Thursday, April 14, 2011

DIY: Picnic Blanket

Henry performing his post-nap stretching routine on our favorite quilt

Sadly, this post is not a tutorial about how to make your own picnic blanket; it's a request for tutorials!

Henry and I are still following the routine I learned from Baby Wise: breastfeed, awake time, nap time approximately every three hours. During at least one of Henry's awake times, we love to spread a blanket out on the grass and just stare at the trees (well, Henry stares at the trees; I usually try to get in a little reading).

The problem is that our lovely blanket (a quilt I picked up at a flea market while I was doing the work study program at John C. Campbell Folk School during my self-subsidized sabbatical) is way too heavy. I can't maneuver Henry (although thankfully he came out of the womb with a surprising amount of head control--perhaps that's what he was working on those extra two weeks?), the heavy quilt, the door, and my book (I'm forced to leave my water bottle behind, which is terrible).

Yes, I could solve the problem by making two trips, but I am not a two-trip kind of person. Two trips out means two trips in, which quickly becomes four trips a day or twenty trips a week. Okay, I'm scaring myself with my mathematical efficiency analysis.

So I want to make an outdoor blanket. I'm thinking I should use oil cloth (or that other form of laminated cloth) for the bottom, so that grass and leaves won't stick to it. I'm not sure what to do on the top. Maybe something like flannel? I'd also like to make carrying straps, so I could fold it up and hang it on a doorknob for easy access.

Have any of you seen any good tutorials for picnic blankets?

After a quick search, here's what I was able to find:

I think I will combine these ideas, unless you all have seen something better!

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Anonymous said...

Hi Sara,

I couldn't find a large roll up quilt, but perhaps you could use these and combine designs.

Good luck!


Sarah said...


A silk or satin sheet. Find one on clearance or at goodwill or whatnot and sew it to another sheet. Super light, and also perfect for the beach. My parents have been using a silk sheet at the beach for YEARS! I think that the grass and stuff would also not stick to it....and if you sew another sheet or light blanket on it, it would be thick enough to sit outside on.

TheBroad said...

Get a large tote/shopping bag, insert quilt, book, and water bottle, loop over one arm and grab baby with the other. No extra work required.

Environmental Soul said...

The book life style by ohseweasy has a really cool picnic blanket that looks easy and light weight. It is pretty much just 13 15" by 15" squares sewed together with a backing.

Our Little Beehive said...

You'll find a gazillion ideas on Pinterest

Anonymous said...

i don't have a tutorial, but would like to recommend against oilcloth.
most oilcloth is made with vinyl or pvc, which is probably the worst plastic out there.

rootbeerlady said...

What about rip-stop nylon or a "sports" fabric for the backing? Seems like it would be lighter than oil cloth or a vinyl tablecloth.

Elizabeth said...

yeah, definitely steer clear of the vinyl and/or oil cloth - most all of it is made with PVC, which is really bad for you! (and especially for babies!)

Allison Campbell said...

I saw this today:
is that what you're thinking of?

Thrifty Girl said...

though it is not lightweight if you were going to do a smaller blanket you could use old blue jeans. I made a patch work blue jean quilt and my mom takes it fishing all the time... a bit on the heavy side but very durable. You can even use the pockets for toys and such.

Anchor's Aweigh! said...

I decided to make one similar to Centsational Girl by with 10 x 10 inch squares and about the size of a Queen bed.

I am working on it right now and will post a tutorial when i am complete.

The lady at JoAnn's fabrics reccommended muslin for the bank instead of oilcloth, since it can easily be placed in the dryer.

Amanda said...

I don't have any quilt ideas, but I just wanted to say that those baby stretches kill me. My baby is nine months old and I miss my little sleepy newborn when I see adorable pictures like these. :)

E. said...

Can you cut your blanket in half? Then it would be much lighter, and you could wash one and use the other. Plus, way less work.

Kamilla said...

Speaking of feeding schedules, I just wanted to recommend two links about breastfeeding frequency - it really opened my eyes to how often babies need to eat and other things about babies. I hope you find them interesting!

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