Sunday, February 21, 2016

My new design wall

I wrote this blog on Jan. 24th, but didn't have a chance to publish it until now because I had to go for an emergency surgery the very next day.  I was in ICU for two weeks and now I'm in rehab for another two weeks.  If everything goes well I will be home by the end of February.  This also screwed up my second blogiversary celebration.  I'm so sorry that I couldn't keep my words when I told you all to come back on Feb. 1st to check out the giveaways.  I'm still having the giveaway but it'll be on March 1, 2016. 

When I first heard of design walls, I thought what a neat idea. Well, I convinced myself that I needed one, no, two.  I started looking around for more info on social media.  There are a lot of DIY on Pinterest and blogs, and they looked pretty good to me.  I chose to use foam boards which I got from the home improvement store near me.  After covering one with batting, I quickly saw that I didn't have enough space to hang 2 design walls in my tiny sewing room.  What was I thinking??  No matter how I rearranged the room, I still  didn't have enough wall space for both.  I have many shelves mounted on the wall to maximize the storage for my ever growing stash and other sewing gadgets that I need now and, maybe, in the future.  We, quilters, can get carried away with desire for the newest things in the market, can't we?  I decided that I would make my first design wall a movable one and lean it against the fabric shelves.  I thought that it was a great idea because my door is facing north and it could shield my stash from the sun as well.  I was very happy with it and have been using it for about 9 months.  I was able to move it around the room and it worked fine except a few problems that I encountered, such as:

1. The quilt blocks that I put on it wouldn't stay put.  I don't know if it's because I used polyester batting instead of the cotton one.  I had a whole roll of polyester batting at the time and didn't think that it would make any difference.  I'm still not quite sure that's the cause.

2. The bottom of the board got really dirty with all the thread, scraps and dust on the floor.  No matter how clean I keep the floor, the batting would attract all the debris.

3. Even though the foam board is 1 inch thick, it's very flimsy and sometimes it would tip over.

After much thought, I resolved to redo the whole thing with a packaged Blizzard Fleece blanket.  The blanket is 59 x 90 inches, and this is how I made my new design wall.

1. Since I have 2 foam boards, already cut to 48 x 83 inches, I'll use both of them.  I wrapped the packaging tape all around both boards, first at the middle and then at each end of the boards, to secure them together.  Now my new movable design wall is much sturdier than before.

2. I opened up the blanket and lay it on the work surface.  From the edge of one short side, measure and make several marks 10 inches from the edge.  Fold the blanket over at the marks.  On the folded end, draw a line 5 inches from the edge of the long side.  Sew on that line, from the fold to the raw edge, secure the beginning and ending stitches.  Repeat the same process on the other side.   This creates a pouch on the short end of the blanket.  Even though the blanket doesn't touch the floor, it can be removed for washing when it gets yucky. 

3. Insert the foam boards into the pouch, make sure that the corners of the boards fit snugly.  Wrap the side edge over to the back, make sure that the front is taut and smooth.  Secure the edges to the back of the boards with 2 inch straight pins all the way down to the bottom of the board on both sides.  I stuck the pins in at an angle so that they won't come out too easily.  Here are couple pictures to show you the back of the wall.  They aren't the greatest pictures but at least you'll get the idea.

2" straight pin along the side to secure the edges

Here is my design wall from the front view.  Everything stays put for days.  They didn't even fall off when I moved the design wall around.   Pretty neat, huh!

I felt so accomplished and am very HAPPY with my new design wall.  Yippee....

Go and seize the day!