- Your choice of fabric
- Your choice of wadding / filling
- Thread to match your fabric
- 2 nickel cover buttons
- Tape measure
- Sewing Machine
Welcome to Friday. I’m sitting here with Anaïs by my side and Ned asleep in the other room. The babies and I are really looking forward to this weekend. Robert will be home this evening to start his weekend and we have a barbecue planned for later with Jodie, her husband and their twins. It’s the first time we’re using the twelve seater wooden table that my Dad built to eat at so I’ll be sure to take lots of pics and show you how it looks. I’m excited about it. It has been a dream of mine to have a table like this one for many years and now here we are about to christen it. There is nothing better than seeing long time plans come to life. Thanks Dad!
Anyway, back to today…
Another part of this MASSIVE learning curve called ‘New Parenthood’ is realising just how much ‘stuff’ you need for the simplest of activities. A trip to town or to the market needs careful planning and meticulous packing. A trip further afield or to a location such as A BEACH, good lord that would take a spreadsheet worth of detail and a hefty does of Valium……and that’s just for the kids!
This Saturday evening there is a free outdoor concert taking place at a stately home at the top of our road. We thought we may head up there with the babies, sit on a rug and take in the music on a beautiful Summer’s evening. One item that I’ll most certainly be packing to take with us is this picnic blanket. At first glance this blanket looks like any other picnic blanket but upon further inspection you’ll notice that it is far more useful, handy and all together a more friendly picnic blanket.
Because it comes with a handle that also acts as a way of wrapping the blanket up neatly and making it very easy to carry or pack away. Essential when you have many other things to pack up and carry and you don’t want the blanket to trail over the ground and get filthy dirty on its way back to the car.
Before going off to have the babies the girls and I sat down in the office to discuss how we were going to make this type of picnic blanket and this is the design we came up with. I really hope you like it and have a go at making one.
To make the blanket
- Cut your fabrics and wadding to the same size, I cut mine to measure 127cm x 157cm (including a 1cm border for hemming), the measurements were based on another old picnic blanket I had. I used contrasting fabrics for the top and bottom of the blanket and natural bamboo wadding for the filling.
- Place the top and bottom fabric face to face and then place the wadding on top.
- Pin all three fabrics together making sure that they all line up correctly and that there are no ‘ruffles’ in the wadding.
- Machine all three layers together 1cm from the edge, this can be done all in one go, but make sure that you leave a big enough gap at one end of the blanket so that you are able to turn the blanket back the correct way.
- Once you have stitched all three sides together (and part of the fourth side too), cut a triangle from each of the corners (not too close to the stitching), this will make the corners look much neater when you turn the blanket back the right way.
- Turn the blanket the right way round and then iron all the edges and corners flat.
- This will help when it comes to stitching the border.
- Iron the edges over on the open end of the blanket.
- Then pin it shut ready for machining
- To create the edging on the blanket, machine all the way around the outside edge about 1cm in. By machining this edge around all four sides you will also be sealing the pinned opening of the blanket.
To make the strap and the handle
This is made in a very similar way to the blanket, but without the wadding.
- I used the same material I used on the underside of the blanket for the strap.
- For the strap (the strap will keep the blanket held together when it is rolled up), cut two pieces of fabric and lay them face to face and pin all the way around the edges, my strap measured 61cm x 17cm, inclusive of hem.
- Sew 0.5cm from the edge, make sure that you leave a big enough gap to turn the right way.
- Once the two pieces have been machined together, turn back the right way and iron the edges and corners flat. Make sure you iron the open gap too and then pin closed ready for machining.
- As with the blanket, machine 0.5cm from the edge all the way around to create the border and to seal the pinned opening.
- For the handle, use the same method you did for the blanket and for the strap. Cut two pieces of fabric at 4cm x 20cm, lay them face to face and stitch together, making sure to leave a gap big enough so that it can be turned back the right way again.Iron the handle flat and don’t forget to machine the border all the way around the outside of the handle, just a few millimeters from the edge should do it.
- To attach the strap to the main body of the carry handle I positioned it around 15cm from the end of the strap, folded 2.5cm under and then stitch in a square to secure it in to place. Do the same with the other side and the strap handle is then attached.
- I decided to use buttons as fasteners for the carry handle. Using nickel cover buttons meant that I could use the same fabric used to make the blanket, to cover the buttons. Nickel covered buttons can be picked up and most craft or fabric stores.
- These are very simple to use, cut out a circle of fabric and cover the button hooking the material on the inside ‘teeth’.
- Once the fabric is secure and in place, click the base onto the back of the button.
- Ta Daahhhhhhhhhh.
- I created the button holes using the sewing machine.
- Once the machine has done the stitching it was then a case of just cutting the hole open. Don’t forget to place a pin at the top to stop you cutting the fabric too far.
And here it is in all its glory.
As you can see the babies and I have tested it out ahead of the concert tomorrow night.
Ned was particularly taken with the little boats featured on the fabric and asked to have a closer look.
Have a wonderful weekend one and all and I’ll see you back here on Monday with the launch of our brand new FAQ’s section. We’ve compiled all of your emails and answered the most commonly asked questions. Don’t forget to check back then.
Lots of love,
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