Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Stash Bash!

Announcing The Stash Bash Sewing and Quilting Retreat April 11-14, 2013 at the Calvin Center in Atlanta, GA!

As usual, I am on a complete high following an amazing Sewing Summit trip.  Getting together in real life with my online sewing friends is like a dream come true.  The only huge disappointment of the weekend was my own lack of energy to stay up all hours in the open sewing room laughing with all of my friends getting work done.  You know what I really want in addition to my annual beloved Sewing Summit?  A weekend where I can hang out with my tweeple, make a dent in my WIPs, and not worry about where I need to be when or what to wear.  Oh, and also it can’t take too much out of my stash-building fabric-loving budget.

Enter The Stash Bash.  Now why in the world would I want to plan an event when I have a perfectly busy job raising three kids and trying to longarm quilt for my clients?  Well, I love to plan events and bring people together.

Before becoming an at-home mom and longarm quilter, I was a corporate event manager.  The last job I had in the industry was as the global Corporate Trade Show Manager for UPS.  I am a people person and I would much rather be on a busy trade show floor than in a cubicle.  I loved spending my work days traveling around the country talking to people about our products and technology.  I loved flying through the airports and being around the hustle and bustle of all of those busy people.  Even as a SAHM I have been involved in event planning and bringing people together.  I am entering my seventh year of captaining a women’s tennis team, and I help plan girls’ retreats in the mountains twice a year for this beloved group of crazies.

The mission of The Stash Bash is to provide an affordable sewing retreat where we can come together, spread out our projects and enjoy working alongside each other.  I envision a relaxed weekend where everything is already paid for, there are other stitchers and quilters on hand to answer any questions or give advice while you’re working, and you can enjoy the mild Georgia weather with a walk around the lake or a nap in the sun.  There will be giveaways, optional games, and lots of laughs.  The event facility has kitchenettes, lots of common areas in addition to the main sewing room, and is only 20 minutes from Georgia’s largest quilt shop A Scarlet Thread.

Atlanta boasts the busiest airport in the world.  There are direct flights from almost everywhere!  Atlanta is also the crossroads of interstates 75, 85 and 20.  Hopefully you can find an inexpensive flight or are lucky enough to live within easy driving distance.

I would love for you to consider attending The Stash Bash.  Getting you guys out of my phone and into my immediate presence would be the greatest gift!  Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.  Registration for The Stash Bash will open next Friday, Nov 2 at noon EST.  Please visit www.thestashbash.com for more information.  Spread the word with your favorite fabric-stash friends.  Hope to see you in April!

Chris

How To Customize An Ikea Table For Your Sewing Machine

Hi everyone.  This post is long-overdue!  I have promised many people a post on how we (ahem, my DH) took a $99 Ikea table and turned it into a customized sewing machine table.  Unfortunately, we didn’t photograph the process, but I have taken lots of pics of the finished product so that I can try to describe it to you in detail.

Essentially, we bought a basic Ikea table (I think it is this one).  Then we bought a piece of unfinished hardwood that’s about 3/4″ thick and two pieces of 2″x3″ (? maybe it’s a 2×4 and I’m an idiot?).  Look in the scrap bin at your Home Depot because it really won’t be seen.

The first thing I did was take off my accessory caddy and place my machine onto a large piece of paper.  Then, from straight above, I traced a pencil outline onto the paper.  I cut out the outline so that I basically had a paper footprint of my machine. 

At this point you need to think through how you will get your machine INTO it’s hole.  Some machines have funky architectural aspects.  Mine, for instance, has a sloping sewing surface as well as a base that is bigger than the sewing surface level.  Because of this, I made my shape have a larger open right side so that I could slide my machine into it’s slot.  This will make sense later in the post.

Lay your footprint paper onto the table surface and move it around to find the spot that works best for you.  Take into consideration how far back you like the machine from the front edge of the table, how much table space you prefer on the right vs the left of your machine, etc.  Once it’s in the right spot, tape it down and trace a line around it onto the table surface.

Now the cutting begins!  Remember that it is very ok to cut your hole too small, but it is NOT OK to cut it too big.  Start by making a hole in the middle of your space with either a very large drill bit or a hole bit.  Then you can jigsaw out to your line and around your line until your footprint falls down.  Don’t think about finishing this edge just yet!  There will probably be lots of trial and error before the final edge shape is ready to be smoothed with sandpaper.

At this point, slide or place your machine into the spot to see how it works.  Use a pencil to sketch onto the table where you need to cut or shave some more off.  Keep tweaking until you achieve the right hole.  Here is my machine footprint opening:

 
 
Next you need to build the shelf that will hold your machine.  Cut the 2×3′s into two lengths that go from inside the front Ikea table skirt to inside the back skirt.  So when looking at the table from the front, these pieces are like rails that run from front to back under the table.  You can see the side of one below:

 
 
And a view from underneath shows it running parallel to the Ikea table’s own support 1×1.  These 2×3′s will be bolted in to the front and back skirts.

Once those are in, you will use screws with wing nuts to attach the machine shelf.  The reason we do it this way is so that you can use the wing nuts to adjust the height of the machine shelf to give you a perfectly smooth sewing surface:

 

 

 
 
Views from underneath:

 
 
Now, put your machine on the table:

 
 
Remove the accessory box:

 
 
And slide the machine into it’s spot:

 
 
Et voila!

 
 
Now you are able to run your pedal cord and power cords underneath the table and out through the opening in the back of the shelf:

 


Your sewing surface is level and your cords are off the table!

 
 
I keep a stone jar of pens, pencils, seam ripper, seam guides, etc in the nook to the right of the machine.  This is also where I keep my accessory box with all of my presser feet and needles.

 
 
I’m sorry this is not really a useful tutorial.  I just wanted to illustrate how a $100 table can become a nice, sturdy sewing table customized to your own machine bed.  This was done in one night and one morning.  Let me know if you have any questions!  Thanks.
 
Chris
 
(BTW, the machine AND table in this post are available for sale right now.  The Viking Sapphire 870Q is $850 and the table is $150.  I am north of Atlanta, GA.)