Monday, March 28, 2011

You think it is just a change table, a cupboard...well lookie here!

Hello, Stash Manicure friends!  I'm Kathy from Troublesome Creek Quilts, and I'd like to thank Madame Samm for inviting me to guest blog today.  There have been some fantastic posts on Stash Manicure lately, so I have to admit I'm a little timid about showing you my modest quilting furniture ideas.  I learned to sew on a treadle sewing machine (yes, I'm THAT old!) with my grandmother, who made a million nine-patch quilts out of old clothes.  These days, I love all aspects of quilting - machine piecing, hand quilting, machine quilting, foundation piecing, hand applique - pretty much anything quilting-related, I'll try once.  I still have a working treadle machine, but it's mostly for show and used as a side table in the living room.

When Madame Samm emailed me about guest blogging, I told her I would give you some ideas on budget-friendly quilting furniture.  One of my favorite pieces is a quilt storage shelf.
This is a Jenny Lind baby changing table I bought at a garage sale and spray painted red to match my red and white guest room.  It's great for storing quilts because the shelves are so deep, and the top is a great place to show your doll collection (or bobbleheads or beer steins or whatever you collect).  It's very sturdy and will hold a bunch of quilts.  It would be great for fabric storage, too.  So, this summer when you're out at garage sales, keep an eye out for changing tables (and pick up another one for me while you're at it - I need a purple one, too).  You can have a really cute shelf for about twenty bucks.  Don't be afraid of the painting part - enamel spray paint is a girl's best friend.  The only trick is keeping your dog away from the overspray so that you don't end up with a red enamel dog to match your furniture. 

After years of sewing in the guest room, I now have a spare bedroom to use for a dedicated sewing room.  One of my longed-for items was a really sturdy, large cutting table.  I thought a kitchen island would be ideal, and it was a great idea until I went to the design center and looked at the prices.  Yikes!  Back to the drawing board.  After talking to the designer, I decided that I could create exactly what I wanted for much less.  Here's what I came up with:
This cutting table is made from two upper kitchen cabinets (15" deep and 48" wide) placed back to back, with a 4" kick plate added under them.  When backed together, it looks like one solid unit, and the height is exactly right for cutting.  The top is a formica countertop, with rounded corners on all sides.  The front cabinet (seen in this picture) has shelves inside and is great for storage.  The back cabinet (below) I left without doors so it would be more like a bookshelf.
It's a great place to store books and magazines, as well as my ready-for-quilting tops.  (Yes, I have way too many UFOs!)  These were stock kitchen cabinets, so everything was pre-finished except for the backs, which normally would be against the wall, but in this case are against each other. 


The countertop extends beyond the cabinet by about 9".  That was made that way on purpose - I can slide a barstool under it and sit there and drink, depening on how the quilting is going  use my lightbox to draw out patterns, look through magazines for inspiration, etc.  I can also sit there and watch my blocks fall off my design wall, as you can see in the picture.  (Honestly, sometimes it's like watching it snow, and I wonder why I bother putting them up there.  But I digress.)

Another upper cabinet with kickplate is used for my ironing station.  We attached an ironing board to the top of the cabinet, and the Big Board fits on top of that.  I love it!  It's so much sturdier than an ironing board and gives me plenty of space to lay out my quilt project, plus there is a lot of storage under it.  (I'm not going to show you my Rubbermaid containters, but they're there.  They look like everyone else's Rubbermaid containters - stuffed to the gills with miscellaneous stuff I absolutely couldn't live without.  We quilters have kept the Rubbermaid company in business the last few years.)

These pieces were much less expensive than ready-made quilting furniture.  You can order the cabinets at a lumber yard or chain store like Home Depot.  They will be happy to make the countertop any size you want, and you'll have lots of choices (way too many, in fact) on countertop materials.  Base cabinets would work also, but they are much deeper.  I didn't have enough space to place two base cabinets back to back.  Cabinet backs are unfinished, since they are intended to be placed against a wall.  If you used only one, you would need to put something on the back to finish it off.

So, I hope this gives you a couple ideas you can use in your sewing room.  And come on over to Troublesome Creek Quilts to see what I'm making on my new cutting table!

53 comments:

  1. I love the idea of a barstool (just in case!) Thank you for sharing your storage and recyclable ideas!
    If you're hungry for some Sour Cream Cake with old-fashioned Brown Sugar Frosting, I have posted my Great Grandma's recipe here:
    http://rocknrecipes-rocknquilts.blogspot.com/2011/03/grandma-blocks-sour-cream-cake.html

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  2. Great Ideas!...thanks for sharing!!

    hugz,
    annie

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  3. I had not thought of painting and using a diaper changing table to store quilts. Great idea. I'll be on the lookout for one. Kitchen shelves, too. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Those kitchen shelves are brilliant!! That is my dream..to some day have a nice cutting table. You've given me a wonderful idea. And the changing station as well! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  5. Love all your storage, but love even more that you have quilts to store in the storage space! Thank you for sharing!!

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  6. Those are great ideas..... I think I should move cooking out of my kitchen and move the sewing in there..... much more sensible... and then the fridge and the kettle are right there for when I need a snack!!
    Hugz

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  7. I love the look of your changing table/ quilt storage. It's charming and useful and creative. Great idea!

    Leslie S. in MN
    esclante at comcast dot net

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  8. Clever! One could also put them on rollers...Hummm..

    And I love the idea of thinking outside the box..er, changing table..

    Thanks!

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  9. Enjoyed your blog Kathy - what a lovely work area you have. Jealous ? me? yes!

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  10. Genius ideas! Very clever and thrifty.

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  11. What a great ideas, if I had only the space to put it.
    Roos

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  12. Just to have a room dedicated for crafting would a plus for me. I'd love a punch tin pie safe for quilt storage and show - past those baby days. You have some lovely wool pieces on your blog - oh, I would love to sit and learn at your elbow.

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  13. I am amazed to see such an amazing post. Keep up the good work.school furniture

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  14. All great ideas!!! Thanks for sharing. Now if I could just figure out a way to extend my room!!

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  15. I really enjoyed your post and seeing how creative you were to "make" the furniture suit the room and suit your purpose...very clever!

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  16. What great ideas, thanks for sharing! I've been thinking of something to store my quilts and the changing table is perfect. My quilts are currently on shelves in the closet, where shoes are supposed to go. The shoes are piled on the floor. And I wonder why they get scuffed even when I don't wear them. Hm. Anyway, thanks!

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  17. I can see how those cabinets would be useful.And from all of those unfinished pieces mean you are enjoying your space.

    When I have a lot of cutting to do I end up working at the kitchen countertop. The height saves my back. Although there is alot more clean up.

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  18. Great ideas!! Now, if I only had a sewing room!

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  19. Good Morning Kathy....Had I known about these ideas years ago...when I think of how many change tables we had and cabinets we left behind....lol
    I love this sew much and your idea of a better height cutting table...well it is amazing...A great post to have many of us thinking..."why did I not think of that? " lol

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  20. Kathy, thanks for sharing parts of your sewing room this morning. Sew creative! I too use kitchen cabinets. When we renovated our kitchen, I saved some of the cupboards - one is my cutting table with the countertop and the other is the drawer tower that used to hold utensils, tea towels, etc. It's perfect for my quilting notions, bits and bobs. I will be on the lookout for a baby change table! What a great idea...

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  21. Fabulous and brilliant!! Love that great idea!!

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  22. Great ideas, Kathy! I love the changing table. My husband is working on an old child's desk for me to display quilts on. Your sewing room looks ideal - you really gave it some thought and it shows.

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  23. Great Ideas with the Cabinets... If I ever have a sewing room, I will remember this!

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  24. I love these ideas - all that extra storage would be wonderful. I laughed about things falling off the design wall - I thought I was the only one with that problem!

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  25. I got rid of a cabinet.. that I wish I hadn't now.. but the reason I post about it is because it had drawers on the front side.. and on the back it had peg board. You put in the hooks to hang whatever you needed to hang it would be wonderful to hang thread, rulers, you name it.. perfect to cover the back side if you only do one set of upper cabinets.

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  26. Thanks for posting these ideas. I've got lower kitchen cabinets in my sewing room against one wall and use that for a cutting space but have been thinking about putting them back to back so it was good to see how it would work. blessings, marlene

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  27. What a great idea about using cabinets as cutting tables! When I redid my kitchen I had them save the cabinets - but the idiots weren't careful when they removed them, so I can't sell them. SO, I use them in the basement as storage for odds and ends. And you're right, the height is just right for cutting. Thanks for sharing.

    Linda

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  28. Habitat for Humanity has ReStores in many cities. Used kitchen cabinets can be picked up very cheaply there. Might have to clean them up a bit, but they are usually good quality.

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  29. Love all of your ideas and since I may be moving soon and setting up another sewing room, I will definitely be thinking of these suggestions. Right now I have built in shelves, so will need to look at new storage. Judy C

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  30. Great ideas, Kathy!! I love your cutting table and ironing station especially!!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

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  31. I've had a diaper changing table I picked up at a garage sale for $5 that I've used for years to hold misc quilting supplies. IKEA offers affordable kitchen island cabinet pieces similiar to yours (I own one too). Great post for ideas!!

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  32. Awesome ideas! I will be haunting the yard sales now! Thanks for sharing....even tho I don't have a room dedicated to my addiction, er, hobby, I can dream!!
    Jacque in SC
    quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  33. I am VERY in impressed with your ideas. My hubby likes doing projects for me that aren't too hard but interesting. This might be the perfect project...once I get a bigger sewing room.

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  34. What great ideas!! I'll be on the lookout for a changing table this garage sale season.

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  35. Such great ideas!! I love the cutting station, perfect height so you do not hurt your back. I will be looking at garage sales this summer! Thanks for sharing.

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  36. I saw a changing table used for fabric storage years ago, and I really wanted to do this. At that time I do no room to set one up. I still think it is a great idea and would be fun to showcase either fabric or completed quilts.

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  37. Who would have thought a babie's change table could be used for quilting...wonderful idea. What a great post.

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  38. Fabulous ideas! I am in the process of designing a sewing studio and this has definitely given me some ideas!
    After all, the more money saved on organization, the more money left for fabric - right?
    Thanks for sharing!

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  39. Thank you for the great ideas.

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  40. I wouldn't have thought to look at upper cabinets (instead of lowers) for an island base. Brilliant!

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  41. This was a great idea thanks for sharing!

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  42. I'm doing the exact same thing with my Jenny Lind because I can't get rid of it yet. My son is only 13! :) It's holding fabric in my craft room.

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  43. Great ideas! I need something sturdier holding up my sewing table - and I hadn't thought of using kitchen cabinets. I'm off to the Habitat Homestore to see what I can find there!!

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  44. Someday soon, I will have a sewing room...thanks for the ideas!

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  45. My husband made me a cutting table out of a sheet of plywood and legs. I also have a shelf underneath it all to store fabric. Yes, you do need a large room to have a whole sheet of plywood but you could also cut it in half. For the top of the cutting table, I padded it and then covered it with teflon ironing board fabric. That way I could iron large pieces on it like quilts or drapes. I have used the table for years but recently have dismantled it because of a move and need to do some alterations to make it smaller. Yours is a great idea also.

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  46. The changing table idea is brilliant! And so is the custom island - wish you'd posted this about TEN years ago!!! Would have saved me a bundle! We have more than you know in common...I, too, sit and watch my blocks fall off the wall!! Loved your post - off to visit your blog! xo, Nan

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  47. Kathy, I love your ideas. I like to re-use things too. Just got my new grandbaby a change table at the second hand store. Now I can go look for another! I have two old wardrobes that I use, one for storing quilts, the other for hanging quilt tops and backs that still need to be quilted. From the replies, it looks like lots of competition at the garage sales this summer!

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  48. Freecycle excellent for cabinets, briliant ideas. Thanks for sharing :0)

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  49. Excellent ideas - thanks for your posting.

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  50. Love these ideas!!! They are great!!! Thanks for the wonderful post! Hugs Ariane

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  51. wow...great ideas...and I could put peg board on the back and have tons of hanging space for rulers, scissors..etc..

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  52. Hi Kathy thank you for all the fabric stash away hints...I like the changing table the best...

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You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...