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10 Nov 2017

How to Raise Your Cutting Table to Reduce Back Strain


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HOW TO RAISE YOUR CUTTING TABLE TO REDUCE BACK STRAIN (Updated July 5, 2018)


When I worked as a graphic designer, I sat for long hours at the computer. It was easy to get lost in my work and not pay attention to my body. I paid the price, however, because this caused me to suffer from back pain for years. So, when I started quilting more, it became clear that I needed an ergonomically friendly cutting table. There were several options available to me, but I opted to buy the Linnmon/Finvard table from Ikea. This Ikea table height can be adjusted to several heights with a "peg-in-the-hole system." This table was a great buy, but there are other ways to get a raised table without putting out a lot of cash.
 
Linnmon/Finvard adjustable worktable from Ikea (Discontinued).

FIND THE CORRECT TABLE HEIGHT FOR YOU

Measure from the floor to about 6 inches below your elbow. This will give you the proper table height for your height.


TYPES OF RAISERS


1.  FOLD-AWAY TABLE AND PVC PIPE


You can make most any fold-away table ergonomically friendly using PVC pipe. You can buy PVC pipe in the plumbing section of any hardware store. This project uses 1.5 inch PVC pipe.

FIND THE LENGTH TO CUT THE FOUR PVC PIPES
  1. Measure the original table height, e.g. 38 inches
  2. Now, measure the table leg from the joint to the floor, e.g. 20 inches
  3. Subtract the new table height needed from the original table height, e.g. 45" - 38" = 7 inches
  4. Add measurement B to measurement C, e.g. 20" + 7" = 27 inches
  5. Cut four PVC pipes 27 inches long. 
  6. Slip the PVC pipes over the table leg as shown in Diagrams 1 & 2.


Diagram 1


Diagram 1

2.  BED RISERS


The next option for raising your table is a bed riser. Bed risers can be purchased online or at a hardware or furniture store. Bed risers range in heights from approximately 3 inches to 8 inches.



3.  WOOD SCREW-IN FINIAL


Lastly, if your table legs are wood, you can attach wooden screw-in finals to the bottom of them. Drill a hole into the bottom of the table leg the length of the end screw on the finial. Screw the finial into the leg. You could secure the finial with a little bit of very strong glue for extra support. Finials come in a variety of shapes and lengths.

3 Nov 2017

My favourite foundation piecing papers

Anyone who has done foundation paper piecing (FPP) knows how frustrating and tedious it is when struggling with bad piecing paper. I've tried most every FPP on the market. I've also tried various tissue papers, tracing papers, parchment paper, copy papers, phone book paper ... well, you get the picture. After all my research, my favourite FPPs are Fun-dation and Sulky Tear Away Stabilizer.

Because I do a lot of FPP for my designs, I was excited to see Fun-dation brand piecing paper go on sale recently at Amazon.ca for $5 CDN. I ordered five packages. A package has 25 sheets. I'm glad I ordered when I did because the price went back up to $7.69 CDN (which is still not too bad). Fun-dation brand FPP is the best I've used. It tears away beautifully, it's translucent enough for fabric placement, and it prints well; I love this stuff. One package of Fun-dation works out to about 0.31 cents a sheet. 

Fun-dation Foundation Piecing Paper

Another very good option for FPP is Sulky Tear-Easy Stabilizer in the 12" x 11 yards roll ($15.11 CDN at Amazon). Sulky Tear-Easy is very much like Fun-dation. An 11-yard roll of Sulky makes [47] 8.5 inch wide sheets at 0.32 cents a sheet.


Sulky Tear-Easy Stabilizer