I was recently looking through, okay drooling over, one of our latest books,Sweetwater’s Simple Home. I do so love the “simple” style! And talk about project lust! I’ve already added 2 quilts, a hamper, and a tie pillow to my “make next” list.
I was in serious need of a gift to make and thought this book might be the place to find one. The checkerboard project reminded me of a chess set I saw that used various-sized salt and pepper shakers as playing pieces. I loved how it was an out of the ordinary gift made with ordinary objects. I decided to make something similar, but with a sewing twist.
Checkerboard from "Sweetwater's Simple Home"
After several early mornings in the studio (and a few afternoons too), here is what I came up with. I have to say I am really pleased with the way it turned out. Here is a breakdown of the chess pieces….
Kings and Queens These are made from large spools, 3/4″ wood squares, and extra large thimbles. The queens are made from the same materials, but with smaller spools and thimbles.
Rook This piece was made with a small vintage spool and a wooden thread spool adapter (by Nifty Notions), topped with a large snap.
Knight Cute chubby spools, scissors from small sewing kits (spray-painted black to look like the old Wiss pair I learned to sew with), and a small touch of ribbon make up this piece.
Pawns Made from bobbins and 1″ square blocks.
Bishop My all time favorite! I made these using a small wooden egg stand and a large red felted bead/ball. Some yellow pearl cotton, scrap of green felt and single gold/silver headed pins were perfect to make it look like a miniature version of the familiar tomato pin cushion. Hint – these alone would make some wonderful secret Santa gifts or tree ornaments for this year…just sayin’!
After painting my assortment of wooden spools, I realized that they needed a little something more. From my scrapbook stash, I pulled out some Cosmo Cricket scrapbook paper, which matched the fabrics perfectly. A few strips and squares gave the pieces a more finished look. The gold and silver spray paint was a great way to help identify the pieces for the two players.
My chess board is made up of 2.5” inch squares, a little smaller than the original Sweetwater one, as they were a better fit for the game pieces. I used double-faced flannel for batting to keep the “board” as thin as possible.
A big thank you goes out toPrymfor supplying most all the notions, to Modafor the wonderful Cosmo Cricket fabric, and to my coworker, Ruthmary Schauer for her fabulous quilting. I couldn’t have done it without you!