Car Play Mat...Quilt...Tutorial and WIN WIN WIN!!!

You know when you are so, extra proud of something, that you can't stop looking at it? This is one of those (for me it is anyway).

I started this quilt at 10pm last Friday night, with a pile of this...

And managed to turn it into a (to quote my 3yo) 'really really cool' car mat for my nephew who was turning 3 during the week. I finished it Saturday night (AKA early hours of Sunday morning) and slept extra well, knowing it would be a winner.  I probably slept with a smile on my face.

Keegan saw the pieces layed out on Saturday morning, before it was stitched together, "is that for me, Mum?". " Um, no," I replied, "it's for Thomas, for his birthday". "Oh, OK".  A few seconds later, "can you make one for me?". I told you it would be a winner.

I can't decide if my favourite part is the motorbike stuntman, the beach umbrellas...

Or the fact that I had the foresight (or perhaps it was an afterthought) to write his name in the sand!

I can't take credit for this idea. The inspiration for this car play mat came thanks to my sister-in-law, Jessica and this link. To be honest, I actually can't remember if this was the exact link but it was something along those lines! I have pinned a couple of other cool boy toy ideas on my 'For the Boys' pinterest board.

A big fat happy birthday to my nephew Thomas xxx

PS Can you spot Santa? What is he driving? Leave a comment below between now and 10pm on Wednesday 10th September to win a $40 voucher to The Toffee Tree on Etsy. Winner will be selected by a random draw and  I don't even mind if you don't have the correct answer! If you comment anonymously, please include your email address! Giveaway now closed.


If you are interested in making one yourself...I should do a proper tutorial for it, but for starters:
* a large piece of grey (or black) fabric for your base - this becomes the roads
* scraps of green for parks, gardens, etc
* scraps of blue and cream for the ocean
* scraps of whatever else you want to include in your scene - Eiffel Tower, caravans, hot air balloons, motorbikes, houses, etc, etc.
* heat 'n' bond or Vliesofix or applifix. I prefer heat n bond, available in Spotlight, but it is probably the most expensive. There is a version of heat 'n' bond that you don't have to stitch at all, but I haven't tried that one. At the moment I have Applifix from the Craft Cubby (craft fair purchase). You need a fair bit to iron to the back of all of your colour scenery pieces, before you sew them on.
* a large piece of flannelette fabric (you could use something thicker if you want it to be more quilt like) as your 'inner' layer, cut about 2-3 inches bigger than the front
* a large piece of fabric for the backing, cut a bit bigger than the front

1. Construct your scene on your grey fabric first, just laying it out. Don't stitch it on.

2. Go back and iron Applifix to the back of each piece. You ideally should leave room around your pieces of fabric so you don't iron sticky stuff to your iron, or ironing board. I haven't perfected this myself yet!

3. Iron all the larger scenery pieces on to the fabric. I did the bottom first, then the top to make sure the pieces in the middle were the right side to put in.

4. Here you have two options - A. iron the small pieces on too, stitch around the small pieces through just the grey layer (and through the large pieces, which you have NOT stitched yet).
OR B. iron the small pieces on and leave the all the stitching until I say later on!
I chose option A, as I only wanted the back of the mat to have the stitching for the roads showing, not all of the extra little things too.

5. Lay the three large pieces of grey, flannel and backing together. Pin them together with pins or safety pins so it doesn't move about too much.

6. NOW, stitch through all three layers, starting at the beach scene or your longest pieces, smoothing the fabric as you go and making sure is isn't bunching up as you sew. Work your way to the top of the quilt, checking and re-pinning as you go, if you need to.

7. If you didn't do so earlier at 4A, sew around the edges of the smaller pieces now.

8. Bias binding finish. There are a bajillion tutorials on how to do this, the best one I've come across is here. I used Dana's cheating method, but if you haven't sewed with bias tape much, perhaps stick with the 'proper method'!

As I said, this is no perfect tutorial. I will endeavour to put one I'm making one for another lucky boy...another time!


  1. Great job Michelle!! I'm sure it will be a hit with the birthday boy, it's awesome. (Santa is driving a blue van with his tree sticking out the top)
    Love your work
    Emily xx

  2. How cool is this!! Love all the details. Santa was very hard to find - but thanks to Emily I found him up the top in a blue van with a red and white striped roof :) Jess Dufty.

  3. Hi Michelle

    We are loving the playmat for quiet play in Thomas' room at rest time.

    Thanks very much. It's beautiful.
    Love Jess

  4. I can't find him! My eyes must be getting old! Gorgeous quilt though... Now I want to make one too...

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