Tonight was my quilt guild's checkerboard challenge program. The challenge was to create a checkerboard that could be used in actual play, using whatever style, inspiration, etc. you might want. Pretty much the only limitations were on size (no larger than 45" square) and that it had to include checkers (which could be purchased) and a means for storing the checkers. All of the finished checkerboards went to a local charity, Sojourner Truth House, and all members voted on a number of categories, in which awards were presented.
We had 15 members complete the challenge, which is much better than we've done with many of our other recent challenges. I wish I'd taken pictures of some of the other entries, as there were many fabulous ones. Here's mine:
My design inspiration was the "Game Board Quilt" in Kathleen Tracy's book Prairie Children and Their Quilts.
I pretty much simply resized her pattern so that you could really play checkers with it. I originally attempted to do that with EQ6, but kept coming up with really bizarre measurements for the flying geese (seriously, does someone know how to get just a single flying goose from the block library - all I can find is a unit of three flying geese!), so in the end, I did all of the math by hand, which wasn't terrible. I did miscalculate the width of the red inner border once and had to tear it off and put on a new one, but in the end, it wasn't too difficult. I think the final measurement was about 31.5" square.
I made the top (with the exception of the corner half triangles and inner border) from charms of Minick and Simpson's Coming Home line, which came out a while ago. They had just been sitting around, so I decided to finally use them up, and the only thing I had to buy for this was the fabric for the backing!
My checkers, while not always perfect circles, were functional. I made them as if you were sewing a case for a pillow: I cut one circle for the front (thanks, Olfa, for your circle rotary cutter) and two slightly larger circles for the back. Folded the ones for the back in half, right sides out, overlapped them, and placed the smaller circle right side down on top. Sewed a quarter inch from the edge of the smaller circle, clipped the seams, and turned them inside out. No need to hand stitch seams closed and finished edges all around, thank goodness!
Oh, and one final thing: I did win a prize tonight for the "pieciest" quilt!