Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Extended Sewing Space from Insulation Board

Setting the Table for Helmi
A very dear friend, Helmi Flick, will soon be flying in from Texas to visit for a week of hard core designing, cutting, piecing, quilting and overall  FUN.  I found a great article about this lovely, talented, creative lady here.

Fortunately, my studio is spacious enough to accommodate both of us "working" at the same time, but until now I've only had a sewing space set up for me.  Also my cutting mats had definitely seen better days and were wrecking havoc with my rotary cutting blades.  I was totally thrilled to find 36" x 48" cutting mats from a rather local vendor of a wide variety of cutting mats.  This Etsy shop owner, Theresa Torres, is the very best to work with.  I ordered four 36" x 48" mats one day and two days later the mats were at my doorstep.  Ya' gotta love such great customer service.

I set about clearing the two worktables and immediately placed my new mats.  Then I whipped out a second sewing machine and set it on the table that I was going to call "Helmi's Table".  Since we are going to be working on a LARGE quilted project, Helmi is going to need an extension for the machine I have set up for her

I use 2" insulation board for a variety of things and have couple of small pieces that are left over from previous projects.  I used one of these to make the extension.
2" Insulation Board
Here is the way I played McGuyver to make the extension materialize.

I measured the arm of the sewing machine

I cut opening in insulation board to accommodate sewing machine arm

I placed and glued cut blocks of insulation board for risers near opening
I cut and glued more insulation board blocks for additional supporting risers
Front view of installed extension

Back view of installed extension
One long view of the extension

Another long view of the extension and new cutting mats
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved


  1. Love this post! Great tutorial! I realized that my insulation extension table didn't make it to Burbank. Time to make a new one!

    1. Mia, this piece was left over from the larger slabs of insulation board that I bought for us to use when you visited to work with deconstructed screen printing. I had it batted and covered in vinyl for printing and dying purposes, but ripped all the covering off last night and put this together in no time flat. Just had lots of little wayward insulating beads floating around that had to be cleaned up. Even though I made this for Helmi's visit, I may decide to keep it up and use it myself. That way I could have 2 projects going at the same time :-) :-)

  2. WONDERFUL!! As Helmi posted photos of her quilting at your house this week, I found myself wondering about the're special to have adapted this for her project!

    1. Thanks for dropping into my blg and also for following Helmi's adventure in making the quilted duvet cover. I know how difficult it can be to wrangle a large quilt through a domestic sewing machine and that's why I made this set-up for her. Every once in a while, I set it up for myself, too. Bonus! It's a quick fix win for all.