10.04.2011

A Picnic Blanket for Fall... and Always

For many, the turn of the calendar to October encourages the turning of their energy inward toward home.  Having spent most of my life in the Midwest, I too once lived in rhythm with the traditional four seasons.  Now that our family lives in Texas, we've had to learn a new rhythm.  One where October brings a much needed respite from the heat.  While many shift toward spending more time indoors, we are more eager than ever to start spending our time outdoors again.  We're ready to get back to evening family walks, bike rides, and weekend hikes - activities that aren't nearly as pleasant when it's 100 (+) degrees outside.  After experiencing one of the hottest summers on record with my own personal heater on board, I'm soaking up every moment of this change... and trying to get outside as much as I can.   It's also why I was determined to finish this picnic blanket before baby's arrival.  (Can I confess that the material has been sitting on my shelf for the last 2 years?)



I used Amy Butler's Picnic blanket pattern - free and available here.  The brilliant part about this quilt design is that one side is laminated cotton.  Laminated cotton, sometimes called oilcloth, is a slick fabric that can be wiped clean.  It's often used to make rain coats, changing pads, or splat mats for under baby's high chair. 

Laminated cotton is great for my family since it takes my kids oh, about 2 minutes to spill something.



After eating their faces often look something like this.


Sometimes they wipe their dirty hands on the blanket instead of a napkin.  (See Indigo below.)


Of course, of course, we try to teach them good manners.  But kids will be kids.  If we were going for pristine, we wouldn't take them on picnics.  The laminated cotton allows me to relax rather than cringe when they do things that would make Emily Post wag a finger at me.  And that makes it a lot more fun for us all.


A home decor weight fabric is recommended for the reverse side.  This fabric, sturdier than a quilting cotton, is perfect for activities that don't have a high probability for spillage.  Like book reading or star gazing.  And definitely playing!


Being the laminated cotton repels water, we can sit on the cloth side of the blanket, even on damp grass, without the water soaking through.  That means our pants stay dry, which also means less laundry for me.  I appreciate this.  I already have enough laundry to do.  Oh, do I ever!

I think this blanket will be used often and well-loved... this fall and in the years to come.


The kids think so, too.

{For this project I used this laminated cotton and this home decor fabric.}

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