Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A New Leaf!! For Quilting!

When I'm quilting a bigger quilt than a wall hanging, I do it on my dining room table... which is rarely used for eating except at holidays. About 5 years ago, my husband bought me a Juki TL98Q. It's an awesome straight stitch only high speed quilting machine. I learned to free motion quilt on it.

But quilting on a machine sitting up on a table is really tiring with your shoulders hunched up... but the space on that dining room table was large and open, which I liked. So I decided to adapt it for my needs.

I measured the length and width of the leaf in the table and I bought a piece of plastic coated shelving at Home Depot and cut it to that exact size and added a 1" X 2" wood strip on the short edges to keep the leaf from sliding off the table.

I measured the circumference of the machine base of both my Juki and my Bernina and cut the hole with my band saw to work for both. I used that piece I cut out of the leaf for the bottom of the box that the machine would sit down in. I added 3 sides to it- leaving the whole front of it open for my knee lift and the cords. I used "L" brackets to attach the box below the hole. My Bernina base was deeper than my Juki so, I made a wooden stand to place in the box for my Juki to sit on to bring the bed of it exactly level with the top of the table.

You must remember to measure how far out of the front of your machine that the knee lift extends and move the location of the hole you cut further back to accommodate this measurement. Leaving the front open helps with this, too. I love quilting on my table now, with the sewing machine level with the table top and all the space to manipulate the quilt as it's stitched. The lighting is pretty good there , too, with that chandelier above. I also bought a plastic white PVC brace to put under the box as it is a heavy machine..and better safe than sorry!! And creating this special leaf for quilting also allows me to have the dining room back to normal for actually dining by just sticking this leaf in a closet and putting the regular leaf back in the table! Voila! Time to dine!! :-)
I've not had my Juki set up in the dining room since before Christmas. I've only done a very little quilting on a wall hanging and 2 purses since my shoulder surgery, but I am doing really well with my physical therapy and have less pain, so hope to do some quilting on the flannel quilt I just posted yesterday! It will, no doubt, take me longer than before, but that's OK as long as I get back to how it was before my injury someday! My doctor told me it can take up to a year to get 100% back and it's only been about 9 weeks. Wish me luck! God Bless! Polly :-)


  1. What a neat idea Polly. Hope your shoulder gets back to normal real soon. That quilt is going to be so pretty.


  2. That's the most wonderful idea I've seen yet! I'm amazed at your ingenuity! That's totally awesome Polly!

  3. This is the MOST unique idea that I've seen for customizing a sewing machine. Polly - you're amazing! Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea.

    Isn't it funny how we "find" a certain machine that we "really" like? I find I like my Bernina 430 ALOT - my favorite to piece on. And, it's funny, because the 430 is the cheaper of my Berninas.

  4. WOW !!!!!
    Prayers, Bo


Thank you sooooooo very much for taking the time to leave a comment! I am always happy to know that someone is reading my ramblings!! Polly :-)