Time to show off the second of four quilts I was working on in August! This one is slightly different because while it definitely qualifies as a quilt…it is ALSO a picnic blanket, complete with a built-in velcro closure and carrying strap. I finished the bulk of this quilt in late August and the first week of September, and finally finished up the binding a week ago.
I pinned this You & Mie tutorial for making a picnic blanket just like this two years ago, and I was really excited to finally make one. I followed those instructions nearly to the letter for making the closure and carrying strap. For the design of the quilt itself though, I revisited another old pin for this Skinny Strips Quilt for inspiration. I loved the idea of being able to use a precut jelly roll — I spent so much less time cutting than I usually do for a quilt! (There is a tutorial for the design at that link, although I didn’t follow it exactly. My dimensions were different so I did my own quilt math.)
I’m giving this blanket to a couple of guys so while I wanted something bright and fun, I also obviously wanted to avoid anything too feminine. I used Kona storm for the background and binding. The stripes are all from a roll of Summer Kona cotton solids, but I left out the pinks and several blues that were too similar to the navy.
The backing is solid blue duck cloth from fabric.com. Duck cloth is a thick canvas fabric so it gives the blanket a little more weight — but it also proved to be a challenge at times while quilting and binding since I was heaving a surprisingly heavy load through my sewing machine. I went super simple with the quilting and just did straight lines every ~4 inches in the same direction as the stripes.
My favorite part is the closure and carrying strap just because it’s so neat and easy! The flap is sewn into the binding so all you have to do at the end of your picnic (or concert, or whatever) is fold in each side of the blanket, and then roll the whole thing up. The flap stays in place with a long strip of velcro, and the handle is made from twill tape.
I was so ridiculously tickled by the whole idea of turning a quilt into an super clever picnic blanket that I’ve put another item on my to-do list (which only continues to grow) to make one of these for my own family. Hooray for quilted picnic blankets! I hope my friends like it.