Update after finishing: I'm definitely glad I did it in six panels, both for ease of assembly, and because it puts less stress on each individual panel and also gives me a handy line for reference when putting up large pieces of fabric. I tried fairy lights around the edge, but they looked odd and were taken down. I now have fairy lights in the big plant beside the design wall instead.
Update a year later: it's still going strong, and I love it to bits. The double layer of foam core board gives a good, sturdy base for pinning into. I definitely need to pin into it! With my current quilt, I was using a big range of fabrics and relatively large pieces. I didn't want to have to cut out a piece every time I wanted to audition the fabric, I'd have wasted half the fabric, so I folded the fat quarters down into the square, rectangle or triangle I was auditioning, then pinned through all those layers. I've ended up with some rather bent pins, because that's an awful lot of fabric to pin through. By now it's at the stage where the pieces are all cut and the top is half-sewn. I couldn't possibly have designed this without a design wall. I'm also definitely glad I did it in six panels. If it had just been a single sheet of flannel over the whole thing, no matter how taut I would have originally fastened the sheet, it would have started to sag in the centre from the weight of all the fabric being applied to it.
This is going to be amazing and I am so excited to see your pictures and follow how this is developing! You are making me want more than my flannel sheet;-)
If your flannel sheet works for you, great! I just really need something I can pin into. This is probably a lot more work than some of the other methods out there, but then I'm really not equipped to deal with a board that's 8' long in any sense.
Tenar well my flannel sheet may work I do love this better! I do use pins on mine as well- the fabric sticks nicely BUT I have four cats who think knocking it around is a fun thing to do! This is just going to be wonderful for your work!
I love the drawing with the stick person and potted plant. This is going to be a great design wall. I had a piece of batting hung up for mine, but then I decided I wanted to actually use it as batting...
I meant that I need to pin by jabbing the pin in at a 90 angle, not pinning as if joining two pieces of fabric. There's too much paper around for that when I'm using freezer paper (look at http://www.flickr.com/photos/elettaria/8182845022/ again). Plus I don't have cats, but I'd be worried about knocking things down as well!
I would like to point out that the stick person is done perfectly to scale. Well, the height is correct, anyway, even if it does have its bottom sticking out. The plant will be sitting on a bit of furniture, hopefully http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/80135298/#/20135300, so that will be in front of part of the wall, as will the dining table. Actually, the main reason for drawing the plant was trying to work out if it would look odd sitting that high up.
Plus I do scale diagrams for everything. Life is not complete without some messing around with graph paper. Please tell me it's not just me?
graph paper .. no I would have to be far too accurate .. I just pretend my 5 on 7 rectangle is a 6" square that represents a 12" block and that the three lines that quarter it are at an equal distance (which they are usually not). Ehmmm please don't tell anyone.
Oh, if you mean rough sketches, then that's perfectly normal. I do that too. But there is an awful lot of graph paper involved in my quilting, both the sort with 5mm squares like this paper, and the sort with 2mm/20mm squares.
Since my attempt to lure people into the chat room is failing, I am going to go and mark up that wall with blue chalk some more. I might even get really wild and tape down the drawing pins on the second panel. That's all I can do for the time being, as I'm waiting for more boards, drawing pins and hanging strips to arrive in the post.
I have been trying to keep my love of graph paper quiet but you have made me feel like it is ok to share this obsession!;-)
I like using graph paper too, although maybe not quite to your extent. And I am also the (very) happy owner of a roll of semi-imperial graph paper (the large squares are 1" but it is then divided into tenths) that a friend nabbed from college where it is was used for one of those graph machine thingys. Wonderful when I am designing chenille waistcoats ;) Looks like you are doing very well with your design wall.
Tell you what, let's start a discussion in the forum about graph paper. Yes, I have that much to say about it. blushes
Second panel is now up, and it's really starting to look like a design wall! It is also illustrating very nicely why I need to be able to pin, and why I need something fairly sturdy. There are quite a few fabrics placed on top of other fabrics there.
This is only a third of the final thing. There will be another panel to the right, and then three more panels on top. This will probably be the main usable area, though. I reckon that I'll end up standing on the table to put tops that I've finished but not quilted at the top, out of the way, and then use the lower, more accessible area as a working surface.
Fourth panel up, fifth panel prepared and waiting. At this rate I think I'll be finished on Tuesday. Then there will be the fairy lights, of course.
It's done! Those wretched boards were cut badly, so there are occasional gaps between the panels, or some sticking out more than other bits, but overall I think it looks OK. Actually, it looks sort of weird, but I will get used to it, and it'll look much better once the furniture is back in position and I have fairy lights running around the edge.