Build a Quilt Design Wall

Using a quilt design wall solves the logistics of trying to visualize how your patchwork quilt patterns will look before sewing.

It literally eases all your troubles of arranging the quilt block patterns in an appealing way.

If you are a visual person, then using a fuzzy base wall tends to spur you on with confidence.

Design Wall

It helps to audition individual fabrics side by side to get the color mix just right.

A design wall is an instantaneous stick and peel technique that provides many of those magical moments or aha moments.

With the quick release, you can move pieces around, until the combination is perfect.

If you are using tone on tone (two like background colors) the wall will help keep tract of where you are in the assembly process.

No more crawling on the hard floor or breaking your back trying to keep your blocks from shifting around.

Let us step you through the process of making a design wall by using our Free Design Wall Mini Book!

Quilt Design Walls Can Be Semi-Permanent

Quilt Design Wall

What does a semi-permanent quilt design wall mean? Simply put, it will not be attached to lean it against any wall or a large piece of furniture that will give it good support while in use.

For a semi-permanent free standing Design Wall build a frame using furring boards from the local lumber store;
cut two 8' long and two 9'long. Just a word of caution, be aware of how high your ceilings are when deciding on the length of furring boards.

A design wall gives you an overall view of the individual pieces as you shuffle the shapes to create a good layout when making a scrappy quilt so your size should be at least a 6 foot by 7 foot.

Quilt Design Wall

After you connect the top/bottom furring strips to the two sides with wood screws be sure and reinforce the corners with a gusset to stabilize the frame.

This becomes important for a semi-permanent design wall when you are moving the frame around alot.

This is a very doable project for all of us and I don't think you will be sorry you made one. It is a valuable piece of sewing room furniture to have. I use mine all the time!

Quilt Design Walls Can Be Permanent

Now let's talk a bit about a permanent quilt design wall. It is just that...permanently attached to one of your walls.

My living space does not allow me to permanently install something to one of my walls but for those of you that have this luxury this might be your kind of quilt design wall.

When you decide which wall will be the perfect stop in your room, make sure you have a minimum of eight feet to stand back and view.

Buy two pieces of 4'x 8' stiff foam insulation which can be found at your local building supply store.

There is something called Building board which is also 4'x8' and could be a second option. This is found at your local building supply store also.

You might use foam core presentation board found at a stationery store. Since foam core board comes in smaller pieces, it is more suited for a portable desk top design wall that you would carry to a class or for use when making wall hangings or baby quilts.

If any of these three options intrigues you, then you might want to go shopping to price all materials . Often price is the deciding factor.

Design Walls Must Have a Fuzzy Surface

The object here is to find a surface that allows your quilting pieces to cling when pressed in place.
Purchase flannel-backed vinyl by the yard at a fabric store but make sure it is wide enough to cover your frame.

A picnic tablecloth will work too, provided it is large enough.

Look for a flat flannel queen size bed sheet at a department store (double check to make sure queen size is large enough. You might find flannel sheets at outlet stores which makes it even more attractive.

100 percent cotton batting is a good source too.  Make sure you get queen or king size.

No matter the choice, make sure the flannel side of anything you buy is fuzzy flannel and not low nap.

Try to get anything you buy large enough so that you do not have to seam it. Not good!

If you chose the flannel bed sheet or the cotton batting buy enough for double layer as you will need double thickness for either of these.

Design Walls Are Easy to Make

It is important to be able to position your quilt block patterns or your patchwork quilt patterns or your scrapy quilt in straight lines.

That is why you will need to draw a grid on the fuzzy surface in order to be able to lay your design out in a manner that will have accurate 45 degree angles.

Use a yard stick and a permanent marking pen such as a Sharpie to draw your grid. Once the grid lines are drawn on the top piece of fabric, if you have a double thickness, baste using a sewing machine.

The basting will reinforce the grid markings and will hold the layers together.

Design Walls and Duck Tape or Staples

Quilt Design Wall

If using either stiff foam insulation, building board, or foam core presentation board prepare to wrap your flannel over the top of your frame and use duck tape to hold in place.
Secure your covered frame to the wall with screws for a permanent quilt design wall.

If you chose to go with a stand alone frame which is what you are looking at in this picture, simply stretch the flannel over  the frame and attach with a staple gun.

Place your toe under the frame; use both hands to steady frame; raise your leg and move frame up the wall; place frame over the hooks at ceiling level.

Since this is a semi-permanent frame you do not have to secure it to the wall. The frame will be stable and ridged enough to lean against any wall, cabinet or table and light enough to move on demand. This one is nearly weightless--less than 5 pounds.

Presto! you have a quilt design wall that is portable.

Creative Gifts by You has more Ideas and instructions for making unique and tasteful gifts that are easy on the wallet and fun to do.


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