Sew, What's Up

Sew What’s Up Presents

The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: dmoses
Date: 05-11-2007, 10:48 AM (1 of 18)
I was thinking of getting an extension table for my sewing machine. I'm referring to the plexiglass or acrylic ones that fit around the arm of your machine...usually about 24 inches square or less.

Has any of you used one of these, and, if so, do they offer any real advantages?

Take care,
User: dmoses
Member since: 02-22-2002
Total posts: 964
From: MissTaraTara
Date: 05-11-2007, 02:23 PM (2 of 18)
Are you referring to the portable type that sits on top of the table and stands on four or five legs? If so, they are the type that I use. I have purchased one for each of my machines and overlocks. I will say that I have no bonafide sewing furniture and I sew on desks, tabletops, etc. Wherever I decide to sew, I have the option of a larger sewing surface. I purchased my first one right after I purchased my first machine so I feel like something is missing if I must sew without one. I can't speak of any advantages but I can say that I do appreciate mine.:smile:
User: MissTaraTara
Member since: 01-24-2006
Total posts: 227
From: temom
Date: 05-11-2007, 03:17 PM (3 of 18)
I've been wondering about them also. I would think it would help to keep the seams straight if you don't have the weight of the material pulling off to the left - especially on large projects!
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
From: plrlegal
Date: 05-11-2007, 03:19 PM (4 of 18)
Donna I have one that my dh made for me to fit my Pfaff 2044 and I use it only when I'm pieceing a quilt or free motion to quilting. But I also have regular sewing furniture in my sewing room that my machines sit on.
The ones I looked at to fit my Pfaff were rather expensive.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: dmoses
Date: 05-11-2007, 03:45 PM (5 of 18)
Thanks to all of you for replying. :smile:

Yes, I'm talking about the portable ones that sit on top of the table/desk/etc. with the machine. I wanted one to assist with larger projects such as quilts.

The one I'm looking at is about $100 + shipping. That's quite a bit of money for a little extension like that, so I don't want to buy one if it doesn't make a big difference.
Take care,
User: dmoses
Member since: 02-22-2002
Total posts: 964
From: Sancin
Date: 05-11-2007, 05:01 PM (6 of 18)
I have one with my machine which is only a year old, but I do like it when I quilt or sew on any heavy fabric or large amount of fabric. One thing I do find is that I have to raise my elbows up more than usual which causes some discomfort in my arthritic shoulders. But I raise my chair to the appropriate sewing level. :yawn:

If one hadn't come with my machine (Janome quilting) I would have had one made at our local plexiglass/plastic shop. So much cheaper. You would need to know the size you wanted and the opening required for your machine bed. PG is a relatively small city, yet many people have quilting templates made at the shop. Our plastic shop carries all sorts of weights and types of plastics that cut and I suspect heat fuse to the design the buyer wants. One pays by the sheet and weight of plexiglass and the hour. Take them a picture if you have such a shop in your town.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 05-11-2007, 06:16 PM (7 of 18)
That is what I intend to do. (get one made locally).. My son told me about most places charging by amount of plexiglas and time involved in cutting to fit..) He said their max would be like half what I would have to pay to order from Nancy or Clotilde..
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: vickki
Date: 05-11-2007, 06:55 PM (8 of 18)
Last year one of the ladies had a picture of one here that her hubby made for her from mdf board...I showed it to my son and he made me one....he cut off a broom handle and made the legs then he measured the opening around my machine and cut it out...This way you can have the table as big as you want....I also find it useful if I'm sewing something big. It keeps the drag off the project when sewing...Much cheaper....He used the thinnest mdf on the marker,think it was 1/4 inch thick....
User: vickki
Member since: 08-21-2005
Total posts: 374
From: bridesmom
Date: 05-11-2007, 09:07 PM (9 of 18)
That's exactly what my DH made for me as well. It worked great too, as long as you don't get it wet. I was seriously thinking about putting a coat of hi gloss lacquer on it, as I did find it dragged with flannel, but then I got another machine and got the table to go with it but I haven't tried the new table yet.
Tickled pink with my Innovis 4000D
User: bridesmom
Member since: 01-21-2004
Total posts: 2026
From: PaulineG
Date: 05-12-2007, 05:39 AM (10 of 18)
You could try putting some contact on it. Like what you would use to cover books but a bit thicker. You'd get nice glide on it then and blunt the edges off a bit too.
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: Lise
Date: 05-12-2007, 08:02 AM (11 of 18)
These are very expensive if bought alone. Mine came with my machine and has never been used and probably never will be. If you really NEED an extension there are many ways to rig one up (see previous posts). You could buy lots of yummy fabric with what an extension would cost.
User: Lise
Member since: 07-24-2000
Total posts: 231
From: HeyJudee
Date: 05-12-2007, 08:28 PM (12 of 18)
When I first started quilting, I bought an extension for my machine. I paid $189 CDN and I loved that one ( I wouldn't quilt without it. Then I bought a new machine to do free-motion quilting and the table came with it. I use it all the time. To me the only thing better would be to have a table top with the hole cut and an air-lift so that I could position the machine level with the table top. IMHO, when quilting the larger the surface the better.

Donna, if you are wanting it to do quilting esp. free motion, I'd say go for it. You may want to check out the quality of the table. FYI the one I paid $189 is made of super thick plexiglass and had really solid plexiglass adjustable legs. The one that came with my sewing machine is light plastic and white screw-in adjustable legs. When I am sewing the quilt sometimes catches on the right corner of the table and tends to lift it cause it is so light...the heavier solid one would be better. Also, I would like to have my table extend more on the right so that it would go to the edge of the machine. Just my opinions...:re:
TTFN from
User: HeyJudee
Member since: 01-25-2005
Total posts: 1366
From: paroper
Date: 05-13-2007, 11:31 PM (13 of 18)
I've used one since I bought my 200. I mostly embroider with the machine and it is wonderful when doing embroidery! It would be great with quilting too. I can see where if I were sewing it would be nice because it would keep the garment at the level of the machine but mine would disable the free arm for garment sewing (I don't use it anyway.)

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: plrlegal
Date: 05-14-2007, 10:31 AM (14 of 18)
Donna if you are thinking about the plexiglass extension table for your machine for quilting, then it is a good investment. If you're thinking about purchasing one just for general sewing use, I think you'll find it will really get in your way, especially if you use your free arm on your machine a lot. I definitely use my extension table when quilting.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: paroper
Date: 05-14-2007, 10:34 AM (15 of 18)
It is not something you want to take on and off very often so make sure it doesn't interfere with the bobbin.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: plrlegal
Date: 05-17-2007, 08:53 PM (16 of 18)
The extension table for the Pfaffs presents no problems with the bobbin as pfaffs are front loading bobbins so you can just reach under the table, flip the door down, pull the bobbin case and reload and my pfaff wounds bobbins through the needle so you don't have to unthread to wind a bobbin. If you have a machine that has the top loading bobbin the extension table shouldn't present a problem either.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: Judi
Date: 05-18-2007, 12:47 AM (17 of 18)
I have a Bernina 200, and before that a 180. My DH made mine of 1/4" acrylic, thicker than the ones on sale at my dealers, or in the catalogues. He got a piece of white acrylic 'doweling', for legs, from the same plastic place he got the clear. he attached the legs with screws, countersunk into the top. I sew on a flat table he made for me too. The extension just raises the fabric up to the same level as it would be with just the gray sewing table. I'm not a quilter, but I do make wall hangings, as well as garments and home dec. items. It supports the fabric without the drag from either the back or the side. I do have to lift the front edge a bit to change the bobbin, but it's well worth it.
If you do have it made in the shop, you might want to take the machine in so they can make an exact pattern. And then do some fine tuning.

Sewing is almost better than Chocolate.
User: Judi
Member since: 06-22-2000
Total posts: 85
From: SandyGirl
Date: 05-19-2007, 08:36 AM (18 of 18)
I have one for my Janome. I like it myself but my ultimate goal is to get a table where the machined drops into the table and is flush. The extra height does put a strain on your shoulders due to the added height of a portable machine when it sits on a tabletop. The extension is great for supporting the bulk of a quilt. I do have to remove it to embroider of course. Nothing is perfect!

Just do some yoga arm stretches to get the shoulder kinks out!!
User: SandyGirl
Member since: 09-16-2005
Total posts: 97
Sew, What's Up
Search the “Sew What’s New” Archive:
Visit Sew What’s Up for the latest sewing and quilting tips and discussions.
This page was originally located on Sew What’s New ( at