This blog post is a bit of a special one… why? Because I’m sharing the first project I’ve made for my collaboration with Singer! If you missed it, then I announced last week that I’m going to be working as a Singer Brand Ambassador for 2018. How flipping exciting is that?!
The Singer machine that I’ve got is a 7285Q Patchwork model. As the name suggests, this machine is specialised for quilting and patchwork projects. Quick confession: I’ve never tried quilting before… So it only seemed fitting that my first DIY project on the Singer was a quilted one. Ticking off two firsts with one blog project!
For this project, I wanted something relatively straightforward to get me started with quilting. I thought a checkerboard would be a good starting point, so I designed a simple DIY fabric board game. It’s got a quilted patchwork design on the front, and a large pocket on the back to store counters, dice, cards etc. The board on the front can be used to play a large game like checkers, or you could just use a small section to play things like naughts and crosses. There’s LOADS of variants of these games you could try too – making this a pretty versatile make!
Anyway, let’s get on with the tutorial, shall we?
DIY Fabric Board Game
- Fabric in two contrasting colours (a heavy cotton is a good choice)
- Wadding (I used recycled wool wadding)
- Singer 7285Q Patchwork sewing machine
- Walking foot
- Rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
- Metal ruler
- Fabric scissors
Part 1: Make the checkerboard
- Cut out seven strips of fabric, each measuring 12 inches by 2 inches. Three strips should be in one fabric colour (let’s call this colour A), and four strips should be in the other fabric colour (colour B).
- Neatly pin one strip of each colour together, right sides facing each other.
- Using a standard sewing machine foot, sew the strips together approximately 1 inch from the edge. Remove the pins as you go.
- Repeat this for the rest of the strips of fabric. You’ll be left with three pairs of colour A and B sewn together, and one strip of colour B left over.
- Take two of the pairs of fabric and open them out. Gently press the seams flat with your fingers. Place one pair on top of the other, with the right sides facing in. Make sure that alternate colours are touching (i.e. colour A touches colour B, and vice versa).
- Pin this in place and sew one edge, just like you did in step 3 (again sewing 1 inch from the edge). Remove the pins as you go.
- Open the resultant piece out to reveal four strips of alternating fabrics.
- As in step 5, press the seams flat with your fingers. Place the third and final pair of fabric strips (from step 4) on top of the set of four that you’ve just made (from step 6-7). Line it up at the edge with right sides facing in, again making sure that alternate colours are aligned. Pin and sew this 1 inch from the edge. Remove the pins as you go.
- Open the resultant piece out to reveal 6 strips of alternating fabrics. Finally, pin the last strip of colour B to the edge of the 6 strips and sew in place. (You know the drill now – right sides facing in, make sure alternate colours are touching, sew 1 inch from the edge and remove the pins as you go).
- Open it all out and you will have seven strips of alternating colour fabric, all joined together. Before you go any further, flip this over and open out all of the hems. Use a warm iron to press them flat (trust me, it’ll make the next steps a lot easier).
- You now need to cut the stripy fabric piece into six strips, perpendicular to the way you sewed them together. Simply lie the fabric flat, with the lines of colour going horizontally. Use a metal ruler and rotary cutter (or scissors, if you can cut very straight) to cut this into six strips of 2 inches each.
- You’re now going to repeat the same process of pinning the strips together and sewing in place. Start by putting two of the stripy strips together, right sides facing in. You’ll need to offset them, to make sure that alternate colours line up (A touches B, and vice versa). Don’t worry about having pieces on the end that are overhanging – that’s why we started off with seven strips, and not six! (Trust me, it’ll make sense when you make it). Pin and sew these in place, 1 inch from the edge.
- Keep repeating step 12, until you have three pairs of stripy strips sewn together.
- Join together the three pairs of stripy strips in exactly the same way, then open it all out. The resultant piece should look like the photo.
- Flip the fabric upside down, open out the seams and press in place with a warm iron. The flatter the seams, the easier it’ll be to sew in the next steps.
Part 2: Time to do some quilting!
- Cut out a piece of wadding that is the same size as your checkerboard fabric piece, ignoring the overhanging fabric bits. If you’ve followed this exactly, it should be 7 inches by 7 inches (this includes an excess of 0.5 inch all around the edge). Also cut out a piece of backing fabric to these same dimensions.
- Put the backing fabric face side down. Put the wadding on top, then the checkerboard on top of that (right side facing up).
- Attach a walking foot to your sewing machine. This is essential, so don’t skip it! The walking foot has special feed dogs which ensure that all layers of the fabric are pulled through evenly – it means you don’t need to pin in place, and the quilting will be as neat as possible.
- Starting in the middle of your checkerboard, slowly topstitch over all seams in your game board (and around the edge of the board). Be as neat and careful as you can! This step is how you create the classic 3D quilted effect. When you’ve finished, trim the overhanging edges of your checkerboard.
Part 3: Make the pocket and add the finish the edges
- To make the pocket, first cut out two pieces of fabric. One should be approximately half the size of the checkerboard; the other approximately three quarters (basically, you want them to overlap on the back of the board by a few centimeters).
- Hem the edges that will form the overlapping sections of the pocket. Do this by folding the raw edge over twice to hide it, then topstitching it in place. I used a decorative stitch on my Singer 7285Q Patchwork, but you don’t have to.
- Place the quilted checkerboard face down on the table. Position the two hemmed pocket pieces on top of this, with a slight overlap, and sew them in place with the walking foot.
- You’ll now have the finished DIY fabric board game – all that’s left is to cover up the raw edges! To do this, we’ll use a bias binding technique. Cut out four strips of your darker fabric. Fold each long edge over into the middle, and wrap this over one of the sides of the game. Pin it in place on the ends and topstitch it in place as neatly as possible (again using a walking foot). At the corners, tuck the raw edge inside and sew over it to hide it. Repeat this for all four corners.
I’m pretty chuffed with my first attempt at quilting! It’s a fairly repetitive process, so don’t be put off if the steps above are a bit daunting. It’s actually fairly straightforward! Whilst I intended for this to be a DIY fabric board game, you could easily alter the sizing to make placemats, trivets or coasters.
Thanks to Singer for working with me on this project! If you’re in the market for a new sewing machine, I couldn’t recommend them enough. I used the Singer 7285Q Patchwork for this project, and it worked a charm. I’ll be sharing more Singer sewing projects throughout 2018, so be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook so you don’t miss out! 🙂 – Mike.
Don’t forget to Pin this image, so you can make it later!
This post was sponsored by Singer, but all opinions are my own. I only work with brands I genuinely love and think are a good fit with The Crafty Gentleman. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep me blogging!