MEASURE AND CUT THE FABRIC Precision in marking and cutting will really impact the final outcome of this project. Following the diagram, measure and cut an 18" (45.5cm) square from fabric A for the bag. Then measure and cut four 21/2" x 20"(6.5cm x 51cm) strips from fabric A and four from fabric B for the checkerboard.
SEW STRIPS TOGETHER With right sides facing, pin and sew the long edges of contrasting strips together, alternating prints (i.e., fabric A, B, A, B, etc.). Press the seams open. Mark and cut eight 2 1/2" (6.5cm) strips horizontally across the joined strips. To reinforce the seams, topstitch the long edges of each strip a little less than 1/4" (6mm) from the edge.
MAKE THE CHECKERBOARD Pin the long edges of two strips together with right sides facing, alternating the prints. Sew the strips together along one long edge, aligning the seams as you go. Add the remaining strips in the same way to form the checkerboard. Press all seams open.
ADD FELT BACKING TO THE CHECKERBOARD Center the checkerboard with right side facing the 18" (45.5cm) felt square and align top edges. Pin the layers together. Sew the top edges together. Trim the seam to 1/8"(3mm). Cut away any excess felt on the sides and bottom, even with the checkerboard.
ADD THE HOOKED STRIP TO THE FELT Fold the right side of the checkerboard over the felt so that the right side of the checkerboard is facing out and press flat. Topstitch the top folded-over edge 1/4" (6mm) from the seam. Center and topstitch the hooked strip of hook-and loop tape to the felt at the top edge.
ADD THE LOOPED STRIP TO THE BAG Press the top edge of the 18" (45.5cm) square of fabric A to the wrong side by 1/2" (13mm) and again by 1/2" (13mm). Topstitch close to the edge. Center and topstitch the looped strip of hook-and-loop tape to the underside of the finished top edge.
SEW THE LAYERS TOGETHER With right sides together, align the top edges of the checkerboard and fabric A. Pin all layers (felt, checkerboard, and fabric) together, and trim away any excess fabric. Sew along the three raw edges, leaving the top open. Trim the seam to 1/8" (3mm), and clip the corners. Turn the bag right side out and press.
SEW ON TIE Topstitch the sides and bottom edges. Press the short ends of ribbon or tape under 1/4" (6mm) twice, and sew across to anchor the folded ends. Sew the middle of the tie to the bottom front edge of the checkerboard using a few backand-forth stitches to anchor it securely.
MAKE REVERSIBLE CHECKERS Trace the checker template onto cardboard or cardstock and cut it out. From the dark and light solid-color felt, cut out two strips from each color, each 21/4" (5.5cm) wide. Place one dark strip on top of a light strip, and pin the circle template on top of the two layers of felt. Sew around the template using a small zigzag stitch; don’t sew on the template itself. Cut out the checker close to the stitching using pinking shears or regular scissors. Make the remaining 23 checkers in this way. Tip: Make a few extra checkers just in case