Recently, approximately 98% of my time has been dedicated to buying a house with the boy of my dreams. Whilst incredible and very exciting this has, alas, left little time for my sewing projects. Although I’m delighted that in a few weeks I will finally have a home and a sofa for all my handmade soft furnishings (see all my cushions here - warning, there are quite a few), I am a little saddened by the lack of recent craft items to blog about.
Anyway – the couple of Saturdays I’ve had at home alone (when the boy’s been at work and the kitchen table has been available) I’ve set my heart to finishing my picnic blanket. I bought the fabric for this when I was in Paris in April (see here) and spent a bit of time there cutting it all into uncountable rectangles. A couple of weeks ago these all got stitched into rows of four, and then rows of six, and then into an entire blanket. The end result is a picnic blanket big enough for every bear who dares to go down into the woods this summer.
The next step was to buy an enormous piece of wadding and find an even bigger piece of co-ordinating backing fabric. Luckily my Grandma is fantastic and in the huge chest of material she kindly donated to me (see here) I had a big enough piece of spring-onion green fabric that I could use as the base for my blanket. I think the material must have originally been a pair of curtains because it’s quite thick – useless unless I want spring-onion curtains in my new house, but great for the bottom of a picnic blanket that is destined for grass stains and wine spills.
Anyhow, once all the three layers were in place the next step was to quilt them all together – first by sewing vertically down every square and then horizontally. This sounds a lot easier in text format than it actually is. See the picture above. My sewing machine, whilst substantially heavy and good enough to sew skirts and Kindle cases, is not industrial-size. Fitting a piece of material approximately the size and thickness of my duvet cover underneath it is not an easy feat. By the time I got to quilting down the middle I was pretty much wrapped up in the blanket like the Baby Jesus.
This weekend I will finish my picnic blanket (if I’m ever going to use it before the summer’s out). I realise this is a bold statement to make and I realise that the current weather trend is very ‘British summer’ rather than ‘Parisian summer’ that perhaps we are all still hoping for. I need to finish the quilting and then work out how to attach the bias binding all the way around the edge. Perhaps one more weekend won’t be long enough after all…