My children love to picnic at the beach and and play in the sea until they come out looking faintly blue with cold. Inspired by hooded towels made out of washcloths, I made this - it's a children's picnic quilt and wrap combo. I wanted to make something that could be a child's very own - quickly slung in a bag to take to the beach, good to sit on while you have your picnic - which they could wrap themselves up in at the end of the day. The quilt is small, backed with soft toweling or fleece, and comes with a hood and toggle fastening.
General points: the quilt can be square but a rectangular one has more "wrapability", especially if you were to make one for a bigger child. You can piece a top, or use one piece of cloth. The quilt has a "top edge" - ie consider the direction of your prints. Seam allowance is unimportant - just be consistent.
First, measure your child from the shoulders to just above the ankles. Or get someone else to do it!
This measurement is the length of the side of a square quilt, or the short side of a rectangular quilt. For a rectangular quilt, next ask your child to stand with arms extended sideways and measure from fingertip to fingertip, plus six inches - this will be the length of the top edge. (This gives a good size for wrapping. You can make the quilt bigger than this, just be aware that you will not want it too big if your child will walk around in it!) Make a quilt top - pieced or not according to preference. Remember to consider the direction of any pattern - the quilt has a top edge. As Beth suggested novelty fabrics as a theme for the blog hop, I used a combination of fishy prints by Hoodie, and some Pezzy.
You will also need a toggle, and a hairband, one piece of toweling or fleece the same size as your top and one rectangle of toweling or fleece 10 inches x 21 inches. Note: my toweling had different sides - I used the less "loopy" side as it seemed less likely to snag in use.
First, lay out your small rectangle. We are going to make the hood. (NB for variations on the hood, including making a lined hood, please see the notes at the bottom of the tutorial.)
Fold in half from left to right. You are going to stitch along the top edge.
I used a quarter inch seam for neatness and so that the wearer won't feel it. I also zigzagged along the edge to avoid fraying:
After stitching, open it out:
Now turn right side out - you have made a hood shape. You can turn and hem the front edge, or bind it:
I bound mine, using this tutorial, attaching on the front:
I zigzag-stitched the edge again in case of fraying:
and attached the back by stitching in the ditch on the front:
Here's the finished hood. The unbound edge is the shoulder edge:
Lay out your towelling or fleece lining face up. If it is a rectangular quilt have the LONG side at the top. Find the center and mark it with a pin. Take your finished hood, find the centre of the shoulder edge and lay it on the lining, front edge face down, centre point to centre point, like this.
Sew the hood to the lining along the shoulder edge using a quarter inch seam. Because of the way I cut the towelling, I was able to make use of the selvedge edge here and didn't have to worry so much about fraying. Otherwise I would have zigzagged the edge again.
Lay your lining back down again face up, and flip up the hood:
Smooth it out well then take your quilt top and lay on top of the lining face down. Pin round the edge with about a million pins, and then sew together using a quarter inch seam, starting just outside the hood, and finishing just before the other edge. This gap is for turning.
Now turn inside out, pull carefully into shape, and stitch the opening closed using your favourite invisible stitch (I use ladder stitch - stitching from right to left), making sure to tuck in and catch down that hood seam as you sew.
Now you should topstitch round the edges of the quilt again, to stop the top and lining moving. My quilt top has a narrow border, so I sewed along this. For extra stability, you can add further "quilting" - it's a matter of choice.
Finally, attach a toggle, about an inch and a half from the hood. On the other side of the hood attach your hairband like this, by sewing backwards and forwards:
You've done it - admire your handiwork!
Admission: A bad workman blames his tools, a bad blogger blames the weather. I had hoped to take beautiful artistic "lifestyle" pics of this in use on the beach, but it has been so wet here that any lifestyle pics will have to follow!
This is my attempt to mock up a beach scene in my living room!:
If you make one, do let me know!
Notes and variations:
- As an optional extra, you could sew a lined hood to match your quilt top. Follow the instructions above to make two hoods, one in each fabric. If you like a bound front edge place one hood inside the other, wrong sides together, and use binding to fix together, before joining to the quilt. Alternatively, place one inside the other, right sides together, sew along the front edge and turn right side out before joining to the quilt.
- Tuck wet swimming shorts or beachcombing finds into the hood before rolling up to bring home from the beach.
- Be sure to shake any sand out of the hood before wrapping a very small child!
- Why not make a fleece lined quilt-wrap for camping trips? -it makes an extra blanket to throw over your sleeping bag, and you can wear it to wrap up in round the camp fire! [Update: like this one which was lined with cosy red fleece, and has a lined hood made with two layers of fleece for extra warmth. After sewing quilt and lining together, I sewed all the way round, about half an inch from the edge. This one doesn't have a toggle fastening. ]
- This tutorial was originally written for the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop, hosted by Plum and June