February 17, 2014

A new design wall

I've noticed a lot of blogging about design walls lately.  Do you have one?  I made myself a new one last fall.  I love it and it was really easy to make.  I am lucky enough to have a sewing room--small, but my very own.  The design wall I made works well for me in that is is lightweight and can easily be moved within the room and big enough to layout most of a queen size quilt.

I had used a design wall for the last several years which worked fairly well.  I had covered 2 pieces of 4 x 8 foot foam core with white flannel.  I could either use one, or if laying out a large quilt could put them side by side.  After several years the foam core had warped and it was harder to lay out the pieces and harder to use for taking photos.  The white flannel was also looking a little abused.   It was time to make a new one.

I love the new one I made.  This time I used 2 - 4 foot x 8 foot sections of 1" rigid insulation.  They are still light weight and easily moved.  I can still use one or set them side by side to lay out a larger quilt.  I covered the insulation with the grey gridded flannel designed by Kaffe Fassett for Rowan.  The gridded flannel makes it really easy to keep the blocks lined up straight.  And I can pin into the insulation when needed. Here's a couple pictures of my design wall.  When I use them side by side, I move them to a different wall in the room, but I couldn't get far enough away to take a full picture from that direction.

The insulation comes in 4 foot x 8 foot pieces.  I cut a foot off of each since my sewing room ceilings aren't very high and I'm not very tall.  The flannel comes 45" wide, so I had to piece it--not a big thing.  I needed to make 2 pieces that would wrap around to the back so I could tape them to the insulation.  I cut the pieces about 6" bigger than the insulation.  It was good to have a helpful husband to be sure the flannel was straight and stretched evenly around the insulation.  With 2 of us it was easy to tape it around to the back. I used wide blue painter's tape to hold it in place, but you could certainly use duct tape.  I had planned to staple it, but don't think I had the right kind of stapler.

 Here's my Snack Time Quilt on the design wall. Great for taking pictures too.

The toughest part of this whole process was getting the 2 pieces of insulation home in our Ford Escape!  Never imagined that they wouldn't fit in the car.  I was lucky I didn't get picked up by the police for driving with 2 pieces of insulation over my head and the seat as far ahead as it would go!  Well, maybe I would have been lucky and the police would have been quilters too.  Then they would certainly have understood.

Happy Quilting, Susan



Willow River Piecemakers said...

Love the addition go the gridded flannel!

Cheri Dawn said...

What a great idea! My foam core design board is sooo warped. Now I know how to upgrade. Thanks!