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.....

17206BLK Command(TM) Picture Hanging Strips For Dark Frames
Photo courtesy 3M Command Products

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!



Valerie Reynolds said...

Hey viv! I love those command hooks too!! So happy to see the progress of your getting a permanent design wall. (It's also fun to get a peek into your quilting area:) Thanks for being a Tuesday Archive cheerleader....I appreciate your enthusiastic support. V

JanineMarie said...

Command hooks--such a great idea! I didn't think to use them until after I had struggled to attach hardware for a curtain rod for my design curtain.