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.
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.