Friday, January 7, 2011

{ DIY tutorial: how to make a quilt design wall }

If you're looking for an inexpensive, portable, and easy way to lay out and design your quilt blocks, here's an easy do-it-yourself tutorial. For less than $50, you can make a lightweight, portable design wall that measures 8 feet by 4 feet. And if you can find your flannel on sale, it's easily made for around $40! Here's what you need:

{ materials }
5 yards cotton flannel
8 ft. x 4 ft. x 2 in. foam insulation (I used Foamular by Owens Corning)
Fabri-Tac Permanent Fabric Adhesive
straight pins
staple gun and staples
quilt gloves (optional)

{ directions }

1. Cut flannel into 3 pieces, each approximately 60 inches in length.

2. Place two pieces of flannel, right sides together, and sew along the selvedge.

Be sure to use pins to keep the layers together.

3. Stitch a seam. I recommend wearing quilting gloves if you have them because they make it easier to move the fabric through the machine.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the third piece of flannel. You should now have a sewn piece of flannel that measures approximately 60 inches x 120 inches.

5. Iron the flannel to remove any wrinkles and press seams open.

6. Place the foam insulation on a table and lay the flannel piece over it, seam side down. Try to smooth out any wrinkles as you place it over the insulation.

This step is easier if you have a couple of helpers. :)

7. Find the center of the insulation. Place pins into the foam to tack down flannel, from the middle to the end of one edge. Smooth out wrinkles as you go.

8. Pull back flannel from unpinned side of foam and start gluing. Apply glue sparingly, section by section, and smooth over any wrinkles as you place the flannel down.

9. Repeat step 8, working from the center out towards the edge of the foam. Place a few pins throughout each section after it's been glued to hold fabric in place while it dries.

10. At the edge of the insulation, pin fabric taught to the foam. (There's no need to glue here, since you'll be finishing the wall with the staple gun.)

11. Pin the flannel taught along the side edges of the glued section of the insulation.

12. Remove pins from the other side of the foam and repeat steps 8-11.

13. Insert pins along the entire length of the covered quilt wall, just to hold the fabric in place while the glue dries. (Fabri-Tac dries pretty quickly, but the pins will hold the fabric in place after we flip the wall over to finish the edges.)

14. Flip the wall over.

15. Finish the edges by stapling the flannel to the back of the wall, using a staple gun.

16. Pull the flannel taught along the edge and staple into place.

17. At the corners, miter the edge by folding one side in, and then the other, hold taught and staple to secure.

18. Let the glue dry and remove pins. You're done!

These quilt design walls are great, and I now have two in my studio. I made the first one about 6 months ago, and have gotten so much use out of it. They're light weight, so I can easily move them around, and I can also stack them in front of each other to conserve space.


Jennwith4 said...

Very nice! I like how they r so portable!

Little Bluebell (Adrianne) said...

Good idea! My design wall is just flannel hanging on the wall. It works, but I can't move it easily.

lorretta7 said...

I tried spraying adhesive on the paneling and then put the flannel up. It lasted 2 projects and I came in one morning to everything on the floor. I will probably be copying this. Thanks.

Renegade Quilter said...

Great idea!!! I so need 1 or 2 of these in my sewing cave.

Unknown said...

Well I know what hubby is doing next weekend!! Love it!

Joanna said...

Great tutorial! I can't wait until we're in a bigger house so I can make one of these! I totally need one :)

Leslie said...

this design wall is amazing. i would love to have one.

8machines said...

Great, love it. My next DIY for my husband.

Laurie said...

Wow! I love this - great tutorial!

Heidi massingill said...

Wow, this is great.......thanks for the tutorial, too-very detailed! Here's another idea-for those with limited storage space. Make it in two pieces and connect with hinges so it could be folded in half --wonder if that would work?

Anonymous said...

Cool! I love what's on the wall, too! :-D)

Unknown said...

Just brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing this.

Sue said...

Great tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing and that really isn't that expensive!!

Anonymous said...

I used twin cotton sheets I picked up for $5.00 at Walmart. I used cream color sheets so that when I use white fabric in a quilt for a pop of color it stands out more than if the backdrop were white. I am not a robot!

Unknown said...

What is the pattern of the quilt hanging on the wall? It's lovely.

Unknown said...

What is the pattern of the quilt hanging on the wall? It's lovely.

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