Monday, September 19, 2016

Reversible Gameboard

I may have finished my first quilt, but I am just getting started with my learn to quilt book.  I've really enjoyed working on the 1, 2, 3 Sew series to learn how to sew so I thought it would be worth checking out 1, 2, 3 Quilt.  The first project is a reversible game mat.  The project seems a little simple after I reverse engineered and sewed a big quilt for Rowdy, but I want to get some more practice with techniques.

5 fat quarters are plenty of fabric for this project.

We had a big storm which knocked out power out.  Once the electricity came back on we discovered that our FIOS was blown.  To pass the time without internet I had a little cutting party.  I cut the fabric for multiple projects so I could be ready to go and start working once I had access to the internet, and my blog, again.

I didn't make an error in cutting but I do wonder if I should have reversed the game board sides.  Maybe I should have had the big squares out of the forest fabric and the small squares be the more geometric fabrics.  The fabrics I chose for the strip piecing are directional so you will tell when they get reversed.  Oh well, I'm not going to let this bother me too much.  I also think it is good that I had to cut up a big pattern.  I have been so hesitant to do this that it is a good exercise for me.  Hopefully I'll like some of the animals in tiny sections when I see the finished product.

Sewing these blocks together should be a piece of cake.  I don't even need to pin the smaller squares and with my 1/4" presser foot it was so simple.  My instinct is to press all the seams open but the book wants me to try nested seams so I did that for the tick-tack-toe board.

It is convenient to iron nested seams... but I don't like using them.  I found it harder to line up the squares than it would have been if I pressed it open.  Plus I think you can tell that the seams aren't flat.  I can see where this might be handy, but I decided to press out the seams on the checker board strips.

I did take the time to pin the longer strips together, I didn't want the pieces to slip too much when sewing it together.  I really REALLY need to move the iron out of Rowdy's room.  I finished the stitching while he was asleep and then needed him to wake up so I could press the fabric and cut the strips.

I was worried I wouldn't like how the fabric went in different directions but I actually think it looks pretty nice.  You have to look closely to see where the different strips fit together.  Maybe I should have mixed up the strips when I sewed it together so it would be less obvious when a character was split in half but that is something to keep in mind for next time.  There was only about 3/4" left over from my strip piecing.  I will hang onto this and use it in another project.  (It occurred to me that I should make drawstring or zipper pouches to keep the checker and tick tack toe pieces in.  Maybe these fabrics could be an identifier of which project is in which bag.)

When pinning these strips together I lined up the seams as closely as I could.  It won't be perfect but hopefully I was close enough.

Stitching the self binding rectangles to the outside of the tick-tack toe board finished up super fast.  Now both sides of the game board are complete and I just have to assemble it.

The batting is cut to size so there isn't any extra.  The quilting on this project is hand tied so I'm going to want to take extra care things line up when I make my quilt sandwich.

I pressed over 1/2" of the tick tack toe board but found that there wasn't enough to fold over to bind the project.  I redid this with only folding over 1/4" hems.  Now there should be enough to bind onto the checkerboard with a 1/4" seam allowance from the checker squares.

Before adding my basting pins, I used some sewing pins to try to line up the center ties of the tick tack toe board with the intersections of the checker board.  It was easier than I thought.  I'm so glad that I have the 1/4" foot for my machine!  This is my first time trying to make squares of different sizes line up.  

I have some DMC 25 embroidery cotton in color 3865.  This is bringing me back to the days of friendship bracelets and winding the floss onto little cardboard bobbins.  This soft white goes well with the letters on the checkerboard and the white lines on the tick tack toe board.  

I've tied off a quilt once, but I only went through each side once before tieing the knot.  I like how it has you go through twice before tieing off.  Unfortunately my needle is too small to get through the fabric.  I purchased some larger needles (chenille needles from the embroidery section) and was able to tie off the quilt top.  

I didn't tape one layer to the ground before pinning it and you can sort of tell.  Things are a bit bunched between the pins and self binding edge.  I will remove the basting pins before pressing and hand stitching down the binding.  

You can barely even see the knots on the checker board.  Success!  

I hand sewed the binding on the checkerboard side using blue thread.  I'm not excited about doing some hand sewing, but at least this is some practice before I work on my next quilt.I only bled on it once, but I think I got the blood out.

In one afternoon I finished hand stitching the binding.  I really prefer machine binding as a technique, but for something like this game board where the wrong side is also a right side it will get more notice than the wrong side of a quilt.  I think the hand binding looks great but I'd prefer to be able to finish it faster.  Maybe someday I'll feel differently about taking shortcuts, but I find myself sewing more than knitting these days because my crafting time is so limited with a baby and a toddler in the house.

I am really excited about the game board.  The colors are very Rebecca and it should be fun to use to teach my children some basic games.  Sure, you can play tic-tac-toe with paper and a pen, but maybe a kid can pick up the game before they know how to write.  Plus it makes a great other side to a checker board.  Now I just need some game pieces to be ready to go!

In the book 1, 2, 3, Sew I am trying to do every project even if I'm not excited about it.  I will not be able to do that with 1, 2, 3 quilt because some of the quilts require too much time and money just for practice. I do plan, however, to do as many of the small projects as possible to try to expand my comfort levels.  They may not be done in order (I am still collecting fabric scraps for the pixel pouch) but I hope to get to them eventually.

Now I have two new projects to do.  1) I need to make some game pieces so we can take advantage of this fun gameboard.  2) I need to make some kind of bag to hold the pieces.  Maybe I'll create some kind of zipper pouch or drawstring bag.  It is really fun when one craft spawns some more!  

7/20/16 pieces cut
8/5/16 Finished