Quilt-As-You-Go Picnic Blanket by Hot Commodity Home Decor {Guest Contributor}

Hi all! My name is Krissy and I am the creative mastermind behind Hot Commodity Home Decor. I am a major fabric addict and love finding new ways to use it in my projects. I love to sew, read, and play with my two crazy kids. To learn more than you ever wanted to know about me, come check out the “All About Me” page on my blog (found here).

Unfortunately I don’t have pink hair any more.

Now, on to the tutorial!

This project has been a long time coming. It is one of those things I have thought about over and over and it was finally Amy’s invitation to guest post on her blog that inspired me to get crackin’ on this.

Due to some extenuating family circumstances, I was not able to complete the quilt in time for this tutorial to post, but this will give you the instructions on cutting, piecing, and quilting. Come see my blog in a couple of weeks to see the finished product! 

Please forgive my amateur quilting skills… I’m self taught and not terribly experienced with piecing!

Step 1 – Choose!

The first step is always the most fun for me: choose your fabrics! I fell in love with this cherry blossom fabric and bought a yard simply because it was too cute to pass up.

I used it on my daughter’s customized tote bag (blogged about here), but had quite a bit left over. I decided to use that as the springboard for my picnic blanket. The color scheme is grey, pink, yellow, light blue, and black.

Step 2 – Cut!

48 ct. patterned squares, 9 1/4″ x 9 1/4″
49 ct. patterned squares, 2″ x 2″
98 ct. solid rectangles, 2″ x 9 1/4″
2 ct. solid rectangles,  8.5″ x 88″
2 ct. solid rectangles, 3.5″ x 64″
Backing, 81″x 88″

Here you can see my larger patterned squares, divided up in the order I plan to piece them together, as well as my small solid rectangles that will border each patterned piece.

Step 3 – Piece!

Lay your larger blocks out and figure out how you want them arranged. You’ll be piecing the blocks and rectangles together so that you end up with 12 quilted blocks, which you will then sew together before attaching the backing. This means you will need to plan out your block pattern so that your fabrics are evenly distributed.

Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, piece the blocks together in this order (referring to the diagram below):

1. Vertical rectangle, A1, vertical rectangle, A2
2. Small square, horizontal rectangle, small square, horizontal rectangle
3. Vertical rectangle, B1, vertical rectangle, B2
4. Small square, horizontal rectangle, small square, horizontal rectangle

Once you have these four strips finished, then sew the strips together to form a full block as pictured:

I just realized this photo is all wrong! Not only is the block upside down (placing the border on the right instead of the left), but I took the photo before adding the bottom border. My apologies. Your block should look more like the next image… except real.

Do this until you have pieced your fabric into 12 full blocks. Remember to add an additional border to the right edge blocks of your quilt. You want your small rectangles & small squares to be on both long sides of the quilt.

Step 4 – Quilt!

Cut batting into 12 sections just larger than your full pieced blocks. Center your block on top of a piece of batting, then pin it in place. Use a lot of pins so the fabric doesn’t shift during sewing.

Stitch in the ditch! Following the seams in the block, quilt the fabric to the batting. This is sufficient quilting to hold the layers together, but if you want it to be more decorative, add as much quilting as you like. I decided to use my blanket as an opportunity to practice different patterns.

The top left square is quilted with vertical lines. The bottom left is quilted diagonally, following the pattern. The bottom right is quilted in a squared spiral.

Do this with each of your fully pieced blocks. Quilting on your machine is much easier at this stage. You can go back and add more quilting after attaching the backing, but it gets complicated when you’re dealing with all that bulk.

Now you will need to add batting behind your edging pieces (the long solid rectangles). Cut your batting to size, pin it in place, then quilt as you like. I used straight lines on mine, simply extending outwards at regular intervals so that the quilted seam will match up with the seams in the blocks.

Step 5 – Sew!

Once all your blocks are quilted, you can now sew them all together to complete the quilt top. Lay your blocks out on the floor to make sure you have them in the order you want. You should have 4 rows of 3 blocks. Sew all your rows first (when looking at the diagram: sew column 2 to 3, 4 to 5) then sew the rows together (B to C, D to E, F to G).

The edges of your quilt top should be fairly even, but trim off any excess. Then you will pin your shorter edge pieces (solid color 4.5″ x 64″) right sides together to the top and bottom edges of your quilt top. Sew and press the seam flat.

Then do the same to your side edge pieces (8.5″ x 88″).

Your quilt top is finished! Now all there is left to do is add the backing and the binding. Stop by my blog on August 1 to see my finished project!

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