Making a Perfect Picnic Quilt 

This past weekend I put the final binding stitch in my Perfect Picnic Quilt, and it came together using my stash and some online software. Read on to get all the details!

Joining the RSS Summer Sewalong

I don’t know about you, but I don’t actually need more sewing projects on my to-do list. My checklist grows longer every time I see a cute new pattern that I “have” to make, and there are a LOT of new patterns out there.

Which is why I was surprised to find myself jumping on board when the folks at Ruby Star Society announced their 2022 Summer Sewalong project. But in my defence, the Perfect Picnic quilt looked like it would be a fast and easy make (because it's essentially a bunch of squares). 

No problem, I thought, I’ll be able to get that done in no time! So I decided to jump in and make myself one despite all my other ongoing sewing projects. 🙂

Choosing Fabric

The pattern is quite simple, and calls for dark squares, light squares, and coloured squares. I searched my stash and found enough yardage for the dark squares (I love it when that happens), and I purchased the fabric for the light squares as well as some backing fabric when I visited Modern Stitch Co in Yorkton, SK.

While the Perfect Picnic Quilt calls for a random colour placement in the blocks, I had seen a version on Instagram that used an ombre layout on the diagonal. I decided to try to recreate the look using some fat quarters in my stash.

I started with the dark fabric and used it as a colour inspiration. The blues and pinks were easy to find in my stash, but I had a much smaller selection of greens. I added some oranges and a bright yellow, and we had a fabric pull! If you want to watch this process in Reel-form, you can see it here.

Colourful fabric lays on a white cutting mat.
Small squares of rainbow coloured fabric are arranged in a circle.

Deciding Layout

When it came to choosing the exact layout, I knew that I didn’t want to cut out all the squares and then shuffle them around on my design floor…. Like a commoner! 

Instead, I chose to preview my Perfect Picnic Quilt using PreQuilt. PreQuilt is an online app that lets you mock up your quilt *before* you cut into your fabric. 

I met the folks behind PreQuilt when I was at QuiltCon in Austin in 2020, and I was so enamoured with their story and their product that I bought a subscription on the spot. I’ve never regretted it!

It was as simple as uploading digital swatches of my chosen fabric, and then playing around with the layout until I found one that made my heart sing. If you want to see a quick demo of me using PreQuilt, you can check out my Reel here.  

A computer screen shows a quilt mock up.

Strip piecing / webbing

Once I had finalized my layout, I moved to our guest room and physically laid out all the squares on the floor. At the very last second, I (accidentally) switched the placement of the two blue fabrics, but I decided that I liked it that way and left them. I love it when I have a happy accident!

I then stacked all of the squares in a strategic way (watch my Reel about it here) so that I could web my quilt top. Webbing is a piecing method that helps you put your quilt together much faster while keeping all of your blocks organized and in the correct position. It’s my favourite!

Pieces of a quilt are held together with small threads between each row.

The only drawback to webbing is that you’re left with an ungainly floppy mess which I find difficult to work with when sewing the rows together. I like to cut my web into smaller sections (here I cut my Perfect Picnic Quilt top into two sections), which feels much more manageable to me. Want to see a Reel about it?? Here you go!

An assembled quilt top lays crumpled on the floor.

Quilting my Perfect Picnic Quilt

When it came to quilting, I knew that I wanted to use a just-released design that my Mum had created. It’s called Crystal Ice, and I love how it adds a bit of “edge” to my otherwise-sweet Perfect Picnic Quilt.

A completed quilt lays on pavement.

If you have a Perfect Picnic Quilt that needs quilting, I'd be happy to help you out! Simply visit my Longarm Quilting Details page to find out about the process.


I’m still loving Big Stitch Binding (I tried it for the first time on my Scrap Stash Plus quilt) and am going to stick with it for the time being.

Although the Big Stitch method does go very quickly, it turns out that a quilt won’t bind itself… Weird. I let my poor quilt languish for a month before I actually got around to adding the stitches. But now it’s finished and ready for action!

A woman's hand holds a quilt binding while a needle with blue thread creates stitches.
A woman holds a rainbow coloured quilt while looking down at it.

Have you made a Perfect Picnic Quilt? If so, tell me all about it in the comments!

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