Homespun Checkers - Wise Craft Handmade
Upcycled patchwork, modern quilts, and books by Blair Stocker. Seattle, Washington
quilter, modern, Seattle, Blair Stocker, Wise Craft Handmade, quilt classes,
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Homespun Checkers

The kids are getting older around here, which means the game playing is getting a little easier (fewer tears). I’ve had so much fun playing the classics with them lately. The other day, when felting my millionth rock, and wondering what to do with all all these felted rocks I’m accumulating (never mind that some would wonder what to do with even one felted rock)?? I had the idea come to me to make a checker set for the kids and I and, of course, the treehouse.
First I pulled out all the floral-y, colorful fabric I have in my stash, but then quickly thought better of it. Something like that could get cutesy looking very quickly around here, sometimes I just need to remind myself that we truly are “barely floral” people- if that makes sense- little bits are all we need (plus Ian would not be caught dead playing with a flowery set of checkers). So I went totally neutral, using what I had on hand (and I have to thank you, goodwill, for that fabulous stash of woolen remnants I found a few weeks ago).
To make it, I cut 2 pieces of the dark gray wool 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″, cut a piece of medium weight interfacing the same size. I cut the light gray wool into 1 3/4″ square (keeping in mind the size of the rocks, which were already made) then hand sewed them to one of the dark gray pieces using cream cotton thread (2 strands) with just a running stitch around the edge, which truly is not straight at all (that’s the homespun part). I pulled some threads around the edges to fray them slightly. I see a couple of squares I will probably redo because they look really wonky, which will bother me. Anyway…
Once I finished sewing the squares on, I put the 2 dark gray pieces right sides together, and put the interfacing on the back of the solid piece. Leaving a 4-5″ opening, I sewed around the edge of all 3 layers together, 1/4″ seam allowance. I clipped the corners, then turned inside out and pushed out the corners. To finish, I topstitched all the way around, close to the edge (which closed the opening as well).
I am thinking of making another set as a gift, but I’ll probably attach a ribbon so it can be rolled up into a tube for storage. As for the rocks, I’ll probably make a drawstring bag to put them in, or maybe some sort of pocket on the back to stow them. These rocks are so soft and tactile, fun to hold.
I have discovered that clearing off family room coffee table and leaving a game like this or a puzzle, or our word tiles, mancala etc out and ready has proven to be a great starter for the kids when they are wandering around. This is easy to set up while they are away at school (which is out on Friday), and they always seem excited to see something new set up. Who knows how long it will last?