabric or doing anything that requires more space.  But if I am doing small cutting as part of the quilt I am working on, I keep a small cutting mat, ruler, cutter to the left of my sewing machine.  I also have a large ironing board set up for ironing bigger pieces but if I just need to press seams while piecing, I have a small iron/iron mat set up by my machine.  While piecing a top, I typically do not need to get up.  I don't know if that helps or not but you do need to set up in a way that is comfortable to you.  And I am always reworking by space.  It keeps it interesting.

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Nana replied on Sun, Nov 7 2010 8:38 PM

Kim

I have a small sewing space that has 3 tables set up in a U with my chair in the middle.  I have my Berinina on one table, thread storage on the end of that table, my Kenmore backup machine on the table in the center of the U and the other table has a large cutting mat.  All I have to do is swivel my chair.  If I am doing small pieces of ironing I have a mat that I can lay on the end of the cutting table.  My ironing board is set parallel with the cutting table.  So the only time I have to get up is when I am ready for lots of pressing.   Does any of this make sense....LOL>

Vinton, Virginia

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gini replied on Sun, Nov 7 2010 9:46 PM

i have my space set up so i have to get up and move around.  my ironing board is apart from the sewing area, the design board is away from everything.  if i have everything too close i don't move around enough and get stiff        gini

gini in north idaho

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Jill replied on Sun, Nov 7 2010 10:17 PM

I have been quilting for seven years now and probably can't count the number of times I've changed my room. Right now I have a cutting table and another table where I can iron or lay out my quilts, etc.  I have arthritis and I've found that it's best if I do get up and down quite a bit because if I don't I'll get stiff and a backache.

Jill

 

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Kris replied on Mon, Nov 8 2010 12:51 AM

Kim,

I usually finger press until I've completed a block then get up to press with the iron. I also like to move around so I don't get too stiff. It also helps keep circulation going. Sitting for too long puts a lot os strain on your lower back so you should try not to sit in one position for too long. 

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Kim,

I too, have a set up that requires a lot of getting up and down. I feel I need to do that as I have a disk that herniates in my back and I can't sit or stand for any period of time without issues. The getting up and down to iron or cut works for me and I'll sew on my blocks and get up and press them. I have a very comfortable chair that has a straight back on it, like a very padded kitchen parsons chair and that seems to work for me while I'm sitting. I also have adjusted my ironong board to a higher level, the same as my cutting table. Best of luck finding what works for you to alleviate back pain. 

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Kim,

I have organized chaos.  I must get up and down a lot but I'm used to it.  I don't have enough storage so I have piles to work around but everything is in the room so I guess that's good.  

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There was a thread where a bunch of gals had posted pictures of their sewing spaces.  I'm like Gini, Steph and Prairie Dog.  I have a tall cutting table that I got at JoAnn's that I cut on.  I get up and down a lot to keep the kinks out.  I just don'tthink it is good, for me at least, to sit for long periods.  I need to get some exercise in somehow, now don't I?  I have both and ironing board and a small ironing pad but if I use the pad, it's on the cutting table so I still get up. 

Marge (AKA Dimples)

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I definitely have a creative set up. My husband and I live in a one-bedroom in Chicago and I have a sewing "area" that is really just a corner of our living room. Thank goodness my husband is super-supportive or he might be annoyed that I'm using so much space for my little quilting assembly line. 

I think the best advice I can give for anyone, really, but especially those with limited space, is too keep things tidy. When you're low on square footage, organization is key. I would even venture to guess that my sewing space is more functional than some spaces three times as large! The key is to keep things in their place -- when you wind your bobbins, put them in a box for bobbins and put that where it goes. When you're done cutting -- and I do my cutting on a mat on the floor -- put the mat and rotary cutter and ruler away. Stray threads, fabric snips, anything that is tossable goes right into the garbage. 

I'm definitely not OCD about it, but keeping the space organized and tidy is actually very inspiring to me. It's always inviting.

Mary Fons 

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I am one of the fortunate ones to have a whole building 20 by 16 for my pleasure. but unfortunately I got carried away with "collecting" and now need to clean house. Am really finding it hard to get rid of things. Anyone got any helpful hints?

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I have two rooms that I use. I have a home based painting business so I sit all day and paint. One room has my painting counter and two sewing machine cabinets. So I sit in this room on the computer or painting or sewing all day long. The sunroom has the fabric, cutting table, ironing board and two large table for sandwiching. When piecing at the machine, I try to stay there and sew and I have one of those little wooden rollers to press the seams. Then I take them all to the iron for a real press. I use a pressing blanket when piecing. Once the quilt is large enough then I go to the ironing board. I make myself get up b/c I sit so much. I don't want my legs to get weak. And I am always changing something around, too. DH just rolls his eyes when he sees me measuring something in this room. He just says "Yes, dear. Wasn't this the way you had it last time?"

North of Boston MA

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gini replied on Mon, Nov 8 2010 4:24 PM

weene, welcome.    i have trouble getting rid of quilting related items, too.   have you considered an addition?       :  )    gini

gini in north idaho

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I have been quilting and sewing for about 45 years. I have a need for space.  One of the first work spaces I set us was in a closet with the furnace next to it.  (which at

the time seemed great in a cold house) it had peg board and only my machine fit in there and some things on the j-pegs on the wall.  I did have a great converted

garage to store some of the fabric and a saw horse table to cut on. ( Since going to quilt camp I found out you can put plastic pipe on the bottom of most folding tables to make them the right height.) .

I have had sewing spaces where ever I have lived,  all of them larger than the first one.   I have learned the things needed to complete the projects.

  I have a 10 foot table down the center (right now) of my sewing room, that is cutting height.   there is about a 5 foot space to where my Ironing board is set up.    On the south wall-  I bought some plastic tubs and organized the fabric by color and type.  I purchased plastic shelfs that hold 12 tubs each.  This works great because not only can I find what I want easily--I get inspired by the color, texture of each piece.  On the North wall -I have the sewing machines. I have a serger-an old machine for sewing heavy things(like jean hems , and other crafty projects), my felting machine, My Husquvarna /viking sewing-Embroidery machine, and my treadle shoe sewing machine,  I had to put grandma,s treadle machine in the dinning area.  It looks great there-Some times I sew on it at events.   I use the other walls (two with windows) I have a chalk board, and a message board, and clear plastic dressers for patterns,notions, cone threads, zippers, ect.  I also love my office hair that rolls to the different machines.

 

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I have a large room 14X20, and it is full to running over with sewing necessities and collectables. I have a setup similar to jeanines, where I can sit and cut and press, or get up and cut and press. I, like a lot of the others, prefer to get up often because one needs to change positions frequently to keep the blood flowing. And to get some excercise when sewing. The Quilt Doctor recommends that you do get up out of your chair often. But you have to just figure out what works best for you and go for it. I'm like Diane, I am always changing things around in my space. It keeps things fresh and interesting. I am even frequently changing things around in my cupboards. I'm always looking for a better system.

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