But unfortunately, May was anything but lovely across much of the country. Let's hope for a calmer June. Today in Minnesota it IS lovely so it's time for a picnic!
Rail Fence - The Inspiration
My Aunt Agnes made us this quilt around 1970. We've always called it our Picnic Quilt.
My sister and I both sewed most of our own clothes and saved the ‘cuttings'. We brought Agnes these extra fabrics as well as the clothing we no longer wore. Others did this, too, knowing she would put it to good use. She had a large room overflowing with colorful scraps in piles on a large table with more in boxes on the floor.
Over the years we've kept this quilt in the trunk of the car.
It has covered damp ground at the 4th of July fireworks, dirty picnic tables at rest stops and even works as a tablecloth for the hood of a car - talk about 'make do'!
My Mom and Dad about 1980 - can you see the quilt under all that food?
It's been washed countless times and ..... now I see it has a burn hole. I am not embarrassed to tell you this. It's living the life it was meant to live and over 40 years later it just keeps ticking!
When my kids grew up I wanted each of them to have their own picnic quilts. With two boys we had lots of old jeans and I got more at rummage sales and in 'Free' boxes. I love finding different colors.
I made this one for my oldest son. Does it look familiar?
I cut the largest pieces possible from the legs of old jeans, sewed them together and then trimmed the block to size. I even included a side seam here and there.
The fill is an old cotton sheet blanket. I pick them up at church rummage sales for about $1. They add a nice insulating layer for something that may be used on the ground.
I purchased the backing; a 54" wide lighter weight denim stripe. I simply brought it around to the front at about 3/4" and machine top-stitched it down. That's whats fun about making this type of quilt - it's meant for function and hard use. Nothing fancy about it. As a matter of fact, many vintage quilts used this edge treatment. It was thrifty in that no extra fabric was needed and also saved time - the method is simpler than cutting and applying a separate binding.
This quilt has also been put to good use...I know it covered an old couch for awhile and I recently learned he kept it at work to spread out on the University mall at lunch time.
Medallion Mish MashI made this one for my youngest son. He went to high school when the colored brushed denim jeans were popular - and W I D E! Yipee. I'm telling you....never throw anything away! I was getting interested in the medallion style at the time and wanted to do something different; making use of those wide leg pieces at the center. I thought I would surround the center with the blocks that have a square in the center but that seemed dull and too predictable. I began using leftover pieces from the first quilt and having lots of fun.Then I added various jeans labels, pockets and his initials.
I used a variety of big-stitch and tacking or tying techniques with cotton crochet thread to hold the layers together.
|The red stitching is called Crow's Foot|
There isn't much left of a pair of jeans when I get done!
I embroidered his name right on the front.
Making a picnic quilt is a perfect summer project. It gets your creative juices flowing and before long you will have a quilt in your trunk for any occasion. Now I'm excited again..... I think I need to make a few more for gifts. I still have plenty of denim!
Coming Soon: New and Improved
(two new quilts from an old top)