Project: Checkerboard Table Mat | OLFA - Craft OLFA – Craft

Project: Checkerboard Table Mat

Whether you’re new to quilting or a seasoned pro, prepare to be won over by this charming accent, featuring fast strip piecing designed by Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods. The fun, scalloped edges are easy to complete, too, using simple templates. In no time, you’ll have a centerpiece for your home or a present for almost any occasion, from birthdays to wedding showers, housewarming parties and more.


  • Pick fabrics that match your decor or prints that suit a particular season, such as red and greens for Christmas, springy pinks and yellows for Easter, or Fourth of July red, white and blue.
  • Personalize this design with simple appliques, like hearts or stars, that you can hand-stitch on top of the checkerboard section or along the scalloped edging.
  • There are enough strips used to create the checkerboard design that you can actually make two checkerboards. To make a second table mat for a gift, just double the yardage for the borders, backing, binding and quilt batting.





45mm Quick-Change Rotary Cutter (RTY-2/NS)
12″ x 18″ Double Sided Rotary Mat (RM-CG)
6″ x 24″ Non-Slip, Frosted Advantage™ Acrylic Ruler (QR-6×24)


1/2 yd. or fat quarter (18″ x 21″ piece) of 100% cotton fabric—light tan print for checkerboard
1/2 yd. or fat quarter of 100% cotton fabric in dark print for checkerboard
1/8 yd. of 100% cotton fabric in small red print for inner accent border
3/8 yd. of 100% cotton fabric in coordinating dark print (can be same as checkerboard) for outer scalloped border
3/4 yd. of 100% cotton fabric in small print for backing
1/2 yd. or fat quarter of 100% cotton fabric in coordinating dark print for bias binding
3/4 yd. of cotton batting
Template plastic
Permanent marker
Basic sewing supplies



  1. Using rotary cutter, ruler and rotary mat, cut the following:
    For checkerboard:
    Seven 2-1/2″ x 18″ strips of light print
    Seven 2-1/2″ x 18″ strips for dark print
    One 2-1/2″ x 42″ strip for binding
    For borders:
    Two 1-1/4″ x 40″ (or width of fabric) strips for inner accent border
    Three 3-1/2″ x 40″ (or width of fabric) strips for outer scalloped border
    For binding:
    Four 2-1/4″ wide x 22″ long strips, and one 2-1/4″ wide x 14-1/2″ long strip or enough 2-1/4″ wide strips to sew together 100″ of binding
    For backing::
    One 22″ x 22″ square from backing fabric
  2. Place fabrics with right sides together and use 1/4″ seams for all sewing unless otherwise directed. Assemble two strip sets (Set A and Set B) to make the checkerboard. To make Set A, pin light print strip to a dark print strip and sew along the long edges. Open and press seam toward dark fabric.Place a dark print strip on the light print strip, right sides together and sew, then press seam toward dark print. Repeat, alternating light and dark prints until you have sewn seven alternating strips together and your last strip is a dark strip. For Set B, repeat, starting and ending with a light strip.
  3. To assemble the checkerboard, use rotary cutter, ruler and rotary mat to cut each strip set into seven 2-1/2″ wide segments. Sew segments together, starting with Set A and alternating between Set A and Set B until you have 7 rows. Make sure seams and corners align. The completed checkerboard will measure 14-1/2″ x 14-1/2″. If your measurements are different, cut your border strips to fit your finished checkerboard.
  4. To make the accent border, cut two 14-1/2″ (or width of your checkerboard) strips from the 1-1/4″ inner accent border strip. Sew these two strips to the top and bottom of the checkerboard. Press seams toward border. Cut two 16″ strips (or length of checkerboard) from remaining 1-1/4″ strip. Sew to opposite sides of checkerboard and press seams toward borders.
  5. To make outer border, cut two 16″ (or width of the checkerboard with accent borders) strips from 3-1/2″ strips of outer scalloped border fabric. Sew to top and bottom of checkerboard top and press seams toward borders. Cut two 22-1/2″ (or length of checkerboard top) strips from remaining 3-1/2″ strips. Sew to remaining sides of checkerboard top. Press seams toward borders.
  6. Place the checkerboard top face down on your work surface. Top with quilt batting and then place back fabric right side up on top of the checkerboard top and batting. Pin through all three layers and quilt, using the quilt pattern of your choice.
  7. To scallop the borders, trace scallop templates onto template plastic with permanent marker and cut out. Starting at one corner and working toward the center, place templates on outer quilt border, aligning the straight template edge with the accent border seam, and trace curve with pencil or chalk marker. Continue until you have created scallops around the entire outer border. Stitch around the quilt on the pencil or chalk scallop line. Cut scallops on border a scant 1/8″ from stitching. Clip inside curves just past stitching.
  8. To make quilt binding, sew together 2-1/4″ wide bias strips to make a single strip about 100″ long. Pin to the scalloped edge of the front of the quilt, mitering the binding at each corner point, just as you would for a square or rectangular quilt. Sew along the binding edge, making sure not to stretch the binding as you stitch around the curves. Fold over and encase quilt edges, and pin or baste in place. Then hand-sew along the edges of the binding on the back of the quilt.


  • To make sewing the binding to the scalloped edge easier and ensure that you aren’t stretching the binding or the border, put your sewing machine’s walking foot away and use the regular foot. It will hold everything tighter and minimize any pulling or fabric manipulating.
  • Stitch up some simple circles from leftover fabrics for checkers pieces and turn this patchwork into a soft toy for your favorite youngster’s game time.
  • To prevent the layers of a quilt from shifting when you are basting them together prior to sewing, space washers evenly across the back. Or, if the quilt is almost the same size as your work table, grab some hardware or carpenter’s clamps to pull the layers taut and then pin baste.
  • Share your finished project with us by posting it on Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #OLFAcheckerboardmat.