Quilt Photography and Temporary Design Wall

I confess, I am a quilting snob.  I require a design wall to lay out my quilts.  I need to put everything up, then step away to get the big picture.  Then I move things around, let it rest, look again, move things around, continuing until I get bored and put it together.

My absolute favorite design wall option is insulation board covered in polar fleece, which is then attached permanently to the wall.  It is easy to put up, relatively inexpensive, and I get to use my power tools.  Also, my room is then very quiet.  I have had lovely ones over the years.  I describe how I made them in this post.

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When I moved to my current studio space (guest room) after acquiring my longarm machine, I did not have a wall that could accommodate my panels.  I have one above my shelves, but it is up pretty high.  With my chronic shortness it isn’t really functional.  It is where I keep inspiration pieces, and occasionally stage a few blocks.  For a full quilt, I needed something different.

In an effort to take better photos, I have recently acquired a photography backdrop stand.  I don’t remember where I saw the idea, probably one of the zillion Facebook groups I belong to.  It is brilliant.  Lightweight, easy to put up, and I don’t need anyone to hold my quilt while I get a photo.  This is the stand I ordered.  It is a LimoStudio Heavy Duty Backdrop Support System.  I ordered a set of clamps, too.  (These are affiliate links.  If you buy something through my link, I will earn a small commission.  It will not affect the price you pay for the item.)

IMG_4390Needless to say, it is fantastic for taking quilt photos.  I can set it up on the deck to get nice natural lighting.  This is an old piece I made many years ago.  It is a pattern from Australian Patchwork and Quilting.

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I can get nice square shots now.

IMG_3627My previous idea was a couple of heavy duty Command hooks on the central air bulkhead in the living room.  When needed I would put up a curtain rod and hang quilts there, blocking the doorways.  I couldn’t get a straight on shot, as the sofa is in the way. My husband was seriously disgruntled over that system.  The stand is way better, and now the hooks are down, too.

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Can you see where this is going?  A few days ago I realized that I could probably use the photography stand to hold up my design wall.  I was right.  Tah dah!  It is currently in the hallway outside of my studio.  I like to lay out a quilt, then keep it on the wall and organized as I assemble it.  I’m fairly certain my husband isn’t loving the idea, but so far he seems to be tolerating it well.  I would describe him as only mildly disgruntled.  (We like a tidy house, but I am a natural disaster.)

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When the design wall is not up, it looks like this.  All folded up into a nice little bag.  I’d stick it in the closet, but it is crammed full of fabric already.

While the title describes this as a temporary solution, it is really a permanent solution resulting in a temporary design wall.  Unless we move to a new home, or I take over the garage, this is how I will be doing my design layouts.  I don’t need the wall up all of the time, and if I feel a little pressure to put it away, maybe I will finish off my projects more quickly.  I’m already thinking of a way to attach the panels together so I can fold them up.  Time for the duct tape!

15 thoughts on “Quilt Photography and Temporary Design Wall

  1. What a great idea! I may need to get one of those stands for photography too. We pin our quilts to the wall to take our photos.
    I also use the top of my bed as a design wall, but it isn’t all that convenient when dear husband wants to have a nap. I learned that I can snap a photo of the quilt layout, and then when I look at the picture it is easier to see what I ought to move around.

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  2. My king sized bed has been my design bed for years, but you have me re-thinking everything. It’s my house, after all. I’ve got a nearly paid off two-story with a basement. I can put anything wherever the heck I want to, including but not limited to the longarm smack in the middle of my living room!

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      1. I still have two kids at home who both needs their own lives, so putting the longarm in the living room is my god given right considering that I pay the mortgage, right? I’m just not sure how to keep the cats from using it as a hammock if I install it in the living room.

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  3. Thanks for sharing. I am currently trying to set up better pictures for my quilts. I put the stand in a cart from your post. Now all I need to do is find a few extra dollars to make the purchase.

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  4. I have this same display unit. I have taken it to quilt shows that I’ve chaired and used it to display the raffle quilt. It’s invaluable for photographing my quilts.

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