Saturday, January 04, 2014

Design wall

One of the things I wanted to make sure to have space for in my house was a small design wall for quilts. I wasn't sure where to put it, but I decided a few days ago to build one on the bi-fold doors in my office / craft room. I got some grey flannel fabric and a few pieces of styrofoam poster board and just measured each section of the door to see how big each piece should be. To attach the fabric to the poster board, I used duct tape (there's probably a better way to do it) and then used some of the Command picture & frame hanging strips to attach the boards to the doors. The overall design wall is only about 45" x 42" but that will fit most of my quilting design needs. Sometimes I'll venture into a lap size / something to use to snuggle on the couch with, but for the most part, I typically stick to wall hanging or smaller size quilts. 

Of course, once I put up the design wall, I had to try it out! First up was a set of the 5" squares that were cut up last week. I combined the newly cut 5" squares with the ones I had left from my stash and created 14 sets and there are still a lot of leftover pieces! About half of the sets are completely random, pulling fabric from all of the different piles and just making sure not to repeat any patterns, but since I had a lot of different patterns in some standard colors (blue, green, red/pink, yellow, orange, etc.) I decided to try something new with a few of the sets - I picked out random colors and patterns for half of the blocks and the other half of the blocks I picked from a specific color. The first set I chose to play with was one that featured blue blocks.

After putting it all up on the wall, the blue color doesn't stand out as much as I thought it would while I was picking out the colors, so I decided to try it with a yellow / orange set instead. For this one, I organized the colors a bit more, so it's a little more obvious of a pattern, but I'm still amazed at how easily the colors just blend in with the rest of the patterns in the quilt. I think this one is definitely brighter than the blue one, but it's not necessarily apparent that the diagonal lines match in color, which I'm surprised by.

Finally, I wanted to dig out Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street mystery quilt that I started last winter. I pretty much have all of the pieces cut (except the 4 corners) and all I need to do is actually sit down and sew it all together. While I was home, I was able to see my mom's finished version and I really like the way it turned out, so maybe if I keep it up on my design wall, I'll be more motivated to finish it! Unfortunately, you have to wait for Bonnie's next book to come out to get the instructions on how to make this quilt, but I can share her blog post that features my mom showing off her Easy Street quilt at a class she took over the summer. Needless to say we shared some of the fabrics for this quilt, though she chose more of a typical blue color for some of her blocks while I gravitated toward the teal side of the spectrum.

How do you lay out the designs for your quilts - a design wall, the floor or a table?  

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