Design Wall Options



Last weekend well known blogger and author Jacquie Gering taught a class on machine pieced hexagons for the Minneapolis Modern Guilt Guild.  The value of having a design wall was quite evident to those quilters that used them regularly and those that never do. (Above is Jacquie checking out Kristen's layout of her hand-dyed hexagons.)

Of course we started discussing the various options along with the space or lack thereof that we had for one.  I just finished making a new design wall for my space, so I decided to share what I hope will work for me and options that some well known quilters have chosen.

First I have to apologize for the terrible lighting...it is just not a sunny day here in MN and my guest/sewing room faces north anyway.

This is the only open wall I had to work with and I wanted something removable for when we have company in my guest/sewing room so I have a twin flat sheet (that was the widest I could go) hung on a cafe rod that closely hugs the wall.  (I just redid the ends of the sheet so I could use the top as a rod pocket.) Here is the sheet fully extended onto the carpet for if I am laying out a larger quilt.



Here below the bottom fifteen or so inches are folded up and attached to the back of the sheet with Velcro so I don't have any sheet on the floor.  (I put the non-sticky Velcro pieces on the bottom so that if I do have it fully extended I don't have to worry about the Velcro sticking to the carpet).



When I have company I'll just lift the rod off of the brackets and roll it up and put in a closet in another room. The brackets will be left but that's not a big deal, all my house guests know that it is a dual duty room.

Julie of Jaybird Quilts uses this design wall by Cheryl Ann:

 (photo from Jaybird Quilts, used with permission)

Elizabeth of Oh Fransson has a tutorial to make your own design wall like this in varying sizes:

(photo from Oh Fransson, used with permission)

And one more option that I must mention, is this retractable design wall by Design-a-Way.  Who wouldn't love to have their widest design wall with the 3 separate surfaces/rollers of course the decorative valance?  (It's a bit pricey so I think I'll be sticking to my flannel sheet!)

If you have any design wall tips you have to add we'd love to hear them or please feel comfortable to share a link to your sewing space if you have a photo of a different design wall idea than we have shared here!

4 comments:

  1. I have been using the floor when my kids are in bed... I might have to try the foam insulation thing. My problem is that every wall in my house has windows, fireplace, furniture, stairs, etc. etc. etc. There are no blank walls so whatever I made would have to be temporary and stored in the basement.

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  2. I don't have enough wall space for a design wall, either, since I have a lot of cabinets, windows, sliding glass doors, etc. in my sewing space. So I went to the hardware store and poked around. I ended up buying big screw-in hooks, turnbuckles, steel wire, and pulleys. Screwed the hooks into walls on either side of the room, near the ceiling. Attached the wire with the turnbuckles, so I now have steel wire all across the room (above head height). Made two design wall sections with insulation panels, 4'x8', and hung them using the pulleys. They usually hang next to my sewing machine in front of a cabinet full of fabric, but can easily be slid out of the way to access the cabinet, and if needed, can be taken down easily and stored away (although I never do that, since I have a dedicated sewing room).

    As a bonus, I can hang all kinds of things from the wire, pretty baskets with ribbons, etc. stored in them.

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  3. I must add, I made sure to screw the hooks into wall studs--the wall alone wouldn't hold the wire under tension.

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  4. I used the same rod idea and hung up a flannel panel - it actually covers the area to a closet, and is up all the time. In your case, you could put a pocket on the back of a pretty quilt that you made and hang that up when company comes, so they can appreciate your handiwork!

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