Friday, April 23, 2010

Sisterhood of the Traveling Tablecloth

Are you one of those lucky quilters who has a special "Design Wall" built especially for you to arrange your quilt blocks on while you are creating a masterpiece? Maybe it's made out of flannel, wrapped around insulation board and glued to the wall with liquid nails. I used to have one like that.  But then we moved. Ahh....I dream about that wall sometimes. Maybe someday....

In the meantime, I belong to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Tablecloth.  I't not so bad really.  In fact, I kinda love it.  Even if you enjoy one of those above mentioned "Design Walls", you might consider joining the Sisterhood.  One big plus.....you can have as many tablecloths as you want and it's not going to bother anyone or take over the decor of your home.  You are confused? Why would you want a bunch of tablecloths, especially those tacky vinyl ones like I use?  Only those in the Sisterhood know the secret.  You want to join, you say.  Okay, then.  Here's the deal: 

The backside of a vinyl tablecloth is made of flannel.  The tablecloths come in all sizes.  Lay the cloth out on your floor near your sewing area or hang it on the wall with tape or tacks (if you dare). Use it like you would any design wall to lay out your blocks and play with them.  When you are finished for the day, just fold it up and the blocks are there to stay.  I promise.  They won't budge!  When you unfold it the next time you sew, the blocks will be right in the exact same spot, just waiting to play again. 


 I have several tablecloths with blocks laid out ready to sew into quilts.  I can take them anywhere, which is what I really like the most about this method.  It is especially handy for sewing circles and guild sewing days. In fact, I try to never be caught without my tablecloth.
After all, that's the secret motto of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Tablecloth! (Now you know all of our stuff!)


What kind of "design wall" do you use?

11 comments:

  1. What an amazing idea! You are very innovative. I don't have a design wall. I have room for one in my studio; I just haven't gotten around to making one. So for now, my design wall is in my head.

    Jennifer :)

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  2. I love your traveling table cloth. I use the living room floor and can't really think without it!! I always struggle when I'm in classes, because I don't have my floor along!!

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  3. I do the same as you, a tablecloth. I also have some old flannel sheets cut into smaller pieces for smaller projects. Love that 9-patch with all the dancing blacks,

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  4. All right. Now I'm going to change my "design wall" system and add a table cloth. I have a design bed. Trouble is, everything has to be cleared off if I want to sleep somewhere comfortable. Which is a really good motivator, actually. I think I may judiciously add one table cloth to this system and mark it "NOT FOR LONG TERM STORAGE." :-) Thanks for the idea!

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  5. Oh, we so needed a tablecloth like this at our Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting last night. Our poor program chair had all these blocks made up showing different steps in making a block, but needed several helpers to hold and show off the blocks. A tablecloth would be easy to pack to meetings just in case!

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  6. Oh, you are still very creative. I love it!! I can even say I have known you for a long time. HA! Jim build me a "bullentin board" that I covered with flannel. Once it is full I have to remove it for other projects. I will pull out some old table cloths (some you have probably seen) or get some new ones!! Life is good.

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  7. that's a genius idea! I am definitely going to try that!

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  9. I'm a member of that Sisterhood, right down to the loss of the lovely design wall after moving! But I only have one tablecloth...hmmm....hello, dollar store!

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  10. you know, i do have one of those design walls. my brilliant husband built it for me many moons ago. he got the idea from someone very crafty (thanks!). i would be lost without it!! the tablecloth idea is great though...very clever!

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  11. yes, and I save my selvedges too, I have a rectangle lampshade I want cover. Saved it for almost 30 years for the right time.

    love your blog---going to add to my roll!

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