I have a variety of portable design walls, where I enjoy each in the right situation.
Cheryl Ann’s Design Wall is a lightweight portable wall that is easy to setup and take down. I have the large size (72″x72″). I find it very handy to use at sew-cials, retreats, and sometimes for classes. But it takes up floor space, so I do not leave it up at home, nor set it up at home all that frequently. To clarify, if I had a larger sewing area I would most likely leave it up all the time, and use it with every quilt project that I work on. Unfortunately, I have a small sewing space (which is desperate for a good cleaning right now).
I also have a 20″x30″ foam core board, covered in felt. Obviously, it is too small to layout the blocks for an entire quilt, but I do love to use it to layout pices for blocks. Due to the small size, I use it quite a bit in my “little” sewing room. And, I have frequently taken it with me to sew-cials, classes, retreats, etc..
I know many quilters that make their own full size portable quilt wall, using automative ceiling fabric, batting, flannel, or table cloths that are backed with flannel. I also have a medium size portable quilt wall that I made using a table cloth with a cardboard tube from a large format printer’s empty roll of paper (you can find for free at office supply stores that do large format printers, like Staples, Office Depot, or Kinkos).
As you can see, it holds fabric very easily. You can also roll up this wall, whereby it takes up minimal storage. And, what I like, is that you can roll up your blocks to store them for when you are ready to sew your blocks together. For me, this is very handy.
My flannel backed table cloth quilt wall was probably the least expensive option, and the easiest to store.
In each option, you pretty much need to know what your space is as home for how you’ll use it (e.g. do you have much floor space vs wall space. And determine if you need to hang something on a wall with a nail, or other hook). Likewise, when you want to take your portable with you, you may want to ask in advance what the room setup will be to help determine if a portable wall option will work. In the smallest classrooms I’ve been in, if my table goes up against a wall, my felt covered poster board works best as I can lean it up against the wall.
Do you have a portable quilt wall? If so, what do you recommend for use at home vs elsewhere? And, if you don’t have a design wall, I’d love to hear if any of these might help you, or if you have further questions. Design walls are very helpful, but I like to find design walls that work for the area you have and need. For me, I prefer design walls that are easily portable and consume minimal space.