Quilt Retreat, Quilting tools, Quilting with Friends

One ‘Must Have’ Quilting Tool

While on my annual quilting retreat this weekend,  I realized just how much I actually rely on my design wall. While putting together a quilt top  set on point,  I soon found  just how hard assembly is.   I normally place blocks on my design wall as they are completed.  But of course can’t when on a retreat .   And it goes without saying that it would be impossible to carry a large design wall when traveling anyway.

Lisa came up with the obvious solution in this case:

Lay the blocks out  on the floor     


Voila!  Perfect block placement.

When I got home however, I just couldn’t resist displaying it on the design wall to get a good look at it.


I also went online and found a few other suggestions for portable design walls at Quilters Diary.

‘These design walls are great because you can lay out your blocks, then roll them up with the blocks in place and take everything with you.

  • Flannel fabric. You can find these very cheaply at a thrift store, or buy some flannel yardage on sale at a fabric store.
  • Vinyl tablecloth. Get one with soft white cottony backing that will cling to your fabric pieces.
  • Quilt batting. Use a thin cotton or bamboo batting in a neutral color.
  • Acrylic or wool felt fabric.
  • Grid-quilted design wall. You make this just like a regular quilt, with a layer of flannel on top and a layer of batting behind. To create the gridlines for placing your blocks, mark the fabric every two inches vertically and horizontally, then stitch along the grid lines to make a square grid that covers the design wall surface.
  • Large pull-down roller shade. Give the shade a clingy surface by covering it with flannel or batting. Unroll the shade when you want to lay out blocks, then roll it up with fabrics in place when you want to put the quilt away.’
If space allows, I really like the idea of the ‘pull-down shade.’  Just think with the shade holding the blocks in place, it would be a piece of cake to again unroll the attached blocks and complete the top at home.
There is always time to quilt!
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