The IKEA floral inspired picnic blanket is done! I’m so excited to have something big and lightweight to bring to picnics, outdoor concerts, BBQs, etc. I was very much inspired by the lovely “summerweight quilts” featured on Stitched in Color (one of my favorite quilting blogs). This is the biggest quilt I’ve made: approximately 60″ x 70″ (luckily, my boyfriend is 6’4″ and can easily hold it up for a quick photo shoot).

I selected the colors based on an IKEA duvet cover that I bought last year (and I used half of the duvet cover for the quilt backing). 100% of the fabric came from my stash: no credit cards were harmed in the making of this quilt!

I designed it myself, which involved lots of sketching, math, and a crazy Google Docs spreadsheet. I initially planned on doing squares, but with one row of mini squares to liven it up. Then I decided that narrower rectangles would be more interesting and more efficient to cut. I only had fat quarters of some of the fabrics that I wanted to use. And somewhere along the way, the layout evolved from a “portrait” layout to a “landscape” layout. The grid of rectangles was broken up by the addition of one small “golden spiral” of squares and a smaller rectangle (related to my boyfriend’s favorite mathematical concept – I will need to do a whole post on that some day!). Here are some of my initial sketches:

I tried to have a good mix of fabrics and colors, with a focus on pinks and greens. I cut everything up and then started joining pairs. Almost all the pairs of two were warm-cool combinations, but with a few cool-cool and warm-warm pairings, too. Then I sewed everything into two-by-two foursomes; I stacked all the pairs up and would flip through them to “audition” how each set looked together, like this:

Then I joined the foursomes into nine eightsomes, and that’s when it really got tricky; I wanted to keep the really bold colors and patterns relatively spread out, and I didn’t want rectangles of the same fabric to ever touch. I ended up having to sketch out each “eightsome” on graph paper, cut them out, and find a layout that would work that way. I am sure there’s a smarter way to do it, but it was kind of fun!

I sewed everything together, made a simple pair of straps, basted the front and back together lightly, sewed around the edges, turned, topstitched, and tied the quilt. I am not sold on tying quilts. It was incredibly fast, but I think it looks kind of sloppy. I used pink perle cotton, but I think I would have preferred a thicker, more yarn-like fiber, if I were to do this again. It’s the only aspect of this quilt that I don’t love!

Now it’s raining and dreary, and I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to actually USE this beautiful, happy picnic blanket!

Here’s the back of the picnic blanket (one-half of a twin-sized IKEA duvet cover):

My boyfriend’s dog was excited to check out the finished product, too…

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Edited to note that I am linking up to Made by You Monday on Skip to My Lou and Manic Monday Linky Party on SewHappyGeek!

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