While feathering the next two borders on this quilt, I finally got sick of having what felt like virtually nothing (actually 3in) to move the quilt against to the left of the needle. Especially when making a lot of sideways movements, this leads to jerky or badly-placed quilting lines.
I tried once before adding a quilting 'table' (a cut-down nappy box) around my old sewing machine, but hated the way the front edge of it forced my hands (and therefore my long-suffering shoulders) up too high. This machine curves down at the front, which is much better, and the problem was at the side, so I found a suitably-sized strong cardboard box and traced the shape of the machine on the sides, trimmed and reformed it to match my sewing machine's shape.
I attached the extension with masking tape, then decided it was a bit rough for the quilt to slide across. I bought a sew-slip for my machine last year and trimmed it to size, then hated it and never used it again, but I kept the large off-cuts, and these covered the cardboard nicely.
It worked a treat, and with now 12 inches of useable space to the left of the needle, it was much, much easier to quilt the feathers. I chose to quilt the inner bunny damask border and the toile of the owls border together. The feathers might seem a bit fancy given I didn't want the quilting to stand out from the fabrics, but it actually works well. It's subtle, smoother and more interesting than a stipple, and gives the right quilitng density. And it looks good on the back. And it's more practice!
Plus, I got to try out this new curves tool (which I bought with Adds at Textile Traders while visiting Perth) to mark the spine.