Design Floor/Exercise Tool

Sitting quietly,
doing nothing, spring comes
and the grass grows by itself.
–Basho

OK, it’s not exactly quilting, but this is one of my favorite haiku, and we certainly need spring. Enough said.

On to quilting…

We’re presently in transitional housing while our new home is being built, and I’m putting nothing on the walls. Here are a couple of improvised design wall alternatives as well as a report on the progress of a couple of quilts.

The Temperature Quilt

I love the idea of a temperature quilt and started this one early in 2020.  Then we got going on the new house and my attention was elsewhere for several months.  Finally I got back to the temperature quilt and hung the first 6 strips (January-June) on my improvised design wall.  FYI, this beige flannel backing fabric (108″ wide) makes a great design wall when hung over the stair rail.

Unfortunately, I found it tedious and not every interesting to carefully transcribe temperatures to colors and arrange them in order.  Therefore, this quilt has been abandoned.  I have no idea what I’ll do with these strips, but the remaining yardage has been repurposed already 😀

The 9″ Swap Blocks

One of my quilt groups has been exchanging swap blocks each month and we now have more than enough for a quilt or two.  Here’s a layout for my first quilt, shown on the design floor.

The design floor has been a feature of several of our houses.  As long as there’s a loft  on the second floor that overlooks the first floor (usually the living room) I can get both a design floor and an exercise plan.  Here’s how it works:

Lay out blocks on floor

Run up the stairs and look down to evaluate the layout

Run down and move some blocks

Run up and re-evaluate

Run down and move some blocks

Repeat, repeat, repeat…

So you see, having a design floor is a great exercise tool 😀

And here’s the quilt top sewn together:

Anyone else have quilting exercise programs to suggest? 😀

20 thoughts on “Design Floor/Exercise Tool

  1. Great post. 🙂 I don’t have the kind of viewing space that lets me design and exercise at the same time. The temperature strips — I would have the same problem and likely would have abandoned the project before you did — look good just as is. I’d just stitch the strips together and quilt them, and call it done. However big it is, it’s big enough for something. 😀

    • Good morning, Melanie. And thank you for reading and commenting over many years. Yes, the temperature strips could be “something” and now that you mention it they could be the center for a donation quilt. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  2. Good one! Who would have thought about quilting helping to exercise. Bet you can make a killing putting a video on YouTube/writing a book!

  3. Your Quilter’s Design Floor is a great exercise tool indeed!
    To your question about what to do with those tedious temperature quilt strips…how about using them as borders for some other quilt? However, honestly, I think it might be easier to just use them as the center for a donation quilt as suggested by Melanie.
    😉
    Interesting to note: the wood flooring framed your blocks nicely, giving it a certain ‘look’ with a natural brown border. However, your choice of turquoise really adds zing and I much prefer it, too.

  4. You are nothing if not inventive — in both your quilts and your improvised design walls and floors. And I love that haiku by Basho. (On this side of the planet we are longing for autumn after a string of very hot days.)

  5. I will add a third option to your temperature strips — you could do them as a strippy quilt with a solid fabric in between the pieced strips.
    As far as exercise, I purposely *don’t* organize my sewing room as some people suggest, with everything at hand so you just have to swivel your chair — I get up and cross the room to press and trim, and go into another room to hang things on the design wall. It’s not much, but it keeps me from just sitting for hours at a time. 🙂

  6. Had a chuckle at the exercise program. As to the temperature quilt, I love what you have so far. Seems you could just wing it and make strips that complement what you have finished, heeding only design without temperature research. One was enough for me too.

  7. Oh gosh! I’m so sorry to know you abandoned that temperature quilt! It looks really good, and would have made a nice finished quilt. Glad to know how you’re getting your exercise these days. Personally, I prefer having a design wall next to me at the sewing machine. 🙂

  8. Love the swap block quilt. I have a design wall in my sewing room. To get to top of design wall I need a two step stool. I go up and down the step stool during creation of a larger quilt. I get stretching exercise to as I reach for the top.

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