My WiP Wednesday post yesterday generated some interest in my sewing space, especially my lovely sewing cabinet!
So, I thought I'd share a little about how my quilting space has evolved and give you some pictures of the cabinet in all its glory:
When I first started to quilt, my husband and I were living in a teeny apartment while I was in grad school, so my very first sewing space was the kitchen table (as always, click for bigger):
Which was OK, as we never actually ate at the kitchen table anyway. *g* (See the tiny travel iron and travel board? I STILL get a thrill when using my full-size iron, now.)
And then we moved to a bigger, pre-house-purchase apartment, and I got a bigger table and a cabinet to store fabric (but still that teeny iron):
Once we moved into our house, I decided I would commission my dad (who is a master woodworker) to make a sewing cabinet for me. We found a pattern I liked in one of his woodworking magazines, and we talked about my preferences (I really wanted it out of cherry, which I think is beautiful wood). My sister decided she wanted one too, so he made them together. And after much consultation with my quilter/sewist aunts, and two years (because he was trucking full-time, and I wasn't quilting so wasn't in any hurry), my father delivered me this:
It's an unassuming cabinet, yes? A lovely decorative sideboard for the guest room. Until you're ready to sew...
The large lid flips open, supported by the door and a fold-out panel. This makes for a great cutting space. Then:
The other door opens to support the smaller lid. The big open space in the cabinet is originally designed to hold a serger that you can place on the side table, but I use that space to hold books and magazines since I don't have a serger. Then:
There are two panels in the back that flip up (a suggested addition from my aunt, and I only use them when I'm wrestling with a big quilt), and the sewing machine rises out of the cabinet via a hydraulic lift. You're ready to sew like the wind! Here's another shot of all that lovely real estate:
The view from my machine:
The lift will also bring the machine to the top of the cabinet, if I need to do free-arm sewing:
The wings to support the back panels:
And the back panels folded up, which is where they usually live:
My dad made several changes to the pattern--he made the cabinet taller, so I'm not bending down so much to pin or cut and so sewing is a more comfortable height. He made it wider, too, so I had more drawer space in the left-side drawers, and he made it deep to give me more room overall. I splurged and ordered the hydraulic lift, and my sister's cabinet doesn't have one. And Dad put it on heavy-duty casters, so I can roll it around as needed. What this means is that I can collapse my sewing space and convert it back into the guest room in about 10 minutes.
Our agreed price included a quilt, which I finally delivered to him last month. Now my dad isn't the most demonstrative person, so I get kind of teary when I think about this cabinet--it's obvious he poured a lot of care into this.
Dad has mentioned that now that he's made a couple, he's worked the kinks out of the pattern, so the next one would be easier. One thing he'd change is where the knee-hole is--right now it's centered on the machine, not the needle. So I have to have my left knee resting against the drawers and I sew with just my right leg stuck under the machine, and it's comfortable enough.
In any case--I'm so very lucky to have this wonderful sewing space, and thanks if you stuck with me to read this far! Have I been a good advertisement, do you think?
Because my dad is retiring from truck-driving in March--do you think he'd mind if I sent a few cabinet customers his way?