Thursday, October 5, 2017

New Design Wall :: Super Sized

I've been wanting to increase the size of my design wall for a long time now.  The other day I decided to just do it!  Figure it out and go for it!

It doesn't look that big with this mammoth quilt on it, but trust me when I say it's twice the size as my previous design wall!



The first step was deciding what kind of wall and what materials to use.  There's the very popular foam insulation boards covered in flannel, flannel sheets, a large piece of batting and of course, pre-made walls.

Mine needed to be portable to some extent.  I need it to hang while designing, but I need to be able to take it down when I want to take photo's of a finished quilt.  My wall doubles as a design/photo wall.  I kicked around buying a big white piece of batting or flannel and in the end decided to stick with what has worked for me for all these years of quilting.  Flannel backed vinyl.

Another reason I went with the vinyl is because it's heavy.  The weight allows for it to hang nice, neat and straight.   



I knew Joann's carried what I needed, so I yoinked a 50% off coupon and went on an adventure!  The vinyl was 6.99 a yard, I needed 5 1/2 yards...50% off...less than $20 dollars for a super sized new design wall!  Here is the link to the vinyl I used:  54" Table Pad.



The first thing I did was fold the vinyl in half and line up the sides.  I cut on the fold and trimmed up the bottom.



Next was to make a hem for the board I was going to use.  Since we had the perfect boards already in our basement, I didn't have to make a trip to the lumber store!  That made me happy and my husband too!  The board I'm using is 1 1/2" x 1/4" thick.  It needs to be thick enough to drill a small hole in the edge for a hook & eye screw.  



Once I figured out the hem size to insert the wood, I folded the vinyl over and drew a line from edge to edge.  I drew the line on the vinyl side.  This made it easier to line it up for sewing.  



I stitched from edge to edge close to the edge and then added another line 1/4" from the first for added strength.

Next was turning up the charm and getting my husband to help!  I had him cut the boards to 54".  He didn't complain...really!



We inserted the board, measured 8" from each end for the hook & eye screw.  A quick hole was drilled (as always we had to wait for the drill battery to recharge!) and the screw was in!  One thing I've learned from my husband...always drill a hole first.  If you try and screw the screw in without it you could split the wood or screw it in crooked.  



Let's hang it up!!  We used a basic picture hanger (also on hand) for this step.  Truth time!  My husband drives me crazy sometimes.  He has to do things the right way, the perfect way...that's not a bad thing...but it drives me up a wall!  Plus, he tells me where the design wall should go!  Who's the quilter here?!  We made it through and placed both design walls up without yelling, killing or crying!  I honestly couldn't have done it without him and I'm very thankful that he knows what he's doing and is willing to help me out in these situations!

We butted the design walls up to each other to create one big one.  Together it is 108" wide by 90" high or 9' x 7 1/2'.  Yes, there is a line in the center where the two meet, but it isn't going to make a difference when I'm using it.

My first design wall was was very similar to this one.  Except from the two hook & eye screws I tied a ribbon from hook to hook and hung it on one picture hanger.  It tended to shift sideways as you can imagine, but it worked.  When my 'studio' was also my dining room, it worked well.  I could design on it and take it down when we needed to.  This new way is going to be so much better!  I can actually have several projects hanging at once!



What kind of design wall do you have?  There was a time when I didn't have a design wall and the floor was it...I can't imagine not having one these days!

LINKING:
TGIFF

20 comments :

  1. Thanks for sharing your great idea. I had not thought of flannel backed vinyl. I like the idea that it is heavy and will hang evenly.
    Cheers, Karen
    http://sunburntquilts.com.au/

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    1. For me, this kind of wall works best. The vinyl is substantial and I know it’ll hang well, that my blocks will stay put and that it is totally portable!

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  2. I usually use a flannel-backed tablecloth, ridiculously cheap in after-holiday sales. I use Command hooks and binder clips to hang. But recently, with my Jo-Ann coupon, I purchased the Fons & Porter design wall with 2" squares printed on the vinyl side that show through. It had grommets for hanging. Not sure I would have paid full price for it as the flannel is a bit flimsy.

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    1. My design wall is exactly like a flannel backed tablecloth, except much stronger and it has a thicker layer of flannel. I tried command hooks years ago but for some reason they didn’t stick as they should! I’ve also seen the Fons & Porter design walls and they are a bit thin. I’m very happy with mine new wall and can’t wait to fill it up!

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  3. What a huge space to play and design on, Jayne! I just have scrap batting thumb tacked to a wall in my space, although after almost 4 years it is really starting to droop and look sad, haha.

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  4. I'm drooling over your new design wall! Sadly, there isn't enough room in our house to put a design wall up. So for now, we keep a 4x8 piece of the foal board covered in a table cloth (back side up) and just bring it out when we need to use it. Not the best set up, but it works :)

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  5. Thanks for sharing! This is far more professional looking than mine. I buy the extra wide felt and staple directly to the wall :)

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  6. I have been waiting for a design wall idea that I really liked. I think this is it! Currently, I just have a piece of twin size batting tacked to the wall. It seems to be working just fine so far, but I like the idea of a bigger wall and wasn't sure how to go about it. Thanks for the info!

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  7. Floor. but I did hang a curtain rod in my hallway to display quilts, so I think I can just hang a felt or batt from it and use it when I need to. But since I haven't done a big quilt upon my return to quilting yet, it hasn't been an issue.

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  8. I have used the flannel backed vinyl from Joann's for awhile now, mine is tacked to the wall, but it is getting awfully pilly and messy looking. Do you know a way to clean it up or is it just time to invest in new vinyl?

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    1. I’ve used my flannel backed vinyl for 10+ years and instead of going with something new, I stuck with what has worked well for me. A few minor upgrades, but it’s great! My old one is filled with threads from quilts! The threads get woven into those little fibers on the back, but it still holds blocks when designing. I don’t have a way to clean it up, sorry! I think this time around I’ll try using a lint roller after a quilt is finished and see if it takes care of those stray threads!

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    2. Try using a hairbrush made with Boar bristles. I have a flannel wall and use the hairbrush to put life back into the flannel. You can get threads off with the lint roller but brushing makes the flannel "stand up" again. Do not use a hairbrush with plastic bristles. I but the hairbrush I use at Walgreens

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  9. Congrats! on your NEW design wall... Mine is still a design FLOOR!!

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  10. So--do the hooks go in the 1/4 inch side of the boards or do you sort of put them in the flat part? And it only takes 2 hooks per board--brilliant!
    I have tried various combinations for a design wall and have never been completely satisfied with them--I've never thought about table padding. I will have to see what is available in Canada--we don't have JoAnn or the great bargains you manage to get in the U.S. Also, I need to find a blank wall--I have my walls covered with things to store fabric in and other furniture.

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    1. Yes, the hooks are in the 1/4” (top) of the board. Because it’s so thin, a drill to start the hole is a good idea. It helped to have a 50% off coupon when buying the flannel backed vinyl. You could also use a flannel backed vinyl table cloth. It is hard finding a wall. Space is always a problem!

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  11. Pretty cool! And I agree, having a design wall helps SO much!

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  12. what a great idea, and that quilt on it looks terrific

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  13. Oh to have an empty wall that large!!! I have a portable design wall that came by way of Pat Speth. I just don't have room for anything bigger.

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  14. Great to have such a large space! Thanks for sharing the process!

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  15. I have a big foam board design wall. But ... I sometimes would like a second one so I can switch between projects. You say portable: Can you just move it away or does a project actually stick to it and you can somehow move and store it "on the wall"? Roll it up... something. Thanks in advance.

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