Monday, 15 June 2020

Blanket Coverage

Back in our youth, we had various student sweatshirts [Warwick University, Westminster College, Queen's College Boat Club, Spurgeon's College - and also Fight World Poverty] In the 1990 I decided to turn these into a large picnic blanket. The sort you could spread out on the grass, or wrap round yourself if it was chilly... unlike many friends, I had not been a Girl Guide, so didn't have a Camp Blanket, bestrewn with badges.
I cut large squares from the garments, and backed it with an old sheet which Mum gave me - and interlined it with an ancient pink woollen blanket. The only thing I purchased for the project was some binding [from the wonderful MacCullough&Wallis shop**, just off Oxford Street]
Over 30 years later, it is looking really the worse for wear
There was a really big hole at the edge, and many of the seams were coming undone, and the fabric was fraying and rather worn.
When I made it, in a bit of a hurry, with two little girls at my feet, I did not quilt it. I just stitched through here and there to hold the three layers together. I decided it would be a good lock-down project to renovate this blanket. Ideal for Cornerstones, Rosie could sit on it in the garden. I found a huge reel of pale blue cotton tape in my stash, and decided to sew over all the seams, to cover the splits and holes.
With hindsight, I should have unpicked the handstitched binding, and completely dismantled the quilt, and worked on the top layer alone, and then re-assembled. But I didn't.
And during the stitching I discovered the inner layer had shrunk and ruckled up.The machine didn't like all those layers.
I ended up using multiple lines of stitching, and varying the decorative machine stitches, in a pseudo-sashiko sort of style [sashiko is a form of mending and re-inforcement developed in Japan] And at the edges, which were very thick, I handstitched the tape down.
I made a label to show when it had been made and mended - and used it to patch the Very Big Hole. The roman numerals were easy to stitch too! 
Made 1990, mended 2020. The blanket will live in Norfolk now.The mending is a great improvement, don't you think?

**M&W has kept going online during lockdown, and "a valiant effort from dedicated cycling staff" has enabled them to maintain London deliveries. They reopen on Monday with all the usual distancing measures in place. Once this is all over, I can recommend a browse round this wonderful shop - haberdashery, millinery, trimmings, it is a real treasure trove! Check out their website  


  1. It will be ideal for you and Rosie in the garden.

  2. I enjoyed reading about your blanket, my daughter has still got my guide blanket. I brought several things from the London store and a couple more nearby. Enjoy your day. Hazel c uk 🌈🌈🌈

  3. I mean it looks great but as well, it's the memories it holds

  4. Oh, that is a very neat repair job! I have a couple of my very old quilts that need to be repaired, but, I haven't got around to doing them!


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