Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Design Wall or Two

Do you have a good sized design wall? I didn't for a long time. When I no longer had a spare bed to lay out blocks on, I did some internet research on how to make one, what people thought of them, and which was the least expensive.

 My goal was to have one that was very light, so if I needed to move it to another room, I could without help. I wanted to spend very little, have somthing that will last a long time and be good sized. I also needed to be able to keep it semi clean. After looking at many good ideas, I chose the foam insulation board design wall. Sorry, I don't remember where I spotted the tutorial, but you can easily make one from what I tell you here.

Foam insulation board is sold at home improvement stores. It is a drywall sized sheet of foam, with silver paper on one side. I trimmed a foot off one end so it is shorter than the room. Foam board weighs only a few ounces, so you will never strain yourself moving this baby! I also purchased a spray can of adhesive while at that store. This is the easiest and fastest way to get your fabric cover to stick to the foam board. Additional perks are: you can pin your blocks to it over and over, having a vertical view of your project is great not only for your neck, but for photographing as well, and you could slide it under a bed or behind a door to get it out of sight.

I purchased 4 yards of wide diaper flannel. Some people have used batting, however batting falls apart when you try to clean off the loose threads. With diaper flannel, you can use one of those lint rollers on the surface without worrying about tears or sagging. Just be aware that if you need to piece your fabric to cover the board, you should sew the pieces together first. Don't try lining up the ends on the glue, because they will slide apart leaving a gap.

To make the board, set it up on a table or some saw horses outside on a relatively windless day. You could spray it in your garage if you have the garage door up for ventilation. DO NOT SPRAY THIS INDOORS! Spray the adhesive evenly across one end of the foam board to a width of about 1 foot. Lay down the end of your flannel over the adhesive, leaving several inches of overhang off the end and sides, then smooth - smooth - smooth to get the flannel stuck down good on that adhesive. Spray another one foot section the width of the foam board and smooth. Continue until you have the whole board covered and no lumps or bubbles. You can then fold the extra flannel around to the back and staple it, sew it, tack it, whatever you like to secure it. (Excuse the unsecured flannel peeking out here, I needed the design wall right away and haven't gotten back to that!)

The cost of making it: about $25. That is very affordable, don't you think? Since I am constantly making things, my design walls are in use ALL THE TIME!

I make a lot of large quilts, so I have 2 of these design walls, which allows me to step back and look at most, if not all, the blocks. This is very handy for someone who constantly changes their mind about arrangement and color choices!

Pictured above: Picnic (layout) from Kim Brackett's "Scrap Basket Surprises" book, made this past weekend during Tropical Storm Lee. Also, applique projects in progress.

If you decide to make one of these, I'd love to hear from you!

1 comment:

quiltzyx said...

One of these days I'll have to make one of these. I could put it front of that big, ugly, gold-veined mirror-tiled area in my "dining room"! :D