Introduction: Word Game Lap Quilt
For those chilly winter evenings, stay warm with a nice quilt with some one to curl up with. Need an added incentive? How about a friendly game to help entice some one close? Now - it's all in one!
This instructable assumes some basic sewing knowledge, but is otherwise a fairly easy quilt to make - final dimensions are ~52 x 52 inches. The pattern is based on a 9 square scrap quilt and in true scrap quilt tradition, I made mine with fabric that I had on hand. Otherwise, you'll need some fabric – cotton works well for quilting, cotton or muslin for the backing and felt for the game pieces. I’ve based my yardages on a 44inch fabric, but experience has taught me a little extra never hurts. You will probably not need to full quarter yards listed, but that is the smallest amount I am able to buy.
Light brown (2 yards)
Light blue or green (.25 yards)
Light pink (.25 yards)
Dark blue (.25 yards)
Dark red (.25 yards)
Fabric for backing (2.5 yards)
Felt or other for game tiles (0.6 yards)
Rotary cutter and mat*
Scissors, seam ripper
Sewing machine (with walking foot*, if available)
Quilt binding (2 packs of extra wide, double fold bias tape)
*Optional, but will make the project a little easier.
Step 1: Cut Fabric Into Squares
Cut fabric into 4 x 4 inch squares. An easy way to do this is to first cut 4 inch wide stripes (photo 2) and cut the strips into 4 inch squares. You will need :
24 light blue
& 8 red squares
If you need to use different fabrics (I used 2 different browns) - that's fine. The quilt is symmetric, so the blocks can be incorporated as part of the pattern (take a minute to plan where you'll want to lay these out according to the template in step 2)
Step 2: Begin to Sew!
Think of the quilt as a 5 x 5 block pattern, where each block is made using 9 of the cut squares. I've labeled the blocks (1-5, plus the center) (photo 1). I tackled this project by completing all of blocks labeled #1, then 2a, etc. Construction is similar for each block, so I'll walk you through two different examples. You'll need 4 of each block and a center block.
Beginning at the top of each block, sew the first two squares together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. For block 1, this is red to brown or brown to brown (I'm showing brown to brown in photo 2 and 3). Attach a red block to the two brown blocks. You now have row 1 of block 1. Repeat 4 times.
Combine a brown with pink (make 8). Take 4 of these duos and sew another brown to the pink (pink is now in the middle). Take the remaining 4 pieces and sew a brown to a brown (pink is on the end). You are now ready to make the block!
Take 1 of each of the trios you just made and line them up according to the template. Sew row 1 to row 2 and row 2 to row three.
Repeat these steps for blocks to make 3, 4, 5 and the center.
Step 3: Blocks 2a and 2b - a Word of Caution
In the template, there is a 2a vs. 2b block. These are mirror images of each other - if you try to sew all the blocks in the same order, the final pattern won't line up. My trick? Sew the trios all the same (8 of each row) but combine the trios into blocks at the same time (4 of 2a and 4 of 2b).
Lay the first row face up on your work surface. Lay row two down on top (photo 2). If I were to sew on the right side of both rows, I'd end up with the same block. Instead, I flip over the second set to get the mirror image (photo3). Now, sew on the right on both pairs of rows. When you open up the material, the two sections should be images of each other. Repeat for the third row. Remember, you'll need 4 of each block.
Step 4: Lay Out Pattern, Then Sew!
Before you sew the blocks together, lay them out according to the template in step 2.(photo 2 is what can happen if you don't!) You will need to rotated the blocks so that they fit. Press the blocks. Now, we sew.
Sew blocks in rows according to template in step 2, trying to line up seams.
1 + 2a + 3 + 2b +1
2b + 4 +5+ 4 +2a, etc.
Sew all five rows together. Be careful and check that you don't swap rows 1&5 or 2&4. Laying the rows out again will prevent heartache down the road.
Press quilt top.
Step 5: Quilt!
Lay down the material for the back of a quilt on a large table or floor smoothing out any wrinkles. Spread batting over top.Lay quilt top on top. Backing and batting should extend beyond sides of your quilt. Pin the layers together, starting at the center. Alternatively, I used a fusible batting, so I was able to fuse the layers with a steam iron, starting at the center and working my way out.
One the quilt sandwich is together, begin to quilt. Attach your walking foot to the sewing machine (a walking foot helps feed the fabric through in combination with the feed dog). Work your way from the center out. For this quilt, I opted to stitch in the ditch (i.e. along an existing seam) every three blocks, so I had 4 lines of stitching down the quilt and 4 lines of stitching across.
Trim excess batting and backing, flush with the front of the quilt. Bind the quilt using double fold, extra wide bias tape, placing the slightly wider side on the back to ensure you catch both sides of the bias tape. Tuck raw edges of bias tape under and sew.
Some alternatives at this step are:
Tie the quilt
Quilt more extensively (i.e. between each small square)
Use a a contrasting thread to really outline the different blocks.
Step 6: Done....almost. Create Letter Tiles.
Cut felt into 3 x 3 inch squares, using the technique of strips, the squares outlined in step 1. You'll need 102 for a standard game. Tiles needed are listed below, broken down by point value.
2 blank tiles (scoring 0 points)
* 1 point: E ×12, A ×9, I ×9, O ×8, N ×6, R ×6, T ×6, L ×4, S ×4, U ×4
* 2 points: D ×4, G ×3
* 3 points: B ×2, C ×2, M ×2, P ×2
* 4 points: F ×2, H ×2, V ×2, W ×2, Y ×2
* 5 points: K ×1
* 8 points: J ×1, X ×1
* 10 points: Q ×1, Z ×1
Squeeze out the fabric paint in the shape of the letter in the center of the square and the point value in the bottom right hand corner (check to make sure your felt/paint combination can't be seen through the back side of the tile!). Use a paint brush if needed to spread out the paint. Stencils are a good idea if you want reproducible letters each time. Let dry.
WIkipedia has great directions, but as a reminder, red tiles 3x word, pink is 2x word. Light blue (or green) is 2x letter and dark blue is 3x letter. Alternatively, you can use your fabric paint or stitching to mark the boxes. Now, all you need is a cold day and some one to play against!