Friday, September 7, 2018

moveable design wall

I've been working in the studio building a design wall, as well as making a few decorative items.

I have less space in this house than in MD but am trying to decide how to set up work areas around the house to free up sewing space. For instance I plan to bead, paint and draw downstairs in the LR/DR area. It takes time to re-organize a working space.
And I'm tired to the bone.

Other people go to Home Depot and purchase homosote or foam insulation in 4' X 8' sheets and cover them, attaching them to a wall. I didn't want to attach anything at the moment as I quite like the color and texture of these walls. Plus wrangling two enormous sheets of insulation and storing them in the garage to out-gas wasn't appealing at this time.

I went to Joann Fabric and found foam core boards 20" X 30" on clearance and bought 12 of them to make a 60" x 60" wall. So my base isn't as expensive as the foam and not quite as large but might suit my purposes right now.
two 6 board units on top of each other
I used painters tape to put the boards together into two of these units. Two for stability and depth. Don't want a pin to scratch the wall. You can find larger foam core pieces but I got these on clearance for a fraction of the price, and the size is manageable for me.
I taped the two big units together turning the second one the other way, so that the joined units were opposite to each other for more stability, and then moved on to a cover.

I found light gray felt on the bolt half price, plus an extra 20% off. Perfect at 72" wide. That is til I miss-cut and had less to pull to the back than I wanted.

I washed the felt and dried it. There are chemicals used in processing fabric one doesn't want to breathe in every day. It didn't shrink at all. Laid it out on the floor, placed the two taped sections on top, and treated it like an upholstery project using this
perfect for the job. I'd pull the felt to the back and staple, go to the other side and repeat. Just to keep it all even. The felt had pulled in just a bit with some wrinkles so I was actually able to pull it to the back all the way around, which smoothed out the wrinkles and left me with a wonderful looking wall.

My snooper-visor helped the whole way along. 
I could put it on the wall with command tapes now, but I want the flexibility to move it if I like. The felt grabs little pieces of fabric without pinning and I think the gray will be good for photos for competition entries too. I may want to take it outside for that. I have some foam core boards left, and some felt left to cover them with, and think I'll do a two board unit, 20" X 60" that can be put above or on the side for larger projects, or used alone.

To put it a bit higher I placed the wall on fabric bins for now, leaning it against the wall
I could throw fabric in them as I work, as we all know not all fabrics make the final cut!

I can easily cover this with the piece of fleece I used at the rental  if I want white for design-work

So I solved the problem for my particular space and needs. This is solid, very lightweight, useful in several ways. It's not large enough to design a king sized bed quilt but I'm working on wall quilts these days anyway. I can easily move it if I wanted to put up a larger design space.
I'll show you my system for organizing books and supplies next time. And see that top shelf next to the machine table? It holds some boxes I decorated for storage, which I'll show you later. Lots to do to make this a working studio.

The second room next door that will hold fabrics and supplies
After working at my dining room table in my little Tampa house, working in a tiny cell of a room at our first MD rental, then working in a larger first floor studio in our MD home, next up a great loft space in the first CO rental, now these two little rooms,
I think I know how I work, and what I want from a space.
Originally I thought I'd have the cutting table in the middle of the room
Originally I wanted the layout like this, but realized I like to have my rulers sitting up in the holder, within reach,  on the edge of the cutting table. They might have fallen this way. Plus it wouldn't look nice to see it all cluttered the way it gets in the middle of a project.

As it is now I'll see the design wall from entering the room, photo at top shows that.

  I'd love more space, and higher ceilings (our downstairs has high ceilings but the upstairs not) and a large walk in closet but I'm lucky to have a home and will make this work. Luckily my husband has his own office downstairs, and doesn't mind if I spread out upstairs a bit.

The actual stairs are steep and should keep me fit going up and down. Or if I'm up they should be a deterrent from going back to the kitchen to snack.

Linking to
Esther's blog Wednesdays 
Let's be social Wednesdays 
Midweek makers wednesdays
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays    
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
oh Scrap Sundays 
sewcanshe Saturdays
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays 


  1. Perfect solution and a great design wall! Your whole space looks great, including the machine in front of a window. A machine with a view! I think you should have Milo pse with everything you put on the design wall, too. He's so good at it!

  2. The studio is looking wonderful so far. Very clever design wall. I used those lightweight craft foam boards for extra bulletin board space in my classroom and also in my office for years. They hold up quite well. I think it was clever to make them in sections and leaving them moveable.

  3. My first design wall was made very similar to yours with foam core boards from the $store...covered in gray felt! I did hang mine on Command strips hooks---using small clips on the board and hung on the command hooks. After the wall slid one time and I had a huge pile of fabric bits to contend with ....easy to remove if I hate the position it was in.
    Take your time and figure out how you work, and what works for looks great!

  4. Oh you are so creative with your 'design board' and lovely work spaces ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

  5. This gives me some ideas on how I might get a design wall. I don't have an actual wall to put a design wall on. The fourth "wall" in the room is almost entirely open to the main hall from the front door to the kitchen. Two of the other walls have large windows smack in the middle. Any way food for thought. I'm glad you're working on laying out the studio so when the dreaded winter weather descends, you can cocoon in the studio and ignore the outdoors.

  6. So jealous of your design space. And what great bargains you managed to suss out at Joann's. Bravo!

  7. This is brilliant. I like your layout with the foam core. I have put off doing a firm design wall because of trying to get the homosote or foam insulation.. But I could easily get the foam core.
    I currently use the table really. But when I want to check it out when it has been fused, I use a white sheet hung by skirt hangers from cupboard doors and pin from behind. That is how I do the photography, too.
    But the foam core would be a better plan. I shall have to think about this.

  8. That design wall looks great. I'll have to think about making one once we get a new place. Your workspace looks lovely.

  9. You've made good plans with your space. How fun to start the way you mean to go on.

  10. Oh my goodness-I had no idea you have so much room(s) for a studio!
    I'm likin that design wall you put together. I use an old flannel backed tablecloth. I'm going to joanns today- I might try your idea if I'm not too tired. heehee.

  11. I like the look of the cutting table in the center of the room, but can totally see your point on the negatives concerning that orientation. I'm just happy to see you getting back into the thick of things!! Setting up your space(s) and working on projects. LOVE!!

  12. What a great idea for a design wall. Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!

  13. Looks like a nice setup. I love being able to move my design wall around.

  14. An entire room for your fabric! Thank you for the tutorial for making a design wall.

    1. no, fabric, threads, projects, finished quilts, paints, yarn, embellishments... all the supplies needed

  15. Your design board looks great. Like the idea of the color being gray. Your quilting room is coming together well!

  16. I love how you made your design wall! I really need a better one. Thanks for all the details on how you put it together!

  17. Your design wall looks awesome. I also made mine movable which I think it’s great.

  18. Nice design wall! Foam boards are so useful - I've made 13' window valences out of them. Light and sturdy!

  19. You definitely met the challenge of finding something that works for your space. Enjoy your new design wall.