Dear Quilt Doctor,
I’m getting too old to keep crawling around my living room floor with my quilt blocks in my hand. Please give me some quick, cheap ideas for a design wall!
I hear you. Sometimes I have to crawl over to a piece of furniture in order to get back on my feet! Here are a couple of quick ideas so you can have your design wall up before you’re a day older.
Seeing your quilt blocks upright and from a distance will really help you with your design and color choices. The perspective is so much different than looking down at them on the floor.
When we remodeled recently, we had a piece of insulation board left over. I used a caulking gun and put pieces of slat board around the outside edges to stabilize it. I seamed two pieces of heavy-weight flannel, like I do to make a quilt backing, because the flannel wasn’t wide enough to cover the top of the board. Then I attached the flannel to the slats with a staple gun. After I had the flannel on nice and tight, I added several hangers along the top edge of the board and hung it on my wall. It’s very light, and I can move it if I want to. I love it!
My sister’s pretty clever so when she wanted a design wall, she found a set of closet brackets and screwed them into her wall. Then she sewed a rod pocket across one end of a large piece of cotton batting. She slid a curtain rod through the pocket and hung the rod up on the brackets. The batting hangs straight, thanks to the thickness of the batting, and the texture keeps the blocks from falling off
My quilting pal always does something I never think to do. Last year when we were going on a retreat, she pinned a flannel sheet to a wall in her home. She used straight pins so her husband wouldn’t notice the holes. She laid all of her quilt blocks on it and brushed them with her hand to be sure they made contact. Then, starting at the bottom, she rolled the sheet up. When we got to the retreat, she found a big wall, pinned the top of her sheet to it, and unrolled the sheet, giving her an instant design wall with blocks already in place. We were all kicking ourselves for not thinking of it first!
If you’re short on space, purchase a display board at the office store--the kind that kids use to present a science fair project. Spray it with a spray adhesive in a well-ventilated area and lay flannel or cotton batting on top of it. The display board is just big enough for a few blocks and folds up easily for storage.
One last idea: Pin flannel or batting to an installed curtain rod. Of course, you won’t have all that great natural light, but you also won’t be crawling around on the floor!
Hope this helps …
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