How to Build a Quilt Design Wall


Some say having a quilt design wall is a luxury but I say it’s a necessity for all quilters! A quilt design wall can be permanent (mounted to a wall in your house) or made to move around. The basic materials are a foam board covered with felt or quilt batting. Foam is great because you can use pins if you want too.

I’ve been using this same quilt design wall for 6 years now! Using pins has never caused a problem. I did need to replace some of the duct tape after a few years, but the wall is still as sturdy and wonderful as ever.

For this Quilt Design Wall design you’ll need:

  • 2 foam core insulation boards 4’ x 8’

  • duct tape

  • 3 1/2 yards of 108’’ wide flannel fabric

I found foam core insulation boards at our local home improvement store. They cost about $14 each. Just so you know – you can fit these in a Honda Odyssey minivan if you lower the back seat and take the headrests off of the middle seats.

I also picked up a roll of white duct tape while I was there.

108’’ wide flannel is usually available at Joann’s and also on Amazon. I chose a mottled cream colored flannel that won’t distract from my quilt pieces. Perfect!


How to Assemble the Quilt Design Wall

1. Cut the flannel into two pieces, each about 63’’ x 108’’ (two 1 3/4 yard pieces). Iron the flannel if needed.

Cut some of the height off of the the insulation boards, if desired or necessary to move the quilt design wall around your house. I cut 9’’ off the length of each of my boards so they could easily stand up and be moved around all the rooms in my house.

2. Spread one piece of flannel out on the floor, right side down and lay one of the insulation boards on top.

Leave about 6-10” of flannel around the board and cut away the rest.

Then wrap and fold the flannel to the back and tape it all around with plenty of duct tape.

Repeat to wrap both foam boards with flannel.

Note: Kaffe Fasset says that he glues the flannel to his quilt design boards, but I don’t. It seems like it would be too much of a mess.

3. Stack the foam boards with the flannel sides together and tape all along one long edge.

Open the boards and place them flannel side down. Place three or more long (4’ or longer) pieces of duct tape horizontally that will act like long hinges.

What I love about this design wall is that it stands on it’s own – kind of like a giant greeting card, and when I want to put it away I can fold it up (even with stuff on it) and slide it behind a bookshelf.

Most of my quilt blocks stick to it all by themselves. Some of the larger ones, or blocks with lots of seam allowances need a pin or two to help them stay on. But the foam core is easy to pin.

My daughter quickly recognized the benefits of this wall also so now we share it.

So, do you have a quilt design wall? Did you make it yourself? Please share!

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