Fun & Games

Rashida Coleman-Hale
Fun & Games

Fun and Games

Pack up and go with a portable checkerboard and pouch. It's functional and fun for a road trip, picnic or backyard game night.

Use 1/4" seam allowances unless otherwise noted.



  • Eight 1 3/4"x7" rectangles of coordinating cotton fabric
  • Eight 1 3/4"x7" rectangles of linen
  • 10 1/2" square of backing fabric
  • 12" square of batting
  • Two 2"x27" strips of coordinating fabric for the binding
  • Coordinating all-purpose thread
  • Acrylic ruler
  • Rotary cutter and mat

Checkerboard Piecing

Position the fabric rectangles in two rows, alternating the printed fabrics with the linen (1). Align one cotton print rectangle with one linen rectangle with right sides facing; stitch one long edge. Continue pairing the cotton rectangles and linen rectangles, stitching the strip long edges to form two rectangles of eight strips each. Press all seams in one direction.

Cut the two pieced rectangles into eight 1 3/4"x10 1/2" rectangles, using a rotary cutter, mat and acrylic ruler. Alternate the strip colors, aligning the long edges (2). Stitch the rectangle long edges together with right sides facing to form one 10 1/2" square; press all seams in one direction.

Lay the backing fabric right side down over a flat work surface. Position the batting over the backing, then position the checkerboard right side up, aligning all corners and edges. Baste the perimeter through all layers.

Stitch in the ditch through all layers. Remove the basting stitches.


With right sides facing, align the two binding strip short ends on the diagonal. Stitch the ends together; trim the seam allowance to 1/4" (3). Press open the seam.

Press one binding short end 1" to the fabric wrong side. Fold the binding in half lengthwise with wrong sides facing.

Position the binding strip end along one checkerboard edge center with right sides facing and raw edges aligned. Begin stitching 2" from the strip folded short edge, stitching through all layers.

At each corner, raise the needle, turn the fabric, and fold the binding up and back down over itself to form a mitered corner (4). Lower the needle and continue to sew.

End the stitching 1" before the binding beginning. Trim the binding end so it fits inside the beginning fold. Insert the short raw edge into the beginning fold and continue stitching to finish the binding (5).

Fold the loose binding edges to the checkerboard back. Slipstitch the binding to the checkerboard back side, mitering each corner and covering the machine stitching.



  • 6"x4 1/2" rectangle of cotton fabric
  • 6"x4 1/2" rectangle of linen
  • Size 30 covered button kit (24 buttons total)

Cut the fabric and linen rectangles into twelve 1 1/2" squares each.

Cover each button with one fabric square, following the covered button kit manufacturer's instructions.



  • 1 yard of linen
  • Eight 2"x10 1/2" coordinating cotton strips
  • 12 1/2"x10 1/2" rectangle of fusible fleece
  • 13"-long zipper
  • 18" length of cording
  • Coordinating all-purpose thread
  • Acrylic ruler
  • Rotary cutter


From the linen, cut one 5"x12 1/2" rectangle, one 7"x12 1/2" rectangle and one 12 1/2"x10 1/2" rectangle.

Position the patterned strips, alternating the patterns and aligning the long edges (6). Stitch each strip long edge with right sides facing to form a 12 1/2"x10 1/2" panel. This is the outer pouch piece.

Position the fusible fleece over the pouch piece, with the fusible side facing the fabric wrong side; fuse following the manufacturer's instructions.

Stitch in the ditch to quilt the outer pouch piece.

Experiment by using different quilting stitches and techniques to achieve unique looks and expand your quilting skills.


Position the small linen rectangle on a flat work surface. Fold under one long edge 1/2"; finger-press. Center the fold on one right side of the closed zipper, so 1/4" of excess zipper extends beyond each fabric edge. Stitch 1/4" from the folded edge. Repeat to stitch the large linen rectangle on the opposite zipper side (7). Press the pieces flat.

Align the linen lower edges with wrong sides facing, leaving 3/4" of fabric beyond the zipper (8). Press the upper fold and pin the sides.

Pouch Assembly

Position the outer pouch right side down with one cording end centered along the upper edge. Position the zippered linen panel right side up along the outer pouch lower and side edges. Position the remaining linen rectangle over the stack, aligning all edges; pin (9).

Stitch the perimeter through all layers, beginning by backstitching slightly above the zipper beginning. End with a backstitch, leaving a 4" opening for turning along one pouch side edge.

Stitch the pouch upper corners at a slight angle for diagonal corners.

Clip the corners and turn the pouch right side out. Push out the corners and press the pouch.

Fold under the opening raw edge; press. Slipstitch the opening closed. Knot the thread ends; press.

Rashida Coleman-Hale studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and rediscovered her love of patchwork when she became a stay-at-home mom. Her first book, I Love Patchwork, is available in fall 2009. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. Visit her blog,, to read about her crafty life.


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