Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fabric Squares Matching Game

I promised myself I'd do at least one craft tutorial that involved sewing, so here it is - a fun matching game!

Fabric Squares Matching Game
These are a bit approximate, as a lot depends on how big the squares on your fabric are, how many blocks you want to make, etc; my pictures show two game "boards" with 12 felt squares - the fabric squares were 3".)
1/8-1/2 yard of fabric with a square pattern (or circles, or rectangles, or whatever)
4-6 pieces of felt in coordinating or matching colors
Coordinating or contrasting thread (note: this project takes TONS of thread - I kept having to stop and reload my bobbin!)
Pinking shears would be AMAZING! (I didn't have any on hand but if I'd have had them, I'd definitely have used them!)

Decide how big you want your gameboard to be. Since my squares are kind of big (3"), I decided to use an entire piece of felt for the gameboard; I have some other material with 1" squares, though, and when I use it I'll make each gameboard 1/2 piece of felt big.
Cut out a panel from your material slightly smaller than one sheet of felt.

(Just a sidenote here... aren't those critters cute?! :)).

Center your panel on a piece of felt.

Now, here I'm going to insert a little disclaimer: I'm not really a sewer, so this is just how I did it. I'm sure there are better or easier ways to do this, but this is how I did it. :)
Set your machine on "zigzag" and adjust your stitch so that the WIDTH stays the same, but decrease your LENGTH to 0.5 mm.
Sew all around your panel.
Your edges should look something like this.

If you like, you can also sew in between the squares (I did, just to create more stability).

When you're done, you should have something that looks like this on one side -
- and like this on the other side!

If you want more than one gameboard, repeat these steps until you have the desired number of gameboard.

Okay, now for some pieces to play with!
Cut the remaining felt into squares 1/2" bigger than your fabric squares (for example, my fabric squares were 3", so I made the felt squares 3 1/2").
Cut out an equal number of fabric squares - note, if you have a big pattern, make sure you get at least one matching square for each square on your gameboard, or else the game won't work.

Center your fabric squares on the felt squares.

Sew around the edges; you can do it just like you did the gameboard, for this kind of look:

Or you can switch it up a bit and use a straight stitch. If you do this, and you don't use pinking shears to cut your fabric, the edges will fray a bit. I personally think this adds to the charm. :)

You're done!
Here's how to play the game - several ways, actually!
If your child is younger (12 months - 1 year, or thereabouts) you can lay all the pieces face-up and let them pick them up and match the pictures on the pieces to the pictures on the board.
If your child is a little older (1-2), you can lay all the pieces face-down and take turns picking them up and matching them to the board.
For older children (3+), try playing Bingo with the squares. Throw all the squares into a basket, mix them up, and take turns pulling them out. First person to cover three squares, three in a row, or all the animals, etc, wins.
Have fun! :) The fun thing about this pattern is that you can change up the patterns and the colors and customize it for any child - i.e. dinosaur print, trucks, girly, etc.

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