Monday, September 9, 2013

DIY: Color-Sorting Mat

I am so excited about this color-sorting mat. Nikolai just has so much fun playing with it! It doesn't matter how he plays with it I think, he is learning! So excited!

I found several nifty ideas for sorting colors online and on pinterest. Some of them were options that needed to be paid for. I figure I have *some* talent with sewing that I may as well give my own version a try! I even attempted embroidery for my first time too! So fun! And now, I want to share this with you in case you want to make your own. :)

1. Pick out the color in fabrics that you want to use. I picked out from the fat quarters at Joann's because I have every intention of making a little zippered bag to story the sorting mat and items. But really all you need is scraps (that are big enough of course 4.5" x 5.5")... I also pre-washed them for fear of the red bleeding into the white fabric.

I used the basic primary and secondary colors + brown, black and white... 9 colors all together... I love fabric...

2. Cut from the fabric (2) 4.5" x 5.5" rectangles from each fabric, totaling 18 rectangles. Separate the colors, one set for the back and one set for the front. We will complete the back first, then the front. But of course you can do it in the order you wish. :)

3. Layout the rectangles in the order you wish (I put them in color order ROYGBP then brown, black, white but it is your choice). 

Pick up your first two color, place them right sides together and sew along the long side with a 1/4" seam. Finished this is 36" x 5" so it is important to do along the long side, otherwise it will be 45" x 4"... It's really up to you.

Press seam, then repeat down a line until all 9 pieces from this set are used. :) And that is the back. easy-peasy...

4. For the front it is exactly the same as the back, except I embroidered the name of the color using the back stitch. If you are not sure how to embroider a back-stitch here is a pretty good tutorial from DIYing to be Domestic and KojoDesigns. I kind of combined the two how to's and did it on the squares. For the white I wanted to use a white floss but it would be so hard to see. So I wrote the lettering with a fabric paint pen, the kind that needs 24 hours to 'cure', and washed it before the 24 hours was up. It tinted the floss just enough to make it visible but not too much to really change the color...


5. For the layering.

  • First - I used a low loft batting. 
  • Second - Either the top or bottom (doesn't matter) as long as it is facing up
  • Third - other top or bottom (depending on which you used in the second layer) as long as it is facing down

    Use this opportunity to lock in the seams, then pin in place.

6. Sew around 'sandwich' using a 1/4" seam, pivoting with needle down at the corners.
But make sure to leave an opening to turn it. I left about 8" in the middle (over the entire middle block and 2" on either side). It has to be big enough to stick you hand in to push out the corners.
Trim the excess batting along the edges and the fabric at the corners without trimming the seam.
Then turn the piece.

press and pin the opening.   Sew around the entire thing to close opening. I wish a had a hem foot, but I do not...

Wash and there you have it!