Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

January 08, 2009

Picnic rug

It was bound to happen sometime. Yes, it was. No avoiding it. Despite my resistance, it was always on the cards. And so I acquiesced. Caved in. Purchased the fat quarters. Resolved to finally try my hand at sewing a quilt.

Here's how it happened ...

During our recent holiday we took a driving break. We parked in the shade of some expansive, leafy trees by the side of a lake. A picnic was spread and we reclined in the dappled light and mild breeze. Each family member munched on a sandwich, lost in their own thoughts.

Mr HB: This picnic would be so much better if I had my laptop and a beer.
Argy: This picnic would be so much better if it was on that ace tram that's rattling by, with all those shrieking big kids hanging out the windows.
Bargy: This picnic would be so much better if it was over there in those reeds, where we could test out if the lake has really dried up.
Hoppo Bumpo: I wish we weren't sitting on this disgusting tarpaulin. This picnic would have been so much better on a gorgeous handmade rug.

So when we reached our destination, I made for the local fabric shop, post-haste. I selected a large bundle of fat quarters, Maywood Studio's brightly coloured Bees Knees collection. My plan: to make a picnic rug. Possibly a large one. Very large. (Can anyone enlighten me - is 37 fat quarters, excessive for one's first quilt top?)

Who knows if - or when - it will turn out. I've selected a nine-patch block pattern, which promises the beginner no fiddly points or strange fractions of inches. The pattern doesn't however mention suitability where said beginner suffers afflictions of lackadaisical saw-tooth cutting and variable gauge seams.

I think I'm about to discover that quilting aint no picnic ...


  1. I came across your blog on Sew Mama Sew, and have now become a regular reader. I decided I should come out of the shadows and let you know that I think you are just adorable. Thanks for the good ideas, and also for the fun, uplifting posts!

  2. Love love love your choice of fabrics and it doesn't matter if 37 fat quarters is enough or not just go with the flow and if it's too much... start a stash and if it's not enough... off to a Patchwork Shop!! You have begun :-) stay with fun and don't worry, my first quilt as daggy as it is... is still adored and still travelling the world with DS1.
    Can't wait to see the beginning!
    Cheers Pennie

  3. Ah, you're a braver woman than I am. I'm a bit scared of patchwork, nd completely in awe of those who are not.

    ..So did Bargy get to check out the mud?

  4. you will have one huge quilt/pincic rug - but maybe it could be double sided, which would be double the work. But hey, when the tomato sauce gets spilt on one side you just flip it over and you are still eating in style.

    Happy stitching

    (blogless) Kerry

  5. 37 Fat quarters??? A girl after my own heart!

  6. I started a very very small and very very simple quilt a while ago. It is one of my things i need to finish before uni goes back. The top is done now I have to quilt it and i'm a little bit scared of that part.

  7. There are lots of ways of cheating if you are of the "we'll see how it goes" type persuasion. One way, if you are using a 9 patch block is to just make them up and then at the end cut the edges off to make them square and to the same size as each other (use a template here, think a cut up piece of thick plastic so they ARE the same size). As long as you get at least 1/4 inch (approx 0.6cm) seams they should stay together and most patterns say "trim each block to the correct size" so you are in excellent company!!! Good luck on your endeavours. Oh and at 4 fat quarters to a metre of fabric (approx) you have about 9 metres of fabric give or take, plenty enough there!!! Can't wait to see the results.

  8. Really love the fabrics, bright and punchy.

  9. You will be JUST fine!

    Maybe get a pro to do the actual quilting for the first BIG quilt you are doing.... You dont want to spend all that money and time on beautiful fabric and stuff it at the end... not that I think you will... but I have made many mistakes thinking I knew what I was doing!

  10. Oh goody- I'm starting my first quilt in a month or so, so you'll have lots of tips and tricks!

    Love the fabrics you've chosen!

  11. Hooray! The only thing that could make me love your blog more would be to add some quilting magic...and apparently the new year is going to be a good one!
    Make sure to post lots of pics as you go...and I always say the more fabrics in a quilt, the better!
    Good luck!

  12. Oooh, good luck. I've always wanted to make a picnic quilt but I've never been sure about the back side of the quilt (the side on the ground). Our picnic blanket often ends up with food all over it too so how often would a quilted one need to be washed? I'm so keen to see your progress on this, hopefully it will inspire me to have another crack at quilting.

  13. Patchwork is going to be my fabric craft of choice for 2009. We will have to encourage each other along the way. I'm impressed that you decided on 37 fat quarters to start you off - the colours are gorgeous BTW.

  14. Can't wait to see the goodness! I love the bright outdoor colours.

  15. Your bright choices are one of the best combinations that I've seen in a while. 37 fat quarters should be more than enough for a quilt, I'd think and it will be terrific! I can't wait to see it.

    On a side note, you're recently left me some wonderfult blog comments and I want to write you back about them. They warranted more than a casual "thanks", so when I've got a clear head you'll hear from me. It's been great reading your blog and I can't wait to see what 2009 brings.

  16. I was reading your post, thinking mm, that's nice - and then I hit the number 37. Thirty-seven? Wow, girl - you let out the latent quilty fabricaholic in you, and there's NO going back...! (laughs)

  17. oh wow well done you how amazing, I am in awe!! Wanting to make a quilt is one of those things I realy want to do and have for years but am too scared!! I guess I will do it in my next life!! So I watch with anticipation to follow your brave journey!!!!!go girl now you are a quiltin' chick!!

  18. I'm sure it will all work out just fine. I am a very imprecise and inexperienced crafter myself and managed to churn out a queen sized one just before Christmas (not a very complex pattern, and I "tied" the quilt and did the "sew the backing on right sides together and then turn it inside out" method.. or whatever it is called... rather than binding it.)

    Good luck and have fun! (lovely fabric too by the way)

  19. Scoot over on that bench...I don't quilt, either, and never intended to, but someone just invited me to join a quilting bee thing, and I AGREED. Obviously, I was temporarily insane. Because that saw-tooth cutting and those variable gauge seams sound waaaay too familiar. :p

  20. I am so glad to meet you - thanks for calling by my place.

    Quilting I have managed to avoid so far. I know I would love buying the fabric. But sewing it all up?


  21. Stick with it. Stick to squares. Take it slow. Take your time. It'll work out fine... great even, once the pinning blisters have gone :D

    Best of luck!

  22. wow, now THAT is how to buy fabric! I'm sure you'll do a sterling job. Why not just dive right in!

  23. The colours are so perfect for a picnic rug, looking forward to seeing your installments.

  24. I am so glad you are going to start quilting I think this will be the beggining of a long journey that will continue for a lifetime

  25. I have been lurking through your Blog for some time now but just feel its time to speak !

    You are such a crack up ! Most posts have me sitting her laughing so hard I nearly wet myself ( easy feat really after 2 kids ! ) & sometimes nodding along because of sadly knowing the misery you have gone through !

    37 .... Deary me you are game !

  26. 37 :o
    I'm sure you will have a ball & end up with a rather HUGE picnic rug (love the colours too)

    There is a cool Disappearing 9 patch tutorial floating around the place and is really easy and adds additional dimension to just the norm 9 patch (you know if you're anything like me & want to start at the top and work your way down :)


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