Crispina Coverlets

Demin Recycling, Textile Alchemy

By Crispina ffrench

You might have heard me call them picnic blankets, warm weather throw blankets, porch swing blankets or even tablecloths. To learn more about Crispina Coverlets read on, we will cover:

·      Versatility of Crispina Coverlets

·      History

·      Materials

·      Care

·      Make Your Own

Crispina Coverlets, double nicely as picnic or beach blankets, warm weather throw blankets, and have even been used as bohemian tablecloths in all sorts of settings – once at a giant wedding they were used as tablecloths, and added just the right touch to the gorgeous day. 

No matter how you choose to use your Crispina Coverlet, there are years of memories to be made with it.

Back 1994, I was single-momming.  Ben was a little one and we were heading on our second beach vacation with friends.  The previous year I learned by scooping copious amounts of sand from his mouth and fists, that some sort of large, easy care, ground cover would make our time surf-side a little more fun. 

My very first cotton coverlet – errr umm beach blanket, came to be… 

It was sewn from eight pairs of blue jeans, colorfully patched with textural bits and edged with cotton ticking.  It served its purpose well, keeping Ben, then 18 months, from eating quite as much sand.  The patch textures engaged his inquiry allowing me a minute to catch my breath and the cool texture shaded by our giant umbrella provided a safe and comfortable place to nap.

A few redesigns over the years rendered bed sizing in twin and full/queen (and King on Special order) as well as what I call our picnic blanket size – 5x6ft.  Just right for keeping your toddler from eating too much sand, sunbathing with your sweetie, sharing a meal with friends, or watching puffy clouds drift by. 

Don’t worry if about spills or mud, these are made with durability and easy care in mind.  They can be machine washed and dried – although, we recommend that you line dry all your washing to save the energy consumption associated with dryers (AND gotta love that amazing fresh smell and crisp texture when you line dry).

Each of these super versatile, single-layer, patched and nicely edged sheets of recycled fabrics often combine denim with corduroy, canvas and upholstery fabric scraps.  The trick in making the BEST Crispina Coverlet out there is to be sure to combine fabrics of similar weight and ‘washability’. Each one is as individual as the people who wore the pants used to make them, edged with cotton twill tape, hand-cut bias from interesting vintage yardage and sometimes even velvet… You will find paint splatters, grass stains, and other historical tell-tale signs of previous life in each of the blankets in my shop.  I love to imagine all the people who participated in the clothing (the farmer, transporter, spinner, weaver, designer, cutter, sewers, packager, displayer, shopper, wearer, donator, and recycler coming together to celebrate their collaboration.

While that won’t happen it is my wish that the history in the blankets brings us all a little closer together.  That we see our commonality, that that shines through adding a level of connection, or understanding, or well… collaboration, reassuring us that we are in fact, richer than the sum of our parts.

Are you interested in turning your worn out jeans or other similar weight scrap fabrics into super functional coverlet? 

They make great wedding, baby shower, off-to-college, and house warming gifts.  I am thinking about teaching an afternoon-long class showing my process from material gathering to edging. 

In the meantime, get outside and enjoy the bounty of the season – you can start building a bank of awesome memories with one of the coverlets from my shop or make one of your very own.

Registration is now open for the next Crispina Coverlet Live Webinar scheduled for 3:30-5pm EST on Tuesday August 24

If you have any questions or ideas scroll down and leave a comment - let’s build a conversation…


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