Monday, August 16, 2010

Design wall...

Do you use a design wall?  Where is it?  How BIG is it?  What is it made out of?  Do you like it?  What changes, if any, would you make to the design wall you've been using?

I have noticed that Janet, Christine and Cathy have and use design walls. Anyone else?  I do.

However, my design wall is in a spare bedroom.  The space wall isn't large enough to hold Kim's patterns once they're nearing completion, and THAT is just exactly the time I REALLY want/need to see the quilt in it's entirety., what to do?!

I am looking for suggestions, ideas, creative tips...ANY and ALL!!!  Please share your secrets.  Successes and failures.  I am hoping to find a dependable workable doable design wall solution.  Thanks!  ; )

Piecefully, Pam


  1. Hi Pam, I use a design blind!
    My house doesn't have enough free wall space so I set up a roller blind in my office that is 180cm x 220cm, it rolls away when not in use. My post on it is here:
    cheers, Kate

  2. There's a tutorial for a portable design wall over at Terries bits and pieces blog which I thought was a good idea.

    I have an attached one, floor to ceiling and it's still not quite tall enough sometimes.

  3. Hi - In the past I have used a flannel backed plastic table cloth and hung it on a wall. It isn't flannel anymore - some kind of polyester. I found that when I pulled down my blocks, the backing would shred and fray my seam allowances! I now use a quilt hanging on the wall in my sewing room. It is not a great quilt and is not harmed by the pins. If I need more space then I use one hanging in another room that is bigger! I guess I could pin a neutral color flannel to the quilt and then pin the blocks to that - I'm too lazy to make the effort!

    You are right - a design wall makes all the difference in quiltmaking!! Sue, in Florida

  4. my design wall is made from homosite boards 2 of them covered in batting then JC Penney tan queen size flannel sheets glued and duct taped to the back
    then glued to a 1/4" sheet of ply wood.
    It is one unit now and bolted into the wall in my sewing room
    it is approx
    97" wide and 90 " in height. I had to trim the homosite boards before we covered it in batting to fit above the baseboard! The best thing I ever did. Cheap to make too!

  5. I couldn't do without my design wall now. I used to have a design floor! Then moved to a flannelette sheet hanging from the picture rails on my sewing room wall. Now I have 3 sheets of cane-ite joined together and covered in flannel. It's 9 ft x 10 ft. Great to pin into, and holds multiple quilt layers as I never quite finish one as I move to the next.

  6. I can not make quilts without two tools, my design wall and my reducing glass. They are essential.
    About a million years ago I was on Simply Quilts TV show and demonstrated how to make the design wall that Kaffe and I use. Here are the instructions I wrote at that time.

    The design wall we use is made of insulation board and flannel. We used a product made by Homasote, which can be purchased at a lumberyard or large hardware stores. Homasote is a brand name. There are many other manufacturers of this kind of product and any would work fine. It is used to insulate walls of newly built homes. It comes in sheets, which measure about 4 x 8 feet. They are very very light and usually covered with foil on one side and a pink or blue paper on the other. We use 2 sheets of insulation board to make a board big enough to design a queen-sized quilt.
    The insulation board is covered on one side by gluing a neutral colored, good quality cotton flannel. We prefer a dull light brown or taupe color flannel. Smear or spray glue on the board. Place flannel on the boards and smooth out. Trim the edges. Then use duct tape to make “hinges” to hold the two boards together. We placed three hinges on the wrong side of the boards, making sure the hinges were loose enough to allow the board to fold in, flannel sides together.
    The wall can be free standing with just a little bend at the hinges. If you need to put the wall away with a design in the works, just place paper over the work and fold the boards together and slide under a bed.

  7. I love having a design wall! I keep it simple at my house...a full-size (double bed) white flannel sheet. It's thumbtacked to the wall and I can get all but the largest quilts spread out on it (the "overhang" for the bed makes the sheet large enough for laying out a queen quilt). The flannel holds my blocks beautifully, and when it gets a little "thready" :-D, I can take it down, wash and dry it and hang it back up!!

  8. By the way, I found the perfect flannel for design walls. Bed Bath and Beyond has twin sheets in a medium sage-grey. Cut the corners out of the fitted sheet and you have two pieces ready to glue to the insulation board. The price was about $30.

  9. Ah Liza yes probably learned how to make my design wall from you and I remember Lois and her husband made those room screen style design walls
    it truly is a necessity in my book , I could not live without my design wall!

  10. Gosh you girls are really organized! I don't have a design wall. I put them on the floor then I take a picture with the mobile phone! Kim McLean

  11. Hi Pam, I use a flannel sheet (all the hemming is done for you). I put grommets in the top/head of the sheet. I also add a few
    tablecloth weights at the bottom to keep it hanging straight.
    As long as your blocks/quilts are not too heavy they will stay without pinning otherwise add a few pins.

  12. These are ALL fabulous ideas and solutions!!! I can't thank you enough for your comments. Thank YOU for sharing!!!

  13. Great ideas here, thanks Pam for starting the discussion. I have simply pintacked a piece of cotton batting to an unused wall in my house. It is invaluable. One day when we repaint the house, I am going to do something a little more permanent on that wall.