Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DIY Design Wall

What I've been working on for the last few weeks but not talking about much at all is my sewing room. On a whim, I decided to rearrange the room a bit (these things always seem to happen on a whim, don't they?) and it left me with a bit of work as to how to make the rest of the pieces work together.

I realize looking back that the last time I posted pictures of my sewing room I neglected to capture all the little nooks and crannies (in fact, I left out the most important part of all which is the actual sewing table!), so perhaps this transformation won't mean much to you.

To me, however, it has made the space more open and usable . . . and the fact is, it's helped me to get even more organized. Much more on that in a future post.

What I really want to talk about today is the DESIGN WALL. Now, I didn't really see a need for this when I first set up the sewing room. As it was I was just thrilled to have a room to play in, but having never set up a room solely dedicated to creativity I didn't realize all the potential. Also, I really wasn't into quilting at that time. Pretty much not into it at all.

Two quilting bees later, and I was itching for a design wall.  (Heather's post about her happy wall just about threw me over a cliff on the idea as well.)

For those of you who are out of the loop on this concept (hey, it could happen?), the idea is to have a space on the wall where you can easily arrange and rearrange your quilt blocks while you're working on them so as to help you visualize and settle on your final design. Design walls are also good for just throwing up bits and pieces of inspiring fabrics or whatnots that get your mojo going.

I'm trying to remember where I first caught wind of the idea . . . all I remember is that they mentioned using insulation board as the base and covering it with batting or flannel. So with those super basics in mind, I went to work on Mr. Skooks.

You knew he was going to enter this story at some point, right?

You see, to achieve said design wall I had to get Mr. Skooks to agree to take down the shelf (the really heavy and cumbersome shelf that I had begged him to put up over my sewing table) and move it to another wall (as you'll recall I decided to move stuff around and now the shelf was just floating in space). He wasn't overly thrilled at the prospect of rehanging the shelf, but he's kind of a dreamboat so it didn't take much to get him to spring into action for me. (There were however a few, "You're SURE this is where you want this now" types of comments sprinkled in there. Not gonna lie.  Every conversation is not sunshine and unicorns covered in glitter.  Most, but not all.)

Anyway, he took down and reinstalled my shelf over the desk. Then he moved my inspiration wall where the shelf had been. Seems like an odd move, but the light switch is hanging out in a really weird spot on that wall and it would have interfered with the design wall. With the clippy hanging system I've got going on for the inspiration wall it was easily adaptable to the new arrangement.

Inspiration Wall - Take 2


So, we finally had the blank wall I needed. As Mr. Skooks had to make a trip to the hardware store ANYWAY to pick up some new anchors for the ridiculously cumbersome shelf, I told him to check out the insulation board. Basically, I said, "Get me a big piece." Now, mind you, I've never actually looked at insulation board before and have no idea what kind of sizes it comes in and so forth. Nor did I have any idea if a piece as large as the one I wanted would actually fit in our minivan. No matter.

Oh, also . . . I wanted it to be as cheap as possible. Because in this economy, who doesn't want stuff cheap?

He called me from the store and talked me down from the large options to a 6 pack of boards that we could configure any way we wanted and would easily fit in the car. Plus, they were less than $7 which I think qualifies as pretty cost effective. :)
Insulation Board Sheets

I had a moment after he brought them home wherein I wondered how I would attach the batting to the boards. I seem to recall that when I read about this the person just wrapped the batting around the board and taped it down before hanging the whole thing on the wall. In multiple sections this was not going to work.

Thankfully we have brains and realized that we could just tack up the boards on the wall with some small nails (we went with 4 sections because it fit in the space allowed the best), cut the batting to fit (allowing for some overlap on either side to wrap the edges just a bit), and then used regular straight pins to secure the batting down (I used ball pins because I have gobs of them on hand and tend to try to *not* pin things before I sew them because I loathe pinning).
Pins on Insulation Board


At 4 sections top to bottom I think this design wall is about 58"x48". If I had a bigger room or a bigger wall or whatevs I probably would have popped on another section or two, but for my purposes this will work just fine (for now - ha!). The batting I got (some Warm n White) from JoAnn with a 50% off coupon, so the whole project came in at about $15 or so. Maybe less . . . I bought extra batting than I really needed.
Design Wall


When I was done I threw up the blocks from my Vintage Sheet Freedom Bee. I'm missing one and I'm finally coming to believe it will never come (it's ok, I've moved on), so I'm hoping that putting these up here will motivate me to squeeze out one more block so I can actually quilt this baby up.
Design Wall
The lighting is TOTALLY off in this picture.  Ack.

One more to go!  I can do this!!

A little sidenote for those of you who are wondering: Because you are using batting as the backing for your board, fabric just naturally sticks to it without need for anything else.  Just smooth your piece out on it and it's there until you need to move it.  Easy as a Post-It.  :)


7 Comments:

FabricsNQuilts June 8, 2011 at 6:32 PM  

Great job! Looks awesome & a very inspiring place to create!

♥Duff June 8, 2011 at 8:27 PM  

Looks great! Mr. Skooks is a sweetheart!

sweet lemonade gal June 8, 2011 at 10:16 PM  

I just went ahead and made another block. I have it so to being done. Hopefully before the end of the month, as it is one of the quilts I would like to get quilted over the summer.

blessings, jilly

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode June 8, 2011 at 10:26 PM  

Easy as a post-it? Love that, so good to know!!

Skooks June 8, 2011 at 10:44 PM  

FNQ - Thank you! Getting this together was such a great feeling. It's been knocking around my brains for much too long now. :)

Duff - Oh you know he is. Give that man a medal!

Jilly - Yeah . . . I'm with you. No hard feelings, I just hope I have enough scraps from those sheets left over to make another block. Deb supplied sheets for me so it's not like there's a large stash of them still sitting around my house. Pretty sure I should be set to make at least one more. I'd love to see yours when you are done!

Jane - Truly! This whole wall idea is kind of the bomb. I can say that because I didn't make it up myself. LOL.

Jacey June 9, 2011 at 11:58 AM  

Your design wall and your work in progress look great! A design wall has been on my mind lately, and I'll definitely keep your post in mind for pointers!

Controlling My Chaos June 11, 2011 at 12:20 AM  

What a nifty design board. I've always wanted one, and thanks to you, now I know how to make one. Thank you!

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