Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I'm Sew In Love With Craig's List!! Check Out My New Serger/Featherweight Desk!

Craig's List Score!

I'm not just excited, folks -- I'm GIDDY.  But let me back up: Unless you're brand-new to my little corner of the Internet, you know that an APQS Millenium longarm quilting machine on a 12' frame followed me home last month, and I've been working on purging and reorganizing my studio not just to make room for the longarm machine but to create a new setup that works for me both visually and functionally.  I need to maximize space without piling up so much furniture that I feel like I'm working in a storage closet.

In addition to my new longarm machine, I've got 'Nina the Diva (the Bernina 750QEE that is my main machine for sewing, piecing, and machine embroidery; predecessor to the current B 770QEE), a Bernina 1300MDC serger named Sergei, and a Juki MCS1500 coverstitch machine named... Juki.  The coverstitch machine is just for garment sewing, but I use my serger for garments, home dec sewing, finishing the edges of applique blocks so they don't fray while I'm stitching them, and serging the edges of my Minky backed baby quilts to make it easier to attach satin binding (and to help the quilt survive the inevitable satin binding replacement once the baby becomes a toddler who drags the quilt everywhere he or she goes).  I've also got two vintage Singer Featherweight 221 sewing machines, the 1951 machine named Judy that Anders uses occasionally as well as the 1935 machine named Bette that I like to use for really fiddly piecing, like the tight curves on my Rose Dream sampler block, or for Y-seams, partial seams, and things like that.  If I'm going to do any patchwork sewing away from home, I'll grab one of the Featherweights because they are so much lighter and easier to schlepp around than the Big 'Nina.

My Studio Back in February.  Green Chair was my Secondary Workstation.

So I don't need to have ALL of my machines out at once, but most of my projects do involve switching back and forth between two machines.  The problem is that the ugly but serviceable desk I was previously using for my "secondary machines" (see above photo) had to move to make room for the longarm frame, and it really didn't fit anywhere else in my studio.  I've only got 51" of wall space to the right of the window where I want to be able to use these machines (one at a time, not all at once), and the yucky desk that probably came from Staples was 60" long with zero storage. 

Old Desk Moved to Wall, Blocking Window, NOT Working!

Yet my "handy" husband, who built my red sewing cabinet for 'Nina and my giant cutting table, is recovering from a recent heart surgery and will not be doing heavy carpentry for awhile, so I knew that no custom Featherweight/Serger cabinet was going to materialize in our garage any time soon. 

I looked at Ikea first, because I know a lot of crafty folk have found great options for sewing rooms and craft spaces at reasonable prices by way of "Ikea hacks."  But I just didn't LOVE anything I found there that was the right size, primarily because their desks looked so flimsy and sewing machines working at high speed create a lot of vibration.  I don't want to put them on a dainty little desk that turns into a trampoline when I switch the machine on and sends my sewbabies bouncing off the desk and onto the floor!

Briefly Considered IKEA Alex Desk

I though of looking at the Habitat Restore and Goodwill for a used desk in the right size with a drawer or two, but I drive a little convertible now (VROOM!) and Bernie's car is a sedan -- even if I found something, I'd have to rent a truck to get it home.  Big hunt, big hassle, and no instant gratification.

Same deal with Craig's list, right?  Except not this time!  Something compelled me to check Craig's list anyway, and the second listing that came up was this lovely solid wood desk that the seller described as "early 19th century." 

Bette the Featherweight is On the New Desk, Sergei the Serger is on the Cutting Table...

It looks more early 20th century to me, but I could really care less what year it was made.  It fits perfectly against the wall where my ironing board used to live, and I can keep all my Featherweight accessories, serger accessories, and all kinds of other goodies in those fabulous DRAWERS!  I didn't even bother to go look at the desk in person.  I could tell from the photo that it was heavy, sturdy, and that any rough edges that might have snagged a delicate fabric have long since been worn smooth by the passage of time.  Best of all, the nice man selling it offered to DELIVER it to me tomorrow for an extra $25! 

...And Judy the Featherweight and Juki the Coverstitch Machine are Over Here

The drawers are the best part:

Paper Pantograph Patterns for Longarm Machine Go in This Drawer

Accessories for Serger and Coverstitch Machines Go in this Drawer

Featherweight Accessories Go in This Drawer

Temporary Fabric Markers, Tailor's Chalk, etc. in This Drawer

Accuquilt GO! Baby Cutter and Dies Go in This Drawer
Reworking my studio for the longarm machine was a much bigger project than I originally realized, but I'm so glad now that it's done.  My new setup makes much more efficient use of space, with tools and supplies stored neatly out of sight near the locations where they are used most often.  The smaller desk and elimination of clutter has actually made my creative workspace feel larger and more spacious than it did before the longarm machine arrived!

So now, FINALLY, I'm ready for some sewing again.  I'm all caught up on my clients' interior design projects and business paperwork and the laundry is done, so I'm headed up to the studio for at least a couple of hours today.  My goals for today are:
  • Piece together a King sized practice quilt and load it onto the longarm frame
  • Add borders to Butterfly Bear Paw quilt and set aside
  • Start a new pineapple log cabin block
  • Pin the last two petals on my hand applique project

Happy Tuesday, everyone!


Connie said...

Congratulations on your new Millie and the desk for updating your studio. I'm a former owner of a Millie so I understand the need for organization. I moved a year ago to a smaller home in a different town and sold Millie. Since then I've reduced my stash of machines as well and kept the most favorite ones. Best wishes on your quilting and more quilting.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

looking good the room is organized, glad you found what you wanted - sometimes finding a table the right size or desk is very hard to do, so many cheap products on the market now are flimsy.

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

I'm glad you found the perfect desk with all those drawers! It looks great sitting in that spot. Yay for getting your room organized! Have you had a chance to play with Millie yet?

Chris said...

Yay! I, too, must have visual order and functional order. I can make a huge mess, but must start with those two things first. Your new desk is perfect. How did your practice with the longarm go? Hope Bernie's recovery is continuing to go well!

Ramona said...

Your sewing studio is wonderful! And how fortunate to find the perfect desk for your space. Enjoy playing with your new longarm.