Monday, June 08, 2015

Wedding "Picnic" Blanket x 40

The last several weeks I've referred to a project my soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Meghann, and I have been working on for their wedding. A little background info... A couple of months ago Meghann and Justin called to "run something by me." Not being experienced sewers they weren't sure how difficult it would be to make 40 quilts for picnic blankets to give to their guests as gifts during the wedding reception.The guests would use these picnic blankets for part of the reception and the next day during the wedding brunch. They had a budget of $20 per quilt. I didn't want to disappoint, but usually a baby receiving blanket costs me over $20 to make. I didn't see how we could make a quilt big enough for a picnic blanket on that budget. Not to mention... I shuddered at the time I thought it would take to make them.

I told the bride and groom that I would do my best to try to find something already made. I was certain this would be an item that would be less expensive bought, rather than handmade. I found a few fleece blankets that could have worked. This one in particular is an amazing price, but the bride wasn't going for that look. You'll remember that she loves everything "French", and she was hoping for some blankets in the muted shades of her wedding.

She also wanted it to be something that would be used over and over again as a picnic blanket or throw. And, honestly, if you're going to spend $20 on each item, you want it to be something that the guest will enjoy more than once!

That's when I came up with a pattern for a blanket that would consist mostly of muslin with two coordinating fabrics to add contrast and color. The blanket is approximately 72" x 60", which is a generous size for a picnic blanket. Three-quarters of the front of the blanket is made from a beautiful linen-type muslin, 1/4 is from a cotton duck or canvas fabric with a coordinating flap of canvas fabric, lace, or ribbon in between the two.

Meghann didn't have much experience sewing before we started this project, but she caught on quickly and is a champ now! We even solicited the groom's help to cut fabric...

When Justin and Meghann brought up the idea of making picnic quilts for everyone, I pictured us quilting one inch squares together from now till 10 minutes before the ceremony. It scared me. A lot. This idea of using strips of fabric is doable, but it is still a huge labor of love. I love them for wanting to do this for their wedding guests. I'll have to tell you more about the wedding weekend later. Every detail of their wedding was envisioned to create a wonderful experience for all those attending.

Although all the blankets have a subtle French flair, some have more of a feminine feel and some are more masculine. Believe it or not we have stuck to that $20 budget for each of these blankets. Most of the fabric for the tops of the blankets was bought on sale, and I bought the muslin we used for the backing for a very good price on Amazon. {There is no quilt batting between the front and back fabrics.} The blankets were made for about $15 - $18 each. I think that's amazing consider how much fabric is used to make one of these picnic blankets.

The last little detail for these blankets are these iron-on tags. One of my daughters designed the pattern, and we had them made through this Etsy shop. Meghann puts them on the corner of each quilt. I love this sweet detail...

The good news is that all the quilt tops are completed and 1/4 of the quilts are totally finished. It's a good feeling to know that we'll be done with these picnic blankets in plenty of time for the wedding...

If you are interested in a more detailed pattern for this blanket and some tips in getting the fabrics for great prices, please leave a comment below. I'll publish this information, if there is enough interest.