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Friday, October 26, 2012

Design Wall Space?

Do you have a space for a design wall in your sewing area?  I’ve never really had a large design wall…what I’ve got now is just the space behind my quilting studio door.

It’s been sufficient….but I admit when I get to needing to lay out a BIG quilt…it becomes a “move the furniture out of the way and lay the blocks down on the floor” kind of activity.

With the basement re-do, this is the perfect opportunity for me to rethink things ----

I have stairs that come down from the kitchen to the basement.  The door to the sewing studio is off to the right of the stairs, the “other” side of the basement, to the left ((Where I'm standing and taking this picture))– is where the fabric storage cabinets, my table with the accuquilt studio cutter and everything else is.

At the bottom of the stairs along this wall was where I had my old Davis Treadle machine ---non functional because I’ve never got it up and working, and Davis needles/parts are harder to come by ---so it is mostly a “decorative” piece in a parlor style cabinet.  I liked how it looked, but it took up space.

((I should have taken a picture of the before!!))

But now that we’ve moved everything, and I’ve removed all the decorative stuff from the wall, I realize what a great space this is for a design wall.

studio 041

This is the wall from the Sewing Studio door ---

What I’m thinking NOW is --- before the baseboard goes back up….do I run BACK to Lowes and get some foam insulation board, cover it with batting, and make myself the design wall space I’ve always wanted?  If so, the time to do it is now…

Yes, it is “outside” of the quilting room…..but JUST.   And I will get good perspective on how blocks are laid by looking at them from the top of the stairs that come down from the kitchen.

I’m leaning towards it!  This girl is getting too old to want to crawl around on the floor for huge quilts!

studio 040

This picture was taken this morning about 8am off the upper deck.  Our leaves are falling so quickly now ---a couple windy days and there will be no more leaves left on the trees.  I hate to see the color go.  It’s been such a beautiful fall ----but temps are dropping, storms are coming and it is time to move on into the next season…COLD!

Off to the Post Office to mail a load of books.  This afternoon?  I’m loading the Cheddar Bow-Ties into the machine.  The binding is ON the mystery quilt, and I need to add a hanging sleeve next so I can bind the upper edge in place with the binding and just have the lower edge to blind stitch to the quilt back.  Label corner is also on!

It’s getting exciting around here with all of these long term projects reaching completion one right after the other!

65 comments:

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I would do the design wall if it was up to me - I do not have a space for it and have to get my wobbly portable design wall out whenever I start to put a good size quilt together and then it doesn't fit a queen size at all as it is only 74 x 74? But it is your wall :)

Jan said...

Have your design wall - you will never regret it! For years, I would crawl on the floor, too. Now that there is a design wall in my sewing room, I wouldn't want to part with it. It's nice for smaller projects, too.

Sue's Stitchin' said...

That's a perfect spot for the design wall. I did the same thing with 2 sheets of the insulation board and covered it with cheap white flannel. Just pieced 3 lengths, then wrapped around the edges and duct taped it to the back. It fits snugly between ceiling and floor, so it doesn't need any kind of fasteners. Go for it - and don't look back. You'll never regret it!! Sue K

Krista said...

That sounds like a great idea! The only concern I would have is, if that hallway is narrow, you will end up knocking blocks off the wall when you walk past. So make sure you put up something you can stick pins into, to keep the blocks up.

Teresa in Music City said...

Absolutely do the design wall!!! I couldn't live without mine! And your wall would actually be in the perfect place for you to see it every time you go up and down the stairs. I have my sewing studio upstairs in my bonus room, but the lighting is only good on one side where the window is. So sometimes I set up my design wall boards downstairs where I get better lighting. I realized one day that glancing at the quilt as I come and go doing other things really gives me a better perspective than staring at it purposefully. Kind of like getting a camera shot. I don't know why - maybe the subconscious sees things in that quick moment and because I'm not concentrating on it so hard, that thought is allowed to pop up and make itself known?

Linda H said...

Go for it Bonnie. You WILL NOT regret it. I have an 8'x 8' design wall of just what you described - 2" thick foam board covered with thin poly batt. It's the best thing I did in my studio!! It's SO much easier to really get a good perspective on a large quilt when you can stand back and look at it "straight on" rather than peering down at the floor. DO IT!! You deserve it Bonnie!!

Becky G said...

Yep, i have a design wall, but can't keep anything on it as my cat, Charlie Brown (as in the '50's song... "He walks in the classroom, smooth 'n slow, who calls the English teacher Daddy-i-o? He's a clown..." ) at any rate, Charlie Brown thinks it is his own Kitty jungle jim... He climbs it, pulls everything off & thinks he is king of the mountain! Enjoying watching your home improvement project progress.
Don't forget to let us know when you find your lost embroidered square from last night's quiltcam... I really thought you'd find it in the triangle jar, or over near where your wild goosey blocks had been.

Enjoy your weekend! Fondly, b

memckee2 said...

Get up off the floor and DO IT! your knees will thank you. Your back will thank you. Your floor will thank you!
On another subject - did I miss the details on the August retreat? It is my birthday weekend and I really want to come. memckee2@comcast.net

Bev Tekben said...

Go for it!! Great space for your quilts.

Jackie said...

Love the idea! Looks like good lighting too!!! Wish I had the room!

Faith Kayajian said...

That gives me a wonderful idea also - I would need to move a bookcase but it may be worth it in the end. Design wall would be going up if I were you!

Granny Stitch said...

Design wall for sure! The floor is no place for knees of any age and I don't know about you but I have always found it hard to move the blocks around that aren't where I want them.....especially in a large quilt. Seems it's always the one in the middle I don't like the position of. Having a design wall is the only answer. Go for it girl!

Jaci Emerson said...

I love my design wall!!! Go for it!

Sarah said...

I say go for the design wall. Do you really need the foam core board tho? I just have something similar to batting on the wall. Everything sticks and if it doesn't, I just add a couple of pins to hold it up.

diegoagogo said...

GO the Wall!!! Your knees will thank you for it & you will never look back. Think of how lovely an ever changing quilt will look in that spot.
I have one planned for my new house. Won't be very big but better than nothing.

Joen Perkins said...

I agree with everyone, do design wall. I have a large room but built in cabinets everywhere.. great for storage but no design wall. I am trying to think what to do to solve the prob. Nothing comes to me. lol Hope my book order is one you sent out today........I could get it next week.. I am so excited. Cold and rainy in Longview today.

The Calico Quilter said...

Definitely put up your design wall! I am still using a "design floor" for large quilt and yes, I'm getting too old for it. Your knees and back will thank you. What a luxury to have an entire blank wall to work on - I have only a 40" x 60" board for small projects.

CindyB said...

Get enough insulation foam boards 8 x 4 to cover the whole wall. I use mine to hang everything fabric related. It's hard to forget/lose blocks when they are at eye level. I used felt to cover mine. My cat loves it. One corner is his. LOL. And if you use the foam boards you can staple it with craft stapler to the walls and it will not leave awful holes and is easy to remove.

Sharon said...

YES to the design wall, Go get the foam boards and make it happen! Love the nature shot, we are loosing all our leaves but we really have had a beautiful autumn here in the NW.

Ana said...

At the retreat Center where I go every wall in the sewing room is a design wall, we love it! They used the insulation board covered in flannel. You definately need a design wall.

Irene Onderweegs said...

Yeah! It's the perfect space for it!
Enough room to stand back and admire what you've been doing!
My design wall will be a room divider, folded in three, design space approx 84 x 84 inch! Still figuring out how to construct it as I want to be able to take it apart as well. When I think up a workable design, I'll be very willing to share it. Over here there are no walls big enough as I work in the attic, just great to store stuff, but no wall space at all.
Love from a starry Amsterdam, Irene

gail.designs said...

Bonnie:
Just a thought, I have four flannel top sheets (queen size: 2 whites and 2 tans) I bought at the end of the season last year. I put round metal grommets every 6 inches across the top of each sheet and cup hooks on the wall at 6 inch intervals. I just put my design walls up and take them down whenever I get a wild notion to work on another quilt. When I want to put a quilt in progress away, I roll up the design wall around a cardboard tube and just hang another design wall (sheet). No pins needed if you get the really thick and cotton flannel. Using sheets, are already hemmed and someone I know used buttonholes instead of grommetts. Just sayin (as Mickey says). Have a great day.
Gail in Verona, VA

Cynthia in urban Oregon said...

Design wall YES! Good luck with Frankenstorm....

Cynthia in urban Oregon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cathy T said...

I like the location for a design wall. I can see myself sitting on the stairs and making decisions as well as walking by it all the time..

Oh My, Jan! said...

I'm a little late...spose you already have that 'design wall' up! What a perfect spot!

Kathy said...

The design wall sounds like a good idea to me. Wish I had a wall to use. Our walls are so chopped up.

Sandra Henderson said...

When we had to get a new roof a few years back , I convinced my husband to add on a room for my sewing studio. THAT Is what I did for a design wall and LOVED IT! If I were you, I'd do just that!
That foam insulation board with quilt batting will last a long time and you can pin into it. The blocks stick very well!~
Since moving, i don't have the wall space, so I got the pull down one, Vanishing Design Wall, and it works fine for me now.
However, I sure do miss mine. I would do that Bonnie!!!!~

Becky Clay said...

Hey Bonmie, my design wall is the wall that I first see coming downstairs also and it helps getting that perspective on it as well as across the basement! Go for it girlie! You will LOVE it!

Karen said...

design wall: perfect spot because it's large enough, not being in the sewing room won't be a problem,go for it!
K.

NeverBored said...

Go for it! I'm all for using every inch of space in our house for function. I have 2 insulation boards covered with Warm and Natural batting for my design wall...although mine function kind of like a patio door, covering up my fabric shelves that are in a recessed area of my sewing room. I can easily slide the boards back and forth to get at my fabric and the design boards protect my fabric from fading. One thing I would do differently is to cover the boards with flannel rather than the batting. The batting fuzzes and leaves batting lint on my dark fabrics. The next time I see 60" chamois or "loggers flannel" on sale at my fabric store I'm going to cover over the batting.

I agree with Cathy T...I can see the stairs as a nice place to sit and contemplate what's on the design wall, too.

Elley Zakula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicky K said...

Having the design wall just out of your studio is still closer than Upatairs on the living room floor, won't need to be removed for the family and is a good size.
Just a question - What is the space behind/in front of your long arm? You had a quilt hanging there on one of the quilt cams. I thought that was your design wall.
Have fun finishing the rents.
Vicky K

Faye said...

At Quilt-a-Rama I put up some white flannel for a design wall which worked pretty well for displaying individual blocks. But as the blocks got put together, they became heavier and required pinning to remain on the design wall. I heard of someone using the flannel backing of a plastic table cloth, so I purchased one for $4 and hung that on another wall. Believe it or not, that plastic table cloth backing will hold a FINISHED twin size quilt on the wall. Finished as in quilted ready for the binding finished!!! I could not believe how well it held. I am looking for another table cloth! lol
Do the design wall, Bonnie, your knees will thank you and so will your perspective when viewing those lovely quilts.
Faye in Maine

Angie said...

If I had to pick just one important thing regarding sewing or quilting, it would a Design Wall! I have one. 8' x 9', and if I could have more design wall space(s). I would! Do it Bonnie!

SweetAmbrosia said...

PERFECT PLACE for your design wall! Bonnie, I had not had one until we moved into this house.

Because the door to the room, opens against the right wall, a sort of pathway forms. BUT while I can't put furntiure there, it the wall that has become my design wall.

WHAT A BLESSING! The oddest part is being able to put blocks on it before sewing them together in rows etc. is that I have found (2 different occasions and quilts) blocks with flaws too obvious to avoid BEFORE piecing everything together. That is a wonderul reason to have a design wall.

I like leaving the entire quilt or blocks up on the wall for several days. This way you see it often and on different days etc .. making it easier to SEE mistakes, as well as plan better.

HAVE FUN!
JulieinTN

Eileen said...

YESm you need that design wall. Don't see how you have gotten along without one. That looks like a perfect spot.. Go for it.

Chris H said...

I say GO FOR IT!!! It is the perfect space.

debhaupt said...

It's a definite yes for the design wall..... I don't know what I would do without one...

Genevieve said...

Do the design wall! You will be so happy you did. In the current house we live in there is not room in the sewing area for my design wall. Guess where I have my design wall...In the bedroom. It is the only place in the house that has a wall big enough to have one. This house has a tone of windows or they are oddly placed...lol. Make your design wall. Having mine in the other room makes me get up often to go back and forth to it...a win win situation for me. Sorry wrote a book...teehee:)

Mary said...

I used "sound board" it is more giving than the Insulation board. Flannel on it and stapled then screwed into the wall. Caution: drill your holes in before the screws to avoid fabric twisting.

Tami C said...

Most definitely do the design wall! Save your knees Bonnie! Do you have enough light there? I too would be sitting on the stairs gazing at the layout! Love the picture you took off the upper deck. It reminds me of my father's place in Ohio. I always loved the beautiful colors in the fall!

Andee said...

I have been using a plastic/flannel backed tablecloth for a design wall for almost four years. It has worked great! Recently found a "design wall" new in package at a yard sale for 2 bucks. That is going up this weekend. You will wonder how you ever got on without one!

pdudgeon said...

yes, definitely do the design wall!!
when slogging thru endless blocks it will be an encouragement for you to 'take a pinning break' get up from the machine, and go out to put up more blocks on the wall. That's also a good time for stretching the kinks out and exploring different block setting ideas too. here's to a new quilting wall and even more creativity!

Mary Ellen said...

The flannel sheet idea is a good one until I realized what someone else mentioned about walking past and knocking things off. So the foam insulation board sounds best. I have not heard of cats climbing on them, but cats are attracted to the strangest things. Lets just hope yours are not attracted to it. Don't worry about holes in the drywall. You are not going to ever want to take the design wall down once you see what a great thing it it. Anyway, it's easy to fill in holes in drywall. Go for it. Waiting to see the pictures.

Tonya Ricucci said...

do it! then hope Emmy Lou doesn't like to jump up and knock the blocks down. or climb it...

Kim said...

I have two insulation boards 4' x 8' covered with batting side by side. It is wonderful to have and I say go for it! Hopefully like Tonya says the cats won't use it for climbing :0)

Happy Sewing

Lynn Dykstra said...

Best design wall idea I've seen was at my friend Leslie's studio.
She had a large wall mirror on the wall opposite her design wall.
She would stand in front of her design wall, place blocks, then look over her shoulder for a view of the quilt from a distance.

JessiBerry said...

I'd say do it! Instead of using batting (save it for a quilt) get some cheap fleece blankets. I have those hanging on my design wall via push pins (safe? probably not), the fabric sticks to it the same. Granted you can't wrap around... But design walls are so nice to have!

Ed Chamness said...

That looks like a great space. Looks like you could get a good look at a whole large quilt. Wouldn't do for show/contest entry photos, but would sure be better than putting stuff down on the floor, particularly if you are auditioning positions.
We currently have 2, 4x8 plywood sheets covered with flannel sheeting...works, but could be better. The wood is heavy. It is in font on part of our wall of bookcases. Have been thinking of replacing it with the thick foan insulation board that is covered in Tyvek...no crumbling...and then put flannel over it...eliminates pins (sometimes. Right now you can't get far enough away to get a "distance view" of anything big,but that is because of my clutter...Right now the folding doors of the foyer closet are serving as a design wall for a project that is waiting to move me to complete it...
--ed
--ed

beaquilter said...

looks like a great design wall, do you have enough space to be able to stand back and look straight at it and even take a picture?
I have a good size design wall, it was a screen for a home theater, but our projector broke and now TVs are BIG and cheap so we never bought another projector, so I stapled batting around it- hubby made the frame with the screen a while back. it's kind of an awkward size, wide and short I guess, but I'm short too so it's fine for me... pics of it on my blog if you want to look :-)

Colleen said...

I say yes! SOmetimes I wish I had one out side my space. So when you look at it it is always with new eyes. Also how cool to sit on the stairs or view it form higher angles!

Micki Clemens said...

Looks like the "ayes" have it Bonnie! You really won't be sorry. Your knees do wear out! Micki

Mary Ellen said...

Another thought. You can make a portable design wall from the foam insulation panels. Using duct tape (yet another use for it), tape the panels together along a lengthwise edge on one side only. This makes a flexible, bendable connection - tape hinge, if you will. This allows you to fold and move the panels. I got this idea from the construction guys who remodeled our house. They made faux walls from the insulation panels to separate the construction zone from the rest of the house, complete with a door hinged with duct tape.

Janet O. said...

I haven't taken the time to read ALL of the comments, but I want to say--go for it! We put up my design wall last year. I LOVE IT. We did the two panels of foam core board with the king size batting stretched across it. I tucked the batting behind the board and secured it down the sides of the board with T-pins. I like having the foam core board because when I am working with a heavy top with lots of seams (you know--those Bonnie Hunter patterns) I can pin it up easily and measure for borders without it falling off the wall. An amazing quilter, designer, teacher like you NEEDS a design wall of her very own! Just my two cents worth. : )

Anita said...

I'm sure you already decided by now on what to do, but I would totally buy the insulation board and make portable design walls. That way they can stay there all the time, but you can move them if you need to. Good luck, can't wait to see what you do :)

Connie (CJ) Griffin said...

Seems that the consensus is to go with design wall...and I concur!! I don't have a tall wall (it's only 5') but I adore having the space I have. You will too.

Enjoy!

Connie - Boise, ID

Ellsie320 said...

DH framed a 4x8 sheet of poly-styrene (found in Lowes/Home Depot). I covered it with a large piece of white felt. It is lightweight, and has a frame around it. Works great, takes pins, and is available if I haven't covered it with ideas from magazines, shop hours/locations, partial blocks.....

Angela said...

I made my design wall with two 4x8 sheets of foil backed insulation board. I used beige flannel yardage and spray glue. We taped the flannel around the sides onto the back with duct tape. Also, taped the two pieces together on the foil back. I have the wall in the guest room and didn't want to nail or drill. We used 4 large command hooks along the baseboard to support it and keep it off the floor. I used other smaller command Velcro picture hangers to keep the top and sides tight to the wall. Blocks stick to the flannel, but I use some pins to spray baste quilts. You will love having a design wall.

snausages22 said...

JUST DO IT!!! ;-)
You have to have a design wall, and that space is perfect!!!!!
Thank you so much for your daily quips...they cheer me up immensely.
HUGGS,
Jacqueline

Margy T said...

Go for it! It's a great place to leave blocks up then every time you go up and down the stairs you'll get a "new" look at whatever quilt is in progress. That's when the best decisions are made - from those "new looks"
I wish I had a space near my sewing studio. My design wall is on a wall in the basement too . .. but my studio is in the loft - 2 floors up!

My Life In Quilts said...

What a wonderful wall for design! The lighting looks good too!
I have very little wall space in my whole house because it is an open room plan with the wood stove in the middle of the kitchen, living and dining space. But in my sewing room the wall above my machine was the perfect spot to put the backside of a flannel backed table cloth. Right now I have only used the wall above the sewing machine, but I am planning on opening up the table cloth down to the baseboard so I can do big quilts on the wall after pulling my machine away. I'm with you! Crawling on the floor is not my favorite thing to do.

Paula, the quilter said...

I use quilt batting instead of flannel on my design wall. And then occasionally run a tape roller over it to pick up stray threads.

Misha said...

Important feature to look for in the foam for the wall: get the stuff that is really dense! Like the pink or the purple colored foam boards. Do NOT get the white stuff that looks like styrofoam, it will break apart faster as you put pins in it.

I covered my wall with the foam first (screwed to the wall) and then medium grey colored poly felt. I like the medium grey because the stray/leftover threads show a little less than they do against white, and it is a nice neutral. I thought the felt might stretch less than flannel over time, but I don't know that for certain. The felt is held to the foam with U shaped pins (actually they're more |_| shaped but I don't know of a character that looks like that, LOL)

Nann said...

Do you need to bother with foamcore? I just tacked batting to the wall. When the batting got too thready (it took about 5 years) I turned it to the other side. You can see it in the background of the Bear Paw quilt. http://withstringsattached.blogspot.com/2012/10/dwm-weekend-and-bear-paw.html