DIY Design Quilt Walls

Have you ever used flannel backed tablecloths for design walls? They are a cheap way to make one or two or even five easy DIY design quilt walls.

I had one on my wall which was a very heavy duty one but I don’t remember where I bought it. Normally I use it when the grandkids come over and we want to paint.

I’m going to share where I used all of the flannel backed tablecloths for design walls in my quilt studio.

5 DIY Design Quilt Walls

I bought a package of five flannel backed tablecloths that were supposed to be heavy duty. They aren’t and the flannel is thin but so far I think they are going to work perfectly for me. The price was very reasonable so I went a little crazy and decided to use all of them in my quilt studio.

I used push pins to hang them. I found that you don’t want to pin too close to the edge as a couple of times the stitching around the tablecloth pulled away.

I want to mention that I recommend putting one flannel backed tablecloth in your dryer with a damp cloth. Don’t leave it in for longer than a minute, which is enough to soften it up and get the wrinkles out.

I went through a couple boxes that had blocks in them. Some are old and some were just made before we moved. It is fun to look at them.

Flannel backed tablecloths for design walls

Design wall number one

The first one I put up was behind my ironing board and showed it in my DIY ironing board cover post.

This design wall makes me smile. I love lots of bright color in my room and also being able to change things out all the time.

I have a new X Spot baby quilt on the wall, I’ll try and get that quilted soon.

First design wall behind ironing board

Design wall number two

There is a wall that juts out a little so I cut one of the flannel backed tablecloths to fit it. This is just to the left of my ironing board and sewing machine.

I used the rest of the tablecloth to cover the area above my AccuQuilt GO! electric cutter. I like to repurpose things, Builder Bob did a remodel for his doctor a couple of years ago and brought home two bathroom vanities. He cut pieces of plywood to fit on the tops and I am using both in my studio. I plan to paint them white this summer.

second design wall behind AccuQuilt Go cutting machine

Design wall number three

Next, I moved over to the wall by the tv. The tablecloths are 54 x 108 inches and I cut most of them to fix the wall space I have. That is another muslin covered ironing board on the floor. Sometimes I used to place it on my cutting table when I was working on a project.

Design wall number 3 by the tv

Here is the other bathroom vanity. There is a sump pump in this room, hopefully it will never be used. Builder Bob cut sections out of the vanity so it could fit over the sump pump and if needed we can pull it out.

Design wall number 3 by tv

Design wall number four

This is a table and overhead table mount for my camera and phone that I use for photography, it is so nice to be able to set up things like this in my studio. I decided to add another design wall behind it.

Design wall and table for photography

Design wall number five

I had one flannel backed tablecloth left so I decided to take down the original one I had been using. I’ll save that one to cover my cutting table when we do some painting crafts.

This wall is just to the left of my cutting table and is what I will use the most when working on a new quilt project.

I can’t wait to add the borders to the teal table runner.

The flower blocks were a scrap block project I started a couple of years ago. I keep pulling them out and really need to do something with them.

At one point I was going to remake them in batiks which is why you see one block that doesn’t have the applique on it. I’ll be adding this to my list this year.

Design wall for quilts

Your Design Quilt Wall

Have you ever used flannel backed tablecloths for design walls? I will keep you updated on how well these hold up as I put quilt blocks up, remove them, and add more. Hopefully, it will be easy to remove threads from them. For anyone new, you might enjoy seeing the DIY Sliding design wall I used to have at the river house.

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Hi, I’m Connie Kresin Campbell, the quilter, writer, and photographer behind Freemotion By the River. I enjoy inspiring others with my quilt tutorials and patterns.

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29 Comments

  1. What is the name of the pattern beneath your camera stand set up? It is the four blocks with the teal etc. colours. Also, thanks for sharing all your projects and ideas. You have some amazing fabrics to showcase.

  2. Love all the creative blocks on your design walls. I made mine out of 4×8 foam boards, taped them together and then covered wit a flannel backed table cloth. Since I re-arranged my sewing room last week, I have room to extend my design wall with 2 more foam boards, so it will be wider. I have them hanging from the wall with 3 strings and is flat on my wall..

  3. How creative you are, Connie! I’m in love with so many of the patterns that you have on all design walls and hoping that we will see complete patterns available sometime in the future….enjoy your beautiful space!

  4. I love all the space you have and all the quilts and blocks you have displayed. I’ve used flannel backed tablecloth’s before, mine worked great!
    I especially love that flower quilt you have displayed! That is so pretty! I may have to give in and get that pattern from you! I vowed not to start any new projects because I have so many already waiting to be made! But sometimes one just calls your name😁

  5. Another thing is that they keep your sewing room warmer. Also stop any condensation forming on the walls.

  6. Love the design walls – our quilt group sews at a grade school and there is art on every available surface. You have the grown up version!
    I have a small house so I bought a piece of insulation board, 4 x 8. I can wedge it between the floor and ceiling to make it stand up (or cut it to fit) Covered it with cheap flannel (never thought of tablecloth). Weighs practically nothing so I can put it away (like I ever do that!) Used to be cheap now runs $12 to $30. I found this idea when my daughter was in college and they couldn’t put anything on the walls. We covered it with pretty fabric and it became a floor to ceiling bulletin board, by wedging it up against the 8 ft. wall.

  7. Another great idea Connie. I have one full wall of styrofoam that my husband made years ago, but I may be moving to an apartment later this year and I think the table cloths will work just fine. I love how you have surrounded yourself with your work. It makes for a very cheerful room.

  8. Yes, I have used the flannel backed tablecloths for a long time. I love the idea of popping it in the dryer- I usually use a sticky roller. I hung the cloths with used sewing machine needles -they are very strong and almost disappear at the top. Love your blog.

  9. The flannel back tablecloths as design walls are great! I like that you have cut some to fit your walls. I have had one on the wall, same as you, for probably six years or more and have no problems with it staying in place. I’ve never actually attempted to remove the stray threads, since there is always something in progress on it. I will say that a very complicated quilt I laid out (that was a LOT of diamonds and triangles), and quilt large, was a bit of issue with blocks staying in place. But I just used pins on the outside blocks. But that was an oversize quilt and not normally what I put on a design wall.
    So I am all for flannel back tablecloth design walls…..economical and easy to use!

  10. Connie, I have used flannel backed table cloths for my design wall in the past and really like them! It is still up in the Quilt Cave. Now I have one of those 6 x 6′ stand alone ones in my studio. It works well too. I bought some cheap flannel to try to cover some insulation boards, but it did not work well – at least for me. Though it was portable, it was a little difficult to carry from room to room! LOL Now, I want to know where the wire baskets are from! Ikea maybe?? Those are great for scraps and fabrics!

  11. Wish you still lived nearby so I could have more of your leftovers! Right now I have a bunch of your old blocks laid out to put together as a sampler quilt. One of my many winter projects, along with 7! T shirt quilts to assemble. I HATE t shirt quilts but my family keeps bringing them to me. They are all on notice that I am not accepting any more. I tried waiting them out but the oldest pile is Reizer’s from his Papa Doug so I guess it is time (9 years).

  12. I’ve always wanted to do that. Hopefully my next home as we will probably move soon. Thank u for sharing all your Beautiful projects

  13. You are so creative, both in your designs and workmanship. Your designer walls would brighten anyone’s days, especially during the dark winter days. Love it.

  14. It was such fun going through your “gallery “ of design walls. You have a wonderful collection of beautiful patterns. Being on a budget I am using a piece of white flannel for my design wall. It works well but I need to create a larger wall space for a bigger design wall.
    Thank you for sharing your amazing sewing space Connie.
    Cheers from Vancouver Island,British Columbia,Canada 🥰🇨🇦!

    1. I use inexpensive flannel backed tablecloths when I go to the family cabin. I can work on more than one project and can can bring home unfinished projects that have been designed. I have one on a wall and one I can use on a bed or porch floor to lay out blocks or audition borders. I never work on one project at a time and can pick up where I left off easily. Flannel and cotton do usually stick but I pin blocks to tablecloth on vertical walls after I have arranged blocks because they can fall off. I have a purchased design sheet with grid marks that can be hung on wall at home with Command hooks.
      I use a sticky lint roller on mine to remove threads but a quick low temp or fluff setting on dryer would work with an unscented used dryer sheet. Look at the lint trap after 5 minutes of fluff cycle.

  15. I wish I had a wall that I could pin a design wall to, but will keep this in mind in case I ever have one! But, what I would really like to know is where did you get your storage racks with the pull out drawers? I love those!

      1. Thank you for the great idea. I am definitely going to try this. Your walls make your sewing space look very cheerful!

  16. It’s so bright and cheery, and reflects your creativity!!

    I do have a design wall but it’s one I bought many years ago called Wonder Wall. It feels pretty much like a flannel backed tablecloth. Right now it holds sample blocks that I’m playing with but haven’t done anything else with yet. When I lay out a quilt I usually do it on the floor partly because I’m too short to reach very high on my design wall. LOL

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