Sunday, November 4, 2012

Jumbo Checker Boards

Need a great handmade gift for the holidays? 

Ever want to have a game that is over-sized? We love jumbo checkers. It can be used on a table as well - in case someone doesn't want to sit on the floor. I also make a simple drawstring bag for storage. Great family fun!

Here is how I make them...

What you need:

about 1/2 yard fabric for each color - for board top and pieces
1 - 1 1/4  yard fabric for board backing
40"x40" batting
1/4 yd fabric for binding
1/2 yard fabric for bag
24" rope (for drawstring bag)
sewing machine
rotary cutter and board (optional, but really helpful)
Tacky Glue
E6000 adhesive

The board is a simple quilt. You can use charm squares, but I use scrap fabrics. For the board pictured above 'in action', I used old jeans and some fabric in my stash. The combinations are endless. You can make it a scrappy board as well, you just have to make sure you can tell the difference between the 2 sets of colors.

I have a cutting square that is 5.5" so that is what I used to cut all my squares. You will need 32 squares of each color. If using large pieces of fabric, you can strip cut and piece to make things go a little faster.

Just piece everything together - I like to lay everything out on the floor/table as I go to make sure I don't mess up.  (I'm making some assumptions here that you will know how to do this. If you want more details, please let me know.)

Once the top is pieced, it is time to layer your quilt board. Tape your backing to a hard surface (right side down), layer with batting of choice, and then layer quilt top (right side up).

Smooth top out, use large safety pins to baste in place.

Top quilt with pattern of choice. I like to straight stitch on the diagonal, in each direction, using the corners as guides to keep my lines mostly straight. (See the red and blue board above for the quilting pattern.)You could also tie the board if you don't want to top quilt.

Now bind and the board is done.

For the playing pieces, I use canning lids. I simply trace the lid on the fabric and cut circles of fabric. Glue fabric to lids. I like to use Tacky Glue. Next, the lids must be glued to the rings. I use E6000. It stinks and takes a few days for the smell to diminish. I like to glue everything together and put them in a sturdy box. I leave them outside for a week - in a protected location - before I bring them inside again. I would love to use a less toxic glue, but haven't found one that works well on metals. Please let me know if  you have a better solution!

Last, I make a simple drawstring bag to store everything in. I usually use about a half yard for the bag - but it just depends on the amount of fabric I have.


  1. These are so cute! I love them! And they once again make me think that I need to get a sewing machine! :)

    1. I think every household should have a sewing machine, just like a drill and hammer. I really started doing pillows and curtains for the house. It was the only way I could afford to have things the way I wanted them. Now I do fun stuff as well - like checker boards!