In my post of earlier today, I mentioned something about the design wall in my quilt room. In the comments section, Katie of Katidids asked me to describe it in more detail because she's a quilter, too, and has been wanting to create one for her own use.
A design wall, sometimes called a flannel wall or flannel board, is an upright surface on which you can place combinations of fabrics for auditioning, the individual pieces of a quilt block you are working on or the blocks of a quilt before sewing them together. It enables you to "step back from your work" and get a good idea of how your color scheme is working or how you might want to change the pattern of how blocks are arranged.
To make a simple design wall, you can pin or tack a large piece of flannel or felt or low-loft batting to a flat wall surface. Even the back of a door would work. Your fabric pieces or strips of a quilt will easily adhere to the surface without the use of pins.
Before I had my quilt room, I covered a 4' x 8' sheet of rigid Styrofoam insulation with a large piece of white flannel and leaned that up against the wall near where I was quilting.
When I was designing my quilt room, I knew I wanted as much space for a design wall as possible. I even gave up wall space that could have been used for storage (you can NEVER have enough storage in a quilting or sewing room, can you?) for my two design walls.
These pictures are taken from a post I did a few years ago giving a tour of my quilt room. If you're interested in seeing that post, click here.
This is the smaller area (to the right of the window) I use primarily for holding projects that I need to, for instance, look at and think about before going any farther on them.
To the right and around the corner is a large area and the main area I use, especially while constructing a full size quilt. It's big enough to hold all the blocks of a big quilt so I can keep track of their proper arrangement while I'm sewing them together.
When we constructed the quilt room, we made the walls out of (very economically priced) fiber board. Over this I put white flannel, floor to ceiling, in the areas I wanted as design walls. If I need to use straight pins to secure anything on the wall, the fiber board is porous enough to accept and hold the pins much as the cork of a bulletin board would.
I'd truly feel handicapped if I had to quilt without my design walls. They're in constant use and I'm a better quilter by having them to use.
Hope this gives you some ideas to work from, Katie!
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