Design Wall for Quilters

I dream of a quilt studio in the woods overlooking a lake or stream, watching birds and wildlife outside my window as music plays quietly over an expensive Bose stereo system. I can stitch away the day with no other responsibilities except to be a wonderful wife and grandma.  That’s not likely to happen any time soon, so I’m content begrudgingly working in my unfinished basement with the beautiful yellow cement block walls.  But a design wall would make all the difference, so the Woodworker, being the fabulous husband that he is, helped make THAT dream a reality for Mother’s Day.

If you’ve wondered how to create your own design wall, here’s how we did it, in pictures.

IMG_1398 We started by buying a sheet of 1.5 inch thick Owens Corning Foamular. I opted for one 4 x 8 foot sheet rather than two for the time being.  I can always add another one later if I need it.
IMG_1395 The Woodworker made a frame for the back that was glued in place for stability and for hanging.
The frame is the size of the sheet of Foamular.
IMG_1397 Two cross members help to secure the frame and add more stability.  Note how the print on the Foamular is at the BACK of the sheet, not the front.  That is important!
IMG_1403 We purchased Warm & White cotton batting to wrap around the Foamular, making sure we had enough to wrap to the back and staple.
IMG_1401 The cotton batting was wrapped around to the back and DOUBLED over prior to being stapled with a staple gun.  I let the Woodworker handle the staple gun because he is, after all, a professional.
IMG_1402 I showed my professional woodworker how to miter the corners, and he did a wonderful job.
IMG_1405 Two hooks were screwed into beams along the rafters above the basement wall in my sewing area.  Two hooks were screwed into the wooden board across the top of my design wall.  A chain was used to suspend the design wall from the rafters.
IMG_1404 See?  It works perfectly!   Some day soon you’ll see my fantastic design wall strutting it’s stuff with actual quilt fabrics arranged in a pleasing fashion.

Imagine how great a design wall would be in YOUR house, overlooking a lake or stream…  with soft music…

Yeah, yeah.  I know.

If you leave a comment below, please tell the Woodworker how appreciative of him you are.  You can find him during the day at Mosey’s Woodworks in beautiful downtown Flushing.

Plain, Not Fancy Sometimes Works Great!

I know some quilters have beautiful studios. They show photos of them, boast about how they created their new space, what cupboards they bought, etc. In another life, I had a spare bedroom upstairs in our colonial house that was dedicated to sewing. It had a deck with drawers and held my Bernina Nova. There was a closet for fabric (but not very large), had two sunny windows and another desk for the computer. I was thrilled I had a room to sew in… one where I could shut the door and keep the outside world – out.

In our “new” house (we’ve been here 9 years now, why do we keep calling it our NEW house) I don’t have a sewing space. We decided when Loren moved out that we would downsize. Yeah, that’s the right thing to do, right? Who needs all that space?
We do.

After 9 years of grumbling, we are talking about finishing our basement. But money is tight. Oh heck, let’s be honest. There is NO money. I live in Michigan! So, knowing that the basement won’t be finished for some time to come, Dean and I decided that we needed to create a space in the basement for my sewing anyway. It’s kinda like the Bat Cave. So why am I so excited?

Because IT WORKS. It’s plain, kinda cold, not a lot of light, but it works. We’re going to paint the walls, add a rug, and hubby has a plan to hang a tarp to keep in the heat around my sewing space.

Martha Stewart would probably yell at me. I don’t care. It’s a place for me to create. It allows me to leave my projects out and not have to pick them up and hide them away at mealtimes. (I had to set up my machine on the kitchen table to sew… yuck!)

So the next time you see a beautiful photo of someone’s fancy quilting room, think of me. Cement block walls can be lovely when they afford you the opportunity to create!