The Utiliquilt!

Introduction: The Utiliquilt!

About: I work in IT, but enjoy a variety of things. I'll usually do something until I'm almost good at it and then move on to something else. There's probably a clinical diagnosis for that, but I've never asked. ...
It's a picnic blanket!
No, it's a poncho!
No, it's a twister mat!
It's just a basic blanket, with tarpaulin material on the bottom and Twister spots on the top. I've also added a hood and front pocket so it can be worn like a poncho. 

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Step 1: Materials

  • Tarpaulin material
  • Quilt batting
  • Cloth for the top
  • 4 separate colors for the spots
  • Aerosol spray adhesive
  • Bronze blue jean rivets
Rather than buying a new tarp for this project and rather than using an old nasty one I already had, I paid a visit to the local tent/tarp manufacturer. They gave me 2.4M (8ft) of 1.8M (6ft) wide material for only $15, and also threw in the scraps that I used for the spots.

The quilt batting I got from a fabric/craft chain store, it was a rayon/nylon blend. I can't remember how much it was per meter, but I liked it because it was nice and fluffy.

You can use anything for the top, you could even combine this instructable with any other in the quilting challenge by using their design for the top. I just used some slightly hideous upholstery fabric I had laying around that fortunately never got used.

Step 2: Attach the Spots

Lay out your spots and get them where you want them. Traditional Twister uses 4 different colors with 6 spots each. 
The PVC material I used for the spots was quite slippery, so I found it easier to do one row at a time, gluing each down with spray adhesive, and then sewing the circumference of each spot after the glue was dry. 

If you want to, now is the time to add a hoodie pocket, see the last photos.

Step 3: Assembly

Once your top is finished, trim everything up so it's square. The quilt batting should be 4" smaller than the tarp bottom, and the top should be 4" smaller again, so that when you fold the edges of the tarp over the batting, it meets the top with enough left for a seam allowance. 
Once everything fits right, sew up the tarp corner detail like the pictures show. Then glue the batting to the tarp with the spray adhesive, otherwise it'll slip around too much while you're playing twister. 
Put your top down and pin it to the tarp. I found it easier to put my sewing machine on the floor with the quilt rather than trying to wrestle with the whole thing on my tiny sewing table. Sew the edge all the way around the quilt and you've got the basic quilt done.

Step 4: Add the Hood

To get a pattern for your hood, trace the hood of your favorite hoody or raincoat. You'll need one copy of the pattern cut from your tarp material if you want it to be waterproof, and another copy of the pattern for a liner. I taped the pieces together before sewing, to reduce the number of pinholes in my supposedly waterproof shell. Once you have an inside and an outside, sew them right sides together, then turn right side out. I also added a couple button holes and an additional seam an inch in from the edge to string a shoelace through as a hood drawstring. 
Cut an opening in the middle of the quilt and pin the hood in place, making sure you have the opening pointing towards the side with the pocket. I sewed the outside of the hood to the outside (tarp side) of the quilt first with the machine, then stitched the insides together by hand. 

The last step I made was to attach the front to the back of the quilt. I used some bronze blue jean rivets I had laying around from an old project. I thought that would wick less moisture through the quilt than if I used thread or yarn. I put a rivet between every dot and one in the middle between every 4 dots. 
All that's left is to make yourself a spinner or some dice for Twister left/right hand/foot + color, but I'm sure you can manage that on your own. It's much more comfortable (and water resistant) to wear it with the spots on the inside, but if you want to look a bit eccentric, feel free to wear it spots out like my rather fetching hat rack.

Now you're ready to go for a picnic, play a spot of Twister, stay out of the rain, or do all three!

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SINGER Quilting Contest

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