Whole House Crafting

Not a Tiny House, but a Smallish House

Terry “the Quilting Husband” and I live in a relatively small house. Not as small as the houses I looked at during my “tiny-house obsession” period (oh you should have seen my Pinterest board followings) but our house is around 1300 square feet.

A small house, means a small quilting studio space. I have in previous posts, such as “I will not be discarded” & studio refresh shared photos of my quilting studio.

I do not mind the small quilting studio but I do struggle occasionally with having a small design wall. It it not really a traditional “design wall” but more of a “design wall closet door” (see post Inside the Studio to see my mini design wall mounted on a sliding closet door).

Wait a Minute, I Have Options

Last year, I moved my paper crafting supplies to our sunroom, to make my studio less cluttered. (Oh yes there are many other crafts in my life besides quilting: knitting, crochet, paper crafting, beading, etc.):

Inside the Sunroom – paper crafting table, equipment and supplies.

My rationale on this move was “why not” – why would anyone care that I have my paper crafting supplies in another room besides my studio?

Recently, the paper crafting supplies in the sunroom gave me an idea: why do I have to keep my quilting related activities confined to JUST ONE ROOM?

Whole House Crafting

We have a long hallway. In the past I have hung quilts on both side of the hallway but recently one side was empty (I burned out on all those quilts hanging everywhere in the house). Why couldn’t that become a MEGA DESIGN WALL?

I may be the only blogger in the history of blogging to post a photo of a blank hallway wall!

We have occasions in the past where Terry “the Quilting Husband” and I were battling for design wall space when working on separate quilts, and this would give us a very large space to work on quilt designs. (See the Postscript section below for the trial run I had on using this space to design a quilt).

A challenge might be that anyone coming over the house will think we are weird as we are designing quilts on our hallway wall, but then who cares – it is our house and if it disturbs them, well they can go back to their house – ha!

Ultimately I would like to have a professional made design wall/design wall sections (like my friend Betty Anne has in her lovely studio) but I need to save up for that to happen. So for now I have purchased a queen size Warm & Natural piece of pre-cut batting to mount on the wall myself.

Purchased on sale!

I did not stop there with my ideas on using the whole house for crafting. I would like a bigger cutting area for working on large projects – what about using my dining room table?

So I did, I used my dining table this past weekend for a large scale quilt trimming project (see the Postscript section) and for other cutting projects such as trimming my Recycled Door quilt and creating the binding (I will discuss my finishing decisions on this piece in a future post) for the upcoming Central Oregon SAQA Doors Exhibit at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show July 2016 (see post Update: Recycled Door).

Cutting binding on the dining room table!

Note, I would not use my dining room table for everyday cutting as it is not ergonomically correct for cutting (not waist height). Also it is not convenient for when you are working on a piece and doing small batches of cutting as you progress on a piece.

I am not sure why I did not think of expanding my crafting areas before. I guess I was brainwashed by all those beautifully illustrated organizing your art studio magazines and books. These publications seem to insist that all your crafting items be confined to one highly organized space!

Now I am a rebel (or now I am just behaving like normal people who do not impose so many rules on them).


You may have noticed, if you have been following my blog for a while, that I had not post anything related to my What’s On the Design Wall Series. So it may look like I am not doing very much actual crafting these days.

Actually I have been doing MAJOR crafting. For the past couple months I have been working on a by invitation only exhibit I was honored to be invited to participate in. I cannot reveal any specifics the exhibit curator is ready to unveil the show. I am nearly done with the piece (putting on my label) and will send it off to the exhibit soon.

The parameters of this exhibit/show were very precise and I was required to create a quilt a specific size. Also I wanted this quilt to be a story quilt. In order to accomplish these two things I needed a bigger space than my little closet door design wall. So that was my first experience in using the hallway as a design wall. It worked very well!

Also I had to trim the quilt to a specific size and my cutting table in my studio would not work, so this was my first trial run as the dining table as a large cutting table.

Here is a little peek of the piece, and as soon as I am able to reveal the details and the full piece I will:

Just a little hint, it is technically the first piece in my series “Stories My Father Told Me” (see related blog post: Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me)


16 thoughts on “Whole House Crafting”

  1. I think you and Terry are smart to take advantage of the hallway for design space. Who cares what visitors might think?! I have two pieces of 1/2″ insulation (I think it’s called R-Board at the building supply store) that are 4′ x 8′ on the end wall of my studio, which means I have a design wall 8′ tall x 8′ wide. It has sort of a foam core center, is light gray colored and I can pin into it so don’t even need flannel or batting. When it’s empty (rarely), it just looks like a wall. I know you will enjoy your hall-wall for designing, and it is probably wider than mine–every inch is welcome.

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    1. Thanks Laura! I am looking forward to it too, I need to save up some money to have my mega design wall built in the hallway; also I am thinking we should paint the hallway first (it is overdue the whole house for painting).

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  2. Using your whole house creatively is what someone as creative as you (and your husband) should do! You are also right not to worry about what other people think–they don’t live there!

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  3. Once you get an idea like Use The Whole House, don’t you wonder what took so long? I know I often have that thought. Sounds like you have a great solutions. And an invited quilt, Wow!

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    1. Thanks Claire and yes I wondering what took me so long. As I get older, I am becoming less rule bound (including imaginary rules I have imposed on myself). 🙂


  4. I’d love to see that mega design wall chock full of squares, and drafts, and photos, and whatnot. Can you make that happen? 🙂 Also, it’s fun that your 1300 sq.ft. are exactly identical to the 120 m² of our house. Yes, it’s not large but it fits four of us and all our stuff (and a little bit of junk is in the garage – I want to tidy up out there this summer! Kondo ftw!).


  5. Woohoo, way to be resourceful! I’m looking forward to seeing what you create using your new wall and the pieces for your special show.

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  6. I think it is a great idea.. I will still visit…. It will be fun to see what you have on that wall. Think of I this way….before that wall held finished quilts. Now it holds quilts in ptogress.

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