When our boys were toddlers I was cruising the teacher supply store and found a poster with about a dozen pairs of birds that could be cut out for a game of concentration. I bought it, had it laminated and cut out the cards. The boys loved that game and played it often. They learned the names of many birds and I was amazed at how quickly they would turn the cards and find a match. I knew that I wanted Henry to have his own match game. Sadly the much loved bird match game that I got from the teacher store was very mangled after years of play. When I saw this fabric panel, I knew I had to have it! It had two of each kind of bird. I also liked that it has each letter in the alphabet. The cards turned out to be 4 inches by 5 and 1/4 inches. The perfect size for chubby little hands. Henry can start out with just part of the alphabet and as he grows, more cards can be added to the play. With all of the great fabric options out there, you could customize a matching game that fits your family’s personality. You could use different colors, matching pairs of scraps from your fabric stash, or your child’s favorite interest. So many possibilities!
For this project the materials you will need are: A fabric panel with matching items, Iron on batting, enough coordinating fabric in the same yardage as your panel piece, scissors, pins, thread, and a sewing machine.
It was a pretty simple project. I did learn a thing or two that I will do different if I make another one. I washed dried, and ironed the fabric. I took the lazy way out and ironed the batting onto the entire panel (this would later turn out to be not the best idea). Next I cut out all of the rectangles with birds.
I then cut out strips from my coordinating fabric and then turned those strips into 4 by 5 and 1/4 inch rectangles. This way the backs of all the cards will be the same. Just like a deck of cards. I pinned the bird rectangles to the coordinating piece rectangles with the right sides together.
Then I went to the machine and sewed around the ‘cards’ using my presser foot as a guide and leaving about 2 inches open in the bottom to turn them right-side out. I used a wood knitting needle to poke out the corners and ironed the cards turning the unstitched area in and pinning.
I took all the cards back to the machine and stitched along the hem to close the gap. Because the batting was on the entire piece, including in the seam allowance, it was quite fiddly to get the opening to tuck in neatly. If I make another game, I will probably use a nice felt as my backing and place the squares wrong side to wrong side and simply serge or use an overcast stitch. Even so, I was happy with how these cards turned out.
Since I cannot leave well enough alone, I took the two large rectangles from the panel and made a storage bag out of them to hold the bird cards. I turned the tops of the rectangles down to form a very narrow hem. I placed the rectangles wrong sides together and then sewed around the two sides and bottom. I trimmed the seams with pinking sheers being careful not to cut my stitching. I turned the bag right side out and folded the bag in half lengthwise to find the center. I sewed a big button in the center on the front panel and then sewed one of my hair ties on the inside center at the top of the back panel.
I chose this simple closure because the bag is pretty full with the cards and there was not room to overlap. this will give Henry a little practice with buttons and it holds the game securely so that the cards will not fall out.
The completed game is all packaged up and ready to send to my sweet Henry for his Valentine’s Day gift.