Wednesday, November 28, 2018

There's a Hole in the Bucket

Do you know the song, "There's a Hole in the Bucket"? It's one I learned as a child, and now that I've thought of it, I can't get the tune out of my head.

Basically, the lyrics tell the story of Henry and Liza conversing about a hole in the bucket, and how to go about fixing it.

Henry sings:
There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
Liza sings:
So fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,So fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.
Henry responds with a question:
With what should I fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza,With what should I fix it, dear Liza, with what?
Liza responds with a suggestion:
With straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,With straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, with straw.
And the song goes on - how to cut the straw (with an axe), the axe is dull (it needs sharpening), how to sharpen the axe (with stone), the stone is dry (so wet it), what should it be wet with (water)... and concludes with how to get the water to the stone when there's that problematic hole in the bucket.

The song came to mind when I was in my sewing room on Monday. You see, along with my new Bernina 770QE sewing machine, I received several items that were included by the dealer, Sharky's Vac 'n Sew. Those were a Queen Supreme Slider (for free motion quilting), a rolling trolley, and a Sew Steady table. The Sew Steady table just arrived Monday, so I picked it up and returned home to set it around the machine arm.

Of course, the tray that comes with the Bernina is fine, but the Sew Steady table has a nice-sized, 18" X 24" bed upon which to work. The Sew Steady simply extends the flat surface I already have, with hollow core doors behind and beside the machine.

If only it was that simple.

When I first positioned the Sew Steady table around the sewing machine arm, the table was slightly taller than the hollow core door/tables behind and beside it. Unfortunately, the Sew Steady legs can't be lowered.

The hollow core door-tables needed to be lowered. However lowering them meant that when using door-table, rotary cutting would literally be a pain in my back.

The only solution was to raise everything.

The height of the adjustable tops of four Ikea Finnvard trestles that support the two hollow core door-tables needed to be raised.

The table that the Bernina rests upon also has adjustable height legs, so that table needed to be raised.

The door-tables, Sew Steady, and machine bed still weren't level with one another.

Let's removed the rug from under the legs of the sewing machine table.

Better. Until I sat down to the newly raised table-sewing machine set-up. The sewing chair was too low.

The sewing chair height cannot be adjusted, so I swapped that chair with the office chair, and adjusted the office chair's pneumatic height to it's highest position.

Good. High enough for the sewing machine. But my foot didn't reach the sewing machine's foot control pedal.


I have now returned my sewing chair to its place in front of the machine, and found a pillow on which to sit!

I should be low enough to reach the foot control, yet not put strain on my arms and shoulders when free motion quilting. It's time to try it to determine if it's comfortable.

If not I'll undo everything.

Doesn't that "hole in the bucket" song seem somewhat apropos? Linda


  1. ouch, this has been a painful process. I might have a solution, I'll give you a call.

  2. Seriously appropriate!! Egad. Nothing is ever simple, is it? Glad you got things resolved, but it was a huge effort for sure. Happy stitching.

  3. How about a little wood stand with slightly raised edges to place the foot controller on so you can still use the office chair. Seems like the pillow arrangement might be a hassle after a short time. And you know you've planted an ear worm in at least one of your fellow quilters, heehee!

  4. oh my gosh. Hope the new set up works for you!

  5. Boy, I just went through something similar. I hate having to rig everything to get it all to work. When I win the lottery, I'm going to buy a new house with a HUGE sewing room and buy an already made sewing station that wraps around the room and have it INSTALLED to boot, lol.
    xx, Carol

  6. perfect song........ so we wait to hear how the hole in the bucket goes.... my two year old granddaughter is getting a uke for Christmas.... is now attending "music" classes with dad.... if it goes half well I want my daughter to take uke classes..... then she no doubt will be able to sing a hole in the bucket among other

  7. I'm not laughing...but I am!'s just we've all been there sometime, somewhere in our sewing life! I'm sure you'll get it fixed one way or another.

  8. This is absolutely a perfect fit to the "bucket song". What a puzzle. I know you will figure it out though.

  9. Linda, I sing that song all the time, and I’ll be singing it all day now, thank you very much. I’m STILL trying to adjust everything! I even took the little screw feet off my sewing table to lower it and my foot still barely reaches the pedal. I think all these accessories are designed by men! ~wink~

  10. Wild!
    I feel like that about so much in my life these days. We just did a major organization in our upstairs, and my sewing room is still in the Dear Liza phase--and I don't when the hole in that bucket will be fixed.
    We just had to replace our WiFi router, and boy, was that a few holes in the bucket. So, I'm really glad that you finally got all the pieces put together again.
    Happy Sewing!

  11. I had a hole in my bucket too! My new (Dec 24th) Bernina 770 QEE does not fit in my Horn sewing cabinet that I've had for 30 years. I was reluctant to have husband butcher it and there were no new cabinets that i liked. So let's try putting it on top and using the Sew Steady table from my old Bernina. He cut the new shape in the plastic and it worked! But my chair was too short. Wonderful husband got the old office chair from the basement but it lost it pneumatic holding and would sink every time I sat in it. Off to the plumbing store for parts and it is now at a good height. Until I couldn't quite use the foot control easily. Now, to dig out the little stand from under the couch that was built for my rug hooking. Bingo!All is far.

  12. Hi Jean! I can't reply to you because you're a "no-reply commenter" (I don't know your email address), but I wanted to say thank you for your hole-in-the-bucket story. Maybe you didn't mean for me to smile and giggle, but I did (!), and was certainly nodding in complete understanding of what you went through! Really... what we do to make our sewing environment "just right!" I'm thrilled for you to have a Bernina 770QE as I simply adore mine. And it's apparent you have a handy hubby too, so his involvement in this can't be overlooked! I'm glad "all is wonderful" for now. Let's keep it that way, right?!

  13. Thank you for reading and having a giggle. We have mentioned your blog everyday since reading it as we related to it so well. We certainly laughed at your predictaments and we felt like we were in your movie. UPDATE -while I was at work this morning the little slanted foot stool left and has been replaced by a foot shelf the width of the cabinet. I am getting used to the machine and laugh every time I clip the threads with the touch of a button. And love the super bright lighting.
    I have read several of your blog offerings and enjoy them greatly. Love your style. Let's keep our husbands. Mine is one of my favorite quilting tools. He anticipates my needs better than I do. He is ready to build me a whole new cabinet ....

    From Prince Edward Island, Canada


  14. Hi Jean! Thanks for the update. Your foot shelf sounds perfect. I've found that raising my arms a little higher, to reach the sewing machine bed has not been a problem. I can piece and quilt easily, and as the higher level puts my nose closer to the needle, I think I'm seeing it all a little better too! I am smiling to picture you clipping threads with that button. I haven't used that feature very often. Mostly I just pull out the piece and wrap the thread around the side to clip and hold it. I like that feature too. But the dual feed beats them all, right?

    Your hubs is your "quilting tool." I love it! How fantastic that he can create FOR you. Well, mine does too as he is my "personal chef." We know we're blessed, don't we?


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