Saturday, July 28, 2012

Flag of the picnic nation

I have been lucky enough to live in two cities that have thrift stores that focus on reusing materials for art, craft, and learning. In San Francisco there is the amazing SCRAP and here in Oakland we have the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse or as we call it in my house, Broken Things. SCRAP is a much more dangerous place to go as most things that I am interested in--fabric, yarn, and paper goods are typically sold at a per bag price (last time I remember this was $7 for a grocery bag filled with items) though some are by the yard or lot or piece. All this to say, it is super cheap. During a time of incredible fabric stash enhancement in the early 2000s, I grabbed lots and lots of large fabric swatches. Over the years many of these swatches probably made their way back to SCRAP, but there were a number that I couldn't part with.

For some time I have been intending to take these two sets of pretty florals in similar tones and make a quilt. One idea had been to match them up with the fabric I recently used on my summer PJs, but when my mom passed along three different Echino oil cloth fabrics to me I decided to make picnic/park blanket. With the oil cloth on one side I could put the blanket down on damp grass without worrying about getting wet or having to completely launder the blanket after every use.

The front is a simple patch work of the nine swatches that made a square of roughly 43" by 43". I had about the same size piece of oilcloth that I had cut out a piece to make a wipe-able seat cover for a dining room chair. To fill in the gap I used a piece from another Echino oilcloth. The result looks like a very hip version of the American flag. I used store-bought quilt binding and the leftovers made the tie to wrap it up for portability. I rounded down for this project to get three points (1 point each for patchwork, backing, and quilting). I am looking forward to using this on an excursion to Totland or for a picnic!

1 comment:

  1. hi Nicole!

    I am enjoying following your sewing blog and hearing about it on the podcast. I had the complete opposite experience than you - I was an avid sewist before kids. I sewed most of my clothes and even taught sewing! But I discovered knitting when my kids were young and pretty much abandoned sewing in favor of a more portable craft.

    But you have inspired me to finally clean out my sewing closet. I am going to freecycle most of my fabric, notions and thread. I realized that while I will go back to sewing one day, I needed to clear out the clutter. When I am ready, I will buy things for a new project and take up from there. I did keep three very nice pieces of fabric that I could see making up into something one day.

    So, thanks for the inspiration and I look forward to hearing more about sewing!

    Deborah (aka goldiegirl)