Fons & Porter Design Wall
A good friend of ours gave us the Fons & Porter Design Wall <link found here>. I had been meaning to hang it up for probably over a year, but just never made time to do it. It would have come in handy so many times . . .
Our design ‘wall’ sometimes ends up being our living room floor. It is so easy to just lay out the rows and then sit back and study it for a bit. Since we don’t have pets or kids to trample over anything, we have the luxury of leaving it there for a bit (although we do forget and walk right over it ourselves!). Having previously discussed my slight aversion to all things random, I do spend time making sure that similar colors or patterns are not touching. My attempt at randomly picking fabric from a bag of strips I like and chose didn’t go so well. I ended up saying NO, I am not sewing that color next to this color, and chose another strip until I found one I liked better. Randomly chosen no, but it did look pretty in the end! ~smile~
The Fons & Porter Design Wall is good sized at 60 x 72, with a 2” grid system to assist in laying out your patterns. We had a discussion on where to hang the design wall and finally decided it would work in the hallway right outside the sewing room. It has grommets for hanging so I held it at the right level and put in some small nails. If we find that doesn’t hold up – too much weight from fabric squares, or it’s not secure enough and blows/falls down from me rushing by (HA!) – I’ll replace the nails with hooks. I included a photo of a current project (Betsy’s quilt) in the beginning layout stage in the header picture.
We just started a Dr. Suess quilt, and since the design wall was full (!!) we resorted back to our old standby our kitchen island. In this case, we looked specifically at the individual colors like red, blue and shades of yellow to make sure there was any concentration of them in one area, or and orange square too close to a red one. Then we looked at the actual content of the squares and noticed that there were too many One Fish, Two Fish in the same area. Once we are satisfied with the overall look, I stack the squares by row usually with the first square on top. We have been know to actually use a small piece of masking tape on the each row, and did so on the puzzle piece quilt in our website header. The reason we used this technique was because there were a lot of pieces that needed to fit together just perfectly – just like an actual puzzle! HA I am so pleased with how it turned out though. Someday there is going to be a baby quilt is a smaller scale that I am going to design. It’s on my mental list. ~smile~
Do you have a formal or informal design wall? It seems we have always done a preliminary layout for almost all quilts just to find the most pleasing arrangement, even if it’s on the living room carpet, a bed, the kitchen island or whatever is big enough to hold all the pieces!