Making your medieval game
Last time I posted I promised that I would post instructions for how to make up the games into an easy format to carry around in your bag or basket. It has been longer than I anticipated as it turns out study took up more of my time than I expected. So here is my long awaited instructions on how I make up the games. This is by no means the only way to do this. I have chosen this method as a compromise between something relatively pretty and durable but also time efficient as I plan to sell the finished product and people can’t afford the sort of prices I would have to charge to justify things like hand sewing.
1 yd of 7 Medieval Board Games from Spoonflower.com
1 fat quarter of Instructions for 7 Medieval Games from Spoonflower.com
Backing fabric in your preferred colour 30cm (12″) square for most games or a 30cm x 60cm (12″ x 24″) rectangle for Senet or Tables
Cord or string to tie it up into a bundle.
Tokens appropriate for the game/s you’re making (see the list in my last post).
Step 1. Cut out the individual games. If you buy one yard of the game fabric you will have one copy of all of seven games you will need to cut each one out along the dotted lines.
Step 2. You will also need to cut a piece of fabric for backing the same size as the game board, I like to colour code my backing fabric so that I can easily tell which game is which.
The game I’m making in these photos is Fox and Geese so I decided to use red as my backing colour.
Step 3. To begin sewing lay the game board and the backing fabric right sides together and then sew around the edge leaving a gap in the middle of one edge to allow you to turn it right sides out once you have finished. As this gap is also where you will insert the ties to keep it rolled up if you are using one of the rectangular boards (Tables or Senet) I would suggest leaving the gap on one of the shorter sides. I chose to use zig zag stitch close to the edge (as there is not much seam allowance) to eliminate any chance of fraying. In reality as the cut edges will be enclosed so straight stitch would also work.
Step 4. After sewing you need to turn it right sides out. I found I needed to iron it after turning as there were a lot of wrinkles and the next step is much easier if everything lays flat.
Step 5. At this point I insert a cord to tie up the finished bundle I cut a piece of crochet cotton approximately 50cm long. Fold the cord in half and insert the fold into the opening you left to turn it inside out. Make sure it is far enough in that the top stitching in step 6. will hold it in place.
Step 6. To ensure the game stays flat I then top-stitch around the edge about 5mm in from the edge lining up the edge of the presser foot with the edge of the fabric. Make sure your tie cord is caught under the line of top stitching. You will also need to close up the gap that you left to turn it inside out. You can either machine stitch it closed close to the edge or hand sew it using a whip stitch. Personally if I am making it as a gift I will take the extra time to hand sew it as I feel like it looks neater. If I’m making them to sell people aren’t willing to pay for the extra time so I machine stitch everything.
Step 7. (sorry no photo of this step) Cut out your instructions. You will need to find a way to stop the edges of the instructions from fraying. The easiest way is to cut it out with pinking shears or a rotary cutter with a pinking blade. You could alternatively sew the edges with a zig-zag stitch or combine it with some of the offcuts to make a pouch that holds your game tokens.
Step 8. Add your tokens, I’ve used glass pebbles as they are cheap and readily available from craft shops. Fox and Geese uses 13 ‘geese’ tokens (white) and 1 fox token (blue) I’ve used a piece of the off-cut selvedge as a stand-in for the instructions in this photo (I have a rotary cutter and pinking blade but, until later this week, no cutting mat)
Step 9. Fold up the game to keep all the pieces inside. The following instructions are written assuming the cord is pointing towards you.
9-A. Fold the top third down covering the tokens.
9-B. Fold the left and right thirds in on top of the centre third.
9-C. Roll it into a bundle starting at the top so the cord ends up on the outside.
9-D. Wrap the cord around a few times and tie up the bundle.
Now you have a nice bundled game that’s easy to toss into your bag or basket for medieval entertainment on the go.
As I mentioned before this is just one way to complete your game. Some alternative options include:
Sewing two games back to back instead of using a backing fabric.
Sew the instruction sheet to the edge of the game board to make sure you can’t lose it (make it a flap that hangs off the edge so it won’t interfere with game-play).
Turn the instructions into a pouch to hold the tokens.
Leave one edge of the game board open to make a pouch between the backing fabric and the game.
Use a button and loop/buttonhole to close it instead of cord.
Or if you prefer a no-sew option cut out the game with pinking shears and skip the backing fabric.
A note from experience, using the gap between the outside edge and the top-stitching line as a drawstring casing to turn it into a pouch won’t work. There is just too much fabric to gather in so the top opening of your pouch will never close well enough to stop the tokens from falling out.
I hope these instructions help. If you need anything clarified or you have an alternative idea on how you would make up the game please let me know in the comments.