vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed picnic blanket

I originally shared this project with Rhythm of the Home over three years ago. I actually can't believe it's been so long! We still use this picnic blanket a *ton* every summer. It's made several road trips and adventures with us and I thought it was time to share it here with you…..

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project


Materials Needed::

2 or more vintage cotton sheets for squares (the halves of two twins is sufficient)

1 re-purposed twin flannel sheet (or new) 45 inches wide (or 3 yards)

3 yards linen for backing, 45 inches wide

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler *optional*

*wash & press all fabric (if flannel is new, you can skip the washing & pressing)

{this is also a great project to make with fat quarters of fabric!}

vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project


Cut your sheet fabric into 25 squares measuring 14×14 inches. I chose 5 prints and cut 5 squares of each. I use a rotary cutter + ruler for this task.


vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project


Lay your squares out to choose a pattern. It can be random too, I just like to see it before I sew. If you're pressed for space just fold each square up so you have smaller pieces to lay out. (as shown)


vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project


Sew your strips together one row at a time from left to right. Trim or square up the edges and then sew the rows together from top to bottom. Press the seams open as you sew your squares & again as you sew the rows together.


vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project


Next, lay your fabrics together in a sandwich as follows : patchwork top right side up on the bottom, linen backing right side down in the middle, flannel backing on the top. Pin edges.


vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project


Leaving a six inch hole to turn the project right side out, stitch around the entire blanket with a 1/2 inch hem. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and ending of your sewing. Turn the blanket right side out, be gentle with the opening. Press the edges.


vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project


Topstitch the blanket with a 1/4 seam.


vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project


Now you can leave the blanket as is our add some ties for a quilted feel. I used embroidery floss and "tied" the layers together at each square edge. See the yellow thread in the picture below….




Now you have a picnic blanket to last for years to come! 


vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project







24 thoughts on “vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed picnic blanket

  1. It's such a fun project! I think you could totally improvise with all kinds of fabric. Cotton would be choice for easy care and softness….. but it could be easily done with men's shirts too! We have a 99 cent sale at our salvation army every week. I might need to make a fall version of this with some good old plaid and stripes!


  2. Gorgeous! I have one I made a few years ago backed with an old bedspread, but I love the idea of linen with flannel on the inside. I may have to make another one… (You can’t have too many picnic blankets, can you?) xo


  3. Three years ago seeing this project on the rhythm site is the reason I bought a sewing machine. It took me 2 years to learn how to use it- signed up for a class at the local community college last year. Literally 5 days ago I pieced and sewed together the layers of this blanket. And tomorrow *fingers crossed* I will finish the last part (top stitching). So anyone can indeed do this inspiring project!


  4. Julia – that is amazing!!!!! I’m so glad I got to read your comment!
    stephinie – you are forever inspiring!!!
    xo, a


  5. Oh my goodness! This comment just totally made my whole day! So, so sweet of you for sharing this story. I'm so glad you took the leap and got into sewing!! I'll be thinking of you this weekend, finishing up your beautiful blanket + hopefully enjoying a lovely picnic~~~~~ xoxo


  6. The linen is so durable, I really love it as a backing. I’m thinking of making a new one for fall from old mens shirts…. plaid! You sure can’t have too many. They make excellent beach blankets too!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s