Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Picnic Blanket

So, umpteen years ago, I saw this lovely and easy-to-make blanket from SouleMama and filed it away in my crafting to-do notebook.  In my notebook I wrote "use 1/2 yards various for front, flat sheet for batting, remnants for back, looooong ties, triangles for rocks to weight down".  And there that snippet with a small drawing sat.  And sat, and sat.

Last April/May with the surgeries keeping me home resting while Em and Ro were at school, I took out that notebook and looked at my plans for a blanket once again.  Having finished a twin-sized crochet blanket for the couch while I was recuperating and sleeping many hours away, I wanted to get the sewing machine out and do something else.  I could sit for longer stretches of time without being too tired and sore so sewing would be easier.  I got out a fabric bundle coordinated by the lovely owner of Fabricworm, and starting arranging and rearranging them.  Over and over they moved until I thought I found the right fabric flow.

For the front, I used ten fabrics.  Each rectangle is an 18 x 44" (a 1/2 yard cut) piece before washing and sewing.  I sewed the left and right fabrics together and then matched the seams to sew each of the five pieces to one another.  I made the ties with 2  2 1/2 x 44" strips for each tie.  They are placed as you can see in the below photo in the center of one side of the picnic blanket (also see top photo) so that it can be folded down  small to wrap, tie and be carried by a munchkin.

The back is made up of 5 easy yards of darker colored coordinating fabrics sewn together with a center seam similar to the front. I didn't use lighter colored fabrics since the back will get dirty from grass, sand, and dirt.  In the center is a cotton, queen-sized flat sheet.  It is much lighter and thinner than batting but still gives good weight to the blanket.  Once the front pieces were done, I took them outside to pin together to sew.

As you can see in the top photo, the picnic blanket is on my front lawn.  I sewed all the way around, leaving a foot-long opening to turn the blanket right-side out.  Then, I top stitched along the edges and seams to keep everything in place.  I left out the triangles for weighting the picnic blanket down since it's pretty weighty all by itself.  Done and done!

We use the blanket everywhere we go now.  From Summer Concerts-in-the-Park to the beach and back to our front lawn for dinners outside.  The blanket is large enough for six people plus food and a book or two to read while laying and lazing about.  Em and Ro especially love the fabrics I chose because they are full of "boy things" like bugs and cars.  I love it because it brings us together.