The kids were so interested in my sewing machine and what I was working on. Those who had never seen a sewing machine in use loved watching the pedal and the needle. Also, everyone wanted to know why I was wearing gloves! At the time, I was quilting my now-finished Epic Medallion quilt because I had an ever-coveted two table setup. These well-loved Machingers gloves really helped me keep a grip on this heavy quilt.
For the activity, I set up a Community Design Wall with two large design walls and buckets of scraps. Throughout the day, I encouraged kids walking by to stop and add to the design wall. Some only added a couple of pieces, while others went to town! We chatted about fitting fabrics together, matching/clashing colors, and seeing exciting prints (like animals, interesting stripes, etc.).
Kids are so much more creative than we sometimes give them credit for, especially in this world of standardized testing and resume-cramming. Just like us adult quilters, kids are fascinated by fabric and color, too!
The boards are larger than they look - 45" x 48" each! Constructing them was simple enough, but interesting for sure. I bought a 1" thick foam insulation board from Home Depot. Seeing me carry it across the parking lot would have been worthy of an episode of America's Funniest Videos, because of course, it was the windiest day of the year yet! You would think something so large would be difficult to get carried away in the wind (it didn't actually happen but it was a close call).
I was also falsely confident that it would fit in my large car. A very helpful Good Samaritan saw me struggling, so he volunteered to cut it with his pocket knife. Luckily, all was well after that. Be aware that you will want an extra person around to help you with foam boards! I learned that first hand. :)
I want these boards to last for years to come (hopefully I'll be invited back next year!), so I purchased Kaffe Fasset's Design Wall Flannel in Gray. It's the perfect color for a design wall (neutral and not too bright) and the gridded lines are so useful. However, the flannel stretches a lot, so it was difficult to line up the grid when piecing it together (I didn't cut the boards to fit the fabric, because I wanted them to be as large as possible). It doesn't make much of a difference to me now, and I'm pleased with how they came out. I also used a staple gun for the first time to attached the flannel to the boards. WIN!
Above is my 2nd Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts bee quilt blocks returned - thanks to the lovely Renee @quiltnfeathers, Michelle @ml_wilkie, Ashley @wasntquiltinaday, and Laura @littleandlots! I am so excited to put it together - this curve-themed quilt will be one of my projects at the upcoming Mid-Atlantic MOD quilting retreat. In any case, the design walls will be put to good use until they are needed by the community again!
All in all, it was a successful venture. Thank you to the Lopatcong PTA and the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Commission for their generous support!
I'd love to know... have you constructed your own design wall? How did you do it? There are a lot of tutorials out there and I'm curious what has worked for you. I'm still using batting on the wall as a design wall, plus these two!
P.S. Don't forget to check your inbox for the next issue of The Wonky Press, due out on Friday morning!
Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday.