I got the idea in the latest issue of Stitch magazine to make a beach blanket using laminated cotton for the back. This would keep water from soaking through the ground into the blanket you’re sitting on. Genius.

I thought this would be ideal not just for the beach, but for picnics on potentially wet grass. And I’ve never liked sitting on a towel at the beach. Towels hold onto every grain of sand, they bunch up and never lay flat, and I like the idea of the family all hanging out on the same blanket. I wanted something big, relatively water-resistent, easy to shake out, and lightweight enough to be useful for a variety of outings. This is all of those things.

So I bought 3 yards of this and pieced it together so my beach blanket would be the about the size of a king-size mattress.

I already had a set of fabrics I’d bought on sale from the Appleville collection, so I decided to use those up for the front. I love stash busting.

I used the full yard of the pink fabric as the centerpiece, then log cabined my way around it, alternating fabrics. I used 1 yard of the brown and cut 7″ wide strips, all the white strips are 5″ wide (I had 2 yards of the white), and the green print is also 5″ wide.

Piecing the top was easy, but this was a beast to quilt. I decided to add the batting, sew right sides together, and turn the whole thing inside out. Making a quilt sandwich and working this through my machine were less-than-exciting prospects to me, and I really didn’t know if binding was the way to go. I ended up tie quilt-stitching the front, which was tricky until I realized I needed to use polyester thread in the bobbin. My 100% cotton threads were just not working on the laminate. The tension was way too loose, no matter what I tried, and the thread kept tangling. Polyester thread worked perfectly. I unfortunately took no photos since I was busy swearing at it most of the time, but in the end I would say this project was really quick for the size of the thing (the biggest project I have EVER machine quilted). And I love the finished product.