If you like to design your quilts, you’ve probably run into the problem of needing an area where you can lay out your blocks to plan the design.
Sure, you can use your floor or dining room table, but those have their limitations.
Like many troubles in the quilting community, if there is a problem, chances are another quilter has found a solution!
Some call it a quilt wall or design wall, but everyone who has one swears it’s a massive help in the quilt-making process.
Let’s check out this helpful tool, shall we?
- What Is A Quilt Design Wall?
- Why Would You Want a Design Wall for Your Quilts?
- 15 Gorgeous Quilt Design Walls to Inspire You
- 1. Curtain Rod Design Wall
- 2. Pinnable Design Wall
- 3. Roll-Away Design Wall
- 4. Velcro Quilt Design Wall
- 5. Design Wall with Cut Out
- 6. Small Space, Big Design Wall
- 7. Lori Holt’s Design Board Tutorial
- 8. Portable Design Wall
- 9. Inexpensive and Portable Quilt Design Wall
- 10. Portable PVC Design Wall Frame
- 11. Kaffe Fassett Design Wall Flannel
- 12. Hinged Design Wall
- 13. Sliding Quilt Design Wall
- 14. Door Design Wall
- 15. Foldable Design Board
- FAQs About A Quilt Design Wall
What Is A Quilt Design Wall?
Essentially, a design wall is a wall you have covered with some sort of material (usually batting or flannel) that you can then hang quilt blocks on to figure out the quilt’s design. Some quilters will put the batting directly onto the wall and attach it with push pins or nails.
Others will attach the batting to a foundation like a particle board, cardboard, or thick foam board. They then attach the foundation to the wall using nails or screws.
If you can’t use an entire wall, you can make a quilting board. Quilting boards are the same concept as quilt design walls, except they are much smaller and can be stored when not in use.
Why Would You Want a Design Wall for Your Quilts?
You may wonder if you need a design wall or why you would want one. I get it. Using a whole wall in your home or sewing space might seem a little much, but a quilt design wall can be beneficial. Here are some reasons why a design wall would be a great DIY project.
- You can use it to design your own quilt blocks and patterns.
- You can switch around blocks quickly and effortlessly, unlike if you had them on the floor.
- You can create large quilts and not feel limited by a small dining table.
- Design walls are great for improv block piecing.
- You could potentially have multiple projects set up on the wall at one time.
- Pets won’t crawl over your project and mess up blocks. (I speak from personal experience; this can be frustrating.)
15 Gorgeous Quilt Design Walls to Inspire You
Now that we know what a design wall is, I will show you 15 fantastic DIY quilting design wall ideas. Let this compilation be a helpful guide for your future design wall.
1. Curtain Rod Design Wall
This is an excellent option if you want a moveable design wall idea. The quilter’s husband hung a curtain rod on the wall with clip rings.
She can then hang up a large piece of batting using the clip rings to lay out her quilt blocks. She can take the batting down and have full access to that wall again when she finishes working on the quilt design.
2. Pinnable Design Wall
The design wall of my dreams! Christa from Christa Quilts does quilting for her full-time job, so she needed a large, high-quality design wall for her many projects. She used foam core insulation boards for the foundation and covered them in flannel.
Since she used these thick foam boards, she could pin them directly into the design wall. This is a permanent design wall secured to the wall using screws.
With a wall this large, you can have one large project or several smaller projects on it at one time.
3. Roll-Away Design Wall
Erin from Sew at Home Mummy had limited space in her sewing studio but didn’t let that stop her from having a fully functional quilt design wall.
With just a PVC pipe, velcro, and design wall flannel by Robert Kaufman, she created this valuable tool for her studio. It easily rolls up above her cabinet when she isn’t using it until she needs it again.
She’s also written an easy-to-follow tutorial for those of us who want to recreate this roll-away design element.
4. Velcro Quilt Design Wall
Can we just take a moment and admire this beautiful quilting studio? It would be amazing to have this large design wall in your studio.
But what if you rent and can’t screw into the wall, or you don’t have the necessary power tools and help to make such a huge commitment? In this tutorial, you will be shown how to create this design wall and hang it on the wall using Command strips.
5. Design Wall with Cut Out
This tutorial from Shiny Happy World gives detailed instructions on putting together this design wall. The instructions include photos showing how to do a cut-out for electrical sockets in the wall, which is genius!
They used flannel for the wall material and chose a fun dark grey patterned flannel instead of the regular white or cream color. They used a thick foam board so it can be pinned into if you need to.
6. Small Space, Big Design Wall
Here is an excellent example of when you have limited space, but make every inch of the wall count. The quilter who created this design wall knew she had limited wall space, but she made it work with this simple design wall.
It is partially behind the door, and on the bottom right, there is a strategic cut-out for the electrical sockets.
7. Lori Holt’s Design Board Tutorial
Suppose you prefer a small design board for building blocks. The designer takes you step-by-step to create these cute quilt block design boards from scratch.
You can use this tutorial to create design boards in the size that works best for you.
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8. Portable Design Wall
For those who don’t have a designated sewing space or studio, this portable PVC design wall might be what you need to take your designs to the next level.
You could either glue the PVC pipes together for a permanent portable frame or leave them unglued if you need to be able to take them apart and store them when it’s not in use. It could double as a quilt hanging for pictures or decoration too.
9. Inexpensive and Portable Quilt Design Wall
Here is a simple yet effective portable design wall made using foam insulation board, batting, and duct tape. That’s it- three supplies!
This is a quick tutorial on how to make a quilt design wall that you can move around the house quickly. The quilter who made this hides this behind her china cabinet when she isn’t using it—what a great idea.
10. Portable PVC Design Wall Frame
Kay from Quilts + Color created this portable PVC design frame with a custom-made flannel cloth to place the quilt blocks on when designing. She used four PVC pipes and four PVC elbows.
It doesn’t get more simple than that! She also made the fabric portion from a flannel sheet. She cut it to size and created pockets on all four sides for the PVC pipes to fit through.
11. Kaffe Fassett Design Wall Flannel
This Kaffe Fassett flannel is for the quilter’s design walls. It has a 2” grid that will be helpful in the designing process. You can buy it by the yard, and it is 42” wide.
The image above is an excellent example of a design wall that you can make using the flannel. It looks great on the wall, even without quilt blocks attached to it.
12. Hinged Design Wall
Do you like to work on multiple projects at the same time? This style of quilt design wall might just be the answer to your worries.
I found this design wall on Grammy Quilts blog, and she shows the steps her husband made to create this for her. Her husband used wood for the wall mounts, but everything else is foam board and PVC pipes. Impressive, right?
13. Sliding Quilt Design Wall
Speaking of impressive, how cool is this sliding design wall? It’s giving me barn door meets quilt design wall vibes. Connie from Freemotion by the River had her husband, Builder Bob, create this large moving design wall for her quilting studio. S
he shows step-by-step photos of the whole process if you have the time, money, and skills to create something like this.
14. Door Design Wall
For those who may not have any wall space or floor space to have a permanent design wall, here is a door-hanging design wall. This is an easy-to-understand tutorial on making this simple yet useful hanging design wall.
This would also be a great, cheap option for renters or someone who is a hobby quilter that doesn’t want to commit to a whole design wall.
15. Foldable Design Board
Remember those cardboard display boards you had to use for the Science fair? Who knew they could be helpful in your adult years!
Here is Becky from Patchwork Posse on making a foldable quilt design board. Her instructions are easy to follow, and you can put this together in less than an hour.
FAQs About A Quilt Design Wall
Creating your quilt design wall should be a fun project, and like most DIY projects, questions come up about how to make these valuable tools.
These are a few of the most common questions that I should address.
How do you make a quilt design wall?
If you don’t have a clear idea in mind, I recommend following one of the tutorials in this post. The most important things you need to keep in mind are:
- How large do you want the design wall?
- Do you want it to be portable?
- What skills do you need to make the design wall you want?
How do you make a portable quilting wall?
There are several ways to create a portable quilt wall. You can make a frame out of PVC, use a thick foam board and cover it with batting or flannel, or use a tri-fold cardboard display, to name a few options.
How do you make a screen board for a quilt?
A Screen board is just another word for a design board. You can follow the Lori Holt tutorial from #7 or develop your idea. If I were to make one,
I would purchase some thick insulation foam board, cut it to the size I need, and cover it in flannel with duct tape or staples. You can use pins if you need to and store it when you aren’t using it.
I hope this post has shown you how functional a design wall/ board can be. Many quilters think that quilt design walls are for “serious” quilters, but when we looked at all the different examples today, it’s pretty apparent there is a design wall option out there for everyone. I hope you saw one that inspires you to create your own.