If you’re into quilting, you know that it’s fundamental that you have the right tools for getting the best results. Quilting isn’t only about passion, being meticulous or patient, but also about using the appropriate tools throughout the whole process.
The height of your quilting table is just as important as its surface. You want to place as much as you can from the surface of the quilt, reducing the risk for hanging, pulling, dragging, or puckering. When the table is too small, you’re not going to be able to do it. Also, when the table isn’t high enough, you may end up with back pain and strain on your shoulders or arms. Soon enough, the quilting process becomes anything but fun. Frustration is around the corner. And it’s all on the cause of your table being too short or too small.
Why is the size and height of the table important for quilting?
You need the work surface to be spacious, so that the cutting and pinning the fabric go faster. You also need good outfeed area for finishing the large projects. The quilting table has to be sturdy and robust, supporting the weight of the quilt, with minimal to no risk for vibration or shaking when quilting.
You also want the table to feature storage drawers so that you have the fundamental tools within reach, no matter the job you’re doing.
There are many methods for building yourself a sewing table for quilting, without emptying your wallet. Spend some time on research to figure out which one may work the best for you.
How to make a sewing&quilting table on a budget?
You are meticulous when quilting is fundamental, and you should prove your skills when building your sewing machine. Take a look at the steps and see if it’s an attractive project for you.
1. Take care of the skirt structure
The skirt of the table is holding everything together. You bolt the legs onto the corner and screw the table top to the dress from the underside.
You can use ¾” pine plywood for making the top and the skirt structure. Any smooth and blemish-free plywood is going to do it too.
Remember that you can adjust the size of the table to your specific needs. In this case, six 5” by 48” pieces of plywood were used. You need to trim four of them to 38 ½” for using them for the outside. Use 5″ long braces for the corners, presenting 45 beveled ends. You can glue and put in place temporarily with a nail gun.
It’s important that you trim the last strips of wood and use some glue and pocket screws for installing them on the inside of the skirt frame. It’s going to improve the support for both the top and the drawers.
The drawers make the project more sophisticated, so it’s up to you. You can use pine with ¼” plywood bottoms for making them. You can install them in different ways and add the support pieces to the skirt for better results.
2. Continue with the legs
Two 8-ft, 4″ by 4″ pine beams can work for the legs. You should cut four 31 ¼” pieces for the table legs.
You also have to cut a 45degree notch from the top of every leg so that you can bolt them to the skirt structure. Buy the special table leg bolts that come with coarse threads on one half for the locks you use into the tops of the legs. Continue with drilling a hole where you’d like to see the bolt sticking out. Use a nut threaded onto the bolt side, while screwing the lag into the wood. Keep in mind to remove the nut.
You may thread a standard 4-in bolt through holes bored from the outer part of every leg, plugging the holes with a long dowel. It’s not common, but you can give it a try.
3. The table top
Once again, it depends on the size you want for your table. We went for a 48” square piece of pine plywood. You can round over the top edge with a router, using some wood filler for filling the gaps.
4. Cut out for your sewing/quilting machine
No matter the type of machine you have, the purpose is the same: creating a sewing surface for the machine close to the level with your tabletop. It’s not a drama if it’s a bit above, but it’s a drama if it’s below. Remember that you still need easy access for changing the bobbin or run the regular maintenance.
A lot of careful measuring and marking is going to be involved. You can cut the opening six inches back from the front edge. Go for inches in from the side, using the tools you need for most accurate results.
Go ahead and use a router for creating a tiny small round so that you can remove the sharp edge on top of the opening.
5. Install the quilting/sewing machine
Some pin hinges from an old sewing machine can help when installing the machine. It’s best that you use adjustable supports to the front edge of the opening.
Side note- Mounting choices
It’s fairly easy to build a tiny table underneath the opening; you can use an alternative mounting option for the future. You screw it in place for supporting the rails. You can slide it in/out of place from right underneath.
You can also leave it there to catch oil drips or who knows what for the days to come.
6. Completing the job
Don’t forget to use a beautiful color for painting the skirt on the table. You should also give the table top, the drawers, and the legs two coats of polyurethane with some sanding of sandpaper after every layer has dried. You should also wax the table top with furniture wax, making it nice and shiny.
You may also drill the pocket holes on the inside of the skirt structure so that you can fasten the table top in place.
7. Putting it together
It’s easier to set the table top together from underneath. Bolt the legs in place, flipping the table over. You should also install the drawers and some bumpers; the ones made od sticky-back craft foam work great on the inside of the drawer faces.
Some tips instead of a conclusion
When you’re not using the sewing/quilting machine, it’s wise that you protect it with the top of a used sewing case. As long as you’re careful and dedicated, you should be able to do it right from the first trial. Happy quilting!