I have lived without a design wall for quilting for the past six years. And I have missed it! I think that having a place to try out designs and leave them there, vastly improves the design experience. But, as I mentioned in my last podcast, ever since we built a loft over the dining room (aka sewing room), I lost the space where my design wall once lived.
I had heard from Frances, over at the Off-Kilter Quilt, that she had made a “portable” design wall from insulation board from the hardware store. So, I finally decided to give it a try. And I took a few pictures as I tackled this very easy project. (I apologize for the quality of these photos, It was a rainy day and there is just no way to get a good angle on this thing!
At Home Depot, there was only one type of insulation board that fit my criteria of being rigid and lightweight. It comes in an 8′ x 4′ sheet and cost about $20. But this one had a dented area and they knocked $10 off the price! I had them cut it to 7′ x 4′, so that I could slip it behind my china cabinet when I’m not using it.
Once I got it home, I cut a piece of batting a little bigger than than the board so that I could wrap it around and secure it on the back. I used Warm and Natural batting, (affiliate link) which is my favorite (and I also happen to have a big roll of it). I have heard that flannel also works well.
I was going to use a staple gun to secure the batting to the back of the board, but we were out of staples! Not to be deterred, I just duct taped it to the back side.
And that’s it! I now have it propped up against my china cabinet. (Which as it turns out, needs to be moved away from the wall a bit before I can actually slide this behind it and out of the way. This has not been done yet, because the china cabinet is HEAVY!) Anyway, I’ve almost completed two quilt tops since I made this, because it is so nice to lay things out and be inspired to sew whenever I walk through this room (which is all the time).
So, if you have been thinking that you don’t have room for a design wall, then I encourage you to try out this rather low-tech solution. You could even have them cut the insulation board into two 4′ x 4′ pieces and “hinge” them together with duct tape for an even more portable solution.
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