Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Design Board - Finally!

After almost a year without one, I finally have a new design board in the sewing room.  It isn't hard to make, but takes some planning and supply gathering.   Here it is at work yesterday with my Hot Flash blocks.  I am waiting for new fabric for the last block.

Supply List

2-3 sections of 1" foam house insulation (available at Home Depot or Lowe's)
Utility knife
Carpenters Ruler
Duct tape
Neutral Flannel - I ordered 100" wide flannel from eQuilter.com
Batting large enough to cover your sized board.
Hot glue gun
3" nails

Step 1:

Decide how wide and tall you want your board to be.  I needed to shorten mine as it came in 8ft lengths.  My board is 72" wide by 77" tall.

Lay your sections face down on the floor and push the tongue and groove sections together.  Duct tape the seams to secure them.

Lay your batting and flannel over the section and trim.  Batting should be about 2-4" larger and the Flannel 3-5" larger than the board section.

I invested the time in steam pressing the flannel.  I used a little "Best Press" light spray starch.  It turned out nice and smooth.

Now lay the flannel on the floor, then the batting being careful there are no stray threads or any between them.  Smooth everything out nicely.

Carefully center the board on top.

This is my favorite glue gun.  It is a cordless heavy duty one.  I've had it for years and it comes in handy for all sorts of projects.

Pull the flannel and batting around to the back and glue down.  When you've done one side, be sure and pull any  slack from the other side before glueing it.  Glue the center then the edges on the corners.  Don't sweat it too much as you won't see it when installed.

Here is the tricky part.  Installing it.  We had several false starts as you can see here.  At first we tried dry wall anchors.  We kept hitting studs and ruining the anchors.  We really boogered up the wall and ceiling and didn't we?

Coco is so over this whole thing.

Here is the finished board.  If you don't want to install it, you can lean it up against a wall, or slide it behind the door or store under a bed.

Using a stud finder, we nailed mine into studs with 3 inch carpenter nails.
Hooray!  Here you can see the side.  You can pin your layered pieces into the foam.

I installed mine at the top of the wall because of the outlets.  If I need to, I can pin blocks at the bottom.

I can not tell you how much I rely on my board for designing quilts, auditioning fabrics and taking photos.  I've added this as a page at the under my header for quick reference.

I am so happy to finally have mine up and ready!


Jan said...

I've been looking for an alternative to my temporary (and somewhat aggravating) design wall situation ~ this might be it! Thanks for sharing the details, Barb.

Sujata Shah said...

Great step by step instructions, Barb! I love my design wall! I don't know what I would do without it. We had little difficult time attaching it to the wall too but it all worked out in the end. I used microfiber fleece instead of flannel for my design wall. It holds fabric better than anything I had used earlier. Also, I was lazy and used the duct tape.

Your Hot Flash is just what I needed to see on such a grey day! It looks great!

Pat said...

Exciting red blocks you are doing! My own design wall is constructed as yours is - been up for 15+ years and cannot imagine my sewing room with out it. It gets a frequent once over with a sticky roller to remove stray threads.
Happy stitching!

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

I may have to try this looks simple enough I wonder if a few command strips would hold it to the wall, it can't be very heavy. I have used them on quilt hangers with success.

audrey said...

Wonderful to have a design wall again! I wish mine was larger, but no room for that.:)

Kyle said...

Thanks for the details. Now might be the time to get one made!

Diane said...

Yeah! Looks great and I know you are glad to have it even if Coco isn't impressed. :)

Rachaeldaisy said...

You must be so happy to have your wall up!! This is a great tutorial. I just pinned mine to the wall, your's looks much better! I can't work properly without my wall, it's amazing how different things look than if laid out on the floor. I just love those Hot Flush blocks!! The colours are so rich and bold.

Pinkadot Quilts said...

It looks great. I know what you mean it is hard to live without it!
The blocks are looking good and hot.

Janet O. said...

Oh, isn't it nice to have a design wall again? I finally got one 3 years ago and I wonder now how I ever quilted without it (I crawled around on the floor a lot!!).

Kindred Quilts said...

All that work certainly paid off... you have one terrific looking design wall!

Lori said...

I love mine, basically made the same way!

Anonymous said...

I can't agree more about a design wall. It's a simple project but makes quilt design and layout so much easier. I found a new joy for piecing again, and have complete 6 UFO since making my design boards. (All those UFO were completed blocks waiting to take the next step I just couldn't visualize in bits and pieces on the floor).

I used 2 4x8 foot 2 inch insulation boards wrapped in cotton batting. I have them stacked horizontally leaning against the wall. When I want to start a quilt layout, rather than get up on a chair, I stack the 1 board in front of the other. I layout the top half of the quilt, move the board up on the top of the other and finish the bottom. I get help for this step because it's bulky not because it's heavy. With the 2 inch foam board I pin straight into it when needed.

Do yourself a huge favor and make one, it makes all the difference in the design process!

Dixie Howard said...

Great tutorial - looking forward to the wonderful projects you post on your wall!

O'Quilts said...

Wonderful design wall...cannot live without one. And the hot flash blocks are awesome!!

Teresa Rawson said...

Yay! Now you are really moved into your new home, LOL! I am really enjoying my new design wall...makes all the difference in the world.

Cheryl said...

Great design board! May I pin it for future reference?

Karen said...

I would have to stand on a step stool to reach the top of your design board. I am short. But I do like your instructions.

Aunt 'Reen said...

What a terrific design wall!
They are so wonderful - every quilter should have one.

I love your Hot Flash blocks - look forward to seeing the finished quilt!

Beth said...

I have the insulation board now I just need to get it finished so I can use the darn thing. Thanks for the tutorial...maybe now I will get it done and up..
Love the hot flash blocks.

Dawn said...

Love your Hot Flash quilt. Getting the design wall installed is another step to getting all moved in! Congratulations.

OTquilter said...

Looking good, Barb. Thanks for the tute. It's true, a design wall is essential. Love those hot flash blocks!

Janet said...

That looks like a great design wall. I look forward to following along with all the projects that develop on it in the years to come :0) Your Hot Flashes is wild with color - always so fun to see projects grow and develop on your blog!

Anonymous said...

I've marked this! I've been saving a big wall in my quilt room to make myself one of these!

Thimbleanna said...

It looks great Barb! There's nothing like a good design wall. I have one of those flimsy portable one because I don't have a blank wall where I can put one. Therefore, I'm very envious of your masterpiece!!! ;-D

Ruth said...

I told DH that I really want a design wall when we move and I'm so glad you put up your tutorial! I have 2 small sections of flannel - one on a door and one behind the door. It doesn't work well at all except for doll quilts. I'm tired of having to lay a big quilt out on a bed and run back and forth as I'm putting the blocks together.

Kim said...

Oh your new design wall looks fabulous...now that you and DH have it down pat come install one for me :0)
My problem is I have a large room but no open wall due to slant ceilings, so I might have to do a leaning one.
I was also thinking about doing one like a standing screen with several panels or the stand 3 section screen.
What do you think of that idea?

Happy Sewing and enjoy your new wall :0)

OPQuilt said...

Great post. It's always interesting to see (and read about --in your comments) the way that everyone does their design walls. The how isn't as important as the DO. I love mine too, and totally agree that I would have a hard time quilting without mine!