This is basically a tutorial.
Everyone loves a tutorial, right?
Picnic quilts (blankets?) evoke the memory or desire for simpler days. Days where it makes sense to pack a basket of food, a backpack for the quilt and drinks, and a friend or two for company. Can you picture it? Pulling that handmade quilt out of the backpack and spreading it out? Sigh... it sounds perfect.
These simple, happy days require a simple, happy quilt. It's hard to take a quilt that is intricately pieced with delicate fabric and throw it onto the ground; but a quick patchwork project with bright colours - now that is a quilt that can hold up to the dirt on the ground and the food crumbs on top!
One of Piece Fabric Co.'s employees made just such a quilt. Ava used Ruby Star Society Food Group Collection and the coordinating Kona Solids to make this perfect picnic quilt. With simple piecing and perfect hand ties instead of traditional quilting (we'll address that embroidery stitch later), this project came together quickly - exactly what you need for your weekend plans.
Autumn came up with the perfect design for this quilt - she knew that she wanted Ava to be able to make this quilt from a fat quarter bundle of Ruby Star Society's Food Group and a fat quarter bundle of the coordinating Kona Solids. The Food Group bundle was cut into 4" squares, and the Kona bundle was cut into 7.5" squares.
Simple four patch squares were made with the Food Group, and with an accurate 1/4" seam, the four patch squares ended up at 7.5", matching the Kona squares. Of course, if inaccurate 1/4" seams are used... there's always the opportunity to trim this all to match. Don't overthink this. :)
Also, don't overthink the layout! Alternate the Kona larger squares and the Food Group four patches, scattering the colours until you are happy. Piece those together, and bam! Quilt top is done!
Ava used the thinnest Quilters Dream cotton batting (Quilters Dream Cotton Request) so that when the quilt gets damp, it will dry quickly. She chose a bright and happy plaid backing for it...
but this is where the opportunity comes for you to make an even better picnic quilt! This is a perfect opportunity to use a denim or chambray to back the quilt. These fabrics have a few benefits over quilting cotton:
- Durability - these are made to hold up to wear and tear, often a bit thicker and heavier and won't show damage as quickly if thrown down on ground with rocks on it.
- Weight - with just a bit more heft to them, a bit of wind won't be picking up the corners and folding your picnic quilt up on top of the food!
- Colour - yes... the bright red plaid makes me really happy on the back of Ava's quilt, but... once it starts showing dirt stains and grime... I'll feel less happy. The darker denims won't show those stains and will let you throw that quilt down anywhere without a second thought about keeping it pristine.
Quilting - a perfect opportunity to stay on the simple path (although that's not what Ava did, lol). On this quilt, the centre of each square has a perfect little cross stitch, which is hand tied on the back. If you stop right there, your quilt will be done quickly and perfectly. But Ava, having extra time for this project, added something special on to this quilt.
Using a feather stitch (but we've heard this called a crazy stitch, too!), Ava embroidered around random squares. This stitch only went through the quilt top, so it's not technically part of the quilting - just a decorative addition to this quilt. Coordinating colours of Aurifil 12wt thread to the quilt top, I think you'll agree that this extra touch makes the quilt feel really special.
And that's it! This quilt is ready to be taken out for it's inaugural picnic! Do you have a Picnic Quilt? Will you make one?
Here are the products used for this quilt:
Aurifil 12wt Thread (used for both hand tying and embroidery)
And, as always, if you have a different idea and would like some help putting it together, just send us a message on the social media platforms or to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to help make your quilt dreams come true!