The Free Motion Quilting Project: Affordable Quilting Table

Friday, May 28, 2010

Affordable Quilting Table

It's Feature Friday again and I want to share some info with you about the affordable Arrow Sewing and Quilting Table I'll be using quite a lot in the coming weeks as I quilt Shadow Self.

free motion quilting | Leah DayThis particular table is special because it's small, adjustable, and much less expensive than most sewing and quilting cabinets.

Because it is small, I use this table in conjunction with other folding tables to expand the surface of my quilting area. It would be impossible to quilt a large quilt on the 40" long x 20" deep table surface, unless the quilt was cut up into blocks.

So when purchasing this table, you need to factor in the costs of folding tables (around $75) to surround the little sewing table.

free motion quilting | Leah DayI use a 5 ft x 3 ft table on the back of the machine and a 4ft x 2 ft table to the left side so the tables form an "L" shape so the quilt is easier to quilt with less drag.

The table itself is adjustable to the height of your sewing machine. There is a chain on the bottom with a bolt that you screw in to lift the machine up, or loosen to lower the machine down.

My Juki TL 98 QE sets a little lower than most machines, so I simply unscrewed the screw holding the chain in place and moved it one space higher on the chain.

This is the only time you might have to use a screwdriver on the table. It ships fully assembled, so all you have to do is stand up the legs and it's ready to go.

One thing that is really, really important and cannot be stressed enough is to MEASURE YOUR MACHINE before buying the table.

The table opening for your machine is 17 1/2" long x 7 3/8" deep. This means your machine must be SMALLER than these measurements in order for it to fit.

Most true domestic sewing machines fit with no problem, but now that manufacturers are making machines bigger and more powerful, they are taking up more space, so the only way to know is to MEASURE YOUR MACHINE!

The reason I really like this table is its price tag and the size. Most sewing machine cabinets and tables are so expensive, it's like buying another machine!

Yes, it's worth it to put some cash into your setup, and I certainly don't have any problem spending a lot of money on a new desk or table for my office, so what's with the hang up about sewing machine cabinets?
My big issue is that most sewing machine cabinets
are terribly designed by people who don't sew or quilt.

They think they know what we need from a table and it ends up being way too deep, or not deep enough with no space to the left for the quilt or sewing project to rest on.

Most cabinets also come sporting ridiculous bells and whistles like thread racks that hang off at awkward angles just waiting for me to bang my knee on it.

Maybe I'm a bit too opinionated, but I value good design and the only way I've been able to create my ideal setup has been to use a small sewing table in conjunction with bigger folding tables.

So that's it for this Feature Friday! If you're interested in learning more about the affordable Arrow Sewing and Quilting Table, click here.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. I just bought it... this is perfect for the limited space I have.

  2. I think I have this same sewing table. I bought it on mega-sale, so I didn't have a chance to measure it first and my machine WAS too big for it. My boyfriend cut out a small area at the back of the hole so that the machine would fit and it works fine. Most of the time, the platform is raised and the extra hole doesn't matter at all. When I lower it to quilt, I cover the whole area with my supreme slider so the hole doesn't get in the way then either.

  3. Found one of these at Sears last year and bought it on the spot! Just last weekend I put locking caster wheels on the bottom (had to redrill the holes a tad bit), but it worked beautifully. Now my table is movable and at the right height for (6'3").

  4. Love this table but my machine is 8" :(. So sad I would love to have such a great tool. Thanks for sharing I will pass it along!

  5. In NZ we have something similar, a SewEzi table (you can google it). You order it and state your machine make and model and they cut an acrylic plate to exactly match the bed of your machine and they tell you how many little washers to put on the low portion of the table when setting it up so that your machine sits flat. Brilliant and has made it sooooo much easier to quilt. You still need extra tables set up like yours for big quilts, but then the table is designed to be portable so it can't be big.

    I agree that spending a little bit of money at first can make the whole process much more enjoyable, but the spend has to be a well thought out one!

  6. The sewing table I ordered from you arrived yesterday. My sewing machine is a old Viking (It was my mother's) and it has a front loading bobbin. To reach the bobbin I slid the machine to the front edge of the opening, but that left a big "hole" on the back side. I cut a piece of cardboard from the packaging it was shipped in and made a filler for the "hole". I attached it with blue painters tape. Now my super slider (also ordered from you) has somewhere to land on. The fix is not very pretty ..... does anyone know a better way? I also tried to use the extension arm that came with the machine but to line that up smooth with the top surface I was covering a button on the front of the machine that lowers the feed dogs.

    Glad you are doing these posts about you store Leah. I have bought several things from you I could have gotten some where else , but you are giving so much to us with your daily blogs I wanted to support you.

    Happy customer,


  7. Do you know how heavy a sewing machine this table can hold? Mine weighs a ton.

  8. How to you use this table if you have a free arm machine? The space would fit the back of the machine, but up by the needle it is very skinny - like 3-4 ".

  9. Hi Pat - Sometimes it does fit a little awkwardly, but it sounds like you've found a pretty good fit.

    I use a plastic chair mat (the flat kind for hardwood floors) and cut it to fit around my machine and on the tabletop.

    Sometimes the folding tables are slightly taller or shorter than the sewing table and the chair mat helps to even out all the different surfaces.

    It's not always going to look glamorous, but it works!

    Catholic Bibliophagist - I have a pretty heavy machine and it works just fine. The legs are really sturdy metal and it doesn't rock or vibrate, even at high speeds.

    Mary Anne - You'll need to try a solution like Pat used or my suggestion for the chair mat to fill the space.

    There is an insert you can buy that will fit around your machine, but you have to have at least 1" around your whole machine for it to work.

    Let's go quilt!

    Leah Day

  10. I bought this after Thanksgiving last year. I really like it. My machine is really small for it, so I think I need an acrylic board to cover up the empty space.


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