Sunday, 23 June 2013

IKEA meets Africa: a one of a kind play blanket



With summer officially gracing us with its presence last week (he has since decided to go on holidays somewhere else), we had been spending a bit of time in the garden. Baby Suisse love playing outside bare foot on the grass and splish-splashing in his paddling pool. I had been on a look out for an outdoor blanket in our local supermarket in May but could not find any. Mind you, they have only recently started displaying them so they must have been waiting for warmer days too!I saw blankets in charity shops but I wanted something that was water resistant and not too warm to sit on...

During a trip to IKEA last May, while walking past the fabric aisle (my favourite aisle ! ), I saw that they had some nice strippy outdoorsy fabric, the plastified kind that you can use to make table cloth with for your garden furniture. I had bought some in the past to make the lining for a beach bag and realised it would also be perfect for what I had in mind!


I bought 150cm of the stuff and decided to use up some fabric from my "African stash" which I have used for plenty craft projects before: read more about it here, here and here. This particular fabric came from a market in Senegal. I have shared with you in the past some of my African adventures (pre- Baby Suisse days) when I was very fortunate to spend 4 years on and off working in various parts of Africa. I have done posts on my travels through Tanzania (here and here), Zanzibar and Uganda...maybe I'll take the time one day to share with you my pictures from Senegal, Ivory Coast and Ethiopia.

No fancy design or stitching, I just cut a piece of African fabric about 8cm smaller all around than the plastified lining, made a border as well as I could without worrying about how nice the corners would turn out and quickly machine-stitched all around. When I occasionally manage to get a bit of free time to myself to craft, it never is for more than 30 minutes so I need to be able to do the whole project in a short amount of time without overly worrying about perfection. The end result does look "home-made" but I would never get anything done otherwise!


And here it is, a perfectly suitable and one-of-a-kind summer play blanket for Baby Suisse. I wanted to take more photos of the finished product and have a mini artsy photo-shoot with toys and all...yeah that never happened due to lack of time and cooperation on Baby Suisse's side. Apologies if this post is a little bit poor photo-wise, must try harder next time!

Right, I am off to share this on Wendy's Handmade Monday. I haven't posted there on a while due to lack of crafting time so it will be nice to catch up and see what other bloggers have been up to :-)

15 comments:

CatkinJane said...

Lovely blanket, lets hope there's plenty more sunshine so it gets lots of use!

patchworkfairy said...

I really like that lay blanket! I went to IKEA this week with my sister who was specifically looking for that out door use fabric but we couldn't find any! Yours looks great with the African fabric top.

Wendy said...

Superb. Sometimes, those things made in 30 minutes end up being so useful. I remember making something similar when my kids were small!

knitnrun4sanity said...

Perfection does not really matter. Practicality is far more important, as is baby Suisse's happiness. There will be plenty of time for crafting and perfectionism in the future :) p.s I love the fabric.

Ginx Craft said...

I just love your African fabric. So pretty and the dress you made before is just lovely. I had some African waxed cotton which I bought in a shop in Shepherd's Bush (not quite as exciting), which I have used for numerous projects, and still seem to have some left.

Natalie Jones said...

A fabulous summer blanket!

JuanitaTortilla said...

That's a great use for Ikea's oil cloth -- I know which ones you're talking about and the fabrics is my favourite section too :)

Louise (Elsie May and Bertha) said...

That fabric from Senegal is beautiful and you've used it in a way that really shows the pattern of the fabric. With the oil cloth backing it's practical too. Hopefully you should get some use out of it this week if the weather forecasts can be believed.
Have a lovely week.

CHRISTMAS PIE CRAFTS said...

Such a gorgeous blanket, really lovely colours. Hope you have a good week.

Lucy Blossom said...

What a great idea, and it looks lovely too - I've been thinking of buying a mat for my little one to play on - now I know I should think a bit more creatively and make my own one.

Handbags by Helen said...

Lovely blanket

Stone Pit Crafts ~ Dawn Hart said...

What a beautiful blanket, I love the pattern, so very creative and unique.

Just popped over from Handmade Monday

AliceAndFlorence said...

Such wonderful colours, I am sure you will all enjoy using your blanket, made with love and care.
Wendy x

Picto said...

I'm not too sure what happened to my comment, apologies if it comes through twice.

The blanket is lovely, I love the speckled shade under the trees.

Jan x

Tracey Bradley said...

It's wonderful! What a clever idea, and such a great way to use up/show off that lovely African material x

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