Okay, here's the tutorial and giveaway I promised. Phew, now I remember why I haven't blogged in so long. To get the housework and washing up to date and the kids playing and happy in order to sit down to blog is no joke. As I type I have Jane breastfeeding and a little hand trying to contribute some text to my blog post :)
Anyway, this tutorial won't be super detailed but hopefully it'll make sense and at the end I'll give the details of the give away.
Cut two circles of fabric (whatever size you want your playmat to be). I used the kids' little round dinning table as a template.
Cut a pond out of felt and tack it to the circle of fabric that you will be using for the inside of the playmat. I mounted the area onto a large embroidery hoop to keep things in place and level. Then use embroidery thread and secure the felt onto the playmat by doing a blanket stitch edging. Please don't think skipping tacking will save you time because in the long run it will cost you time to unpick things when they start going skew. It only takes a few moments to tack your felt in place SO DO IT!
This is the template I free-handedly cut for the caves. The felt in the picture is held double with the fold on the left.
Cut as many caves as you want and then TACK it onto your fabric and blanket stitch it down with matching color embroidery thread.
Put the two circles of fabric wrong sides together and stitch it together along the edge with as small a seam allowance as possible. This is just to keep the two layers together and in place for you to stitch the bias binding on. Stitch the binding all the way around with matching thread. Now for the eyelets. If you don't have a eyelet tool then make button holes on your sewing machine or by hand. I found a knitting needle the same size as the eyelets make a great hole so you can place the eyelet over the created hole and then press it down with the eyelet tool.
When your eyelets are spaced as desired you can take some cord in a matching color to your fabric and thread it through making a knot on each end so that it doesn't pop back through the eyelets again while in use.
To fold your playmat up, simply pull on the cord and tie a bow. This is really nice and compact and you can even store your little toy animals inside to save space.
And last but not least, get down on the floor and join in with the fun by playing animals with your kiddos.
Being my first tutorial I hope that made sense! I got the idea of making this when I saw this blog post at Loving little Sweetpeas linked through this blog post at Love and Lollipops.
Now for the give away...
The last two pictures above shows the playmat I made for the give away. I will let it run from now till 31 October 2011 by which date I will pull a number up on a random number generator and announce the winner. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment to this blog post.