Studio organization advice needed!

Here is the current configuration of my sewing machine. My Bernina is in a SewEzi table. I have a folding table placed long ways against the window and my old dining room table (36×60) is behind these against the wall.
These three tables form an upside down “L”. And, on the right, is my ironing board. This configuration works pretty well. It’s especially useful when I’m working on a large quilt and when I’m free motion quilting.

Soon, We will be doing some renovation and will be getting a new front door. The carpenter who will install the new door told me the old door (36×79) makes a fantastic table and if we didn’t want it he would take it off our hands. DING, DING, DING! Table? How about a new sewing table? (There are no panels, it’s currently a smooth surface.) I could have him cut a hole in it similar to the SewEzi table and butt it up to the old dining room table. But, I have several questions and would love to hear what you, my quilting friends have to say.

1. Should I cut the door (36×79) to match the dining room table (36×60)?
2. If I cut the door what should i do with the 20×36 left over? Ironing table?
3. Where should I have the hole for my bernina cut into the table? I was reading Philippa Naylor’s book, Quilting in the LimeLight and she set her machine back 10.25 inches from the front edge. This gives her arms an area to rest on the table while working. Also, this prevents carpel tunnel….which I’ve had, because my elbow didn’t rest on a surface while working. I’m thinking setting the machine back 11 inches.
4. I’d love to get thoughts on the layout of the room.

Here is a layout I’m thinking about.

I’d love to here your ideas to make my sewing studio as efficient as possible.
Many thanks.

2 thoughts on “Studio organization advice needed!

  1. Reuse, recycle, re-purpose – you’ve got it all Karen! Is the door solid wood or hollow-core? You may need some bracing if hollow core. You can also purchase a sewing machine lift system like you find in cabinetry and mount so you can lower/raise machine to whatever height you want, even to disappear and put in the section cut out to make a solid surface. Do mount the machine back from the edge – mine is not and I find it very uncomfortable. Find the measurement that fits your sewing posture/arrangement of your arms to remove the stress on all body parts. The length of the door should be what fits in your space. From the layout it looks like there may be not much room to get to the door? You might have to put it on sawhorses and try out different arrangements before you decide on the one that fits the room and your maneuverability. If you do cut the door, I highly recommend the ironing surface – I have a 24″w x 60″l top (that my husband put legs and shelves under) and it works like a dream. No pointy end to deal with like an ironing board. More decisions to make – sorry about that. Good luck and can’t wait to see the final results. Elaine

    • Hi Elaine ~
      I knew I could count on you for a reply.
      The door is plywood and I’m going to have the carpenter put legs on it when he installs the new door.
      I had no idea about the machine lift system…that’s a great idea.
      And, I’m liking the idea about the ironing table….the pointy end is a pain…most of the time I turn it around and use the square end.

      I’m going to put a link on facebook and see what other quilty people may have to say.
      Thanks for responding.

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