Picnic Pillows

Remember when I was telling you about the picnic we had over Labor Day weekend? After we hiked and enjoyed a picnic lunch, we lounged on this quilt:

I LOVE that quilt, but we hardly ever use it. I originally intended for it to be a tablecloth, but it’s just too big and heavy for that, maybe because of the flannel backing. Instead, it serves as a great quilt for picnics or napping in the backyard on a sunny afternoon.

But laying on the ground isn’t always that comfy, unless you are dead-tired from a hike. So I decided this quilt needed some companion pillows to go along on picnics.

Here’s the results of that decision. I added handles to each side, making them easy to carry when you’re off to a picnic. Thus, I decided to call them “Picnic Pillows.”

These are very easy to make, even for beginners.  Here are the materials you would need:

Pillow form – I used a size 12 x 16

Scrap fabrics cut into 1-1/2, 2 and 2-1/2 inch strips

Two pieces of backing fabric, cut into 13 x 14 inch pieces

One piece of batting, measuring 13 x 17 inches

Twill tape

Thread , scissors and iron

After cutting the strips, put them into a paper bag and draw pieces randomly (I got that idea from Amy Butler’s Mid Mod quilt pattern). Sew together the strips along the long edges until you have one large piece at least 17 inches wide.

Press the seams toward the darker fabric.

Layer this pieced front piece over batting, and machine quilt as desired. I quilted lines 1/2 inch apart going perpendicular to the strip sets.

Square up this front piece so it measures 13 x 17 inches. Set aside.

With each of the backing pieces, fold over one shorter side 1/2 inche toward the wrong side and press. Fold over 1/2 inch again and press. Top stitch the last folded edge and then again for the inner folded edge (should be about 1/2 inch in).

Layer the two backing pieces over each other, wrong sides down, so they become one piece measuring 17 inches wide. The pieces should overlap. Sew a 1/4 inch seam on each side to attach the two backing pieces together just along the sides where they overlap. No need to go all the way around yet.

Layer these backing pieces over the quilted front piece, right sides together. Center the twill tape handles on the shorter sides of the pillow, raw edges together with the pillow fabric, with the handle tucked inside the pillow. Sew all the way around, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Clip the corners.

Turn right side out and press.

Insert pillow, lay down your head, and rest! I love the idea of having handy handles on these picnic pillows when you are already carrying a blanket or quilt to lay on, your lunch cooler, and beverages.

5 comments

  • What a great idea and even greater tutorial! I think even someone who’s challenged in the sew-a-straight-line department (ahem, that would be me, lol) could manage this one with such good instructions. Thanks for the post!

  • Thanks for the great idea and tutorial. I want to make a picnic blanket for this summer and your cushions (UK speak!) will just make the perfect team. :0)

  • I’ve read this through several times and have yet to find where it tells about the twill tape handles and how they are done.

    • Evelyn,

      In the 4th paragraph from the bottom, it says:
      “Layer these backing pieces over the quilted front piece, right sides together. Center the twill tape handles on the shorter sides of the pillow, raw edges together with the pillow fabric, with the handle tucked inside the pillow. Sew all the way around, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.”

      I didn’t give a specific length for cutting the twill tape because it depends on how long you want the handles to be. I would suggest using your judgement for that, since people’s hands are different sizes, and tastes are different.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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