I fell in love with this project from Sew It All Volume 11 the first time I saw it. Something about the covered buttons as checkers just spoke to me, and I just knew I would eventually make it for myself.
I waffled for a while on fabric — did I want to contrast something brightly colored with a neutral? Play with jewel tones and pastels? In the end, though, I settled on a collection from Robert Kaufman called Sound of the Woods in two colorways — Winter (blues) and Natural (tans).
I chose the lowest volume of the Natural for the “linen/solid” squares of the checkerboard, and used a selection of the Winter prints for the “print” squares. I made a point of keeping all the trees going the same direction, just because I’m like that. I backed the checkerboard with a mid-range print from the Neutral colorway and bound it with a strip cut from the Winter colorway panel.
I used the same concept on the carrying pouch, using the neutral panel for the solid parts and piecing the outside with strips of the various Winter prints. I was pleased with how easy the pouch was — even installing the zipper was a snap.
I didn’t have any cording, but I did have a piece of almost tinsel-like trim that was shimmery white and I thought would coordinate well, so I used that in place of the cording the instructions called for. I knotted it a few times behind where it was attached and sewed with a .8 stitch over it for extra security. It’s firmly attached, but I discovered that it is too fine to knot like the cording — it’s really hard to untie the knot. So I added a small covered button from one of the Winter colorway prints (actually it matches the blue checkers) that I could wrap the tinsel around instead, which works to keep it closed but open easily.
For the checkers I chose to use the same print I used on the back of the checkerboard in both colorways. I fussy-cut each button cover to feature a flower or leaf, and I tried to cut each one a little off center for a little more randomly-scattered leaf feel (also, then I didn’t have to perfectly center each one). I purchased flat-back covered button blanks (intended to be glued on rather than sewed) for this project so they would sit nice and flat.
I really love the final look. I think it’s coolly elegant with its metallic silver accents, and it’s great for fall and winter. It was fun and quick to make — covering the buttons took the longest — and I think it would make a great gift for a travel and board game lover. I think I’m going to take this one on my holiday cruise this December!