One of my first sewing projects was a chalkboard mat for my nieces. I made it was last year when Annie gave me my first sew machine. At first, the only thing I knew about the sewing machines was how turn on and turn off, but Annie taught me some of the basics and soon I was making things alone.
When I finished the chalkboard mat, I was very happy because I did the whole project myself. From design to sewing, I did it all without any help. Sure, I had some problems. For example, when I started sewing, I realized that one piece of fabric was longer than another. I had to cut all the sides to make a proper rectangle. Later, I had a perfect dream for wide & accessible pockets, but when I went to attach them to the mat I didn´t have good access to sew them. It was a challenge, but well worth it.
Once I was done I gave it to my nieces and I was especially proud to see how much they loved the mat! They played with it all day and they wanted to bring it everywhere. For two weeks we played with it constantly. And perhaps best of all, for them it was perfect! They couldn't identify the mistakes. All they could do is have fun and be creative with my creation.
This mat was one of our first steps toward developing our artist's portfolio, the Fetch Your Sketch. If you want to make your own with the help of a pattern, you can find it here: http://www.byannie.com/shop/product/fetch-your-sketch/