Lori Holt's Design Boards
I know that February is always short, but the beginning of March continues to sneak up on me. All of a sudden, it is time to write up the March Educational Tidbit. One of the ladies at the February Crazy Quilters Guild meeting asked me, how do I keep coming up with topics for the Educational Tidbits? I had to answer that I really do not know until something inspires me. This month, I am introducing “Lori Holt’s Design Boards”. You can make your own or you can purchase them.
Kimberly Jolly of The Fat Quarter Shop has really helped me to improve my precise cutting and piecing of quilt blocks. I enjoy watching The Fat Quarter Shop quilting tutorials on YouTube. When I first began quilting, I just cut stuff out and sewed it together. Now, I pay closer attention to the sizes of the pieced items, ¼ inch seam, trim as I go, and/or make sure to square-up the sewn blocks before sewing them together into a quilt top.
Kimberly has been using Lori Holt Design Boards to neatly lay out blocks and I was intrigued. Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet is the designer and creator of the Design Board. Lori has some YouTube videos showing how to make your own if you have a glue gun and have a crafty spirit, (Bee in My Bonnet Design Board Tutorial
and How to Make Lori Holt’s Quilt Block Design Board – Fat Quarter Shop
tutorial). The Fat Quarter Shop sells a variety of the finished design board sizes from 7 inches square to 18 inches square. The base is foam core board covered with batting glued to the foam core board and framed with folded 2 ½ inch wide fabric binding.
Rather than go the do-it-yourself crafty way, I decided to try them out by ordering a 14 inch square and an 18 inch square from The Fat Quarter Shop. After trying out these two sizes, I decided the 18 inch square would be the most useful for my needs. Typically, I make quilt tops consisting of 12 blocks. With some gift certificates from The Fat Quarter Shop for Christmas and my birthday I purchased 11 more of the 18-inch square design boards and now have 12 of them.
You can lay out your block and leave the pieces on the design board. The fabric sticks to the batting without fasteners or pins and maintains its location. The board is portable. can take it to your sewing machine and sew pieces together. Then you can take the board to the ironing board and then back again to the sewing machine, maintaining the block layout. I am dyslexic and tend to mix up the directions of pieces when placing them in the block. If I take the board back and forth with all the pieces laid in the proper place, I am more successful, and it makes for fewer seam ripper episodes.
After the block is completed, pressed, and squared, it can remain on the board until it is ready to be sewn into the quilt top. I stack the boards one on top of the other. One quilt top only takes up 18 inches of space. With the convenience of these boards, I have been able to take down my design wall from the sliding glass door and can look out on nature’s beauty and let in more light into my sewing studio. If I need the large design wall, I can put it back up as it is required. I found that I can lay out the design boards on the floor and determine the block layout for the quilt top.
Below are a couple of pictures of some recent blocks from 2 different quilts laid out on the design boards.
Have a great March. I will do my best to come up with another topic for April.
If you have something I can research and present as a tidbit, let me know.
I need all the help can get! Blessings.