Monday, April 8, 2013

A New Sewing Table

A former work colleague and friend named Tom loves woodworking the way I love quilting.  The challenge of creating a useful piece of furniture, the joy of working the wood, the precision and craftsmanship involved – these are parallels that can be found in  quilting.  Tom has made several pieces for me and one for my daughter.  He made a beautiful cherry wood quilt rack as my retirement gift. 

Cherry Wood Quilt Rack
  One of the first pieces he built for me is an ironing table made to my specs.  It is kitchen counter height, so I can comfortably stand and do my block layouts, pinning and ironing.  It has drawers and shelves for all my supplies.
Ironing Table
 I was getting frustrated with my sewing machine setup for quilting.  I had to reach up, even after I put a large pillow on the chair.  I had no real room for my elbows.  Shoulder cramps were the norm.  So I asked him to build me a custom sewing table.  My Janome 6600 fits snugly onto a sunken platform with its sewing bed flush with the table top.  Tom finished the heck out of the table surface so that I will barely need my Supreme Slider. The top has a flip up extension to support larger quilts.  There are 2 drawers for my quilting threads and the shelf that the machine actually sits on is extended to hold three long trays for quilting tools.  It arrived yesterday, so I am going to test it this morning – but I can already tell how much better this set up is going to be just by sitting at it.  It was dimensioned to fit against a white formica topped kitchen table.  It can extend as well.

My new sewing table extended (the ironing table is in the background).

Side view of the new sewing table showing all the nice storage!
The really cool thing is he made it from his wood stash (yes, just like us sewing from our fabric stashes) and it is so sturdy and pretty.

On another note: I ended up dropping out of the Year of Lovely Finishes group.  One of the main benefits of retirement in my mind is the lack of deadlines and schedules.  So I felt it silly of me to impose one.  However, I have been finishing projects at a fair clip.  I knitted a bunch of baby clothes as well as a 2 pairs of socks and a sweater for me (see them on my Ravelry page ) 

 I finished the quilt I was talking about on my last blog entry – it even was done for the shower.  
Born To Ride - completed.
 Yesterday I finished a kaleidoscope quilt a la Ricky Tims.  I have one finished top that I am going to work on next.  All in all, it’s been a productive several months, which is why the blogging rate has suffered.
Springburst - 45"by 45"
Springburst Quilting Detail