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Tutorial – Travel Design Board

Hello! So, as we move towards half-term and with the summer holidays looming (honestly, doesn’t this year seem to be flying by?!) my mind always turns towards hand-sewing: something that I can take with me on days out or for when I can grab five minutes peace!

Travel Design Board Tutorial | fabric and flowers by Sonia Spence

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I love hand-piecing in particular and always use a design board to plan my block and keep it together during sewing. I used this great tutorial by Bee Lori for my board and would highly recommend it! It uses thick cardboard which is great for use at home, but not so practical when you’re out and about, so I came up with this roll-up travel design board. It’s a quick project, perfect for using up any wadding and fabric scraps that you have hanging around and probably took me an hour all in, including taking all the photos!!!

Materials Needed;

Travel Design Board Tutorial | fabric and flowers by Sonia Spence

Finished size – 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

How to Make the Design Board;

  • Place bondaweb sticky side down on the wrong side of the outer fabric, in the centre leaving a 1/2” border all the way around. Press.
  • To position the fastening, measure 4 3/4” up/down (to find the centre line) and 4” in from the left-hand side and mark with a pencil (Note: you can vary the distance but I would recommend 3-4” if you want to roll it up). If using a snap fastener, push the prongs through the bondaweb and fabric. Otherwise, use a pin/mark the right side of the fabric. Remove the paper backing from the bondaweb BEFORE attaching your fastening!!!

(TIP: once the backing paper is removed, the fabric is quite sticky so be careful with handling. I found it easiest to roll up the fabric in order to attach the snap fastening)

Travel Design Board Tutorial | fabric and flowers by Sonia Spence
  • Place the wadding wrong sides together with the outer fabric, overlaying the bondaweb, and again leaving 1/2” border on each side. Press on the outer fabric to bond the layers together. Fold each outer corner in at a 45* angle to meet the corner of the wadding, and then fold again. Pin in place to secure.
Travel Design Board Tutorial | fabric and flowers by Sonia Spence
  • Starting on one side, fold the edge of the outer fabric in half to meet the raw edge of the wadding. Press. Fold over again to give a 1/4” binding around the edge of the travel design board. Press and pin in place.
Travel Design Board Tutorial | fabric and flowers by Sonia Spence
  • Repeat on all sides – where the corners have already been folded this should give a neat mitred finish. A wonder clip on each corner helps to keep everything in place.
  • Wadding side up – and starting part way along one side – begin stitching just in from the inner edge of the binding. It is best to take it slowly and, as you approach a corner, remove the wonder clip/pin, hold carefully in position (a seam ripper can help with this), pivot on the corner and continue until you reach where you started. 
    • [OPTIONAL] Add a second row of stitching just in from the outer edge of the binding.
Travel Design Board Tutorial | fabric and flowers by Sonia Spence
  • To finish, place the Travel Design Board right side up and, using a ruler to ensure it is level with the previous fastening, mark 1/2” in from the left-hand side. Attach the other half of your fastening.
Travel Design Board Tutorial | fabric and flowers by Sonia Spence

Make it your own;

  • To make a bigger/smaller Travel Design Board: chose the finished size of board that you would like and cut wadding and bondaweb to this size. Cut outer fabric +1” bigger on width and height.
  • If you don’t want to use the self-binding method described above, cut all three layers the same size and then attach binding as you would normally for a quilt.
  • If you are not keen on fastenings or don’t have any to hand, some other ideas are:
    • Sew some ribbon into the binding so that you can fasten the design board with a bow
    • Use a button and loop closure

Or, you can check out the Flexi Sewing Case which can be unfolded to reveal four see-through divided, zippered pockets for organising block pieces and a design board!

Flexi Sewing Case and Kit for sewing on the go

And there we are! I hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorial! If you make one then please do let me know and tag it #traveldesignboard on Instagram so that I can see your makes, and do let me know if you have any questions. And if you would like to see how I try to always be ready for slow sewing then check out this post for some tips.

Back soon,

S x    

Today’s sky::: grey and rainy…. *clearly* nearly half term!!!

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1 Comment

  1. Pamela Fields
    May 24, 2018 / 3:08 pm

    This is awesome! Thank you!