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Design wall questions...I want one in my sewing room

Design wall questions...I want one in my sewing room

Old 09-14-2017, 01:33 AM
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Default Design wall questions...I want one in my sewing room

I have read online several ideas about a design wall, but can't make up my mind what works best to keep the blocks on the wall without falling off. What do you use to cover the styrofoam insulation? I have read some people use anti-pill fleece, flannel or felt, other have said Warm and Natural batting works.

I would like your opinions and also photos of your design wall. I have wall space of 82" x 82" to mount the design wall.

What worked best for you to apply your covering to the styrofoam.....staples, duct tape, glue, etc.?

I have also read using Command mounting strips work to mount the styrofoam to the wall....I can't put nails in the wall.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I am tired of running to the spare bedroom to lay out my blocks, then have to remove them if the kids come for the weekend. We have a small dog so laying blocks on the floor is not an option either.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by kinminis; 09-14-2017 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:45 AM
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As my sewing room is the kitchen table, I have a portable wall. I went o JF, purchased about 2.5 yards of "Picnic Table" fabric (about 64 inch wide), stapled it onto a 1 x 2 board with a mounting hole on each end, and 2 large nails in the wall to hold it up. But those 3M Command Hooks should work well.
This back side of this fabric holds quite well, although it is a bit narrow, I can roll it up and move it to a closet when not in use.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:18 AM
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I have the styrofoam insulation covered in white felt using quilting pins. I've had it 5 years and have been very happy with it. It's leaning on the wall in front of a light switch so I can't mount it on the wall, but I like your idea about the command strips.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:25 AM
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My design wall is also portable. I used two 4' x 8' pieces of that green insulation board that Lowes sells. I laid one on top of the other and then used duct tape to tape them together at one edge. Next I opened them out and taped on the flip side of the duct taped edge making a good strong duct tape hinge between the two pieces. This gave me a wall that is 8 feet square when opened, but it can be folded to 8' x 4' if I need to move it from one room to another. It is not mounted to the wall since there is a dresser and a wardrobe in the way. Instead it leans against those two pieces of furniture and I use a couple of weights against the bottom edge to keep it from sliding. The insulation foam board is about 1" thick and is rigid enough to pin into even though the top part of the wall is not supported (it's taller than both pieces of furniture).

My wall is covered in black felt which came off a roll I already had. I used 505 spray adhesive to mount the felt to the boards on the front and pulled it around to the back and secured using duct tape. The advantage for me of using this type of board is that it can be pinned into. Individual squares stick to it without pinning, but if you want to hang a large top on it you can pin into it. I have also used mine for blocking art quilts. To do that I pin a piece of white cloth (a white flat sheet works fine) to the wall. Then using a 16 inch square ruler and a water soluble marker I mark one corner. This gives me a good right angle to use for drawing the lines that are the proper length and width of the finished quilt-- use the square ruler at each corner as you get to them. Next I pin the quilt to the wall using the drawn lines as a guide to get it good and square, spritz with water so it is damp (being careful not to spray your drawn lines) and manipulate any parts of the quilt that are still not square, or that don't lie flat. Let dry over night.

The black felt works fine for auditioning layouts, borders, etc. if they are made using light to medium dark colored fabrics.
I pin a piece of warm and natural or white fusible fleece to a section of the wall if I I am working with dark colored blocks or to audition dark borders on a quilt.

Flannel or warm and natural batting would work just as well. I'll try to post some pictures later today.


Last edited by rryder; 09-14-2017 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:54 AM
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my design wall is covered by a vinyl flannel backed tablecloth. with the flannel facing out
it holds the fabric with out pins
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:38 AM
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Like Joset, I used a flannel backed tablecloth to pin to the wall with flannel side out. It's been on my wall for several years. If my blocks or whole quilt don't want to stay, I spray the wall with 505. Also if it's a whole quilt, I pin it to the wall. If I ever get around to it, I like the idea Ryder has.
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:46 AM
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I use a flannel backed table cloth. Found it on sale after a holiday. Command strips hold it on the wall pretty good
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:08 AM
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like rob, i use black felt. in my current home i have no room large enough for strictly sewing, so use the dining room for piecing, kitchen counter for fmq on my domestic machine. last home i had large piece of heavy duty cardboard from refrigerater packing box. no Lowes in that town & no insulating foam at local hardware store. i glued the felt to the cardboard & then we attached it to wall of spare bedroom. it would hold blocks w/o pins, had to pin the pieced quilts as it grew during assembly. it lasted for 15 yrs and would still be there if we hadn't moved. i currently have a large piece of black flannel hanging over deck door/windows in my dining room. i put a hem in bottom for rod to hold out straight. i put hem at top, attached those little plastic rings for crochet etc and placed push pin hooks into wall above door frame. out of site and be minimal repair when we move again. it has worked very well for several years now, but i really really like robs idea for portable wall (note #4 above) and will think of some way i can make it work for my house of cubicles. putting it away for dinner guests would not be as easy as taking down my felt panel & rolling it up for the occassional dinner guests or house full of visitors.
...but i'll think of something. thanks rob! such a great idea!!
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:13 AM
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Mine is tentest covered with black fleece.
A full wall is covered, about 7-1/2'x10'.
I wrapped the fleece around the 4'x8' boards, tacking in place with duct tape.
The boards were screwed onto the wall to hold in place.
Yes permanently ... that was not an issue for me, but for some, it could be.

With the off cuts, I made smaller portable design walls.
You can never have enough design walls!!!
The smallest is single block size which works nicely at the sewing machine and ironing board.

Why black? ... I hated how design walls that I saw were looking so grubby and thread covered.
Yes, the black gets thread on it, but IMHO does not look as terrible as the white ones do.
A lint brush takes off the threads easy enough, but I don't do that very often.
The black shows the blocks nicely.

Pieces, blocks and even full sized quilts stick to the wall nicely without any pins.
However, I do put a few pins in for a larger one .... just in case!
Would sooner do that, than to walk back into the room and find a jumbled mess!
Pins are used when I want to pin up a pattern or notes to the design wall.
Or when I have PP blocks made, but papers not yet removed.
So it is important to make sure that what you use, that pins can be used.

When I started my DJ, I knew it would be for the long haul, so I made another design wall.
This one is corroplast with white fleece on it. Yes, white, as the background fabric is white.
It's lightweight and hangs simply from picture hangers/hooks from the ceiling to the floor.

While mine is never taken down, this would work perfectly for someone who needs to have a design wall that can go away. It could hang in your room, and then slide behind a piece of furniture when it needs to get out of the way! With only picture hooks virtually no traces are left behind!

The only regret I have about my design walls .... why didn't I have them sooner?

There's lots of variations as to what you can do that can work for your circumstances.

Once you take the step, I am sure you will never regret it and say the same as I .... why didn't I have them sooner?

Last edited by QuiltE; 09-14-2017 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:14 AM
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Default pictures of my design wall

Here are the pics showing my design wall.
The first pic shows it set up in my sewing area. It is 8' x 8'. Notice the weights at the bottom which keep it from sliding as it is just leaning against two pieces of furniture.

The second pic shows the duct tape "hinges" and the duct taped felt where it overlaps the back side. You could also staple into the duct tape for added hold. By hinging it, I can fold it to move it out of the room if needed, and I can easily access the chest of drawers and the wardrobe that it leans against.

The third pic shows that the top is unsupported because it is taller than either of the pieces of furniture it leans against. The chest of drawers is beside the wardrobe and is considerably shorter than the wardrobe, but the design wall is very sturdy anyway.

Please pardon my rats nest of a studio LOL

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