Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Project, New Tools

Happy New Year!

2013 is a year that I will never forget.  It has been an emotional roller coaster ride full of ups, downs, and upside-downs.  My family has been through a lot this year, and while the people in my life are my greatest joy, I'm so grateful for the happiness that my various artistic and crafty pursuits bring into my life and the lives of my friends and family.  There is just something very therapeutic about working on a project that will eventually bring a little more sunshine into someone's life.

At Christmas, I got a few really nice, new tools.  Over the next few weeks I plan on sharing my opinions on some of these tools so that I can help my fellow crafters out there, who are thinking about how to best use those holiday gift cards ;)

My first review is of the Fons and Porter flannel design wall.  I got the 60"x72" size.  I've been looking at design walls for a long time, and finally decided on this one because is was reasonably priced and easy to hang up and take down.  I like the quality of the panel.  It's thin, but not flimsy, and the edges are all finished. I also like the grommets for hanging on the top, but I wish that it had them on the bottom too. The most important part is that my blocks really do stick and stay when placed on the flannel.


The packaging recommends that you find a nice flat wall to hang the design wall on, free from knobs, hooks, moldings, doors, etc.  Because I live in a fairly small apartment, I don't have a wall that meets these criteria.  My solution was to hang the wall from my shrunk using 3M hooks and then securing the design wall to the floor (also using 3M hooks) at an angle.  I figure that this way, the blocks have a better chance of not falling off, and I avoid the cabinet pulls on my shrunk.

I think it's working well, but after the project I have on there now is put together, I'm going to rehang the hooks using a level and try to tighten the design wall up more so it hangs taught.

All and All, I'm really happy with this design wall.  The grid lines and bias lines are a great help, and I'm sure glad to be able to put my blocks on a wall rather than trying to lay everything out on the floor!

I'm sure that you noticed the quilt that's on my new design wall :) Because it's the New Year, I'm glad that my first project is for my sister's new baby girl who is due in February.  I started this project with 4 quarter yard cuts of red, black, and cream Olivia the pig fabric that my Mother got me last year.  I then raided my stash to find enough pink, cream, and black to fill out the rest of the quilt.  I had to dig deep, but I'm happy with the fabric combinations.  I'm also liking the chevrons because my sister likes modern design and the pattern is pretty easy to assemble.


I'll keep you updated on my progress over this next month.  I'm hoping to get this done ASAP so that it arrives before the baby :)  Wish me luck!


  1. Looks like a great quilt you have in the making there Karen! Hope 2014 turns out to be a wonderful year for you and your family.

  2. Ooh, what a nice tool! I had seen professional quilters using those walls, but I had no idea what they were made of nor how accessible they are! Thanks for sharing your experience. And, I'm sure your future niece is going to love that beautiful quilt.

  3. Can't wait to hear what other great tools you got for the holidays.


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