I gave myself a couple of days off after getting back from the American Craft Council show in Atlanta. Poking around on the Internet to catch up with the blogs I follow, I found a great tutorial for a more permanent design wall to replace the large piece of batting I had temporarily (so I thought) pinned onto a wall in my studio when we moved to the townhouse two years ago.
Mine is a little different than the directions (of course!), but the general idea is the same. I bought nine pieces of foam insulation board that were two feet square. Then I covered them with leftover batting and secured the batting on the back with duct tape–it’s not going to show, so it doesn’t matter what it looks like on the back, right? Because the squares were relatively small, I didn’t bother with spraying adhesive on first as the tutorial recommended–just made sure the batting was smooth on the front before taping everything down.
The really cool thing about this is putting the squares up with two large command
strips on the back of each one–no nails, no tools! I don’t know how the strips work for hanging heavier things like frames, but for the light insulation board it worked like a charm. At right is a picture of boards partly up so you can see that I just butted them up against each other in rows of three. It’s up a little higher than I would like because there was an electrical outlet near the floor that I didn’t want to cover up, but that’s OK–I can deal with that. Supposedly when you want to take the boards down the strips come off without harming the paint or the walls.
This six foot square wall is larger than what I had before and more rigid, so I can move things around easily to audition changes. For larger pieces, pins can go straight into the insulation board without a problem.
Some might not like the seams from the squares, and if that’s a concern, you could always go with larger pieces of insulation board. I just wanted to get it up easily and quickly without too much fussing. I have my work professionally photographed, so I don’t need the wall for photography–just to help me in the design process.
I’m very intuitive when I work–I don’t usually make sketches or drawings ahead of time, but just cut into the fabrics and put them up on the wall. You can see from the first image that I often have several projects going on at once, but that works just fine for me. If I get stuck on one design or the colors don’t speak to me on a particular day, I can work on something else. There are about four ideas going on with the board right now and I’m back in the groove!
The tutorial is here at thequiltingedge.com.