Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A New Post for the Tuesday Archives: Design Walls

Wow, Val who blogs at Val's Quilting Studio picked the perfect "Tuesday Archives" topic for me this week!  I had just finished upgrading my design wall  this morning when I checked to see that this week's topic is Design Walls

So this week my wall went from this:

To this: 

Here's why:  I had put up this "permanent" design wall back in 2012 after we had finally gotten around to painting the townhouse after moving in in 2011.  In our previous apartment, my design wall was a flannel backed tablecloth stapled to the wall:

(Those blocks are from my Brrr! quilt which can be seen here.)

When we moved, I mounted the portable design wall I had constructed in 2010 (details on that in this post) to the wall as a temporary measure....

......using these giant 3M hooks:

17004 Command(TM) Utility Hook
Photo courtesy 3M Command Products
Click here to find out more about them

Product Plug:  I love all the various 3M hanging products!  I use them to hang all my quilts, picture frames, a bulletin board, posters, signs and my design wall.

As you can see from my 3M storage case, I use the small clear hooks, all the sizes of the picture frame (Velcro-style) hooks, the plastic and metal picture frame hooks (for frames that have those sawtooth hangers on the back) and the cord clips (see this Bonnie Hunter post about that).  My Underground Railroad/Pioneer Sampler quilts are hung on a curtain rod that is hung on two designer 3M hooks!  Recently, I saw that Janet over at the Rogue Quilter blog also uses 3M hooks to hang her "Yardstick Quilt Holders", something I must try in the future.

My current design wall is made from three 2ft wide x 8 ft long, 1" thick pink foam insulation boards you get from Home Depot.  I had cut the boards down to six feet because although my walls are 8 ft high, I needed to accommodate for the outlet on that wall which I did by hanging the wall above it rather than cutting an opening in the boards:

I also decided to only mount the wall as high as I could reach without using a step ladder.  At the time, I believed that six square feet of wall space would be enough to handle most jobs and it has.  My plan for the open space above the wall?  To make a quilted (what else?) banner declaring this "My Happy Place".  And while I have gathered ideas for that, I hadn't up to now started on that project yet. 

However, I admit there have been a few jobs over the years where I could have used just a little more space.  Earlier this month I was finishing up "Christmas Cobblestones", a Moda Bake Shop project, that started as a leader/ender for last month's pieced label project

Unfortunately, I only have a shot of the finished top but while I was laying out the blocks and strip-pieced sashing to confirm the final layout, I needed just a little more space for it all.  For that, I had to tape the top sashing to the open wall space above the design wall.  Right then it clicked in my head:  maybe I really should have made the design wall to the full height for those times that I needed it AND (more importantly) why couldn't I PIN my "Happy Place" banner to the wall for day to day display and then just take it down when I needed to use the full wall?   

Fortunately being a quilter, I never threw away the "scraps" of the original insulation panels so was able to pull them out and measure out the additional amount needed for the new inserts.  As can be seen in the picture below, I prepped them the same way I had done the original wall, clicking them together and then taping the back seam with Duct tape, covering it with batting stapled to the back and mounting the 3M hooks on the back of the boards and the wall. 

using these.....

Click here to find out more about them.

I'm glad to have a full wall now and the bonus is that I pulled out my banner ideas folder and hope to start making some of the parts for it which I can put on the wall as I finish them, designing as I go which should be fun!  I haven't done any quilt work lately so hopefully the next time you stop by there will actually be a "project-in-progress" on it for you to see!

If you'd like to see what other design walls look like and what they have on them, click over to Val's Quilting Studio and see "how's it hanging" in other people's studios!


Friday, April 1, 2016

Get It Done! March Recap, April Goals

Posting this a little late today --- our community garden opened for the first day of the season and I wanted to get in early and turn over the soil in our bed in prep for planting!  As for the quilting report:  to sum it up, March was weird!  After the high of hand quilting and finishing the "High Strung + 2" quilt, I had hoped to quickly get it labeled and move on to other things.  Strangely enough though, right after I just wasn't motivated to sew.  For about a week, I did not approach my machine.   On top of that, one of my husband's aunts (my MIL's sister) was admitted to the ICU and the whole family gathered to go see her.  That meant we had to host my MIL and her husband on short notice when they came up from North Carolina.  His aunt seems to be rallying for the time being, but it was unsettling while we waited to find out about diagnoses and treatment options.  Then there was the purchase of a long desired new tool in the Gadget Fanatic arsenal (detailed here) that kept me busy Internet shopping from the end of February and throughout March. 

As a result, I pretty much worked off and on (and more off than on) on just one project the whole month.  Worse, it wasn't even one on the list AND it STILL isn't finished!  It's the label for the High Strung quilt and this is what I've got so far:

Yeah, I know a pretty detailed label but there's a story (there always is) and if I can ever get it finished, you'll definitely hear it!  Oh wait!  I also made some strip sets and blocks for yet another holiday lap quilt.  This was a PIG* sitting on my cutting table and I figured I could "kill two birds with one stone" (pun intended) by using it as a leader/ender project while putting together the pieced units, rows and border on the label above.  The hope was to get it off the table and onto the back of the quilt.  Well, at least the first part happened anyway!

*PIG = Project In a Grocery sack

So regarding March's list:  I'm not going to list out everything from last month -- if you need to see what I had planned to work on, check out this post and know that the status for everything planned for March is NOT DONE

Moving right along to April: what's in the hopper?  I need to take a little detour this month.  Although I will bring forward two projects from the old list, I'm completely changing direction.  In honor of the need to spring clean and prepare for possible house guests in the coming months (in addition to the potential for my in-laws to return to see our my DH's aunt, my youngest son graduates from High School in June),  I want to focus on house related projects this month.  Well, technically this too is a carry forward from last month -- it just changes from a "choose one" option to having each project spelled out as individual items.  So the Goals for April look like this:

1.  March carry-over #1:  Prepare the wholecloth quilt for quilting. 

2. March carry-over #2: The secret project.  Well it sucks that it isn't already done for this month so now the hope is I can at least get it to the flimsie stage by the end of the month whether it's done in secret or not.

3.  T-shirt quilt for the couch.

4.  Wool wallhanging for the kitchen.

5.  Seminole kitchen curtains.

6.  Wool wall hanging for the entrance to the kitchen.

7.  Wool garden wall hanging for the living room.

8.  Chair pillow in Civil War fabrics.

9.  Side board table runner.

10.  Appliqued Spring table cloth.

11.  Quilted chair cushions for the terrace chairs.

12.  Not a quilt but quilt related:  terrace barn sign.

The bad news?  Last year when I made goal lists this long they remained largely undone!  I'm hoping that some fresh sewing coupled with extensive house cleaning will help move these projects along faster than normal.  I also have a few general home dec projects I need to work on like a pillow for our entry bench and new curtains for the dining room that I also want to squeeze in.  If I pull this off, my Bullet Journal will really be busy this month!

Looking forward to a spring filled with gardening, sewing and a refreshed home!  Wishing everyone a very Happy Spring season!