Posts Tagged ‘creating a quilt design wall’

SEW KATIE DID/Design Wall Tutorial

Hopefully in the next month I’ll be updating my design walls for the studio so that I can expose the electrical sockets and make them floor to ceiling.

SEW KATIE DID/Quilt Design Wall Tutorial

I’ll make sure to document the process to be included in the tutorial.

 I use two types of design walls.  The grey one above is insulation board wrapped in flannel (tutorial here).

SEW KATIE DID/Layered Design Wall

 I’m sure none of you have more than one project you work on at a time, but if you do the other is a layered system (tutorial here) that allows you to roll things up and keep them in place so that you can work on what’s underneath or take it for travel.  This system is also perfect for those of you in small spaces since it can be rolled up and stashed somewhere like under a bed.

SEW KATIE DID:Psychedelic Baby Block

SEW KATIE DID:Psychedelic Baby Blocks Square

Design walls aren’t an essential tool in everyone’s creative process, but I do talk with my students about it being number one for mine.  I like to step back and see how things are getting along.  I encourage students to take photos of their project’s progression and even when they think they’ve got it perfect to take everything down and rearrange it.  This is how new ideas might develop.  In Quilting Modern we talked about not being ‘married’ to what’s on on your design wall, and in a workshop Jacquie and I taught together one of our students joked, “You’re just sleeping together.”  That quote has stuck.


I’ve developed some tricks along the way when it comes to using the design wall and the one I utilize the most is not sewing things together, but rather use bits of scraps pinned up to audition color or placement.

SEW KATIE DID:Triangles Add

I now have a bowl of various 90 degree triangles for this task.  Like so.


I have the same with strips.  This system does add to the amount of scraps, but I’m good with that.  I can’t tell you the number of times something has been all sewn together for me to realize I should have changed out something dead center of the quilt.

Happy Monday Peeps.

Hope you and your design wall are finding some time to sleep together:)


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Please ignore that large looming pile of laundry that’s engulfed my couch, I am.

sewkatiedid/design wall

Instead, focus on my new design wall!!!

SEW KATIE DID/Quilt Design Wall Tutorial

It’s gray flannel.  My friend Anja says it is the color that Kaffe Fassett requires on his design walls when he does workshops for her and heh, I wouldn’t question him.  AND it blends in so well with my current gray walls.

sewkatiedid/design wall

I’ve been loving my dual design wall system (above) for years now, but the Livudio (living room/studio) needed some refinement.

I briefly mentioned using foam board a few months ago to Jefe and he was all over it.  I love my husband.

quilting modern

Jacquie and I covered options for design walls in Quilting Modern including my dual system and how to create a foam board one too if you want to make one, or google it, there’s options out there.

We placed two insulation boards together, connecting them with Gorilla Tape.  I wrapped the boards in flannel that I bought on sale (here) so there was no piecing with this large of a scale and again taped it to the back.  I used the areas of tape to secure the staples, though this was probably overkill I wanted it to remain in place for sure.

We snipped holes for the screws in the flannel and drilled through the flannel and boards into the wall.  Before its final placement we removed the whole thing, plus screws to place anchors in the wall.  Secure and here to stay it is!

sewkatiedid/design wall

I wouldn’t have thought of these things on top of the screw heads on my own, what ever they are called.  Thanks Jefe!

sewkatiedid/strip-ease blocks

I’ve been playing with these blocks a bit for my Slice and Insert block Workshop coming up and need to settle on a baby quilt size design.

I’ve been noodling my way through taxes and with a due date of a week from today, I’m certain not to get much use out of this wall, but I can look at it.  Even Jefe has commented on its good looks.

I highly recommend you go all ‘Parks and Rec‘ on a design wall and “Treat Yourself!”  You’ll feel so good.  And if you don’t know what I am referring to then you have a new show to watch while you sew.

Happy almost TGIF.


—————————Open Studio Quilting Dates/Times—————————-


Need help with a quilting project?  Open studio dates:

Wednesdays (2nd and 4th of every month), February 13th and 27th from 11am-3pm at Make*Do*Mend.

Friday (last Friday of every month), January 25th from 5-10pm at Island Quilter on Vashon Island (sign-up required).



::Magic Number Quilt Workshop::

$85 Saturday, January 26th from 10am to 4pm at the Island Quilter on Vashon Island.

Learn this system of using block sizes that fit together automatically for flexibility in quilt design.  We’ll cover fabric selection and how to create a more traditional or improvisational looking quilt design.  Great for all levels of sewists.  1/4″ foot required.


sewkatiedid/split decision

::Split Decision Block Workshop::

$85/ Saturday February 2nd from 10am-4pm at Make*Do*Mend in Ballard.

Play with the slice and insert technique creating a modern quilt that features snippets of your favorite fabrics.  This is a great class for all levels of sewists that want to explore a new technique and play with design.  All levels welcome!  Machines and tools provided.



::Stepping Stone Block Workshop::

$85/Tuesdays, February 5th and 12th from 6-9pm at Make*Do*Mend in Ballard.

Two nights to explore the creation of your own quilt designs utilizing improvisational strip piecing in a log cabin quilt block. We’ll cover this improvisational patchwork technique while you construct blocks for your own quilt design! Please note this is a two-part class with attendance required for both sessions. A copy of Quilting Modern is required.


::Half-Square Triangle LOVE Class::

$85/Saturday February 16th from 10am to 4pm at Island Quilter on Vashon Island.

This versatile quilt block lends itself to endless designs. We’ll cover quilting basics such as picking fabrics, matching seams and create perfect points.  We’ll play with a layout that suites your style and you’ll walk away with ideas for a multitude of quilts. All level of sewists welcome.


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A repost as promised for my Improv and Value Class students. Hope you all enjoy!

Little update to this post, the design wall with the grid is a Fons and Porter Design wall.

Surely none of you are like me and start another grand idea before the previous twenty are finished.  Design walls are as essential as fabric in my mind for designing a quilt.  Wall space is a limited commodity in this house and I needed a multiple design wall solution.  I finally got around to a simple fix.

Sew doubled up ribbon to the top of one design wall that has a laminate backing.  Place your project…work on it.  When you get bored with it, roll up that design wall and tie it with some pretty bows…

and easy-peazy move onto the project on the design wall beneath.  The laminate keeps everything from becoming muddled.

A laminate table cloth works great too and you can use Blair’s technique to make your own with gromments.  Jacquie has a tutorial for mounting gromets if that sounds intimidating.

How many of these do you think I can layer in the Livudio before my husband thinks I’ve totally lost it?

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