My family likes to eat at Cracker Barrel and when it's nice outside we usually play a game of checkers out on their front porch after dinner with those big oversized checkerboards. Well I got inspired one day that something like that would be a great gift for my dad and father-in-law for Christmas. They both like to play games and I thought something like this would be great to play with their grandkids as they are just getting old enough to understand the rules of the game to play. Of course I'm one for a challenge to "make" it myself instead of buying it, so I came up with a design and created customized cloth checkerboards for them. I love how they turned out because they were big and soft, it was less likely to get banged up and checkers to be stepped on if they got thrown all over the place.
For my father-in-law I made an Iowa State themed board with navy and red felt checkers. Now I was pretty limited on the amount of Iowa State fabric I had so the red squares are kind of random with the logos on them, but if I had plenty of fabric I would have lined up the IA State and Cy in the middle of the squares. It was my first attempt at "quilting" and found that it is very tricky making 64 perfectly square pieces and sewing them to be all the right sizes to line up together. When I was done attaching all the pieces together I ironed out all the seems and ironed on some light weight interfacing to the back. Then I added a square backing piece and made some quilt binding to finish off the edges. I wanted to order oversized checkers but couldn't get them in time for Christmas so I cut out double pieces of felt and used Tacky glue to attach them together. This made them nice and thick plus the glue hardening helped add some rigidity to the pieces.
My dad is a big hunter and lives in a log cabin so it was only appropriate to make his board camo and blaze orange. The second time around I got a little better at things and got my technique down a little better.
They were a big hit and the kids LOVED playing with their grandpas!