After a huge push getting quilts finished up before Christmas, I knew that I was going to have to deal with a problem that had been bothering me for a long time, but I kept ignoring it - my back! My sewing room was beautiful, and I loved sewing at the old farmhouse pine kitchen table that we had, but it was an awkward height for my shoulders when quilting, and far worse was the fold out table that I used for cutting out, which was way too low, and had my poor back complaining at me after each cutting session. I had been looking for a while at all the different options for purpose built sewing and cutting tables, a lot of which came with very elaborate storage components which fold out into a huge work station. It wasn't the kind of storage I was after though, and these things are very expensive, plus I had seen quite a few people online that had adapted Ikea furniture and made their own work stations. Soooo, I had a little chat with Hubby, and he kindly offered to build me something that would suit me if I told him what I needed.

Together we scoured the Ikea website, looking for bits we could use/adapt, measuring and calculating and finally ordered it all for delivery. We worked out that an ideal cutting height for me would be around 90cm high, which is roughly the height of our kitchen worktops, and with a combination of 2 Kallax box units, 2 desk tops, some castors and a bit of plywood, Hubby was ready to go on the cutting table...

First up was the screwing the Kallax units to one of the desk tops to make the base. 
We placed an identical desk top on the top and bottom of the unit, making sure they matched up perfectly,. The desk tops also have lovely rounded corners, so no knocking ankles or elbows, or catching of fabric.
The castors already added a little extra height, and the little square of plywood underneath not only made them more sturdy, but also brought the total height to 89cms, which is absolutely perfect! 
The finished result! A perfect unit, which comfortably fits my mat, and ruler holder. 
No space is wasted, as I have 8 storage boxes on the two ends, and a brilliant gap in the middle to store those taller bits of sewing equipment. The castors lock for staying still when required, but they also allow me to move the unit wherever I want it around the room. 

I absolutely love the cutting unit, and it really has already made such a difference - cutting out is now a dream! :-) There was just the sewing height issue to solve now, and for that we have used a combination of a basic Horn sewing table and a folding Ikea dining table. I wanted to be able to 'drop' my machine into a table, so that the whole sewing surface was one even height, so the simplest way of doing that was to buy the branded table, (and Horn also cut the plastic insert to the exact size of your machine) but I didn't want all the other fancy bits to go with it. I simply wanted a surface that could fold up and support the quilt when I am quilting it, but that could also be folded away and save space when not in use. The dining table was perfect, the exact same height as the Horn table, and it even has little drawers either end for yet more storage! The finishing touch was a proper desk chair with adjustable height, and here is the finished set up. Thank you Hubby! :-)

I am so pleased with my sewing area now, and my back and shoulders are even more happy! :-)