Monday, April 4, 2011

Hands Off My Picnic Blanket Tutorial from Katy of No Big Dill

i'm so excited to welcome our first guest - katy from one of my favorite blogs "no big dill", to kick off comfy sews VS cozy knits this month. i could not resist asking her to come back again and join in for our spring/summer edition. this lovely, sweet, caring and oh, so talented momma constantly amazes me with her attention to detail, impeccable seamstress skills and whimsical & imaginative designs. she never ceases to inspire me to always want to learn more about the art of sewing and to really push myself to do more than just a straight stitch.

when it comes down to my inner battle between knitting & sewing, katy sure does one heck of a job luring me over to the sewing side. i mean can you not want to sew looking at these?


i only hope to one day be able to sew like katy. so let's all get inspired. let's hear from katy!

Hello Luvinthemommyhood readers!! I am excited and happy to get back in the ring this year for the Sews!

When I was thinking of what I wanted to make for Versus this year, I wanted to make something that I actually needed, not just make something to make something. We were out on a picnic a few weeks ago and I noticed there wasn't any room for the food once we all got on the blanket! The problem is, fabric only comes so wide, so I decided to piece some fabric together lengthwise to create a picnic blanket big enough for our family of 7!

Fleece was my choice of fabric. It's what our current picnic blanket is made out of and I have loved it. Soft and comfy! And! Now is the time to buy it. Mine was 50% off and I had a coupon for an additional 25% my entire purchase. Bargain. As I was roaming the fleece aisles I was repulsed by the prints. Sorry to be so blunt, but really, I didn't see a single print I would even consider, they were all screaming at me as I walked quickly by to come to the serene solids.
  • I bought 3 yards of 3 solid colors: pale yellow, white, and a dark grey

  • Cut several strips, lengthwise, of varying widths.
  • Use a ruler to keep each strip uniform.

  • Overlap two strips by a half an inch to a quarter of an inch and zig-zag them together.
  • Repeat with remaining strips, until desired blanket width is achieved.

I thought it would be fun to do a hand silhouette for each member of my family so that every time we sit down for a picnic we can measure how much each baby dill has grown! As Ryan traced my hand with my little stump of a piece of chalk he said, "with all your professional sewing instruments, don't you have something more appropriate?" I laughed and said, "you think I would!" But sometimes you just make do, right? I'll put it on my list...

  • Trace hand with chalk or water-soluble pen, cut out silhouette, just inside the line.
  • Pin in place and zig-zag stitch around all those cute little digits.

  • If you overlap the strips too much on the back side, simply trim them up after completing the blanket.

And no matter how carefully you cut and sew and measure, the ends will come out uneven. Maddening.
  • Trim the edge to even it out. Hem this edge, since the backstitching was just snipped off by fold under an inch and stitch, either straight stitch or zig-zag.

I had about a foot left of each color that I thought I could add later when their hands grow a bit.

So I took it out for a spin...plenty of room for me and my rosemary, peach lemonade! ;)

I love the hand silhouettes all lined up and the contrast of the gray against the yellow.

Yes, I think it will fit the whole the food!

If you want the recipe for the lemonade, come on over to no big dill! You won't regret it ;)

Thanks for letting me duke it out here today!


thanks so much for joining in katy! love the blanket and i can't wait to make one for our family of 4 for the beach this summer! you guys can check out more of katy over on her blog "no big dill"!

what color scheme would you make katy's blanket in? have you ever made your own picnic blanket before? is it just me or are you really thirsty from looking at that delicious pic of lemonade!!?


  1. I am always blown away by Katy, so glad she stepped into the ring again this time around! Very excited to see what the new site has in store!!! :) thank you for all of your hard work!

  2. great idea! you could do some fun reverse applique cutouts too. my nana made me a (much smaller)picnic blanket in the same fashion, only she used strips of denim with red stitching. each corner has a pocket with red cloth napkins tucked inside.

  3. Jessica - thanks hun! I can't wait for you guys to see all the fun stuff this month!

    Tammie - That sounds gorgeous!

  4. Love the idea of fleece and the handprints!

  5. Great idea with the fleece. I would like to try one, maybe add handles and velcro to make it easier to carry around.

  6. so excited for comy sews vs cozy knits! i can't wait to see what you've planned. this sounds like a really quick and easy project. you could sew a pocket on a centre edge to fold it up in.

  7. awesome!! I linked to your tutorial at Craft Gossip Sewing:

  8. Wow what a great blanket!!! Think thats my next project, Thanks :)

    I LOVE the orange skirt in the picture with the orange chair, do you know if she sells this pattern or has a tutorial for it?


  9. Bee's Creative - That orange outfit was one of Katy's winning entries for the recently finished Project Run & Play. As of now I don't know of a tutorial but you could always write her an email and ask her if she's got one in the works. I'm sure she'd love to hear from you. I love that outfit too! So fresh!

  10. Great idea. How does fleece hold up to sand? I feel like it would grab half the beach and take it home with me!

  11. Loved the post! So much so, your advice features in my Top Money Tips: Picnic special best of the blogs round-up

  12. I love the hand prints. What a great idea!!!


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