Cutting Table Modification, and Happy New Year!

December 31, 2011

Here’s how I resolved the question of adding storage to my drop leaf cutting table.

I kept my tracing paper, interfacing and odd fabrics like the vinyl and insul-brite rolled standing in end in boxes in the closet.  I kept eyeing the cutting table, and thinking “that’s a lot of wasted space”.  I had moved a stack of plastic drawers to the closet when I put the “new” sewing machine at the window, and wanted to minimize the amount of stuff to move when accessing the drawers.

I got some interesting ideas from PR and Stitchers Guild, but I should have been more specific in my requirements –
1. must still be able to move the table
2. must still be able to put the leaves down.

So unfortunately that left out putting plastic drawers and such underneath.  Think, think, ponder, think!  How to get shelves under it?
Wood – easy to work with, but too heavy.
PVC pipe – might be easy, but need a lot of pieces.  How messy is the goop to work with?

AHA!  What about the shoe bags where you slide the shoes in from the end?  Rats!  Too small, and wouldn’t hold up to much use.

Hmmm – what about shelves and brackets usually for walls?  Curses foiled again!  One depth of shelves is too small, the other too big so the table leaves wouldn’t drop.  And things would fall off when the table got moved.  And again, might be too heavy.

More thinking.  I wonder… what about a fabric sling?  with something to keep the shelves solid?  More like those hanging clothing shelves?
YES!  I have fabric, and would just need a few inexpensive bits.  So now to plan the dimensions….I ended up making the sling 12″x30″, with 8″ between the shelves.  And at the bottom are 2 6″ shelves notched to fit the upright.  They keep the legs from folding in too far when the leaves are dropped.  It’s fastened to the table by some cording wrapped around the legs.  I had the fabric, so I bought 2 dowels, 2 6″ shelves, and 1/4″ foam core for the shelf stiffening.

And here’s the results –

closer view of top


 It’s not pretty, but it does work.  If this version ever wears out, my planned changes are to find some larger and thicker foam core for the shelf stiffeners, and to come up with a better way to keep things on the bottom shelves.  Right now it’s just some cording pinned to the sling, run under the shelves and pinned on the other side.

 and here’s to a Happy New Year.  No new resolutions for me, just recommitting to some things from last year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2011

Wow.  Not since February!?!?  The jacket is still in progress, the sewing room needs cleaning (again)… other words – not much change over the last months.  So I guess that is something to be thankful for – no big bad problems.

So – I’m thankful for family, pets, job, being healthy, all the normal things.  We’re keeping it pretty quiet around here today.  I plan on working on a few projects – tweak the cutting table, hopefully get a throw finished up, maybe the jacket.

Hope your Thanksgiving is great!

An Actual Project Completed!

February 6, 2011

OK, it’s not sewing.  It’s knitting – my 2nd ever completed project.  Made with Patons Classic Wool, color number 77436.  I used #11 bamboo needles, cast on 15 stitches and knit every row until the yarn was gone.  It ended up 4 1/4″ wide by 64″ long unstretched.  I got it done just in time, as we are expecting another round of below zero lows and single digit highs this week.  YUCK!

Next up – remake the dog bed that Miss Piddles chewed up.  I got the Cordura (internet order) last week.  Working yesterday put a crimp on getting much done here at home this weekend.  Of course it didn’t help that I went to an antique show today, instead of staying home.  But I did add to my collection of pincushions, and pincushions-to-be.

New Sewing Room Photos

January 9, 2011

OK, I dropped the “15 minutes in the sewing room” thing big time this week.  I think it lasted all of 2 days.

Here’s the photos of my sewing room after I did a bit of clean-out and reorganizing.

View to left from doorway


View to right from doorway




The biggest changes were getting rid of the 6 foot table and cleaning out the closet.  I started from this  (sorry for the ugly link – yet another thing I need to learn).   I got another Singer 15-91, this one in a Queen Anne cabinet (no bench unfortunately).  It would work just to put my cutting board/mat on it if folded out.  But then I’d still be bending over.  Joann Fabrics had the cutting tables on sale, so I got one.  This one has the 2 legs on each side to avoid the sagging corners issue.  It’s hard to believe how much different the room *feels* with room to move around in.  I re-stacked the plastic drawers under the bookshelf.  That’s one thing I love about the Iris brand – they can be changed as needed.  I will say that I wish I had gotten a few more of the deeper drawers though. 

As for the closet, most of the change was taking out and folding the fabric.  I got a bunch of cardboard bolts from Hancock Fabrics and wound the longer cuts of fabric on those.  They take up more room, but I can get to the fabrics behind without creating a big mess.  While going through the fabrics and folding them, I measured and pinned a note with sizes and whether it had been washed.  I didn’t get rid of much yardage, as I had done that a while back, but I did get rid of a bunch of little bits and pieces.

I keep looking at the cutting table, and thinking how I can use the underside to add a bit of storage for interfacing.  I plan on ordering some from Sew Exciting and I think the rolls might fit under the table.  But how to keep the kitties off??

Other clear-out items have been 2 small old TV sets & a non-working printer to be recycled.  I have another monitor and 2 more old printers in the trunk to take in tomorrow, depending on the weather when I get off work, they WILL be gone this week.  I still have a PC that I’d like to sell, if I can just get it’s hard drive wiped clean.  Even if no one wants it, I’d rather not have the hard drive lying around with who-knows-what data on it.  It won’t boot to Windows any more (missing files) and won’t boot to the repair CD either.  My DOS disks are either the wrong version for the tools I have, or won’t recognize the hard drive.  I’ll need to consult with PC wizards at work.  Or I will pull the drive  and offer it for sale like that, and let the Dear Sweet Child rip it apart, and destroy the platters and recycle the rest.

I missed 3 days last week on the treadmill.  I’ve been sticking to the bottom 2 pre-programmed workouts until today.  I tried going up another level and got my behind kicked.  I could. not. finish.  Thirty degree inclines totally did me in.  I had to quit with less than .2 miles left to go.  So it’s back to the lower 2 levels for a bit longer.  I’ve also caught myself hitting the snacks, I need to get back on track with that also.

Thanks to the dog, I now have yet another mending project.  She decided to return to puppyhood and chewed a big hole in her new bed.  ARRRGH.  It’s been a few years since she’s chewed anything.

Have a good week!

Happy New Year…..

January 1, 2011

Hmmmm…May Your New Year Be…   What would you put?  I think I’ll put in “more relaxed” for my year, both internally and externally.  Other things I’d put – happy, healthy, prosperous, calm, wonderful…

I’ve just about gotten all the clippings put away, tossed a few.  I’m pretty sure that information from 1997 about using Windows 95 isn’t of much use to me any more.   Now if I could just convince myself that I really do not need a gazillion recipes or the thousands of odd bits I’ve clipped from magazines and newspapers.  I’m working on that.  I started a list of older but still working computer items to post at work to sell.  I need to get model numbers, etc.  I’ve given up on any thoughts of putting linux on the old desktop to play with.  Wow – I just gave up on some projects and tossed some clippings, and I haven’t been struck by lightning!  I also need to put some old TVs in the car to turn in for recycling, they haven’t been used in a few years (old small CRTs that don’t do digital).

Nope, no sewing, I’m not really planning to either.  Right now there are too many things I wanted to clear out or clean up this weekend yet.

One good thing since I last wrote – so far I haven’t gained a bunch of weight since my running came to an end when it got cold.  Running in the dark was OK, but I don’t have the clothing or desire to run in the cold!  I got a treadmill, it finally came yesterday.  WooHoo!

My sewing/needlework resolution?  The only thing I can think of that is do-able is “spend 15 minutes in this room NOT on the computer”.  Even if just looking at my stuff and cleaning up.  It doesn’t sound like a lot, but with the upcoming events at work, that may be about all I can handle.    I’ll be back with pictures of the cleaned-out closet, and my “new” sewing machine needle container.

Merry Christmas!!

December 24, 2010

Wouldn’t that make a lovely needlework project?

Wow, I’ve really fallen off the blogging pony, haven’t I?   I have done no sewing other than some mending, not likely a surprise to anyone looking in.  I did get the sewing room cleaned out a bit.  I’ll post new photos this week.

I really just wanted to pop in tonight and say Happy Holidays to everyone who did/is/will celebrate a holiday during December.  I’ll be back with some updates on the cleanout and some other things.

Happy Birthday, USA!

July 4, 2010

I celebrated by going to antique shows.  Found 2 large painted trays, and 3 small ones, and added a couple of pin cushions to the collection.  I really should start posting some photos of them. 

I’m off work this week, so I REALLY hope to have some sewing news other than repairs to report soon.  Right now, my feet are TIRED!  Even with the walking/running I’ve been doing, walking around the antique shows have them just wanting to be put up on the footstool.  That’s OK, I have a few magazines to go through and put on the appropriate “get rid of” stacks (to Mom, to recycle, to take to Half Price).

Hope all y’all have a wonderful 4th!

It’s a Conspiracy. Has to be!

June 20, 2010

Gee, no sewing again/still.  Hold down the gasps of shock please!

The Dear Sweet Child informed me he needed some new shorts and shirts for summer.  Oh, and can you fix my favorite T-shirt?  The neckband has holes all around, and some other tears.  I gave him the “stitch in time” routine and said I’d try.  “Oh yeah Mom, and I still need to get a card and present for Father’s Day.” 

Friday’s weather also threw up a road block.  The winds knocked down 1 tree, and part of another, along with a number of smaller bits and pieces.  The tree that was knocked down was the remains of an old hollow basswood, not much left of that anyway.  The tree that lost a branch is a big hackberry, this one I’m sad about.  It has one other big branch that was damaged, with bark peeled and a big crack in it after being hit by the part that fell.  So the rest may have to come down also.  At least it wasn’t a tornado through the yard again, that event cost us 4 big trees 7 years ago.

So by the time the Dear Sweet Child and I went to get his items, got groceries, and cleaned up trees on Saturday, and we went to my Mom & Dad’s for a bit, made today, it’s now 8:00 PM.

What I DID get done since my last post –  I did get the quilting magazines finished, clipping bits put in notebooks, and the magazines that I didn’t clip back to Half Price Books.  Now for getting the stack of recipes and other sewing clippings filed.  I got the jeans patched, and gave up on the towels, the machine was just struggling too much.  Then I read about some size 125 needles on PR, so I think I may order some and re-try.  Weight loss is now about 10 pounds, and I can now run (slowly) for up to a mile.  My knees will still protest being asked to run fast (for me anyway), for very long.

Maybe sewing this week??


May 31, 2010

Not Much Progress

May 16, 2010

I knew it’s been a while since I put anything here, but 2 months?!?! Ack.  And I apologize about the whining on the last couple of posts.  I really need to avoid that.  Rant – occasionally, whine – no.

Sewing progress – I did get the jacket pattern modified, it is not cut out yet.   I now have a pair of jeans needing repair, and 3 towels with edges that need reinforcing sitting by the machine.

Weight loss – about 5 pounds.  I got so stressed out at work at the end of March, I started fantasizing about running away, like Forest Gump did in the movie.  Just start running, and don’t stop.  So one night I bought some shoes and started walking/running, but I did turn around and go home.  I started out doing too much, and my knees revolted.  So after a week or so of elastic supports, ointment, ibuprofin, and just walking, we’re back on track.  I can actually “run” for about 1/4 of a mile before needing to stop, that’s up from only being able to run about 100 feet.  I must confess, my “run” is slower than my walk.

Sewing room cleanup – win some, lose some.  The Dear Sweet Child cleaned some items out of his closet, now I have the plastic drawers with crayons, markers and such in my sewing room, waiting to have something done with it.  I don’t know what to do about the smell that the plastic has absorbed from the crayons.  I’ll try baking soda, coffee grounds, clean kitty litter, etc.    I have almost gone through the stack of used quilting magazines that I bought.  There’s a stack to go back to the store, and a stack to be recycled now.

I’ve still been having problems dragging myself into the sewing room during the week.  I’m sure many others have the same problem, by the time we get home, get the exercise in, make supper, clean up after that, it’s 8:30-9:00, and I’m tired.  And on weekends, now that it’s gardening season, all of a sudden, there’s hours missing from the day due to that.  And I *really* don’t want to get up at 4:30 to get the walk/run in.

Sometimes I think I should just declare that my hobby is thinking about sewing/knitting/needlework, as I get precious little actual sewing/knitting/needlework done.

I *did* put a word in to my Mom that should she ever get the urge to get a different sewing machine, I’d buy it for her if I could have the one she has now.  She currently has a 1950’s Necchi, in a blonde wood cabinet.  Sweet machine!  No clue where it would go, but that’s not the point, not at this time anyway.


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