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16. Sewing Machine Tables and Storage Solutions

To listen to this episode in its entirety, head over to the show notes here.

(00:00)
Hey there. I’m Nicole Gilbert and you’ve joined the stop scrolling and start sewing podcast. Are you new to sewing and want to start quilting, but have no idea where to begin? Each Wednesday, Join me as I share the ins and outs of that quilt life. If you don’t have a sewing machine, have no idea how much fabric you need, or you’re just trying to figure out where the heck to stick that bobbin This is the podcast for you.

(00:32)
Hey folks, Nicole here on today’s episode, we’re chatting about sewing machine tables. I’ll break down the different types. Some of the hottest brands out there, and even some storage best practices for those of you out there who are pinched for space.

(00:50)
But first, a quick listener, shout out.

(00:54)
Today’s listener. Shout out is from TashaRory. So TashaRory writes: Nicole’s refreshing style and excellent knowledge about sewing is perfect for new Sowers like me.

(01:10)
Well, Tasha Rory that was short and sweet and absolutely made my day. I love hearing from new Sowers, especially because it can be really hard to find a corner in this quote world for newbies. We all got to start somewhere and I love that you guys let me hang out with you once a week. If you want to be featured on an upcoming episode, head over to wherever you listen to podcasts and leave me a review. I read every single one and they mean the world to me. They also allow me to reach more listeners every week. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

(01:51)
Okay, guys, let’s get sewing. So welcome to episode 16 of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. I feel like time is just flying by on me and I am just so excited that you invite me on your commute on your workouts and while you’re washing the dishes with you. I love it. So this week we’re talking sewing machine tables, and this is on my mind because I know I spoke, um, a couple episodes about falling in love with a new sewing machine at a sewing machine dealer. And guess what? I got it. So the sewing table that I was using now felt or feels, um, a little obsolete cause this, the sewing machine, I got a Janome continental M7 and it is love guys.

(02:50)
It is also a beast. So it’s a really big machine. And I have been using an Ikea Melltorp table for about seven years. Um, and it has served me really well. It’s an excellent size table. So Ikea sells it as a dining room table as a four seater dining room table. I would say at best it’s like for an apartment sized house. It’s not a hugeas a huge dining room table by any means, but it’s an excellent craft table slash sewing machine table. So what I did was I left my cutting mat on it and I would put my Pfaff creative vision right on top and we were good to go loved it. It worked really well for me, but now, um, the Janome machine actually has the largest throat space on the market. It’s 13.5 inches from needle to arm and that’s a really big, long sewing machine.

(03:53)
Um, and so, and it just feels hefty. I mean, it is, my Pfaff felt heavy and this Janome is just out of this world heavy. Um, and so I just felt like I wanted like a real, a real setup or real situation. So I went down the rabbit hole of sewing machine tables, which is kind of what inspired this episode. So I will, when I hit the choice that I’ve chosen for myself and my new machine, I will, um, show, I will talk about it and mention the, Hey, this guys, this is the one I went with. Um, but I will also mention which ones I’ve used in the past.

(04:34)
So I’m going to be breaking down a list of the best options and brands for designated sewing machine tables, tables that do double duty, like what I was talking about with my Ikea Melltorp, and how to store your machine if you need to pack it up at the end of each session.

(04:55)
So I know that many of you are at different levels, different stages, you have different amounts of spaces in your home. Um, I know a lot of you are actually in Europe. Um, here in the United States, we definitely live by bigger is better. And so I know our living situations are just different. Um, but you guys have way cooler houses most of the time, but anyway, um, we’re all dealing with different spacial issues, which we have to kind of keep in mind.

(05:28)
So let’s go ahead and dive on in, let’s start with designated sewing machine tables. So if you have room for the designated sewing machine table, I think that they are absolutely the best option for comfort, as well as for your sewing ease, um, with a designated sewing machine table, you can actually have your sewing machine sunk in so that the bed of the machine is flush with the top of your table, which for ergonomics is exceptional.

(06:07)
Um, it will also take away some of the strain in your wrists, in your elbows and in your shoulders, as long as your chair is properly situated as well. Um, and it also will allow for a better line of sight. Um, so overall there’s just, there’s a lot of little ergonomic tweaks that happen when you’re able to inlay your machine into your table that can really help you out. Um, I think that if you are taking the time to really invest in yourself and really develop your hobby and craft, as well as investing in machinery, if you’ve got a high end machine, you should probably have a designated sewing machine table. And quite frankly, I had a, I mean my last machine, my Pfaff was like a $10,000 sewing machine and I didn’t invest in a table. I was using me Ikea Melltorp and it worked fine, but, um, I probably should have done more honestly.

(07:14)
Um, so I will say that I have now with my Janome one with a designated sewing machine table. Um, and I will show you exactly which one I’m using, um, in just a bit, but I’m going to break down some of my favorite ones currently on the market, as well as some really great brands to check out. And I’ve included all of this over at the show notes. So if you head over to themodernquilterscircle.com/episode-16, you will be able to see some photograph examples as well as links to everything that I’ve read. I referenced from the different types of sewing machine tables to the Ikea products that I mentioned and everything in between. So let’s get started.

(08:03)
So I will say that, um, two brands that you will hear over and over again, um, when it comes to sewing machine tables, there’s tons out there, but two brands that you will hear over and over again are going to be arrow and kangaroo cabinets and that’s cabinets with a K, um, and actually kangaroo cabinets and arrow are actually part of the same company.

(08:27)
Um, however, you will often see them advertised as like two separate lines. So bear with me. Um, they carry an array of sewing machine tables from really entry-level, um, foldable, which means storable sewing machine tables all the way up to like huge craft room in a box of things. So I’m going to kind of break, break down some of the options in each, in each range.

(09:00)
So arrow makes something called the Gidget, and I actually had an arrow Gidget. I got it for sale for $65 at Joann fabrics on black Friday, many, many, many moons ago. Um, and it really, it served me well. Um, I think it currently goes for about $200. I’ll have the prices for all of these, that like, if I, if I call out a specific model, I’ll have the price for it over in the show notes. Um, but the Arrow Gidget is actually like a folding table.

(09:41)
And so it’s got two legs. It’s got like the pop out little arms that brace underneath the sewing table and it’s got, um, an insert that lowers down. And I mean, I, even when I first got my five, I put it on, on there and my husband actually had to cut the hole a little bit bigger to accommodate because the hole that comes pretty cut in the Gidget is really made for more of a standard sized machine, like a singer heavy duty or, um, a brother machine that you would, you know, get at one of your major retailers. Um, and I mean, many machines are to that size. So I would say a lot of you have a machine of those dimensions, so that’s fine. My Pfaff is a, was a big machine. Um, but it did me well. I liked it. And what I really liked about it, especially when, uh, Steve and I were first starting out, we lived in really small little apartments and my craft room.

(10:46)
And I say craft room very, very loosely because my craft room was the office, which was also the guest room, uh, we’re military, um, um, which I’m know that many of you know, already, but we move often. So a guestroom is not really a luxury for us. It’s a necessity because, um, anytime we have family or friends come and see us, they need a place to sleep. So, um, uh, it did our, that room always did like triple duty. Um, so the folding table was actually wonderful because I could snap the legs shut and slide it underneath the guestroom bed. And it was a way, so I was still at that point when I was using the arrow Gidget, I was still, um, packing my sewing machine away every time I was done with my session. But when I did take it out, I can pop out that table that took legitimately two seconds to put together, um, to like unfold and snap into place. And then I could have like a sewing machine table. So, um, it’s, it’s small too. I would say, I think it’s about

(12:01)
Maybe 36 inches long and 18 inches deep. And I think I might be being generous with the 18 inches deep. Um, so it’s, it’s a pretty compact, um, table, but it definitely gets the job done.

(12:18)
Okay. Moving on the next table, I have never personally used it, but I have to say I kind of am in love with it. Um, I honestly considered it for my Janome, but, um, the well is just not large enough for my genomic machine. And, um, I wanted something really, really custom, but arrow makes something called the arrow, Olivia. And even if you are not in the market for a designated sewing machine table, please go look at this because it’s so pretty. First of all, it comes in three colors. I know, right? I’m like first the color ways, uh, it comes in three colors, it comes in white, it comes in what they call a pistachio green, which is super cute.

(13:05)
And then it also comes in and I forget what the official color is, but it is, um, not quite a Tiffany blue, but not quite a Robin’s egg blue, but it’s pretty, it’s a really pretty color. I like to refer to it as my signature color. I use it all the time. And if you head over to my Instagram, you’ll be able to see my table, which hint, hint is my signature color. Um, because I did fall in love with this table so much, but it’s so cute. It’s got pretty little gingerbread scalloping on it and it’s just super dainty while being super space efficient, sturdy for your machine and with storage solutions. So it’s like a win, win, win, love that machine, go check it out. Um, I mean, machine, I love that table. You should go check it out. Um, I believe the last time I saw it, it was on Amazon. Cause I legitimately was looking at this table like a week ago. Um, I want to say it was about $700.

(14:03)
So these sewing machine tables, as you get more and more specialized get pricey, I’m just going to throw that out there. So you’re not, you don’t have sticker shock as I get into some of the ones a little further down the line. So let’s see another arrow solution that I think is great. Um, and this is really when the arrow table starts to get a little bit pricey. Um, but depending on the time that you spend on your machine, like I said before, and the amount of money that you’ve invested in the machine itself, it makes sense, honestly. Um, and plus in these larger cabinets, you do start to gain some storage solutions for your supplies as well. So the arrow Laverne andShirley, uh, I want to say is about $1500.

(14:53)
Um, what is really cool about the Laverne and Shirley get it. It’s like best friends, cause it’s actually like two pieces put together. So there is the main cabinet where the sewing machine sits and it’s got it’s built in well. And then there’s actually a little cart that pulls out and it’s got a storage solution, um, shelving slash drawers. And on top of that, there’s a built in pressing area like a ironing board. And then there’s also an area for a small cutting mat. So you have like a really compact, um, unit that entails and encompasses all the parts of what you need in your quilting room. And they collapse into it. It collapses into itself. So you can actually get like everything you need in a craft room in a really condensed space, which actually can be a game changer for those of you who are dealing with storage in a pinch, but you can carve out like a corner of a room.

(16:04)
So it’s something to really think about. I really do like that Laverne and Shirley now kangaroo cabinets, a kangaroo cabinet, like I said, it falls under the Aero umbrella. Um, and you’ll find many similar, similar options and offerings at different price points. Um, but one specific kangaroo cabinet that I want to point out and they have the cutest names, cause they’re all like very Aussie, um, is the Wallaby to studio set. And now this is kind of like the arrow Laverne and Shirley in that it’s like a craft room set up in and of itself, but it’s like on steroids. So, um, it has a designated space for your machine as well as a cutting surface and tons of storage for all of your notions and the current projects that you’re working on this actually like when I say it’s got a cutting surface on the Laverne and Shirley, you can probably fit like an 18 by 24 mat.

(17:08)
Um, in the Wallaby you can fit a 24 by 36 as well as that cutting service being high. So you don’t have to hunch over it’s at a higher height than a typical table. Um, there’s a ton of drawers and shelving underneath the cutting surface, they’re shelving and places to store your machine and other things in the main cabinet as well. Um, and again, it all shuts up in, uh, in itself. Uh, this is, we’re getting a little bit pricier now. Um, it’s not quite three grand, but we’re getting close. I want to say it’s 2050, but again, I will have the exact price over in the show notes for you. Um, so it’s definitely not pocket change, but again, I think it’s very well worth the price now moving on from arrow and kangaroo, which those ones you’re going to see those everywhere. Another brand that you’re going to run across is, um, Eddie crest.

(18:16)
Now Eddycrest, I’m going to go ahead and say it. And those of you out there who love Eddycrest come at me. Cause I know you will because I know that they make fantastic tables and all of you out there are going to say, Oh my gosh, but Eddycrest makes such great tables. They do. They’re not that pretty though. I really like a pretty table. Like if I’m going to set something up in my house, I am an aesthetics kind of a gal and Eddycrest just kind of don’t do it for me, but I know to each his own and Eddycrest people are a loyal breed and they love them and they must, Eddycrest tables are not cheap tables. Um, and eddycrest, sewing table that equals, I would say, not even quite the Laverne and Shirley, I mean somewhere in between the arrow, Olivia and the arrow Laverton, Shirley, the, um, Eddiecrest six, four zero XL.

(19:21)
So it kind of lands right in between those two other models where the Laverton Shirley topped out at about 15 hundreds, this Eddie crest model actually, uh, when I looked it up $5,100, so not an inexpensive machine, uh, machine table, but, um, and quite frankly, I don’t find it that aesthetically pleasing, but the reviews kind of speak for itself when you are charging that amount and people are paying them, paying went and leaving excellent reviews like that. They’re doing it for a reason. So I definitely won’t turn up my nose at any crest. I just personally probably wouldn’t get it mostly because of the aesthetic and they are big tables. So they’re definitely going to be a prominent feature in your room. Okay. So moving on now, manufacturer tables, most of your big manufacturers will make a table, um, for your machine. Now, most of them will be universal.

(20:29)
So I would say most manufacturers make only a handful of tables. They don’t make one for each individual machine. What they’ll do is they will make it so that it fits several of their machines. I know that like Gino me makes, I want to say there’s two tables, maybe three. And so they’ve got one for their more entry level machines, one for their mid tier and one that fits her high end. Um, and they’re great. They’re not super molded to your machine. It’s not like you can drop it in the hole and it’s just like perfect cuts, but they are pretty darn close. And they’re great. What I don’t tend to like about manufacturer tables is that they all tend to be some sort of metal, plastic particle board construction. Um, I mean, super sturdy. I’m when I say that I don’t mean it in a qual like loss of quality issue. It’s just, again, I’m an aesthetics kind of girl and they’re super basic looking. So not really my jam. Um, and some of them, especially for their very high end machine will make a specific table for your machine.

(21:50)
So those are kind of like the big names to go after when you’re talking, Hey, about sewing machine tables. Now there are a ton of other machine table manufacturers out there, like so ready and so station. So if you’re in the market for a sewing machine table, you’ll definitely find one. And they will range in prices from as little as like a hundred bucks all the way up to 5,000. And if you’re lucky like me, you will find one of those really inexpensive folding tables on a black Friday deal for about 65 bucks. So there’s definitely something out there for you now. Um, next up, I want to talk about DIY sewing machine tables. And so this is my personal choice. This is what I decided to go with with my [inaudible] continental. Um, I had my husband make my table and he did a phenomenal job.

(22:51)
He actually did a hybrid of upcycling and made from scratch. So he found a Hugh mungus dining room table on Craigslist. He paid a hundred bucks for it. He had to take the chairs. So we’ve got a bunch of chairs now, but we’ll figure it out. Um, and when I say humongous, I mean like humongous, like seven feet long, four feet wide, like huge. So it machine it’s huge dining room table. Um, and it was like super rustic and not like in the current farmhouse vibe, but like rustic, rustic, like in your grandpa’s cabin kind of rustic. And so he played the wood, sanded it all down, cut it down a little bit. So we went from, um, seven feet down to six feet and from four feet wide down to 40 inches. So I mean still quite a large table, um, but smaller, which also gave us some cleaner lines.

(24:04)
And then he straight up just took off the legs and all the supports off of it and built his own legs and frame because I didn’t want it to be standard dining room height. I wanted it to be counter height. Um, and then I know you’re saying like, well, if it’s counter height, how are you reaching the pedals? He made me a special shelf that the pedal goes on. So even in a specially high chair, when I sit at the T at the table to, so my pedal is within foot reach, it’s pretty awesome. I’m pretty excited about it. Um, it’s beautiful, I’m obsessed, but you can upcycle a regular, a Craigslist or Facebook marketplace find into something magnificent and you don’t have to go the full enchilada like he did. I probably could have been just fine with the regular table, just sanded and refinished, um, with a notch out for a sewing machine.

(25:02)
So there are a ton of DIY sewing machine table tutorials over on Pinterest. Um, there’s one, particularly that if you Google Ikea sewing machine table hack, um, the person uses, she doesn’t use the mentor, which is the machine, which was the table that I was using as a craft table. But, um, she uses the wooden version and it’s got a different name. It’s the same exact table, but it’s wood instead of the Meltwater, which is metal. Um, and that’s exactly my husband followed that tutorial to mimic how they mounted the sewing machine in there. It’s excellent. My soil it’s like perfectly on par and I would definitely suggest you go ahead and check that out. Um, but it’s gorgeous. I’m obsessed. It’s so tailor fit. It’s amazing. I mean, snug as a bug in a rug without any, Oh my gosh. I just can’t. I could go on and on.

(26:09)
I could gush about my story machine table, so that all of that to say that is designated sewing machine tables. Now craft tables are way more straightforward and they are your double-duty tables. So they are going to be your cutting table as well as your sewing machine table, which is what I did with my Ikea Mel tarp. And I loved it and it worked really well. Um, you can choose to do a counter height table if you do choose to do that. I love the idea of a counter height table for a cutting table, so that it saves your back from all the bending over, um, that you’ll be doing at your cutting table and at your cutting mat. Um, however, at that height, you are going to have to, um, account for where to put your pedal so that you can reach the pedal.

(27:03)
So keep that in mind, but you don’t. I mean, there are, I mean, arrow makes them kangaroo cabinet makes them, I mean, all of the companies that make designated sewing machine tables also make craft tables. I do not suggest it. I really don’t because at the end of the day, you are paying for the designation that it is an official craft table, and you want to know what it really is at the end of the day, it’s a table. So go on Craigslist, go on Facebook, go on Amazon, find a really cool use table or a new table. That’s pretty inexpensive that fits where you want it to fit. That will fit your cutting mat because what you’re going to end up doing is you want it to be large enough to hold your cutting mat, put your machine right on top. And then you’re going to shift your machine around as you need to for whatever project you’re doing at that time.

(28:00)
So really I wouldn’t put too much thought and energy into like, I need a specific craft table. Um, I would definitely spend the time on like aesthetics and upcycling if I were you. And it’s a really more inexpensive object, um, option with a designated craft table. You’re probably going to end up spending at the very least two or 300 bucks. But I know for a fact that you could get an awesome craft table for like 40 or 50 bucks on Facebook marketplace, and then you can upcycle it and make it gorgeous. So I really think that that’s something you should keep in mind now for sewing machine storage. And I really wanted to include this in here, even though I know this is an episode all about tables. I know there are those of you out there who are like me back when I used my, um, little arrow Gidget and I folded my table up and I slid it under the guestroom bed who are still storing your sewing machine at the end of every session, meeting that your unplugging it from the wall, you are wrapping up your cords and you are putting it somewhere.

(29:12)
You’re putting it in a closet. You’re putting in a corner, you’re putting it somewhere. Now, first and foremost, I want to make sure it has a case. Now I was really surprised my genomic [inaudible] did not come with a hard case, which I thought was a little bit odd, especially because it’s got hard, um, thread spool spokes on the back that are pretty tall. And when I was at the store, one of them was broken off of the floor model. And I was like, Ooh, that’s not good. And I was thinking, okay, it’s a floor model or whatever, but I can totally see how that would happen. Um, so I was a little surprised that it didn’t come with a hard case. My father did. So again, this is a machine now that’s 13 years old. So I just kind of assumed the DINOMI would. And it didn’t.

(30:03)
So that was interesting to me. It did come with a very nice dust cover. Um, so there’s that, but still, I would rather have, there have been a hard case, all of that to say, especially if you’re using a standard machine, you can get a universal, hard case for your machine. Um, that clips right on for like 25 30 bucks, and I’ve seen them at Walmart, I’ve seen them at Joanne’s. I’ve seen them at hobby lobby. I mean, you can get them really easily, um, for very inexpensive, but it’s worth it to save all of those little bits that can be damaged from being stored in a closet or, you know, against a wall where it can get knocked over by, by somebody or something just in everyday life. So we want to take as good a care of our machines as possible. And I know sometimes the worst wear and tear that can happen to your machines is while they are being stored.

(31:00)
Um, and then another option for that, for those of you who have standardized sewing machines. So like something like a singer heavy duty or one of your entry-level genomes or genomes or, um, brothers, um, or if you just are somebody who has a more compact travel machine that you use for classes, I suggest getting a rolling sewing machine bag. Um, I have one, uh, for my travel machine, um, and it’s great. It protects my machine and it makes traveling either to, or from class, or even if you’re just rolling that thing down the hallway, it makes it easier. And you can actually, for those of you who are, um, packing up at the end of your session, most of these travel cases, these Rollie cases have a ton of internal pockets. So you can store your scissors, some spools of thread needles, like all of your little notions, because, um, it’s a safe bet that if you are still sorting everything away, while you are accumulating goodies, you might not have a ton of goodies and you will be able to fit it in all of the pockets and, and, uh, storage spaces inside that rolling case.

(32:21)
Cause they actually have an incredible amount of space in there. So it might be a great way to keep you organized and keep your machine safe as well as, you know, you store that, that case somewhere. And then you’re able to roll it down the hallway into whatever room you can set up in. Huh?

You guys, that was a lot. So I just kind of unloaded on you again, all of this information is over on the show notes themodernquiltercircle.com/episode-16. Um, and I just wanted to say congratulations because you have just finished another episode of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. So thank you yet again for hanging out with me and make sure you never miss an episode by hitting subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Now stop scrolling and start sewing.

Quilt Love

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and...

Noelani T.

The Modern Quilters Circle
5
2020-06-26T11:01:26-04:00

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and Nicole’s expertise was invaluable for this large project. Nicole is very patient and explained the different steps and their purposes clearly. She improved my original idea to better accomplish my overall goal. I highly recommend Nicole as an instructor and would personally have another session in a heartbeat!

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked...

Michelle L.

The Modern Quilters Circle
5
2020-06-26T11:05:18-04:00

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked me through everything step by step. And it was amazing. She taught me the ins and outs of my machine and how to add each basic concept together. It was invaluable, because now I can figure things out and get creative without fearing the dreaded unravel!
2
The Modern Quilters Circle