One of the most frequent questions I am asked is about the Quilt Design Wall next to my sewing machine. I use this handy tool for laying out and organizing my quilt pieces and quilt blocks. The blocks stick to the flannel-type fabric with out any adhesive or pins. It’s fabulous! So I thought I’d put all of the answers about where to find or how to make your own Quilt Design Wall in one, handy place for easy reference!
First of all: What is a Quilt Design Wall?
A Design Wall or Design Board is a place to audition quilt block placement or rows of quilt blocks. They’re especially handy so that you can step back and see the ‘big-picture’ of the project you’re working on, keep your quilt block designs organized, and play with different layouts without having to lay them on the floor.
Typically they are made of some type of flannel or batting material so that the cotton blocks will ‘stick’ to the design wall without having to use pins or adhesives.
Where can you get a Design Wall?
There are lots of options to purchase commercially for Design Walls*. It’s also easy to make your own Design Wall. Here are some options:
I purchased the design wall hanging next to my sewing machine. It’s a heavy-duty flannel on one side with grommets at the top for hanging. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find this specific design wall available anymore, but you can find a similar design wall from the Fat Quarter Shop, Missouri Star Quilting, or Amazon.
Connecting Threads also has a large pop-up portable Design Wall available here.
There’s also the option to Make Your Own Design Wall
Christa Quilts has an excellent tutorial for building a large Design Wall out of foam board (available at home improvement stores) and flannel layers – especially perfect if you have a sewing studio or dedicated space to hang in on your wall.
Suzy Quilts has a list of great ideas for making your own Quilt Design Wall using simple things like thin composite board, foam core, foam insulation board, hanging a curtain rod, or even using the back of a door!
Other simple options include: hanging a white flannel sheet, a large piece of batting or neutral-colored flannel or batting, or using the flannel backside of a vinyl table cloth. I would recommend something in neutral colors so it’s easy to see the blocks.
One other variation are these super handy mini design boards (or a small design wall). My friend Emily made me some and I’ve LOVED them. They’re perfect of laying out quilt blocks, auditioning fabric, or just keeping your pieces in place until you’re ready to sew.
Lori Holt has a tutorial to make your own Design Board (mine don’t have the decorative border, which is fine with me) or this video tutorial if you like the extra visuals. You can also buy Lori’s Design Boards ready made here in multiple sizes.