August 30, 2017

My Kingdom for a Design Wall

In my life, a Design Wall is not a luxury, it is a necessity! Yes, I’ve been known to write that a design wall can be as simple as pinning a piece of batting to some foam-core and leaning it against the wall. At the same time, I have to admit that I can’t remember when I didn’t have an 8' x 10' design wall covered in black batting.  In fact most of the last 20 years I have had two!  Call me “spoiled!”

Well, in the last few weeks we have moved! I won’t go into the gory details of trying to reduce our stuff, including my big sewing studio, to fit our new space! I’ll just say that in the process of moving, the plans for my new 8' x 10' wall have been stalled!

Last week, I worked on something small and that piece of foam-core was just great. But this week I’m working on a Queen Size Scrappy Hexagon quilt. The moment I started to pick fabrics, I realized my little batting-covered piece of foam-core was not going to be adequate. I was looking for 25 or 30 fabrics that “play well together” and also complement the beautiful multicolor floral border.

Then, with a self-defined “stroke of genius,” I looked at the door to my new office and saw a new design wall. I grabbed one of the pieces of black batting I had rescued from my old studio, folded it in half and threw it over the top of the door.  Then on one side I pinned the batting edges together so it would not slide off the door. Because I’m eliminating the “Y” seams in my quilt by using the From Marti Michell multi-size half-Hexagon, the door was a great size for approving fabrics to actually be included!

However, when I wanted to arrange the cut pieces into vertical rows before sewing, the door seemed very small! Then I realized there is another door across the hall and I have a second black batt!

Things went really well until I wanted one last look before sewing all of the vertical rows together. Then we realized we could pin the strips to the top of the door frame next to the first door and see all of the pieces together.

A Giveaway - Updated

Ann Dunn, your comment was selected!

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Happy hex'ing!


  1. I purchased a design wall a few years ago at a quilt show. It's like a window shade with a cord to unroll the flannel-like fabric for use as the design wall or roll it back up when its not needed. It's about 6 feet long and the casing is attached above the molding of my closet. It's quite convenient and out of the way.


  2. Hi, my best design wall is the one I'm using now. I sewed together 2 pieces of flannel that were 3.5 yards long and draped that over a 1"x2"x8' board. I placed the board on top of the bookshelf with a weight to keep it from slipping off. Now I have a space 88" wide and 6' tall. The perfect size to lay iout my giant dahlia I'm making with your templates which work great!

  3. I like the foam core design with batting stapled around it, but mine is way too small!
    Years ago I read about the old vinyl table cloth with flannel backing method. They said you could roll it up &n put it away, if needed & everything would stay in place because the pieces would stay stuck to the flannel &, when rolling it up, the vinyl would be keeping the pieces in place. All I can say is that it didn't work well for me!

  4. I'm lucky. I have an 8' X 12' design wall. It's the backside of one of the walls in my studio and right next to it is my mid-arm. The hubs screwed sheets of foam insulation board (which I had covered with white flannel) to the wall so that it stays up nice and strong. I'd be lost without it.