Did some research recently for a presentation on making design walls and found some really great DIY ideas on the internet – they can be portable or may be fixed to your sewing studio wall. Build them up to cover as large an area of the wall as you wish, or take one or two boards with you to workshops and classes! I made up three samples; for me the most successful was the insulation board with the polyester batting – the batting was fluffier and therefore gripped more effectively than either the cotton batting or the flannelette. The foam board will easily accept pins if required, whilst the corflute was more difficult. The dimensions of the corflute board were more manageable in the car, although surprisingly, the larger insulation foam board was lighter. The floppy roll up design wall was most efficient for transporting, and blocks could be rolled up with it. As the latter hangs over a door, there is a nice firm base behind it for assisting the blocks to adhere to the batting, but size is limited to the width/height of the door.
1)Cover a 600mm x 1200mm Dow Styrofoam (extruded insulation foam) insulation board with polyester batting: Cover insulation board with batting and use duct tape to secure the batting to the board, then use Command brand picture hanging tape to attach to your wall. You can custom cut the boards to fit your space. Use a Stanley knife and new blade, trying to cut all the way through on the first pass. Make a couple half size to take to classes or retreats. Here is a link to a tutorial on how to do this: http://www.thequiltingedge.com/2012/08/duct-tapewho-knewdesign-wall-tutorial.html
note: Dow styrofoam comes in 2.4m x 0.6m sheets that are 2.5cm (1 inch) thick, so two of these cut in half will give you a 4 piece design wall 2.4m x 1.2m
2) Cover a 600mm x 900mm (or a 1200mm x 900mm ) 5mm thick (NOT 3mm as this is too thin) corflute board with cotton flannelette in the same manner.
3) Make a floppy roll up, very portable “wall” from cotton batting and dowelling as per Judy Bellingham. Cut batting to desired size (to fit over a door) with an extra 6” top and bottom to make rod pockets. Hang over the door. Rod at the bottom makes it firmer. – Here is a link to Judy’s blog with all the instructions : http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art4336.asp
A portable frame how to can be found here: http://www.quilting-tidbits.com/quilt-design-wall.html – this tells how to make a wooden frame and also how to make a permanent design wall that you can fix to your wall. Instructions are not entirely straightforward I think, but a handyman could probably figure it out!
Cork pin boards can also be used, with flannel thin cotton or polyester batting pinned around the perimeter.
IN AUSTRALIA, supplies can be found here:
Insulation board: DOW Styrofoam 25mm x 2500 mm x 600mm can be cut with sharp Stanley knife, and is $27.00 / sheet available at
Austech, 1/1089 Kingsford Smith Drive, Eagle Farm 4009. If you pick this up yourself they will cut it for you into two 1200mm x 600mm sheets.
See their website for contact information – click this link: Austech
Austech are the only Australian supplier.
Corflute, duct tape, Command picture hangers, Dowelling at Bunnings
Flannelette: Lincraft or other dressmaking fabric supply shops
Batting: your local Patchwork shop
Cork board: Westfloors and Queensland Cork Suppliers, 4 Cecil Rd, Bardon, 4065 ph 3876 4844 Family business.
3’ x 2’ (915mm x 610mm) sheets 12mm are $35.20; 8.5mm are $27.50
FOOTNOTE: COMMERCIAL WALLS:
Brindabella Quilting has a large 65” x 65” wall for $240.00 http://www.brindabellaquilting.com.au/designwalls
Roller blind types here: http://www.design-a-way.com/Home_Page.php – American but could be built here. Costly.