Monday, 28 August 2017

Making a Roll-up Picnic Blanket from an old Quilt Cover

If you look back through my blog I am sure that you would soon realise that I like to reuse and recycle and never like to waste fabric. This holiday picnic rug was made from a child's single quilt cover with some extra fabric from my stash for the patchwork.

I was given a 101 Dalmatians quilt set. It didn't co-ordinate with my son's bedroom but it was so nice that I wanted to find a use for it. The top of the quilt cover had a large picture of the Disney Dalmatian characters while the underside was white and covered with puppy motifs.

To make my picnic blanket I kept the large design in-tact to use it for the back of the quilt. Then I cut out 15 large squares from three contrasting cotton fabrics. This quilt is not my own design. It was designed by Vick Guthrie and I found the pattern in Sewing World, June 2014. I am so glad that I keep these old magazines. I have searched on line to see if I can find the instructions but I think 2014 may just be too long ago. Please leave a comment for me if you can find them.

The pillowcase had a picture of two sleeping puppies which was so cute. I cut one square from the pillowcase to use in the bottom corner of the patchwork and I do like this feature.

Once the patchwork squares were joined I edged them with strips of dark blue fabric and then puppy fabric until the patchwork side was roughly the same size as the single quilt.

With right sides together, I joined the back and front of my quilt, clipped the corners and turned it right sides out. I came across a bit of a problem here because I had been tearing my cotton fabric along the straight grain rather than using scissors. The quilt cover hadn't been made on the straight grain originally and I didn't anticipate this. After bit of remedial work I did manage to salvage a big enough piece to back the whole quilt but it is a little bit twisted in places.
This would have been the time to add wadding to make the quilt thicker and softer and perhaps to have made a bed quilt but I wanted a beach mat so I did not add any wadding between the cotton layers. As a result it very easy to dry the picnic rug if it gets damp.

At the open end of the quilt I added a flap with ribbon ties and a handle so that the rug can be rolled up and carried easily. Then I closed up the seam with a single row of top stitching. Again I used the instructions from the pattern by Vick Guthrie.

I have quilted the two layers together in a square pattern which holds everything in place nicely. The whole quilt folds into 4 and rolls up neatly for carrying.

I was very pleased with this redesign of an unused quilt cover. It keeps the sand off of children's hands during picnics on the beach. If we need to sit on damp grass we put a tarpaulin down underneath. However, you can trust your family to bring you back down to earth and stop you from getting too big headed can't you? My sons refer to this picnic rug as "The Dog Blanket". It doesn't sound very attractive does it?


  1. This is such a brilliant way to re-use fabric! I really like the two puppies on the front too - it really adds a special feature.
    It would be a great idea for a gift for somebody who enjoys the outdoors.

    1. Hello Caroline. I like the way that reusing fabric keeps memories alive in our family. I am sure that this rug will become associated with family holidays and picnics. Building positive memories together is really important. I heard the other day about someone who made family hunting for the same reason.

  2. That's a really wonderful idea! It looks fantastic.

    1. Thank you for your encouragement. I am so pleased that I have been able to find a good use for this beautiful quilt cover.