Saturday, February 2, 2013

Quilting Design Board

Well I finally did it! I re-did the design wall in my studio (with the help from Chef). I wanted it inexpensive and functional. I read other blogs, tossed the idea of what colour (grey? white?) or do I use quilt batting(more cost). What if it turns out like crap and I've wasted all that money? Off to Rona (Canada's Lowe's or Home Depot, Home Hardware) and checked out the board that I could put it on. I read people saying that blue styrofoam, but at $27.00 a sheet for a project that wasn't guaranteed to work, I was hesitant on outlaying that cash. Besides, the more I can save from this project the more I have for fabric! I settled on two sheets of 4' x 8', 2" styrofoam board.
The next question is, "How do I want it on the wall?" Do I want it up and down with the length from the ceiling to the floor? If I do that I have to consider a wall plug as well as the width of the baseboards. Also, will I really be getting down on my hands and knees to put designs on the bottom? I have a hard enough time getting up and down from the floor playing cars with the little man. How do I want to position it? The other question is how much of the wall do I want to cover? I ended up deciding that I want the boards to get lenthwise from left to right, starting at the top of the ceiling and down to the top of the wall plug, meaning there would be about 15" from the floor to the bottom of the design wall (which suits me just fine!) It's a little higher than Tigger is willing to stretch to scratch it all to heck! How DO you cut styrofoam without it chipping? I heard years ago that the best way to cut styrofoam is with an electric knife. I have no electric knife, but I do have one with a similar blade! Of course my quilting rulers came in real handy! I cut a foot off the width of each of the boards (also in mind to fit the fabric that I had planned on using....though that in itself was a math dilemna for me! ha ha)The knife cut through it like butter with only a few minor chinks out of the styrofoam on the bottom edge. That edge of course I could put to the wall side.
Next was the challenge of fitting the fabric on. Do I want to staple it or just tape it? Tape here we come. Chef found some "tuck tape" that is a little lighter than duct tape and just as easy to attach as duct tape. It held the fabric easily and there was minimal glue residue on the edges (I find duct tape has some of the gluey bits sit on the edges of the tape). Between the two of us, we managed to stretch the green flannel (yep the whole room is green, so I thought rather than have it stick out, I wanted it to blend in with the walls a bit more).
I read different methods of affixing the boards to the wall. I decided to choose the "Command" glue strips. I heard a lot of success stories and I liked the idea that I wouldn't be plugging the walls with more holes. I wanted it smooth on the front and the idea of having an electric screwdriver going through the fabric kind of put me on edge! The result was a fantastic finish! The people who used command strips said that it didn't fall off the wall. I made sure that I affixed a lot. The ones I bought each individually held 16 pounds. I put four across the top, then four across the middle and four across the bottom. There is a "bit" of a gap with the both of them together (you'll see it closer to the right corner of the wall). Nothing that was too horrid.
My total investment was $40. ($10 each for two styrofoam boards, flannel fabric, roll os tuck tape and command strip refills). Those of you in the U.S. would probably get it even cheaper yet! Not bad for a design board. The size that I have is 8' across by 6' from the ceiling to the bottom of the wall. Enough for me! Good luck on your design wall! Happy Quilting!


Andrea said...

Hi there from calgary, I found your log after doing a search on design walls and somehow through my many clicks, ended up here! Love your design wall and love the green especially. It looks fantastic! I'm planning to make one too and your horizontal mount makes sense for my space as well. Did you use quilters flannel, or just a flannel sheet? Thanks for posting!

Margo Brown said...

Hi Andrea! Sorry for the delay in response! Obviously my blogging skills need improvement! The green was to match the rest of the studio. I read other blogs where they used grey flannel, or white flannel, or they used dollar store plastic table cloths with the underside used to stick things in -- or batting.

I've used batting on my temporary design wall over the closet door (just hanging off a curtain rod with clips) and that worked fine for a while. I figured using batting is a bit bulky when you wrap it around your styrofoam, and thought the flannel would work the best. In worse-case scenarios, I know that at least I could poke a pin or two in to hold heavier items (which I have had to do with the current project as it is queen-sized).

I bought the cheapest flannel I could find. Grey wasn't available and I thought white would show up too many threads etc. The green was a close match to the walls, so it blends a bit if I don't have anything on it. It worked out well and still shows off your blocks without being too distracting! (cheap...did I mention CHEAP? lol)

Good luck! I know with my wall I will have no regrets if I have to tear it down and rebuild a new one. The command strips are holding up well and I know that I didn't wreck the wall behind it. Thanks for posting! (very exciting for a new blogger!lol)