A design wall allows us to try out quilt designs before we actually sew them. First, I’ll explain how to make one, then I’ll go into a bit more detail of how they work.
DESIGN WALL DIY TUTORIAL:
Using thumb tacks, pin a Micro Fleece Blanket to your wall.
You can purchase a throw sized fleece blanket for between 5$ to 10$ at Walmart if you do not already have one. Some have straight edges while others have fringes. I’ve left the fringes on, but if they annoy you, go ahead and take your rotary cutter to them.
So how does a design wall actually work?
If you’ve never used one before, this may be hard to believe, but your cut fabric pieces will simply stick to the wall when you press them on. I was skeptical of this at first, but I can tell you that not only does it work, you could have hundreds of pieces placed on the design wall and they’ll stay for as long as you let them. They do not fall off.
Once you’ve sewn the pieces together, they will stick to the wall as a single unit (useful if you don’t have the space to lay out and measure your quilt top for boarders and such). You do need to make sure it is flat against the wall, making full contact, which can be tricky with a larger piece (grab your husband, kids, or a friend to help if you’d like). If you find it is not staying up, just use a couple tacks to hold it in place.
QUICK TIP: After you’ve placed all your pieces on the design wall, stand back and have a good look. Leave the room for some time, then come back for another glance. Also, take a picture of your design wall for yet another perspective. I like to try several different placements, taking a picture of each. Then, after a day or two, I choose which picture I like the best and start to sew.
I really love having design walls in my sewing area. They not only come in handy when I’m playing with new design lay outs, but they also add an ever changing decorative element to my space. Furthermore, I don’t need to measure how big my quilt is because I generally make them the same size as the throw-sized design wall. I can see exactly how big it is, and quickly measure any additional bordering required.
Another fun thing you could do with your quilting design wall is pre-cut a bunch of pieces and allow your kids (or any visiting children if you don’t have any of your own…or perhaps your husband or roommate if they’re into this sort of thing) to design their own mural on the design wall. My kids absolutely love playing with half square triangles (we used some to make quilts, and saved others just to play with).
What do you like best about design walls? Comment below!
(Not into sewing, somehow stumbled upon this page? That’s awesome! Maybe it’s a sign that you should try it out. Walmart sells an awesome start up kit for just around $30. A sewing machine, if you don’t have one, can be purchased for just over $100 (I like the Brother JX1710) from Walmart. Pick up some fabric, good quality thread (it’s okay to pay more than $5 for a spool of thread, it’s worth it and will work way nicer than dollar store thread), and finally throw in a cheap throw-sized fleece blanket to use as a design wall (of course). Have fun!)