Quilter Janet Clare shows us how to make a Laura Ashley picnic quilt…
HENRY THE LURCHER PICNIC QUILT
This simple and practical picnic quilt was inspired by Laura Ashley’s wonderful Bloomsbury fabrics and a painting of Henry the Lurcher that Duncan Grant made above a window at Charleston farmhouse in 1916 or so.
I added the phrase ‘a sparkle of sunshine’ because that is all it takes for us vitamin D deprived Brit’s to get out the picnic rugs and start enjoying ourselves!
I hope we have our fair share of sparkles of sunshine this summer so your picnic quilt can absorb many warm and happy memories.
Picnic quilt measures 50 x 70 inches, 127 x 178 cm
1.7 yards / 1 1/2 metres Laura Ashley Queen Mary Floral linen/cotton in jade
1.1 yards/ 1 metre Laura Ashley Charleston Grapes linen/cotton in pale plum
2.3 yards/ 2 metres, Polka dot PVC fabric in camomile
12 x 16 inches grey tweed fabric for Henry
2.3 yards/ 2 metres wadding or blanket
1/4 yard/ 1/4 metre Bondaweb
Sewing thread- pale grey
Embroidery silk- black
1. Make paper template: Print the pattern sheets (scroll to bottom to see patterns) and tape Henry the Lurcher together carefully, aligning the registration points to form your appliqué template.
2. Cut five strips fabric: Cut two 15 x 51 inches/ 38 x 129 1/2 cm rectangles from the paler Charleston Grapes Fabric. Cut three 15 x 51 inches/ 38 x 129 1/2 cm rectangles from the Queen Mary Floral fabric.
3. Sew strips together: Using straight stitch and 1/2 inch/ 1.3 cm seam allowance sew all five strips together and then press the seams open.
4. Appliqué: Cut one Henry the Lurcher in grey fabric and pin in place. Select a small zig-zag stitch or free motion stitching on your sewing machine and carefully sew all around the dog so it is neatly attached to the background fabric.
5. Write: In removable fabric pen trace or write freehand ‘a sparkle of sunshine’.
6. Embroider: Stitch words in chain stitch and Henry’s ears, eyes and nose in back stitch using black embroidery thread.
7. Add wadding: Place wadding flat and lay the picnic quilt on top of it, right side uppermost. Pin or tack the wadding and quilt top together so that they will stay firmly in place whilst you sew.
8. Quilt: Select a medium sized stitch on your sewing machine. Stitch the quilt top and wadding together aligning the edge of your machine presser foot against each side of the five seams as you sew. This will keep the layers together and adds texture too. Trim excess wadding away.
9. Add backing fabric: Place backing PVC fabric right side uppermost flat and then lay the quilt top on it so that the right sides are together. Pin or tack in place round the outside edge.
10. Stitch backing fabric: Sew around the outside edges with a 1/2 inch / 1.3 cm seam allowance making sure you leave sufficient opening for turning the picnic quilt the right side out. Trim all the excess fabric away and cut across the corners to reduce the bulk. Turn picnic quilt right side out.
11. Pin opening closed.
12. Top stitch: To finish and to stitch the opening closed, sew through all 3 layers of the picnic quilt on the front 1/2 inch/ 1.3 cm away from the outside edge. Take your time as it is not easy to sew such a large and heavy cloth.
13. Admire: And never, ever point out your mistakes!
Photos by Sarah Egginton
Quilt make and do by Janet Clare. Click here to visit her website