Two Tip Tuesday – Design WALL

I am in the process of moving most of my studio into our family room. From a small office space and sewing in my basement for the past many years I am claiming the largest room in our house as my new studio. The longarm is staying put in the basement but my sewing machines and several tables are getting relocated. I also needed sunlight which the basement doesn’t have. So we’ve moved my first design wall and it needed a “friend” to be able to arrange larger quilts. So yes, WALL all in caps! I used a flannel sheet on my first wall and it is 4 ft. wide by 5 1/2 ft. high.  I bought flannel fabric for the “friend”. I kept this second sheet of insulation board the full 8 ft. height but cut it down to 3 ft. to better fit the space and it worked better for 40″ width of fabric.  I love the new WALL!!  Yes, that is a ladder so I can reach the top!

Flannel covered design wall

Want to make your own?  It is really pretty straight forward.  I used blue house styrofoam insulation board  that comes in 4′ x 8′ sheets.  Ideally, I would have liked to use the entire sheet, but my first was already made and I made the second to fit the space left.  I did trim it down to 3′ x 8′ because I purchased flannel and the wall space that was left.  Once I washed and dried the flannel, I did not iron it.  Took it straight out of the dryer and kept it flat.  I didn’t want the ironing to smash down the nap.  It is good to have at least 2″ for turn over to the back of the board.  I used a regular stapler to hold it in place and then used 3/8″ electric staple gun to be sure it was secure.  We per-determined the holes for the screws that would be screwed into the wall/studs.  (Screws should be a minimum of 1 1/2″.  Half inch for the insulation board + 1/2″ dry wall then enough to anchor into the stud.)  Also, added washers so the screw would not rip into the insulation with any weight on it and to keep it keeps the screw from being in-bedded into the insulation.) 

Flannel is 2″ wider than board.

Pre-determined screw hole.
Screw into place adding washer.

Place the blank side down on the insulation to the wrong side of the flannel.  Staple into place.  Pull fabric snug.  Cut fabric out of the corner to get a smoother turn over.

Pull flannel snug around to back

Use regular stapler to hold in place

Electric stapler and staples for more stability

Cut excess out of corner

Neat corner!











Cut a slit in the flannel at the screw.  Screw design wall into wall/stud.  Hand sew the slit closed.  Ready for a new quilt!

Slit in flannel above screw.

Slit for screwdriver.

I love my new design space!  Many tips were given in the instructions above.  But my top suggestions…

#1 – Wash flannel and to not iron to keep flannel as fluffy as possible to hold blocks onto the design wall.

#2 – Use 3/8″ electric stapler for more secure attaching of flannel.  Plus, I left the selvages ON as it is more tightly woven and a more secure edge for the staples to hold in the fabric.

3/8″ staples on left vs.
regular stapler staples

in quilting,


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