What is chalk cloth, you ask? Chalk Cloth, also called blackboard fabric, is a cool new fabric by Moda that is bendable and “sewable” like fabric, but it acts like a blackboard. You can sew it really easily and the possibilities for chalk cloth projects are endless: chalk cloth place mats, chalk cloth gift tags, chalk cloth fabric table cloths as recently featured by Martha Stewart on the Today Show, chalk cloth pages in Quiet Books, and chalk cloth play mats!
Are you excited? Here we go, lets do a tutorial on how to use this awesome fabric!
- 1 piece of chalk cloth (21″ x 13″)
- 2 coordinating fat quarters (I used Moda 10 Little Things Grey Streets and Riley Blake Blue Medium Chevron)
- 21″ x 13″ Batting
- 2 strips of a jelly roll for binding (or equal amount in wide bias tape, at least 2″ wide)
- Coordinating Thread
- Pins, Sewing Machine
- Walking Foot (optional)
- Rotary Cutter, Rotary Mat
- 3″ Velcro
Cure Your Chalk Cloth Fabric
1) After you gathered all your supplies, cure your chalk cloth by rubbing chalk horizontally and vertically over it. After curing it, you can renew it by washing it off with a wet sponge or, like I did, just wash the whole piece off under the sink.
Cut your First Fat Quarter
Decide which fat quarter you want to have on the back of the play mat and around the chalk cloth – I chose my Moda 10 Little Things Grey Streets. Then lay it in front of you with the long 22″ side facing you.
Carefully cut off the selvage by using your rotary cutter and cutting mat.
Using a quilting ruler, sub cut your main fabric fat quarter in 1 large rectangle as well as THREE (3) strips 1.5″ x 21″. Sub cut TWO of those strips into 18″ x 1.5″ but hold on to those scraps. Align one strip with the long side of the chalk cloth right sight together and sew using 1/2″ seam allowance. Repeat on the other side with the other strip. Finger-press open.
Sub cut the last strip into 13″x 1.5″ and sew it on the short side of the chalk cloth and the strips you have stitched on.
Stitch the two short left over scrap pieces from the other two strips on each side of the last left over short strip, creating another 13″x 1.5″. Stitch on the remaining short side creating a frame around the chalk cloth fabric.
Create you car pockets with your other Fat Quarter
Take the second fat quarter and fold it in half length-wise. Sub cut it into a 13″x 9″ piece and a 20″ x 9″.
Fold both rectangles length wise creating 4 1/2″ rectangles.
On the shorter one, take water-soluble pen and mark 1/2″ mark, 7 1/2″ (center) mark, and 12.5″ mark. Then sub divide into 5 car spots and 2 chalk spots by marking every 2 1/3″ from the center. I use a pen to help me create the slots for the chalk sticks in the 6th pocket spot.
Pin the 20″ x 4 1/2″ rectangle to the short one aligning all raw edges starting with the short side. Mark the middle and then pin. Pin the other short side. Then divide up the car pockets and pinning them on the marked spots you created earlier.
Sorry about the photo quality of this picture. Stitch straight lines from the top to the bottom where each pin is, starting by removing the pin and with a back stitch to secure the thread.
Now that you created pockets on one side, shift your attention to the other side of the pockets. Fold the open side of each pocket like in the picture below.
With a 1/4″ seam allowance stitch over the end with the raw edges to secure the pockets. Remove the pins, square it off with your rotary cutter and rotary ruler and put to the side for now.
Put the Velcro on the back fabric
Measure 6 1/2″ from the top of the short side and stitch 3″ of the soft side of the Velcro there.
Now place your back fabric right side down, short side with the Velcro closer to the right side, long side facing you. Place the batting on top, smoothing it out as you go. Place the chalk cloth on top with the pieced side strip to the right side. Smooth out.
Now quilt around the chalk cloth aligning your foot on the edge of the chalk cloth as a guidance.
I started at the back side attaching the binding, so when you stitch on the binding in the front using the stitch in the ditch binding method, you don’t see it later if you missed. This method allows you to stitch in securely the raw edges of the car pockets. I wanted to be able to fold over the car pockets away from the chalk cloth so you are able to also play on the back of the play mat, so I chose to seam both short edges by folding the raw edges inside and top-stitch along the short sides and only bind in the bottom of the pockets.
Roll up your almost finished mat and mark the spot where to put the other part of the Velcro. Then attach your Velcro and you are done.
What do you think? Oh, and we are almost sold out of this fabulous fabric, but we are going to get more in in a week or so.
Hannah from Sew Adorable Fabrics
Find other Fat Quarter Projects here.