Building to Accommodate My Next Make

The next quilt up for me will be my Jewel Frames quilt. I’ve had the blocks with sashing and corner stones attached all done for probably a year.

I just love this quilt. A friend of mine gave me this kit for my birthday quite a few years ago. It took a few years before I dug into the quilt and started cutting fabric. And now it’s been sitting unfinished for another ridiculously long period of time.

I have 87 blocks. I thought I had 80 and needed one more. What an odd number 87 blocks is.

Here’s what’s been holding me back from finishing this. I’m making this for my bedroom and want it to be a generous queen size quilt. And one roller of my design wall only accommodates a throw size quilt.

See a video of my design wall here. I love it because my sewing room is small and I don’t have a bare wall to dedicate to a design wall. This one hangs over my closet door and can roll up completely when I’m not using it or when I need to access the closet. It has two rollers,which allows me to have two projects going at one time. I can just roll one up, blocks and all, and then roll it back down when I need to.

So on Sunday I took on a project I’ve been wanting to do to make an extension for my design wall so I can more easily make larger quilts.

A week or so ago I contacted my neighbor’s dog walker, who happens to own a pick up truck. I asked him if he’d be willing to let me pay him to pick up a 4×8 foot sheet of styrofoam insulation from the hardware store and deliver it to my house. He was on board, so we made it happen.

I set up this project in my garage with the door open because I used a spray adhesive and didn’t want to get asphyxiated. I used a dog exercise pen to raise it up to a level that was easier to work on.

First, I had to cut off about 13 inches off the length of the styrofoam so it will fit next to my current design wall. A friend of mine loaned me an electric carving knife that went through the material like it was butter.

To make the surface fuzzy so the blocks will stick, I used an old plastic table cloth that I once used on my patio table. It hardly had any wear and was clean.

It was almost the perfect size! I only had to trim off about an inch on the length and a few inches off the width.

I got the table cloth all aligned on the styrofoam, then folded it back and started applying the spray adhesive so the styrofoam, section by section.

I did a test of the adhesive on a small piece of the plastic side of the table cloth before I started with the large piece. I wanted to make sure the adhesive didn’t eat through the plastic. The test told me we were ready to move forward.

I applied the adhesive in three different sections, carefully pressing the table cloth into good contact with the styrofoam surface with each section.

When the table cloth was all applied to the front of the styrofoam, I trimmed off the side pieces, flipped over the styrofoam, pulled the excess table cloth to the back of the piece and applied the last few drops of the adhesive to hold it in place.

I let it dry flat in the garage for a couple hours before i tried it out in my sewing room.

Here’s the final product. The styrofoam is really light so I can move it around easily. Which is good, because it’s blocking the door to my sewing room!

This adds about 3.5 feet of width to my design wall, which will allow me to design the blocks for a queen size quilt.

When I’m not using it I can either slip it in behind the roll up design wall, or I can simply carry the whole thing into the garage… or even store it under the bed in my guest room.

So my excuse for not finishing this quilt no longer exists. I’d better get moving!

5 Replies to “Building to Accommodate My Next Make”

  1. Hi Anne, I have been wanting to do the same because I have a Kaffe Escher quilt kit that will require a full layout as I sew. Yike! Is the insulation 2” thick? I need 2 boards and was wondering if I could get away with a thinner one. Also I was hoping to use thumbtacks instead of adhesive spray, and 4 yards of plain flannel. Thoughts? Thanks from Susan (Kileydog) in Bend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The insulation comes in different thicknesses. I bought 1.5 inches. I think it comes in 1 inch and 1/2 inch. I wanted something more beefy. It’s pretty flexible and would break easily if you’re not careful.

      My friend made her design walls out of this same material, and covered it with quilt batting. I think flannel would work fine, I’d just want it to be white or off white so it doesn’t compete with the quilt blocks. She stapled the batting on. I was afraid that the staples wouldn’t want to stay in the styrofoam. But you could certainly try it out. My friend has been using hers for a couple years. You can find the styrofoam insulation sheets at either Home Depot or Lowes. check them out online.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: