May 14, 2015

Quilt Block Design Board Tutorial {The Duck Tape Version!}

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I'm super excited about the just-beginning Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along over at Bee In My Bonnet!  It's based on Lori Holt's new book, Farm Girl Vintage, a lovely book of super sweet sampler blocks.  I love this book!  The blocks, instructions, quilt layouts, and ideas are so beautiful and inspiring!  The book is even spiral bound and lies nice and flat!

To prepare for the Farm Girl Sew Along, I've been inspired to make design boards to keep quilt block pieces in order.  They will come in very handy when I don't have time to sew a block immediately after I've laid out the pieces.  Using the design boards will also keep my design wall free for other use, not to mention keeping the pieces straight as I take them to the sewing machine.  They tend to have a mind of their own and jump out of order in the transfer from the design wall to the sewing machine!

This is not my original idea; I make no claim to that.  I've taken Lori Holt's tutorial, shown below, given a few more specifics regarding board size and changed it from a fabric border to Duck Tape.  Yes, Duck Tape - that stuff that comes in fantastic patterns and you always wondered what you'd do with it!  Here's an excuse to buy some!

I recommend watching the video first as it will explain a whole lot that I don't repeat.

This video can be viewed on YouTube.

ETA:  I now recommend using fleece or a batting that you are 100% positive won't leave fuzzies on your fabrics.

This tutorial creates 14 design boards in the following sizes.  I chose these sizes because it used the board in its entirely with no waste whatsoever, and I don't often make blocks bigger than this.
  • 6 - 12" x 12"
  • 3 - 8" x 8"
  • 2 - 14" x 14"
  • 2 - 10" x 10"
  • 1 - 8" x 10"

The tri-fold board comes with two folds already in it.  First we'll cut these folded sections off.  Turn back the folded flaps several times to create a visible crease on the uncut side of the board.  Lay the board flat and score this crease with a scissor.  It's quite easy to do, and it doesn't have to be perfect.  Fold the flap back and it will easily pop off.  Repeat for other flap.

Take the two flaps you've separated from the main board and draw lines 12" from each short end.  With scissors score along this line, fold it back to create a crease, and then score this crease on the other side of the board.  Fold it back and pop the piece off.  Repeat on other end.  This results in six 12" x 12" boards.

Take the main board and draw lines as shown in the picture below.  Score along the lines with the sharp edge of a scissor or other blade, fold back to create a crease, then score the opposite side and pop off the piece, just as before.  


{Please note I now recommend using fleece because it doesn't leave fuzzies.  The batting on my boards leaves fuzzies on the back of my pieces.}  I have not change the wording from "batting" to "fleece".

Cut a piece of batting the size of each board.  Here's my daughter cutting batting for me. We had fun making these together.  She thinks she's not crafty; I say she just hasn't discovered that side of herself yet!  She hasn't had enough life experience to know that crafts can keep a woman sane, and life's about more than reading books!  Many of us are just happier when our hands are busy creating!  {That's me - Busy Hands Quilts!}

GLUE BATTING {2 options}:

Option 1:  Place the batting on the side of the board that has no writing on it.  The writing won't be covered, and then you can easily see which size each board is without measuring each time you want one.  Glue the batting to the boards as shown in the video.  I glued around all four edges, not just two as Lori shows.  I glued on the top of the board, not the 1/4" thick side.

Option 2 {thanks to Ruth!}:  Spray the board with spray glue and lay the batting on top of the board, lining up edges.  Press down gently to secure.


In deciding which Duck Tape to buy, I chose a lovely Flower Sugar knock-off and a penguin on blue.

Take your super fun Duck Tape and cut a piece the size of the edge of a board.  I found that tearing the Duck Tape created a not-so-fine edge, but cutting it is tricky too since it is super sticky.  Accurately cutting the tape creates a nice corner, but give yourself the grace to simply create - your boards don't have to be perfect!  I didn't measure any tape; I eyeballed every single time!

Place the bottom edge of the board even with a line on a cutting mat.  Carefully place the tape over the batting, approx 1/2" from the edge of the batting, using the lines on the cutting mat as a guide {see pic above}.  Press tape down.  Turn board over and secure the tape to the side of the board.  Then carefully press the tape down onto the back of the board.

Repeat these steps to apply tape to the opposite side of the board.  Then apply tape to the remaining two sides, remembering that the more accurate the tape length is cut, the nicer the corner will be.  There are no mitered corners as with a quilt binding; that would be far too difficult with Duck Tape.

That's it!  I hope you've enjoyed this Design Board Tutorial!  Share your boards on social media with #DuckTapeDesignBoard.  

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Terri Ann @ said...

Oh my goodness this is too clever! What a great way to keep multiple blocks organized, great share!

Quiltsmiles said...

Great idea! I actually have several foam core boards cut for design boards and think with the duct tape it'll last longer than a fabric edge with all the shuffling these will be doing. You've inspired me, perhaps I'll get to them today, I think I have an aqua leopard print duct tape..... THANKS!

Shannon said...

Those are cool! I bet the duck tape is much faster than the fabric. Love your boards.

Jasmine said...

Brilliant! Do you have any problem with the tape lifting off of the fuzzy batting?

Jennifer said...

What a great idea! I'm going to give this a try and I'm so glad you recommended using Duct Tape! Thanks for the tip.

Susan said...

Great idea! And so easy with the decorative duck tape

Ruth K said...

I glue spray my boards before the batting, I hated using the gluegun and didn't like the end result so I sprayed them and they became nice and smooth, so now with the hel of duct tape they will look finished. Thanks, Great idea

Anonymous said...

I like these! they came out nice!

Anonymous said...

That would certainly help with some of the blocks I've been doing lately. I think I'll try a couple of 14" ones and see what I think. Thanks!

Mary said...

Nice way include your Daughter in making the Design boards. Duct Tape fixes everything. Our County Fair has a Duct Tape category and the Kids are so creative making stuff to enter in the Fair. I like the knock off Flower Sugar tape.

Quiltsmiles said...

Thanks Myra! I actually finished 7 of them last weekend and shared my finishes at this link.
Appreciate the inspiration and great idea. Jane

gale said...

Thanks for this. I made one with the fabric edges and wasn't happy with it. I would either get glue all over the place or not enough and the edges lift up. I'll be trying the duct tape method instead.

Edie said...

What a great idea to use the printed duck tape. I want to get some tomorrow to finish off the boards I made and could not bring myself to edge in valuable quilt fabric.

Susan said...

so awesome! thank you! I was looking for this in a youtube vid and could not find it!
Finally! great help!