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Sprucing Up Your Sewing Space: A Design Wall Dream Come True!

Something wonderful happened last weekend in my sewing room, and I’m so excited, I just had to share. I now have a real-live, large, and permanent design wall!

My new design wall--inspired by Jennifer's drive to finish her UFOs, I've pulled a few off the shelf myself!

My new design wall–inspired by Jennifer’s drive to finish her UFOs, I’ve pulled a few off the shelf myself!

For years, given the space constraints of my combined sewing room/office (and occasional guest room), my design wall consisted of a piece of “tired” white batting attached to the wall with push pins. Yes, it worked, but I dreamed of something more substantial. When Brooks and I became empty nesters earlier this year, the opportunity to expand my workspace became a real possibility, and I was all over it.

First stop: the local home-improvement store, where I purchased four 1″-thick, 2′ x 4′ sheets of insulation board. Back home, I taped the boards together in pairs on the long edges using clear packing tape. Then, with the help of my hubby (and a level), I affixed the two newly joined boards flush to each other on the wall with Velcro (!), which I placed in 4″ strips on the corners and in the center of each two-board panel and in corresponding, pre-measured places on the wall. I covered the whole thing with a large piece of white cotton batting, which I secured to the outside edges with T-pins. Voila! The finished board measures 8′ across by 4′ long . . . and I love it!

Velcro, T-pins, and cotton batting

Velcro, T-pins, and cotton batting

I got the idea for the Velcro–which I also found at the home-improvement store–from my friend, Chris Porter. It was so much easier than using slats, nails, hooks, screws, or any other hardware-y things. I suspect the wall may need a little touch up when I remove the boards to move someday, but the areas affected by the Velcro are small . . . and I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

A few tips: If possible, purchase insulation board with no writing on the front. It wasn’t until I had the boards up and covered that I discovered their bold, blue writing showed through the batting. A coat of white primer fixed that, but you can avoid the extra step if you start with a clean slate. Also, be sure the batting is cotton; fabric pieces have a tendency to slip off poly or poly-blend surfaces. You can substitute white cotton flannel or felt if you prefer, but I found a queen-sized batting did the trick–with leftovers for other small projects. Finally, do try the T-pins. In my experience, staples just didn’t work.

Before signing off, I’m happy to announce that Cathy Gunstone is the winner of  the That Patchwork Place Quilt Calendar 2014 from my last Friday’s post. Her favorite month is August “because the weather is usually at its Puget Sound best and the mountains and wildflowers are glorious.”

It was so much fun to read the comments! Every single month was noted, with October garnering the most votes by far. Seems we love those autumn days! July came in second, barely nudging out May and September.

Just for fun, I asked my blogging sisters their favorites. Laura picked June because it’s her “birthday month, and also because school is out, it marks the beginning of summer, and vacation trips begin.” Jennifer chose “March, because it’s the month of seasonal change. Nature starts emerging from Winter with buds and blossoms. It’s a time of renewal for me.” As for me, I’m with those October folks. I grew up on the East Coast, and autumn has always been my favorite season.

That’s it for now. ‘Til next time, happy stitching!

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