Saturday, October 29, 2016

Measure Twice

cut Once.

For years my sewing surface was a cobbled together collection of sewing machine stands.  These were the ones that I might need someday.  One is a Kenmore stand that fits my all time favorite Kenmore: (click to see her photo)  Lila .

The other came with a 404.  I had removed the machine and parked it at the Quilt Zoo, in hopes that someone, needing a machine, would use it and fall in love.  IT WORKED!!  So when the buyers told me they wanted a stand, I said HOORAY, and happily removed it from my loft into their truck.

 I am not lacking for sewing machine stands.  So when a nice lady from Vermont called me and asked if I had any sewing machine stands, specifically a Queen Anne or a Model 44, I said COME GET IT!
She has a 201 and was looking for a stand for it.  She would cruise Craig's List looking for machines with stands,  thinking that she would buy the machine, use the stand and ditch the machine.  Just the opposite of what I used to do.  Perfect match. 

The Queen Anne was in the living room holding a lamp and a photo and one of my Red Heads.   I needed to replace it, so I moved Lila's stand from the loft to the living room.  

That night, at dinner:  "Honey, do you remember how you promised you would make a new table top for my treadle stand?"

"Yes, I do."

"Do you think now would be a good time to  make good on that promise?"

Turns out, he agreed.  I wasted no time in designing the top.  I wanted plenty of space to my left to support the large quilts as I pieced rows together, added borders and binding.  I also wanted space to support the fabric as it passed under the needle.  We decided on a 48 inch square with a cutout for seating.

By now all that was left in the loft was the treadle stand itself.  When Steven asked how big to make the cut out, I merely measured the length of the treadle stand.  

I decided to live with it.
I positioned a school cabinet underneath the left side of the top.  We trimmed the feet just 3/4 of an inchso it would slide right under it.  I moved all four drawers to the left side of the cabinet and Steven added two more to the right. 

I love it.

The only problem is that I have to use the Necchi hinges because Singer hinges don't fit the Necchi.  I am in love with this Necchi.

But not to worry, thanks to Betty, who sent a link to the McKenna Linn's site, we drilled out the holes in the Necchi and now I can switch out machines at will.  Oh and Steven decided that yesterday would be a good time to add an extra piece to the top to correct my measurement error.

I finished the quilt so I have time to sand and paint this repair before its time to attach binding.  If you notice, that is a Singer 15-90 in the stand.  I like this machine.  It is noisier than the Necchi; much noisier.  The Necchi dislikes my polyester thread.  My Super Nova is just as fussy. I think it has to do with close tolerances in the machining.  I doubt I will give up this machine in favor of the Necchi, but if I had to choose between the Necchi and this one, well, I'll let you guess.


  1. Brilliant. I would not have thought of the L shaped configuration, but your photos show how it works. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. I use Fil-Tec (Bobbin Central) polyester threads in my Necchi's without them so much as batting an eyelash. I do use a 90/14 needle, however.

    Love your large table top--and the teal colors. I like the red leaves out your windows too!

    1. I could try a different thread. It just happens to hate the one I have on the thread stand now.

  3. What a dream set up. I use a Jones Family CS on a Singer table. Works really well except when I'm quilting a quilt I have to add a small side table to take the weight. It does not like any sort of polyester thread and even 'grumbles' at Sulky 100% cotton Helen in France

  4. Great setup! This weekend at our guild retreat I set up one of those smalll plastic adjustable leg tables next to my big table and it was great. I had a little iron there and cutting mat when I was doing just chain piecing. Then I read your blog and saw your creation!

  5. I'm thrilled the McKenna Linn tip was helpful. You and she are both inspirational "fixers."

  6. I love the L shape. I've been playing with plywood and extending my table, and that shape is a pretty sweet idea, the extension to the left (where the stuff needs holding up/a runway).
    As ever, thank you for doing the brain lifting for me.