Monday, August 22, 2011

A Checker Board and A Blue Dolphin: Birthday Gifts!

My grand son never did come up with an idea of what I should make him for his birthday this year. So I found this pattern in a book I got at the Borders Book Store going out of business sale! [book called 101 Patchwork projects and quilts. Editor Patricia Bolton.] It was relatively easy to make. You had to line up strips to make the squares fit correctly and as you all know by now this is not my forte. So what should be a 16" square is a bit off kilter. But I do not think it will mess up the game playing at all. I loved going through my fabric stash and finding things like the wood fabric and stripes for the backing and binding fat quarters; and an old orange pillow case I must have gotten at the thrift store IN CASE I needed it some day....
The checkers are made from pieces of felting wool I got at Michael's (also in case I'd need them sometime for something or other...and here I did!)
I cut out and hand stitched 48 pieces of wool holding two together per checker and sewing around them using a blanket stitch with embroidery floss.
I then decided they needed an envelop or sack to keep the checkers in. So I used some more of the orange pillow case fabric turned it into the envelop, which I hand stitched to the back of the checker board. I used a piece of green hemp and a button for a closure.
Then I sewed a strip of the fabric from the backing and made a tie so the whole thing can be folded over and held in place when not in use! Or to carry to a friend house for a sleep over
game of checkers!
I think he'll like it.
This one started with a phone call to my grand kids and my grand daughter saying she wanted me to make her a blue dolphin for her birthday gift next month.
First I found a picture of a dolphin on the Internet. I copied it best I could onto a cut open grocery bag. Cut it out as my pattern. Dove into my stash of fabrics looking for shades of blue. Tore about five different fabrics into strips and sewed them together. Laid the paper pattern on the newly created piece of fabric. Pinned and cut. Then put the two pieces right sides together
and sewed them up. I added sparkly blue rick rack I found at the thrift store for 50 cents to the seams of the new fabric. And a vintage white button for an eye on one side.
The small dots on this side are silver and sparkle in the light and sun.
I used one of her grandpa's old shirts he was about to toss into the garbage as one of the
shades of blue. The buttons remained in place on this side and make up one eye
and the rest as decoration!
I think she's going to like it.
It was relatively easy and lots of fun to make! My daughter didn't want huge stuffed animals again
(like snake and guitar done last December; This one measures 16" snout to tail.) A fun way to spend my Weekend.


  1. Okay--you are one fun Grandma--what fun gifts these are!

  2. You and your sewing machine can do just about anything. Fun gifts.

  3. You out do yourself each time you make something for the kids. These are fantastic and they will LOVE them. I love how you made the dolphin with the Shades of blue like She asked. :)

  4. Wish I had a super grandma like you.

  5. Will you be my grandma? LOL!! You are AMAZING! What wonderful gifts.

  6. these are beautiful and so creative,, I just came from the twenty minute challenge!!

  7. You are so talented! Love the checkerboard and have been watching out for your dolphin since I read that your grandaughter wanted one a few weeks does not disappoint!!

  8. I think they are both so clever and just wonderful gifts!

  9. adorable. love the idea of a fold up traveling checkerboard. and the dolphin is sweet. i had to chuckle at yr daughter not wanting huge stuffed things. i suppose after a time the people might have to move out and let the stuffed things have the house. LOL. go grammy.

  10. I bet your grandkids have no idea how lucky they are to have such a creative grandma. I love your gifts!


Thanks for leaving your comments as I love hearing from you. Your words of encouragement are why I continue to draw!