Episode 713

beth chandler

Picnic Party by Beth Chandler

Create a cute picnic tablecloth that has weighted pockets to prevent it from blowing away in the wind. While you set up lunch, send the kiddos off to find river rocks to put in the pockets.


2 1/2 yards each of 2 coordinating 54"-wide lightweight home-dec fabrics

1 yard each of coordinating quilting cotton & lightweight fusible interfacing

10 yards (4 packages) of 1"-wide double-fold bias binding

1"-wide washable, fusible hook-and-loop tape

Matching all-purpose thread

Cut It

Trim off the selvages from each home-dec fabric, creating two 52"x 90" rectangles. Designate one rectangle as the front and one as the back.

From the quilting cotton, cut four 15" squares. Cut each square in half diagonally, creating eight triangles. Repeat to cut four interfacing triangles.

Cut the hook-and-loop tape into four 3"-long pieces; set aside.

Sew It

Fuse each interfacing triangle to four fabric triangle wrong sides, following the manufacturer's instructions.

With right sides together, stitch one fabric triangle to one interfaced triangle along the long edge. Repeat to stitch the three remaining triangles.

Turn the triangles right side out with the interfacing sandwiched between the layers; press. Topstitch 1/4" from the long edge. This is the pocket upper edge.

With right sides facing up, place one triangle along each tablecloth-back corner. Baste the pocket sides to the tablecloth.

Pin the tablecloth front to the tablecloth back with wrong sides together. Baste the tablecloth perimeter.

TIP: Use water-soluble quilt-basting spray or temporary spray adhesive to secure the tablecloth front to the back before basting.

Unfold each binding center fold; press. Create one continuous binding strip by stitching the ends with right sides together; press open the seams. Refold the binding; press.

Wrap the binding around the tablecloth edge, positioning one binding end along one tablecloth long-edge center. Make sure the narrow-binding long edge is facing the tablecloth front; pin the binding up to the corner (1).


Stitch the binding to the tablecloth, beginning 2" from the binding end and ending 1/4" from the corner. Leave the needle in the fabric and raise the presser foot. Fold the binding to the adjacent edge, mitering the corner; pin (2). Pivot the tablecloth and continue stitching the binding to the next corner. Repeat to miter the corner and continue stitching the binding, ending 2" from the binding beginning. Trim any excess binding 1/2" beyond the binding beginning.


Unfold the binding ends. Fold the tablecloth to align the binding ends with right sides together. Stitch, using a 1/2" seam allowance. Press open the seam, and then re-press the binding in half lengthwise. Wrap the binding around the remaining tablecloth edge; stitch.

Position the hook-tape pieces along each pocket upper edge; fuse, following the manufacturer's instructions. Place each loop-tape piece along the tablecloth back behind the hook tape (3); fuse. Use these closures after placing rocks inside the pockets.



DIY Binding

Cut a fabric square according to the instructions in "How Much Do I Need?" below.

Fold the binding-square lower-right corner diagonally to meet the upper left corner, with right sides together. Fold the lower-left corner to the upper-right corner (4).

Using a removable fabric marker and a clear ruler, draw a line 1 1/2" from the left folded edge. Draw another line 3" from the first, and then continue marking lines 3" apart across the entire triangle (5).

Cut along each line using a rotary cutter, mat and clear ruler. With right sides together, piece the strips along the short edges to achieve one long strip, making sure to extend the strip-end corners to account for a 1/4" seam allowance (6). Press open the seams, and then trim off the extending corners (7). Fold one binding end 1" toward the wrong side. Fold the binding strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together; press.

Position the binding along the quilt-top perimeter, matching the raw edges. Begin pinning the binding 2" from the binding folded end along the quilt-top lower-edge center (8).

End the stitching 1/4" from each corner. Raise the needle, rotate the quilt 90º, and then fold the binding up and back down over itself, aligning the binding raw edge with the adjacent edge to form a miter (9). Lower the needle and continue stitching 1/4" from the adjacent edge.

End the stitching 1" before the binding beginning. Trim the binding end to fit inside the beginning fold. Insert the raw end into the fold, and then finish the binding stitching.

Wrap the binding long folded edge around the quilt raw edge, mitering the corners on both sides; pin. Slipstitch the binding fold to the quilt back.


How Much do I Need?

You may think that a ton of extra fabric is needed in order to achieve the very long fabric strips needed to create bias binding. However, a small fabric square may be all you need. Use this simple calculation to decipher how much binding fabric to purchase based on the place mat, table cloth or quilt size. The numbers at TK represent the requirements for the featured 45"x60"quilt.

Project length + width x 2 = 210

+ 15" for piecing & mitering = 225

x desired cut width (3") = 675

Square root of total = 25.98 (round up to 26")

/36 = .72 yard; round up to 3/4 yard or 27"

Making your own bias binding has its benefits. The fabric will match perfectly, has a nicer hand than prepackaged binding, and the process of cutting, sewing and pressing is very therapeutic. If you're short on time, purchase premade bias binding in the color of your choice. Prewash, dry and press it flat before applying.

Products used in this episode:


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