Saturday, May 19, 2012
The two sewing machines that I use regularly are my little Brother CS-6000i and my Janome 1600P. The Brother machine is lightweight, easy to set up and take down and is perfect for many projects. The Janome is a work horse and I use it for making purses (it can handle heavy weight fabric and lots of bulk) and quilting. In my studio, I have a large sewing cabinet my mother purchased years and years ago from Yield House. It is solid pine, very sturdy and has a nice leaf that pops out for added surface space. The downside is that the sewing machine sits on top of the unit. That is where I use my Janome. I have a very nice, ergonomic chair and under normal circumstances, it works fine for general sewing. When I quilt large pieces I am dragging the quilt up and over the quilt table that is attached to the Janome. My shoulders ache every time I quilt and it really is much more cumbersome than it should be. In a perfect world I would just cut a hole in the top of the cabinet and affix a support underneath to hold the Janome flush with the cabinet top. Unfortunately because of the desk leg support, I cannot do that.
I was seriously thinking about getting a small frame for the Janome so that I could easily quilt runners, wall hangings and baby quilts. Then I thought about what a pain it would be to keep hauling the Janome off the frame and back to the table top for purse work. I started looking for a sewing table that the Janome would drop into with a flush mount. I found some that were more expensive than a frame and knew I was not going to spend $600 on a table. Then I discovered the Gidgett II for less than $200. The plexiglass insert will be another $70 but I really think that is a much more practical (and less expensive) solution.
So - here's the question: If you have a heavy weight sewing machine, what kind of set up do you use for quilting? I haven't made a final decision and I am looking for some input. Don't hold back - I know quilters ALWAYS have an opinion!