He Builds: Sewing Table

That’s right–Nate made this project. When we moved into this house, we agreed that the front bedroom could be my sewing room. The problem was that I didn’t have a table for my machine. Nate was wanting to get a bit into wood-working, so together we came up with a design for a massive sewing/cutting table. I wanted a table that would meet the following criteria:

  1. have a place for my machine to set in to be flush with the table top, yet still allow access to the feed dog lever and power switch,
  2. be tall enough to function as a cutting table,
  3. be long and wide enough to accommodate a large quilt,
  4. have barriers of some kind so that large items would not hang off the table while I’m stitching them,
  5. have a slippery surface for easiest machine-quilting,
  6. be constructed in parts so that it could be disassembled for easier moving or storing.

I am so happy to say that Nate created a table with all of those attributes, and it is wonderful to use. Sprout’s crib came in a few weeks ago, so we moved the guest bed into the sewing room, and I cleaned it for some company we are expecting next week, so I thought I’d give you a little tour of the room and a good look at this fabulous table.

queen-sized guest bed

queen-sized guest bed

The guest bed is in the corner with the its end towards the door to the room. It is a queen-sized bed, and there is about 4 feet of walking space between the bed and the sewing table. The table is actually two parts totaling about 90″ long by 54″ wide. The portion without the machine, the cutting table, is 40″ long.

overview

overview

The tables are very sturdy, and the legs and supports are all removable for easier transport and storage (though it’s not very fun to disassemble or re-assemble). It is about waist-high on me, the perfect height for cutting. We bought an architect’s drafting chair that raises high enough to reach the machine, and there is a foot support under the machine for my feet and the foot pedal.

bird's-eye view

bird’s-eye view

From the overhead view, you can get a better idea of the size: the large cutting mat is 24″ by 18″. The top of the table has been finished with Formica that is used on kitchen counter-tops. The smooth top will allow very large quilts to glide more easily over the top.

overhang boards

overhang boards

Along the back and left sides (from the sewing perspective), there are boards on hinges that can be raised or lowered. Right now, the table is against the wall, so the boards on the left side are not in use, but they will function as barriers to keep large projects from falling off the edge of the table as I’m sewing. This is especially important in machine-quilting when wrestling with the bulky quilt too much can cause uneven stitching.

set-in machine

set-in machine

The machine table is L-shaped, which is also helpful when sewing large projects or machine-quilting large quilts. And it makes for a place to keep thread, bobbins, and other little items at the ready. The machine is set into the table so that the stitching base is flush with the table-top. I can access the power switch (at the base of the machine under the hand-wheel) from either the front or side of the table.

feed dogs access

feed dogs access

There is a little trap-door behind the machine that serves two purposes: it allows the machine to be fully surrounded by the table-top without any large gaps and it gives me access to the lever that lowers/raises the feed dogs.

TV nook and closet

TV nook and closet

We’ve set up a small TV and DVD player in the opposite corner from where I sit which allows me to watch movies while I sew. And that finished up the tour of the room.

This room is perfect for sewing because the windows face northeast. It gets direct morning sun and indirect, but bright afternoon light. These pictures were all taken without the overhead light on during an overcast, winter day. The joy of a large sewing table was evident when I repaired the hems on a hand-made twin-sized tie-quilted blanket a few weeks ago. I have also worked on the piecing for my Walnut Hill quilt with this table and loved having a table at proper cutting height. I know my dear husband sees every flaw in this table, but when I am using it, I am reminded a million times over what a huge blessing he is to me.

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