Friday, October 3, 2014

Design Wall Lust

Most people get all hopped up about spring cleaning. I think we all know by now that I am not most people. I wait until fall. Fall for me has an energy to it that no other season has, and it is in the midst of the crisper air and the smell of pumpkin- or apple-something-or-other baking in the oven that I get all tingly and excited about purging crap from the house. It's the first week of October, so you can bet I'm currently surrounded by piles of said crap, and that at the conclusion of this post, I will be off to the dump. I can barely contain myself just thinking about it.

A small pile of his papers, most of which are junk mail.
This year's purge has become even more successful than usual, as Mr. Quilting Hottie, aka Mr I Will Keep Every Last Piece of Paper, Every Item of Clothing, and Every Random Thing I Pick Up Off the Street Just to Annoy My Wife When I Bring it Home is away. Very away. He's taken a job at NATO headquarters in Brussels for a bit, and while we are missing him terribly, I am also choosing to grasp the opportunity to throw away anything that isn't nailed down and without worth without having to have a family meeting about the pros and cons of throwing out a broken spatula.

That part of our NATO adventure? A little bit delightful, honestly.  

So anyway, part of my cleanout a couple of weeks ago was getting rid of my monstrosity, nightmare, useless after the first few months, and taking up way too much space mid arm quilting machine with table. If you'd like proof as to why I was not a complete moron for giving it away on Craigslist for free, feel free to review this post. And this one.  And this one. And this one.

I'd been dreaming of turning the wall the machine was taking up into a giant design wall for months, as evidenced by my mention of it in at least two of those linked posts, and once the offending nightmare was gone, I had to dream no more. This week I built and installed one 6 feet tall by 8 feet long, and I share my secrets here so that you too can have the giant design wall of your dreams.

How to Become the Envy of Your Friends: Building and Installing a Ginormous and Awesome Design Wall

1. Head to Home Depot or Lowes or wherever they sell giant sheets of foam insulation. Wander the aisles aimlessly looking for a size they don't make (4 x 6, to put next to the one you already have of that size). Explain to the guy who trepidatiously offers help that you are looking to build a giant quilt design wall. Watch his face go blank as he tries to escape from the crazy quilt lady.

2. Glance up as you are about to leave the store, crestfallen that your dreams are about to be shattered, and see the sheets of foam insulation that are 2' x 8', with tongue and groove sides.

3. Do a happy dance because you are brilliant even if the Home Depot guy keeps looking at you like you are weird.

4. Load three sheets into your car. Note: Make sure you do not have any children in the car with you as they'd have to lie down in the backseat or risk head trauma.

5. Listen to the sheets rub against each other and make the most God awful annoying squeaking sounds while you drive. Remind yourself this is going to be a wall your friends will covet for decades and it is all worth it.

6. Head to Joann's or similar and purchase a queen sized batting. It does not have to be expensive batting, just batting.

7. Discover, upon pulling up a mobile coupon on your phone, that Joann's is no longer giving 40% off coupons, but is now down to 30%. Bemoan the days, not so long ago, that the regular coupon discount was 60% and you wondered how they stayed in business, but didn't really care.

So annoying.

8. Debate whether to build wall in living room, outside, or in studio. Decide studio is best as this will be huge and awkward enough without having to move it.

So excited!
9. Stack the sheets and attach them together via the tongue and groove feature. Realize the tongues and grooves are almost useless as they are too shallow, and get the duct tape to stabilize each seam.

You can tell the seams are too floppy without duct tape.
 10. Cover the entire wall with the batting and staple it to the back. My wall is 72" x 96" and the batting I used was 90" x 108", which was just about perfect. (Sorry no photo of this process. I tried so hard, and had such a cute model helping me, but my phone was not behaving.)

11. Locate a bunch of nails, call down your kids to hold it up (bonus! It's light enough for an eight year old to help out!) and smack that puppy onto the wall.

So big it won't fit in one photo!

12. Writhe on the floor in ecstatic joy. Maybe vacuum first.

13. Optional - Skype with husband and show him the wall-o-joy and your evolving studio redo. Act innocent when he asks "Where did the computer table go?" It would only upset him to know you didn't give it a proper sendoff when you listed it on Freecycle.


Michelle Banton said...

Mr. QH isn't going to recognize his home.

Angie said...

You could be in trouble. He doesn't read your blog, does he? Nahhh...

roberta mill said...


Glen QuiltSwissy said...

Love it!! Love it!!! Love it!!! You are a genius!

I am wIting for Mr quilts and Dogs to go out of town for a week so I can empty my quilt room into the living room and then organize it all back. He couldn't handle the mess if he were home......

Just sayin'. Why can't he go out of town when you WANT him to!!!

pennydog said...

Design wall envy right here, mine's a skinny cow, I need a big, chunky wall, about another yard wide I reckon would do it. I love a clear out too.

Rachell said...

Yes I am envious! What kind of staples did you use? Regular office stapler or building staples?
What about covering the board with something like the Fons and Porter "design wall" ? (Which is really just a flannel sheet printed with grids)

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