Sewing Machine Cabinet Vs. Extension Table ?

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mars92 Posted: Sat, Mar 19 2011 11:12 PM

Hi everyone,

I am curious about everyone's sewing machine set-up for FM quilting.

Do you FM quilt using an extension table?  (It fits around your free-arm and provides a flat surface for you to sew)

Or- Do you have your sewing machine in a cabinet that it sits down in-- so you have a large surface to quilt on?

OR do you have the option of using both of the above methods if you want to?  If so, which do you prefer and why?

If you have another set up, tell us about it, and why it works for you- because it may work for others too!!

Thank you for your input, I think this will be an interesting discussion for us all.

 

 

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Joan L. replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 8:40 AM

Hi Marlene, I have my machine in a cabinet with a drop leaf I can open up for more space. I also have it placed in a corner to prevent the quilt from falling off the back side that cuts down on the drag. I learned that the hard way.  

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mars92 replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 10:27 PM

Hi Joan

Thanks for the response!  It sounds like you have a similar or same cabinet to what I just got.   Previously my machine was on my old (and I do mean old) sewing machine cabinet that the lift was broken so I used a extension table on it for FM and sewing etc.   And I kept saying-this just doesn't work for me- I was always doing work arounds. Frankly, I got sick and tired of doing work arounds.

Now I just got a new cabinet that is really nice that my machine drops in-and like you has a drop leaf I can open in back for more space and on the sides too.  I just haven't figured out where to put it in the room yet since I am totally reorganizing.  Your tip about putting it in the corner is a great one, because I am really trying to maximize my space w/ so much quilting stuff I have.

But I do have to say I like FM on the same flat level surface as the cabinet vs.Having your machine (does this make sense?) inches higher as with the extension table.  I didn't think I would like it as much with the cabinet because I didn't start FM quilting that way but I really do. 

So I guess its just a matter of preference-extension table vs. cabinet.  or whatever works for you.-- just FM !! LOL

Thanks again for the great tips!

 

 

 

 

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chocake2 replied on Mon, Mar 21 2011 10:19 AM

I use an extension table. The machine/table is too high to work at for very long and that puts extra strain on my arms, neck and shoulders. I get around it by sitting on a stool, but.... *shrug*   Also, the quilt tends to hang down off the extension, and that makes it hard to move around.  I'd so much rather have a cabinet, but, alas, there's no room at the inn, nor coins in the coffers, so I'll go on making do.

Quilters are people who strip so they won't go topless.

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Granny M replied on Mon, Mar 21 2011 6:53 PM

chocake2:
but, alas, there's no room at the inn, nor coins in the coffers, so I'll go on making do.
I am in the same boat CC. I did find a sort of work around.   I had an old wipe off board that I polished slick, then put up on two books for legs raising it to the level of my extension table. Then I roll one of my little file cabinet in front of the table, works pretty good and did not cost a penny.

Granny M

 

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mars92 replied on Wed, Apr 6 2011 1:03 AM

Granny M:
I had an old wipe off board that I polished slick, then put up on two books for legs raising it to the level of my extension table. Then I roll one of my little file cabinet in front of the table, works pretty good and did not cost a penny.

Granny M

This is a really slick idea (no pun intended) using an old dry erase board as part of your extension table.  Seriously, where in the world do you think of these things!!  What a great idea- IT's slick/flat and would give you an even bigger surface!!! 

Super idea, WTG!!!

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Joan L. replied on Wed, Apr 6 2011 10:32 AM

Marlene, Before I got my large cabinet I used to roll my small cabinet up next to my cutting table which was taller than my machine so I had a large cardboard I used as a bridge. ONly peoblem was it all had to be moved to get out of my sewing room LOL The things we do to quilt. Got to love it.

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I am useing an old computer table and it is just the right height for me.  I bought three of them for the office and I was the only one who liked them so I took them home.  The tables are a solid as rock and do not vibrate when you really get sewing.  Two of them form an angle with my sewing machine on one and the other placed to take up the bulk of whatever I am sewing.  Works divinely.

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I too have a sewing cabinet that has a fold out extension on the backside.  It works for most projects.  However now I am attempting to quilt my first king size quilt.  I can say this will be my last king size quilt I will quilt on my machine,.  Much too much fabric and weight to manage well.  I added a folding banquet type table to the back end to give move support.  I also put my ironing board on my left to help support the edge as well.  I often wish I had the ability to purchase a long arm.  I will send out my next king size to someone who does. 

Kathleen

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Joan L. replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 6:57 PM

Kathleen, I bought a long arm the end of last month. I've yet to do a real quilt on it , just practice. It has it's challenges also.

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gini replied on Sun, Apr 10 2011 3:01 PM

i have a large cabinet that my machine sits in and i pull a table out by my right elbow to help hold fabric.

i have a fab u motion on my other machine so it sits up. not perfect, but it works well for lap sized and smaller quilts

gini in north idaho

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Mel replied on Sun, Apr 10 2011 4:39 PM

A few years ago my hubby built me a cabinet with a drop leaf that has never been closed--I sat my machine on it and there it has stayed. The cabinet part has slots for bins for customer quilts (I have a longarm business). But I use my Bernina for quilts of my own since the longarm almost always has a customer quilt loaded. I asked hubby to fix the top so my machine would be flat with the level of the table, but he never "got around to it". One day browsing ads in a quilting mag, I noticed I could order the plastic drop-in cover for the Koala cabinet to fit my Bernina. I ordered just the insert (certainly can't afford that whole lovely Koala cabinet on my retirement income). When it came, I traced around it on my drop leaf, cut out a hole with a jigsaw, built a little box to attach to the bottom of the leaf, and LOVE IT! My quilts slide nicely now, with little drag at all.

And about that drag. . . it slips my mind who made the video I saw recently about how this guy quilts, but he doesn't roll or wad up his quilts under the arm of the machine. He makes a little well or puddle of quilt so he can slide about a 12-14" area around without drag. I tried it and it works beautifully. I'll try to find out who made the video and where I saw it (one of the problems with being on so many blogs and online clubs!)

Mel

 

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Granny M replied on Mon, Apr 11 2011 4:29 PM

Mel:
it slips my mind who made the video I saw recently about how this guy quilts,

  I saw that same video and can't remember who it was either.  But after seeing it I stopped rolling my quilts and used this method.  Makes a big differenc.

Granny M

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Mel replied on Tue, Apr 12 2011 9:15 AM

Looked it up: David Taylor in the Quilt It show #110. He called it a "wave fold" and shows how to do it.

Mel

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Liz K replied on Tue, Apr 12 2011 11:59 AM

I use an older sewing machine table that we purchased at an auction years ago.  I took out the flip up section that set around the free arm and use my extension table instead.  on the front side of the machine I have a long rolling table that site slightly lover than the table and to the left I have two sets of drawers that I purchased at Aldi that also set lower than the table that I keep supplies in, mainly quilts that need to be quilted.

I have  been quilting a lot of UFO's recently.  I took two weeks to put together all the panels and tops I have that were not finished.  I didn't realize I had so many.  When I was done I had 53 ready to quilt - some quite small not to mention 6 bed sized quilts I need to finish and two smaller quilts I intended to have done years ago but never got to them.  Things really add up when you get busy.  I quilted straight for about 4 weeks since I have been sick with pneumonia.  I steamed while quilting.

I also don't roll quilts but bunch them.  I have a long arm I don't use very often - I like the control I have with the domestic machine for smaller quilts but I did quilt a twin sized one on the long arm on Sunday.  It was nice to be able to  get it done in such a short time.  I actually did the top about 14 yrs ago - I still have two more to finish.  It was my first attempt at stack and wack.  I was considering donating them to the people who lost everything the in tornadoes this last weekend here in Iowa.  

Liz 

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