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Thread: Design Walls

  1. #1
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    I've never used a design wall before, but am thinking I really should. (Evidence: I jump into piecing what I'm certain will be great combinations, sew them together, then... well, not so great...)

    What do you use? I assume there are purchasable items made just for this purpose. I'm also seeking suggestions for do-it-yourself solutions.

    I also need to figure out what wall I'll possibly use, but I realize you can't help me with that!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member katiescraftshop's Avatar
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    Flannel is a great do-it yourself way. Then you can put it up and take it down as needed.

  3. #3
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    How does the flannel work?

    Do quilt pieces stick to it? Do you pin it? Can you tell I'm completely NEW at this concept?

    Will a flannel sheet work? Or does it need to be heavier?

    Thanks!

    -- Jillaine

  4. #4
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    I use an old white flannel sheet that was one of my mil's.

    I sew in my bedroom so I use clothes pins to pin it to the decorative front of my double closet sliding doors.

    Someone else I know uses tacks and pins hers where the ceiling and walls meet, and then takes it down when she doesn't need it. That way she doesn't have pin holes in the walls, and she can maximize the whole wall, floor to ceiling.

  5. #5
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I've tried all kinds, including those mentioned above. I don't have a wall large enough (without furniture in front of it) to hang anything. DH got some 2" thick foam insulation board from Lowes. It was 2 foot wide by 8 foot tall. He cut off 2 feet so it's now 2 x 6 foot. I have four panels. He duct taped them together....he alternated the taping - taping the first two panels on the front and the next two on the back. He duct taped around to protect all edges. Then we taped cheap batting on the front......It can fold up and be stashed in a closet.

  6. #6
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I bought a 4x8 sheet of foam insulation and covered it with felt because it was cheap, some blocks will stay on their own, some need a pin

  7. #7
    Super Member OneMoreQuilt's Avatar
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    My sister and I made portable "walls" that we can bring to each other's houses when working together.

    We used the tri-fold display boards (the kind students use for science fair projects) and covered them with flannel. We cut the flannel several inches larger than the board so we could wrap it around the edges and used a hot glue gun to glue it to the back.

    This can be closed flat for storage and can be closed with a WIP inside and moved from place to place without disturbing your work.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    I bought a 4x8 sheet of foam insulation and covered it with felt because it was cheap, some blocks will stay on their own, some need a pin
    Ooh, that's a good idea. I don't have space for a design wall right now, but I plan to have one when I find a new flat. Most of the time I'm using freezer paper templates (I use the Ruth McDowell method), so the pieces won't stick to a standard design wall that's a sheet or what have you, they need to be pinned. (I have one 22" x 26" wall hanging whose size was determined by the largest cork noticeboard I could find, which is all I have at the moment.) Putting felt/flannel/whatever is cheapest that fabric will stick to on top of foam insulation sounds like the best of both worlds. I'd been thinking of cork, which would be rather expensive, although on the plus side the sound insulation may be useful.

  9. #9
    sewTinker's Avatar
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    I have a vinyl tablecloth hung backwards against the wall with the flannel side facing outward. I've been using the same one for 12 years. lol... It's a red checkerboard and the checks show through a bit which is really rather helpful and provides a faint grid. But that was serendipitous. My husband painted a narrow board (white) and screwed it (or nailed it? not sure) across the top of the tablecloth to hold it steady.

  10. #10
    Senior Member darlin121's Avatar
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    Lots of great ideas here!
    My DH used some extra sound insulation panels 1/2" to make my design wall. They are coverd in a mauve fabric to make them look nice and I use pins to hold everything on.

  11. #11
    Super Member Lv2sew2011's Avatar
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    I was thinking using the insulation panels, glad someone posted that will work, hubby suppose to clear out the extra spare room today, still waiting (LOL)..
    Once he does this, I'm ripping up carpet then painting, then off to lowes for tiles...

  12. #12
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    I'm rather frugal so when I decided to make a design wall I began looking around at what I have. Remembered getting our king size mattress in a heavy cardboard box so I cut the top and bottom off the side pieces, glued them together and bought what I needed in flannel and covered the whole thing stapling it on the back side. Made a wonderful design wall and it leans at a very slight angle so I very seldom have to pin. Right now I have two projects on it. Have made smaller design pannels from cardboard and I carry them around with me. Can't do without them. From cheapo in MD, happy quilting.

  13. #13
    Super Member BeeNana's Avatar
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    I covered foam board.
    It is light but not big enough.
    Thanks for all the great ideas.

  14. #14
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Use the SEARCH at the top of the QB and you will find a lot of good information on how others have done this.

    You'll love the search function.

    ali

  15. #15
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    This is what I use. It's pinned to the wall (house is for sale and I'm hoping I can just paint over the pin holes) and wide enough for a 50" quilt. The table cloths come in all different sizes and work well.
    Quote Originally Posted by sewTinker
    I have a vinyl tablecloth hung backwards against the wall with the flannel side facing outward. I've been using the same one for 12 years. lol... It's a red checkerboard and the checks show through a bit which is really rather helpful and provides a faint grid. But that was serendipitous. My husband painted a narrow board (white) and screwed it (or nailed it? not sure) across the top of the tablecloth to hold it steady.

  16. #16
    Senior Member SittingPretty's Avatar
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    I pinned an old tablecloth with the flannel side out to the wall behind the door of my sewing room. Wish it was a little wider, but it serves the purpose well. I, also, covered a large piece of foamcore board with flannel and use it as a portable one or just for small projects. I can usually just press my quilt pieces to the tablecloth flannel on the wall with my hand and they stay there. If I'm hanging rows of blocks, I sometimes have to use a pin to keep them up. A design wall of any kind really helps to be able to step back and get a better idea of the whole picture.

  17. #17
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I put a piece of sticky back Velcro near the ceiling of an unused wall in my family room. I sewed the other half to a piece of cream colored fleece, so my wall is 8 feet high and 5 feet wide. Easily removable and, so far, no guests have noticed the white strip at the ceoiling. The Velcro came packaged like that - one side stick on and one side sew on. The fleece is very grabby as far as holding blocks and sewn together strips. I had to pin a whole quilt.

  18. #18
    Super Member natalieg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jillaine
    I've never used a design wall before, but am thinking I really should. (Evidence: I jump into piecing what I'm certain will be great combinations, sew them together, then... well, not so great...)

    What do you use? I assume there are purchasable items made just for this purpose. I'm also seeking suggestions for do-it-yourself solutions.

    I also need to figure out what wall I'll possibly use, but I realize you can't help me with that!

    Here's what my hubby and I made for me!
    It cost us just under $20!

    Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images


  19. #19
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    I purchased a design wall, not the free standing type but one you can put onto nails on the wall that has grommets in it(I have a wall hanging that goes there when I'm not using the design wall). I think Connecting Threads has the Fons and Porter one on sale this week. I did have one that stuck to the wall itself, but when I left it on for quite some time, it left a residue on the wall. I wouldn't recommend that one. I do have plastic tablecloths that I take to class and can be folded after class to bring home with the design still on the tablecloth. They work well. I also took a photo album (on sale), removed the inside, and covered with felt. I can take this with me as it's small but opens up to a decent size. I saw a binder with a cover from some school at the discount store for one dollar. This could easily be made into a portable one by covering in flannel.

  20. #20
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    My DH made one for my studio from foam insulation boards from home depot. 2 panels will give you 48" x 72" board, which I covered with craft flannel I bought at Joann' s. I've had it now for 10 years, works great. I use the floral T pins to hold heavy quilts, & regular pins for blocks.

    It was probably about $50. To make

  21. #21
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    I have one of those cardboard cutting mats that I didn't use. I "repurposed" it by stapling flannel to one side. It's big enough that I can lay out a lot of block pieces (or blocks) and I can fold it up and stash it when I'm not using it.

  22. #22
    Super Member OmaForFour's Avatar
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    A teacher just recommended to me to get 3 yards of flannel backed vinyl and the stuff that when you hang something (it looks somewhat like putty), you just stretch it to get it back off the wall. (No pins, nails, frames).

  23. #23
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    I think a large plastic tablecloth with flannel back will be less expensive. Some can even be found in a discount store.

  24. #24
    Super Member OmaForFour's Avatar
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    Mardens has the flannel backed vinyl for $1.99/yd. I am not sure but it may be wider than the tablecloth. Also, since she recommended 3 yards to make sure you have enough for any size quilt (fold back what is not being used), I think this would be better than having to seam a couple of table cloths together. At this price, it might come about about the same unless you find them on sale for about $1. I had mentioned the tablecloths to her and that is when she told me about the vinyl. I saw her piece of vinyl and it is very sturdy. I think it would hold up better than the tablecloths also. I do agree, though, that tablecloths are another way of doing this.
    I am in a class with this teacher for OBW and it is fabulous. That is why I need to get the vinyl.

    Quote Originally Posted by cindyg19
    I think a large plastic tablecloth with flannel back will be less expensive. Some can even be found in a discount store.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Kathi in PA's Avatar
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    My design wall is a large piece of white felt stapled to a thin board that is screwed into the wall in my sewing/quilting room. It cost me about $10.00 and it works great! If i need to move my blocks around i just remove and reposition!!

    Kathi in PA

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