02 September 2009

Waterproof picnic blanket

My husband and I are headed to an outdoor concert this weekend. We have lawn seating, which means no seating except our bums on the grass. I scoured the Internet for a waterproof picnic blanket (because grass can be dewy, and in the Northwest, rain is always a possibility). The ones I found were OK, but were all around $50 and just kind of...blah. Then I found this design*sponge tutorial, and decided to make my own if I could find some interesting fabric.

When I saw the collection of oilcloth at my favorite semi-local fabric mecca, I was sold. I now am in love with oilcloth! I snatched some up, found some cute coordinating flannel, and got to sewing.

Isn't this pattern great? It's called Rocket Scientist. This is funny, because my husband actually is a rocket scientist (though we prefer the term aerospace engineer). I chose it specifically for its stain-hiding potential; very important for a picnic blanket that you can't machine wash.

The tutorial suggests 2 yards of each fabric, but we wanted a BIG blanket, so I bought 4 yards of each and stitched them together. Warning: if you do this, you need ample floor space! Once I stitched together the oilcloth, I knew that I would have to sew down the seams to make them lay flat.

Here's a trick: since the oilcloth is so rigid and bulky, roll it up on either side of the seam so it fits through your sewing machine easily. I also suggest reading the sewing tips at Oilcloth Addict for other tips on how to work with oilcloth.

Now it's nice and flat. :)

Here's the finished product! I used binder clips instead of pins for my fold-over binding, because pins put holes in the oilcloth that won't come out. I'm curious to see if the blanket will need to be quilted (lines of stitching run across the entire blanket to keep the fabrics from separating). Just from the time I spent smoothing the flannel over the rough oilcloth backing, I know that they're sticking together pretty well already. Hopefully that will be enough. This would not be easy to quilt!

Total time: 2-3 hrs.


Jen said...

This looks great! And the fabric is quite fitting for your family. :) I'm hoping to hit my favorite "depot" this weekend myself.

Bonnie said...

Thanks for the post. I've been planning on making this and was thinking of how to make it bigger. Thanks for the tips. I can't wait!

Marisa@make*happy said...

Ooh, make sure to come back and let me know how your blanket works out!

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