Monday, September 01, 2008

Have I showed you this yet?

In a typical bout of over confidence, I decided to make a picnic quilt the week that Dave was gone on his motorcycle read and ride retreat. The quilt we had been using as our park / picnic quilt last year had become Andrew's bed quilt this year, so we had been operating without a good place to sit on our many summer visits to the park. This wasn't crucial this year, since we didn't have a tiny baby to deal with, but I do like to have somewhere bright and happy to sit while the boys rush around, or a place for them to sit and have a snack when they need a break. Also its nice to have something to lay overtop of your tarp at the folk music festival, or to wrap the boys in while they're sleeping, or to play on at the campsite. So I really did want to have a quilt before we went on holidays, but no brilliant, quick ideas had presented themselves.

I was following sew mama sew 's summer sewing month, however, and they just happened to feature a fantastic tutorial for a picnic quilt with rock pockets ( designed by Erin at house on hill road ). The original is made all with half yard cuts. The day I saw it, I knew I wanted to make it, and that I could easily make it in a few evenings. Not only that, but I had some Amy Butler half yards laying around that I didn't particularly like (am I allowed to say that? Is it sacrilidge? Am I now going to be shunned by crafty bloggers across the world wide web?). I loved the pattern on them, which was why I bought them online as a lot on ebay, but when I received them I wasn't thrilled with the colour. Too kaky brown for me. I was hoping they would be more green. Same for almost all the other fabrics in this quilt -- I love the patterns, but hate the colour. I found that I had almost enough fabric, but I was short one half yard. Then I remembered that I had bought this fabric (which I totally love) on a whim at a quilt shop close out:
I thought it had enough blue in it to match, and would make me happy about the rest of the quilt. Also, if we were somewhere and the boys were bored, they could always daydream about who the people were and what they were doing.

So in two very late nights I threw the quilt together. I was really happy that I am now at the point in my quilting skills where I can throw something like this together and not make a disaster of it. All that was left to do was to topstitch and tie it. For some unknown reason I thought it would be logical to do this while the boys were awake (this is what happens when I have no one around to give me a reality check every once in a while -- anything seems possible. I have no clue of my own limitations). Just a tip for anyone else: never try to tape a quilt flat and tie it with a big, sharp needle while you have an awake 18 month old in the house. What could be more fun than a) tearing pieces of green tape off the capet, b) getting chased around by mom and c) trying to steal that fascinating sharp metal thing your mom keeps playing with? After an aggrivating hour of chasing the boys around, then finally sending them outside to "play"(ie leave mom alone for 5 minutes) I finally finished it. It was super useful on our trip. We did wrap the boys up in it, use it at our campsite, sit on it at the folk festival, picnic at the park on it with our friends and, incidentally, keep our laptop stashed in it in the back of the station wagon.

The back is a vintage sheet I picked up last summer at Value Village. It has a few frays, which I may go back and patch eventually, but for now I'm just as happy leaving them be.
And as I suspected might happen, the quilt is growing on me. I still wouldn't use these colours in my house as decor colours, but I do like the way it looks in the sunshine. I love the blues and bright greens, and I love having something fun and happy to sit on while we're at the park.


Kristen said...

very homey

lej619 said...

Might I say that you can wash it in bleach and it will look totally diffeent.!! I ahve seen 2 quilts done and they both look realy good. Or you can use the ritz "color" remover. which works really good also.
you quilt looks nice just the way it is.also.
lori(aka lej619)

Blabby said...

I had to laugh at the sacrilege part. I have SO much Amy Butler fabric and while I like each piece individually, I almost never want to use it because I don't like it together. I'm happy she came out with the solids though, because I will definitely use those with the prints. Much calmer!

I really love that picnic quilt. That will be my first post-Christmas-sewing-frenzy project.