Vintage Inspired Picnic Quilt
Filaine Thread,  Quilting

Create a Vintage Picnic Quilt for National Picnic Month

Pack yourself a picnic and tote a vintage-inspired picnic quilt to celebrate National Picnic Month!

Vintage Inspired Picnic Quilt

This quilt pattern is simple to construct, yet impressive at the finish. I started with a basic chevron quilt pattern (there are tons out there! Just Google “Chevron Quilt” and find one you love.) Then, I gave it a vintage vibe with my fabric and thread choice.



Something about packing a picnic seems very “old school” to me, which is why I wanted to go with vintage-vibe fabrics. You could use a sheet that you happen to have in your closet–many of us have floral or other retro printed sheets that may have seen better days, which we can cut up and use for the chevron piecing. And/or use an entire sheet for the quilt backing. There are also tons of vintage-inspired fabrics to choose from at your local fabric store. Small print florals, geometrics in avocado hues, and even stripes are good choices.


The finished quilt measures roughly 46″ x 70″, which is perfect for keeping in the car so you’re ready whenever the urge to eat outside presents itself. I decided to long-arm quilt this and try a heavyweight textured thread to give even more of a vintage quality to this quilt. 

The heavyweight thread, Sulky Filaine, adds texture to the quilting and the weight helps it pop off the quilt surface. A heavier thread also gives more of a hand-quilted appearance to the quilt without all the work. Elongate the stitches to give the quilt an even more handwork appearance. Use a larger needle for quilting (100/16 Organ needles work great) so the needle eye accommodates the thread thickness.

The long-arm design is a large-scale floral with plenty of open space between motifs. Large motifs are best for a vintage vibe.

vintage inspired picnic quilt


I chose a micro-dot print fabric for the binding because I loved the retro look it gave to the quilt. It was just the best finishing touch. I made the binding extra narrow (the finished width is 3/8″). Why, you ask? Truthfully, I was saving fabric because I didn’t have enough to go any wider. But I actually love the narrow binding. It adds even more retro flair to this vintage-inspired picnic quilt!

vintage picnic quilt

Even if you don’t plan to have a picnic, this quilt makes a great gift. The size is perfect for a new baby or lap quilt, too. Change the fabrics and quilting to make one for yourself that’s truly unique.

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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!


  • Saundra Lee

    I’m to happy to see Ellen March working with Sulky. In my opinion Ellen is the best sewing show hostess on PBS. I miss Sew it All on Saturday mornings.

  • Pat Arre

    Picnic chevron quilt tutorial … Keep getting error when trying to get to that. Even went to Tutorial section, and scrolled Down and clicked at least six Older Posts area and nothing. Please confirm back when that issue has been fixed. That pattern would be quick to make for quilt guild project comfort or charity quilts … Just cannot figure out how to cut up fabric, as pdf does not provide any of that information. Thank you very much!

    • Ellen March

      Hello Pat,
      I just contacted you via email. Thank you for letting us know that the tutorial has vanished! We are working to remedy this as soon as possible.

    • Ellen March

      Sorry – the original post with the pattern has vanished. We are unable to locate it so will remove this post in the meantime. I apologize for the inconvenience.