QA Class 140 Lesson 1: Upgrading your sewing area

“Make it simple. But significant.” – Don Draper

This lesson is all about getting your sewing area setup to support your new sewing habit. The key points are 1) your posture: is it comfortable and sustainable? and 2) lighting: can you see what you’re doing.


Before this lesson, I was sewing at my kitchen table. I was setting up and tearing down each time I wanted to make a seam. Plus, the lighting in there feels a little bit like a police interrogation room. One central bulb. If I listen to Harriet, I needed to improve.

Somehow I justified buying a new machine (the beautiful used Bernina 1230.) I could not justify buying a custom table, but I did some research and found that it wasn’t too difficult to custom fit a table to my machine. When I went to pickup the Ikea table, I found a fully adjustable chair on clearance, and an articulated lamp, to boot!

So far, the setup is working much better than the kitchen table! It may be a psychological thing. A simply customized yet significant space dedicated to sewing, always ready and beckoning me from the corner of the room. It is comfortable, the angles are just right when I adjust my chair. The lighting is better, and I have my eye on one of these lights that attaches to the machine.

What about you? Do you pay attention to all the angles your body makes when it sews? Do your body and eyes get excessively tired when trying to piece a quilt top? What adjustments have you found to be personally helpful to your sewing habit?

This post is part of a series where I work through Quilter’s Academy, a book by Harriet Hargrave & Carrie Hargrave. See archives for the rest of the series.


2 thoughts on “QA Class 140 Lesson 1: Upgrading your sewing area

  1. The proper equipment is essential to comfort. Afterall, you want to sit there and quilt for HOURS, yes? I see you got that new machine 🙂 I must have missed the post .. where did you find it?

    1. I love my machine! It was the toughest decision to figure out which new machine I wanted to get. I asked around and eventually decided on this one. I couldn’t be happier. Once I made my decision, I called the local Bernina dealers to see if they had one in my price range. I think I had to wait somewhere between a week and a month before it showed up. This is a popular older machine, but it helped that their new products were rolling in and someone had traded in this machine for a newer model. I got super lucky! Couldn’t be happier!

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