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Warp & Weft Sewing Society: Charlie Harper – Getting Antsy Picnic Quilt

2014 July 4

I do not know the last time I felt this excited to show you a project! I’m so proud of this quilt and I love how it turned out. I love the photo shoot, and I love the fabric… it has been an all around amazing journey! When I first saw the Charlie Harper collection I knew I wanted to use it for something, so when Esmari from Warp & Weft gave me a chance to use it for a Sewing Society post I was thrilled! I’m going to post a simple tutorial for this quilt separately today, since the post is getting quite long and photo heavy! So here is the background on it… (**Update: the tutorial for the quilt is posted here.)

I love Charlie Harper’s art, and the outdoor nature of them was perfect for something picnic-related. I tried to come up with something other than a picnic quilt, but in the end I failed to think of something I would rather make – and I’m so glad I didn’t! I wanted the quilt to look modern, but typical, all the way down to it being hand-tied.  My quilt is neither difficult or complex or even many pieces – is is, however, my 2nd “real” quilt finish and I’m quite enjoying my foray into the world of HST’s and OBW’s.

I figured, since I was not likely inventing a super-complicated quilt for a tutorial the first go around, that I would add in some fun applique. I am so IN LOVE with my ants! Ants and picnics just go together – and I am super-excited to have created my family’s picnic quilt for many years to come. I have made many clothing projects, for my kids and for myself… and for my husband… nothing compares to the feeling I got finishing this quilt. The sense of heirloom and keeping someone dry and/or warm with it. The happiness, many picnics and fun memories I want to create around our future adventures with the quilt.

I used the fat quarter Charlie Harper bundle from Warp & Weft plus some of my randomly stashed solids and solid red, binding and backing from my local big-box fabric store. I would have been more adventurous on the backing – but it’s going to mostly be on the ground, so a dark wobbly stripe it was plus a little piecing with a bit of extra fabric.

The binding is the most perfect wobbly criss-cross fabric and I took some inspiration from the striped bindings I’ve seen from some of the other Sewing Society members lately. I’m super happy with it and the fact that it looks hand-drawn is just a further nod to the Charlie Harper artwork.

I decided that machine quilting the whole quilt was a bit adventurous, so I tied it with embroidery floss instead. Much “safer” and faster! I did want to make sure it had some machine quilting, though, since I love how it looks – so I stitched straight-ish lines around the border. I figured out later that I think I would have been fine to quilt the whole thing, since it probably would have folded up small enough to fit in my machine. Ah well – next time! The quilt finishes at around 70″ square. Lots of room to fit our family of four.

I also toyed with the idea of making the backing waterproof. In the end I decided that I wanted it to be available to use as a quilt, not just for sitting on. I’ve had too many picnics growing up where the cold weather caused one or more of us to huddle under the picnic quilt for warmth. A waterproof quilt would not be cuddly! I think instead I will carry an inexpensive vinyl tablecloth around to put underneath the quilt, if it is needed, to keep us (and the quilt) dry.

I’m off to finish writing and posting the tutorial before cleaning my house for tonight’s sewcial. I love my monthly get-togethers, even if I don’t get much done for all of the sewing-talk!

What do you think? I’d love to hear about your quilting adventures. Have you made a favorite picnic quilt?

** Please note: This is a sponsored post and some of the fabric was provided to me at no cost by Warp & Weft. However, as always, all opinions are my own and I will never promote something to you that I do not love myself. **

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9 Responses leave one →
  1. Esmari Taylor permalink
    July 5, 2014

    Wow, this turned out so nicely, Sherri! I love the giant ants and the ‘shadow ants’ on the back of the quilt. I haven’t finished a quilt in such a long time that I’d forgotten about that sense of accomplishment that you get when you stitch that last little bit of the binding…it’s so true. It’s the end of one journey and the beginning of a new one and new memories. And I’m totally sold on the stripey binding thing too! It’s even inspired me to order some extra stripey prints!

    • July 7, 2014

      Thanks for letting me work with the line Esmari! It has been amazing… and I can’t wait to see your stripey prints! :)

  2. July 5, 2014

    Ooohh.. love it to bits!! :) Those ants are so cute! That is such a gorgeous line and a picnic quilt is perfect!

  3. Molly permalink
    September 26, 2014

    love this quilt and we are big Charley Harper fans. Want to make quilts for my grandsons, who are in twin bunks… Would this pattern work if I decreased the width of the rectangles?? I need really easy patterns, i.e, straight lines!
    any suggestions?
    thaks so much.

    • September 30, 2014

      Hi Molly, Yes! You can definitely decrease the width of the rectangles. It would look amazing on bunk beds! And these straight lines are an easy finish for sure. You’ll need to re-calculate the yardage based on your new size. Feel free to email me and we can sort out measurements for the new blocks etc. sherri (at) threadridinghood (dot) com

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