Wow did I feel guilty asking the kid at home depot to cut two 4x8 panels into 1.5 in strips.
WOW! And he did it? The last time I asked for something like that I was told that " we can't cut anything less than 2 inches." So I had to have them cut it to 2x8, carry it home and set up my table saw. What a pain that is. I would have paid the extra cut fee to avoid it.
do most people use the approach of furrings along the wall and attach the panels to the furrings?
It depends on whether you need to hide the staples behind the panel or not and whether or not they need to be removable. In the theater area of my room I didn't plan on removing any of the panels so I attached the furring directly to the wall. The staples on top of the furring are hidden by molding; on the bottom face by baseboard. On the exposed end, I made a smal panel and wrapped the fabric around and stapled on the back, THEN attached to the wall.
I JUST did my final wall and the edges are exposed on both sides, so I had to hide the staples AND one of the panels needs to be removable for access to my whole-house humidifier. So I made a big bottom panel and used french cleats and the top two friction fit once the bottom is in place.