The design wall is where you lay out your quilt. It is much easier to see the overall design of your quilt when it is vertical and viewed from a distance. (Think of an art gallery – most people view art from a distance of about 10 to 15 feet.)
Most design walls are made by attaching large pieces of flannel, felt or batting to the wall. Some quilt shops carry ‘design wall fabric’ with grid systems that can be fastened to the wall. An old flannel sheet pinned behind a door will also work. Cotton quilt blocks will ‘stick’ to a wall lined with one of these materials; thus eliminating the need for pins. You can move pieces quickly while playing’ with your quilt layout.
Your design wall can be located anywhere you find space; behind a door, in a guest bedroom or on a movable screen. If space is at a premium, 2 large sheets of foamcore (4 inches by 8 inches) taped together and covered with flannel will make a temporary design wall. When company comes this design wall can be folded and stored under the bed.
My quilt design wall is constantly changing as we remodel our house. At first I used the wall behind my living room door because it was in an out of the way spot and I could view it from other rooms. I hung a large piece of cotton batting from floor to ceiling. My quilt projects would be placed on the design wall for viewing.
Later I used the back wall of my kitchen while under construction (pictured below – “interviewing” fabric for borders on the basket quilt). Today I am using the quilt design wall above my sewing machine (pictured at bottom – deciding which house blocks will make the “cut”.).
This is my large design wall. My husband covered 3 sliding doors with batting and then flannel. The batting gives it some “poof” so I can pin into it if needed. The flannel is used because the cotton blocks will stick to this without pins. I do use pins for large pieces of fabric.