Tips for Assembling a New Sewing Cabinet (& Quilt Book Giveaway)!

A few weeks ago while at Quilt Market, I ordered a couple of sewing tables: one was the Gidgit II, a portable sewing table on wheels that folds up for easy storage. I unpacked it this past weekend and was thrilled there was no assembly required. This is really a great portable sewing table, and it can even take the weight and size of some of the larger sewing machines, like the Bernina 830 series. Below is Gidget in my family room. I can imagine I will be sewing a lot on my back porch, and also at night in my family room where I can watch movies with my boys!

Gidget II by Arrow Cabinets

I also bought a sewing cabinet for my home studio, a space that is much smaller than my previous studio, so I needed something compact with good storage. I wanted a cabinet that was contemporary in style, with an air-lift mechanism to raise and lower my sewing machine, and I found just what I needed in the Sewnatra Cabinet by Arrow. Isn’t it adorable? I love the shuttered door!

The Sewnatra opened:

This Sewnatra  sewing cabinet does require assembly. Here’s what my family room floor looked like on Saturday morning:

And the hardware seemed a little overwhelming at first in the big plastic bag, so I opened it up and sorted the metal and plastic bits all onto a tray:

I have put together a lot of furniture over the past few months–even an entire bedroom set from scratch–so I thought I had this in the bag. (And I almost did.)

Attaching the storage bins, thread holders, and hinges onto the back of the shuttered door.

Some tips for sewing cabinet assembly:

1. Read ALL of the directions first, and really familiarize yourself with all of the hardware.

2. If there is an online video, watch it from start to finish, first. Then while assembling, pause it in places as you assemble your cabinet.

3. When in doubt, reread the directions or re-watch the video. Never assume you think you have it right until confirming, and remember that slow and steady win the race.

3. If they say you need two people to assemble it, take heed. This is because the cabinet—as you assemble it—is unwieldy, and especially when you have the top cover opened, a panel or part of the cabinet cannot support the full weight of the cabinet. Unfortunately I had most of the cabinet assembled, but then it started to fall, and I quickly grabbed the front piece, which then promptly cracked in half.

At that point I decided to take a pool break with my assistant.

The good news? I called Arrow and they are getting a replacement front piece to me ASAP. I will need to partially take apart the cabinet to replace the front panel, but then I should be good to go. Furthermore, Arrow was very helpful on the phone, offering tips and advice to complete the assembly.

I have the vision: I see this Sewnatra cabinet in my sewing room. It is going to look so adorable in there and I know I will enjoy it. The price–let alone its sheer cuteness–are well worth the minor set back, and even though I goofed during assembly, there is something about taking pride in having assembled a sewing cabinet (mostly) by myself!

Weeks Ringle’s Latest Modern Quilt Book Giveaway!

So how was your weekend? Did you quilt? Let me know what you did in the comments area and I’ll randomly choose a winner on Wednesday to win Weeks Ringle’s and Bill Kerr’s latest book!

50 responses

  1. We found a new piece of furniture to store my fabric in, so now I’m unexpectedly in the middle of a major sewing room re-organization! I found the chance to get a shirt half-sewn, cut out a project, and baste a baby quilt though, too.

  2. I made binding and a label for a quilt I am giving for a wedding present – the wedding is the 17th, so you can imagine what I am doing this week!

  3. Like you, I am not a novice to putting furniture together. I have refinished many a piece, including a piano! But, when you need two people, you need two people. I also learned this the hard way. LOL! I spent the weekend ripping out plants that were a little too happy taking over the flower beds. Then I worked on class assignments for Melly’s stencil class – watercolors + stencils + fabric =fun! Wishing you projects that fall together without 3 hands and a beautiful week. (Hey Louie! Looking like you are enjoying the sun.)

  4. I didn’t get time to quilt this weekend. I’m painting the outside of the porch … A yucky job but looks so nice now. I did look through some quilting magazines and checked out some fabric online last night. I like your sewing cabinet and I’m going to check out the portable table.

  5. Pokey – I have a Gidget II table also and I love it. I just don’t think you’ll be doing any outdoor quilting in Houston until October (maybe)!

    Anyway, I made a baby size log cabin quilt top that I’m donating to the Houston Modern Quilt Guild. It’s made up of strips of vintage sheets from a kit I bought from Heather Kojan and it is so soft! It actually came out quite adorable.

    The Guild meets this Saturday at 1:00 at St. Martin’s Episocopal – just in case you’re interested😉

  6. Spent part of the week end working on a 12-block Sunburst quilt. It’s quite bright and features large prints. I love it!

  7. I look forward to seeing your adorable little dog with each new post. One can tell he’s a great addition each and every step of the way in your new location, your support team! Re quilting, last wk-end was spent staring at my “fabric smorgasbord” spread on the floor (such fun), finally getting inspiration from an idea jotted on a scrap of paper long ago. Heavens knows what I could do if I was organized!

  8. Does planning on quilting count? I went down to my studio planning to make a label for the quilt I just finished but had to put some out of season clothes away first but found I couldn’t put them away before cleaning out what was already there. The good news is I donated a very large bag of clothes to Goodwill that no longer fit.

  9. I am working on a quilt for my elderly father, who is a lifelong model airplane hobbyist – I am re-creating 7 of his favorite balsa-wood-and-paper planes in appliqué and will be using them in a pictorial quilt depicting his club’s weekly meetings! The appliquéd planes are a challenge, but my dad loves it and comments on my progress along the way! I worked on the 4th plane this weekend.

  10. I spent the weekend at the beach….in the rain! But was able to begin tracing pattern pieces off for a contemporary take on an old folk art quilt–Bird of Paradise. And BTW I also love that patchworked chair!

  11. Oh my goodness! Louie is too cute! My Stirling loves being in the pool, but not IN the water, too. He went through 2 blow up boats before hubby made him his own wooden boat, and whenever we’re in the pool, he is too! This has come in handy as we’re all on vacation right now (the cabin has wifi, how civilized) and he’s been fishing in the boat with us (mostly hubby and son#1) many times and he is all smiles!

  12. Oh yeah ,trying to help a friend finish a
    Project,she puts the top tog and then
    I thread play!!!! Going to be giving the
    Quilt to an auction for special needs
    People!!! Lov your portable table !!!! Good

  13. Mulling over all my projects in process; baby blankets, quilt and more, art quilts, and setting my machine back up after packing it around with me for a few weeks to help with new baby granddaughter in Pearland. Oh- and drooled over this very book at JoAnn’s!

  14. I spent the weekend in another community about 3 hrs drive from home. I was one of the paid artists for ARTS IN THE PARK. I did workshops outside in Fun Fusible Fibre Art & silk scarf dyeing. Fun but coolish. I camped through a severe Tstorm Fri Night which had a tornado storm chaser coming thru community. No tornado thank goodness

  15. So glad you are getting it all worked out! You will need to take up someone on their offer of help this next time around. It’s too bad Louie and Clarence don’t have opposable thumbs.

    I had a good weekend as I sold some produce bags on Etsy over the weekend. Always nice to make a sale while I’m sleeping.😉 Also went to a wedding reception and lots of family stuff. Got a good nap in too. Yay.

  16. My weekend was not bad at all, it rained most of it though, so I got plenty of sewing done. Stayed up til 2 am yesterday making some quilt blocks actually…I have trouble letting my weekends end and going to bed!

  17. I also love your assistant :)! I made a small art quilt for my husband this weekend – anniversary this week! – have exhausted every motorcycle-related theme so played with some labels and champagne-cork wire, had fun creating a bit of a 3-d effect with the wire “leaves”

  18. I had to work the 5am shift both Saturday and Sunday, which means I have to get up at 345am,ugh. Saturday I was too tired to do anything but Sunday I did start the extra quilting in my most recent quilt.

  19. Quilted and bound the baby quilt for Carson Landry Moore – the daughter of my boss who is due on June 25th, and started stitching the binding on a “Covers for Kids” charity quilt started in a workshop with Joe Cunningham in January. I also mowed the yard, renewed my car registration, took the Guild speaker to dinner, and finished reading a book. Sasha sends an enthusiastic tail wag to Louie.

  20. I am working on some small pieces, which has resulted in the creation of a huge mess in my studio! Part of my day was spent trying to find my table. Again. Also, re-folding and stacking a lot of fabric. Congratulations on your carpentry. May the force be with you!

  21. I did the trimming and binding on a group quilt that my art quilt mini group made for our friend who has been told her cancer has returned. We (4 of us) each made a strip (approx. 12-15″ x 62″) in the style of Rayna Gillman using a few like fabrics. We each quilted our piece and one of us put it together. It turned out fabulous. Just need to put the label on and we will present at guild meeting this week

  22. I did a HUGE tidy-up of my craft room. I had purchased so much fabric that I needed to just move it over to the side — now a big pile, but I can get in the room again!

  23. I did some sewing on a baby quilt this weekend. And also did the planning part for 2 more. Thanks for the chance to win a giveaway!

  24. I spent the weekend watching Dr. Who reruns and planning Tardis projects🙂 The key to success in any project is doing your research first!

  25. Nothing like doing something and feeling great afterwards (even if it was royally frustrating through the process!!). When don’t I not sew??!! This weekend I worked on two monogram pillows and started a couple of wonky 9 patch table runners. This book looks awesome – thanks for the chance!

  26. I cut the fabric for the first block in a new Block of the Week project.
    I’m hoping that this BOW project will get me settled in the habit of more frequent quilting.

  27. I spent Satyrday in a class with Juanita Yeager learing to creat a painted flower on silk braodcloth which will be quilted later this summer. Love it as I had forgotten how much I enjoy painting. I haven’t tried it on fabric before.

  28. I thought you were doing an Ikea piece – but whoa… this is some serious construction! This weekend I finally bound a string star that I made during an Ami Simms On-line workshop about a month ago… I highly recommend the online workshop – if you can’t get to an inperson one with Ami, it’s the next best thing!

  29. I am sitting in my hotel room in Ireland at the 1st Int’l Quilt Festival of Ireland watching sheep graze outside my window! I am sure you will enjoy your new tables Pokey…you’re place is looking great. I plan to do some outdoor sewing myself this summer.

  30. I worked on my Hoffman challenge entries and tried in vain to organize my creative space! Sorry to hear of the troubles with cabinet building, I have taken to hiring someone for anything larger than a loaf of bread that has to be assembled! =0)

  31. Sorry about your cabinet and glad they are sending you the replacement piece. Congrats on putting it together yourself! I spent the weekend quilting, which I’m thrilled to say as over the past few months I’ve been getting chemo for BC and have not felt like doing any machine work. Hand appliqued “Kitty’s Baskets” (my first attempt) from Spotlight on Neutrals by Pat Wys over the past couple of months and then read and practiced Hooked on Feathers by Sally Terry. Loved doing feathers this way, so quick and easy, and did the whole quilt on my home machine over 3 days. Washed and drying now, can’t wait to see how it puffs up!

  32. After years of taking classes at IQF Houston , but never actually quilting once I got home, I finished my first quilt this weekend! Woo-hoo! I’ve already started the next one🙂

  33. Pingback: Tips for Assembling a New Sewing Cabinet (& Quilt Book Giveaway … | Make A Baby Quilt

  34. Whew, you all are some seriously industrious women! Those are two great, practical cabinets, having one in each room is my new goal! (Ok, the bathroom really doesn’t need one.) And ditto
    on taking an Ami Simms class!

  35. Thanks for the review of the sewing tables. Will share with my mother. Finished making a purse for my grandniece’s birthday present, and sewing hexies for my lifetime quilt project of a queen sized GMFG quilt. I’m in physical therapy for a back injury, so must wait before start cutting out a new quilt project.

  36. This weekend was the NQA show here in Columbus. A splendid time was had by all and my stash has increased quite a bit!

  37. Quilting has gone to the snails – at least in my house – I’ve been working fast and furious on a “snail” inspired quilt for a Orange County Modern Quilt Guild challenge. The top is 90% there with 7 days to go!

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