Blue and Green Picnic Quilt with Instructions

A couple weeks ago I got note home from school that my kids' classes desperately needed donations for the baskets that their classes were putting together.  Apparently the school does a fundraiser where the classes collect items for themed baskets and then they are raffled off.  I had completely missed any information that came home about donating, but I didn't have anything pressing on the agenda so I decided to donate quilts.

For my daughter's class, they were collecting items related to reading - books, hot cocoa, mugs, and snuggly blankets.  That was easy, I donated this quilt.  But my son's class wanted outdoor items - kites, soccer balls, picnic items, etc.  I didn't have a picnic quilt on hand - I had only made one and it's the one that we use - so I decided to make one.
Blue and Green Picnic Quilt
We have really enjoyed the picnic quilt that I made for my family so I knew I wanted to make this one the same way and I thought I'd share my process with you.  

1.  I cut a bunch of 5" blue, green, and gray squares from my stash and pieced them together.  Obviously you can make the quilt top however you want, but that's how I made this quilt top.

2.  Use canvas for the backing.  I used an Art Gallery Fabrics canvas print which is great because their canvas is pretty heavy duty, but there are lots of canvas options out there.  If you use a wide canvas like this one (it is 58" wide) and your quilt is less than 50 inches wide (and you line up the layers very carefully when you baste), the width of the fabric should be wide enough to just need 2 yards for the backing.

3.  Use flannel for the batting.  In the first picnic quilt I made I used a flannel sheet (prewashed!) which worked great.  I didn't have one on hand this time, but I did have lots of random flannel scraps so I pieced them together.  Since some of the flannel pieces were really colorful and I didn't want to be able to see them through the quilt top, I put the right side of the fabric down when I basted the quilt.  The pieced scraps worked really well.
Blue and Green Picnic Quilt
4.  Tie the quilt.  This isn't necessary, but it just feels like a picnic quilt should be tied.  I tied mine with Perle cotton and placed a tie at each seam intersection.

5.  Use a wide, fold-over binding.  If you have never used this method, Allison has a great tutorial.  I did my binding just like the tutorial with a couple of exceptions.  I like to make the binding extra wide because it adds weight to the edges of the quilt which helps weigh the quilt down so it isn't blowing up in the wind or getting shifted around.  Instead of trimming the backing down to 1" around the edges, I trimmed it down to 4".  

I also trimmed the flannel batting to be the same size as the backing, not the quilt top.  That adds even more weight to the thick binding.  
Blue and Green Picnic Quilt
6.  Zig zag stitch the binding into place once folded over.  I have tried hand stitching this, but it is really thick so it was quite laborious.  Using a zig zag stitch leaves a smooth transition between the quilt and the binding and is quick and easy.  It should also hold up well to repeated washing.
Blue and Green Picnic Quilt
This was a pretty quick turnaround, I made it in a little over 2 days without much stress, so it is a pretty fast project.  My son was happy to donate it to his classroom basket.
Blue and Green Picnic Quilt
Finished size: 50" x 63"

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April Culcita Box Unboxing - Tabby Road

April Culcita Box
Another happy Culcita Box arrived on my doorstep this month.
April Culcita Box
Yay! This month's box contained a really cute pattern.  This would be so fun with lots of scrappy fabrics.  April Culcita Box
The fabric for this month is from Tula Pink's new collection, Tabby Road.  Even my daughter (who hates pink) loved these fabrics.  They are enchanting.
April Culcita Box
I have a confession to make: I have never made anything with Tula Pink's fabrics.  I have used a couple of prints, but never a collection.  I am looking forward to making something with these this month.
April Culcita Box
There are lots of options if you want to join in with Culcita Box.  You can specify the size of the cuts you receive (fat quarter or half yard) and how often you receive it (monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly).    You can also purchase one off boxes, including past months here.  

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Moda Cake Mix #4 Quilt

A few weeks ago, the kind people at the Fat Quarter Shop contacted me to see if I would be interested in making a quilt with one of their new Cake Mix recipes.  I am always up for trying something new, so I decided to give Cake Mix #4 a try.
Cake Mix #4 Quilt
This is something that I would have loved to have when I first started quilting.  It takes a lot of the planning out of the process and simplifies the steps.  Cake Mix #4 gives you 4 different options and I decided to make Block 2.
Cake Mix #4 Quilt
I pulled the colors from the print that I used for the backing.  The gray background color is Free Spirit Sand Dune and the binding fabric is Kona Pewter.
Cake Mix #4 Quilt

The backing and a few of the prints on the front of the quilt are from a few of Elizabeth Olwen's Joann's collections that have been in my stash for a while.  
Cake Mix #4 Quilt
If you head over to the Fat Quarter Shop blog you can see the other quilts made with this Cake Mix and vote for your favorite.

Finished size: 64" x 72"

 This quilt is now listed in my Etsy shop.  
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Take Shape Chevron Baby Quilt and Scrap Giveaway

This month I used my Culcita Box fabrics to make a chevron baby quilt.  Like I mentioned, these fabrics are a little outside my comfort zone.  As a general rule for myself, I try not to buy fabrics that have a lot of contrast within them.  They are beautiful and some people do beautiful things with them, but I tend to have a hard time using them.
Take Shape Chevron Baby Quilt
But despite being a little nervous about using them, I am so pleased with how the quilt turned out! I ended up omitting the pink circle fabric from the bundle because I wanted something with a little more orange to it, so I subbed in Kona Mango.  I also added a black Art Gallery triangle print that I had in my stash.
Take Shape Chevron Baby Quilt
These are 60 degree chevrons and I quilted it with a random 60 degree grid.  
Take Shape Chevron Baby Quilt
I was happy to find this Katarina Roccella print in my stash for the backing and I used more of the black triangle print for the binding.  I stitched the binding down with Perle cotton.

This quilt is now listed in my Etsy shop.

Finished size: 33" x 47"
Fabric: Take Shape by Art Gallery Fabrics

Culcita Box Quilts

I have a decent little pile of leftover scraps from this quilt. Some are a little oddly shaped, but if you are interested in them, leave a comment on this post and I will choose a winner in a few days!

The winner of the scraps is Kathy!  I will be sending you an email shortly!
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The Linda Quilt - A New Pattern

I am excited to finally introduce The Linda Quilt pattern to you today!  It is available on Craftsy and Etsy.
Linda title image
When I started this pattern, I decided that I wanted to try to include as many options as I could into the pattern, so the pattern actually includes instructions for 5 different sizes and versions.  Three of them are on point (like the one above) and 2 are horizontally pieced.  This decision was accompanied by a lot of stress and tears on my part as trying to fit all of that into the pattern without making it 100 pages long turned out to be a little challenging, but none of my pattern testers sent me hate mail so I think I figured it out ;)

This pattern is a variation on the mini quilt that I made for the Kona Color of the Year exhibit. I would have loved to make the pattern exactly like the mini, but it would have involved a lot of tedious piecing and you would have hated me.  Hopefully this has the same feel without all of the tiny pieces.  You can see the on point baby version of the quilt that I made previously here.

The pattern is not difficult and it involves some strip piecing so it comes together without too many little pieces.  I would say it is good for an experienced beginner who wants to try something new, but also fun for more experienced quilters.  I did put together a few links to tutorials that might be helpful for beginners and you can find those down at the end of this post.

I am going to introduce each of the sizes with the quilts made by my wonderful pattern testers.  Since this is going to be a long post, I will save my gushing about how thrilling it was to see each of these completed quilts but my pattern testers were wonderful and amazing and fantastic and I am extremely grateful for all of their help.

Baby quilt - on point
Finished size: 45" x 45"
Quiltmaker/pattern tester: Camille
Camille's Linda Quilt

Baby quilt - horizontal
Finished size: 48" x 48"
Quiltmaker/pattern tester: Sally
Sally's Linda Quilt
Lap quilt - on point
Finished size: 68" x 68"
Quiltmaker/pattern tester: Carol
Carol's Linda Quilt
Lap quilt - horizontal
Finished size: 80" x 80"
Quiltmaker/pattern tester: Alison
Alison's Linda Quilt
Twin Quilt
Finished size: 68" x 81"
Quiltmaker/pattern tester: Miranda
Miranda's Linda Quilt

If you are looking for a little extra guidance with some of the techniques used in the pattern, check out the links below.
Trimming a quilt
Strip piecing
Lining up seams throughout the quilt

View my other quilt patterns here.
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