I have a new obsession for when the weather gets nippy…Lap blankets! They are such a practical thing to have on your patio for Fall entertaining. A fresh, colorful throw draped over the back of the patio chair invites guests to stay a little longer even as the weather cools down. At the lake, where our climate is fairly mild year-round, we enjoy eating alfresco and playing board games on the patio throughout the Fall. However, a typical Fall scene is for me to run into the house, gather an armful of jackets & coats, returning to offer a warm wrap to guests hovered around the outdoor heater. Enter the Lap Blanket : ) I just drape them over the backs of the patio chairs as I set up for entertaining; they add color and create an inviting cozy patio area. The lap blankets I make are small enough to warm you without dragging on the ground…enough blanket to take the chill off. I also roll a few blankets and lay them on the boat seats for evening cruises.
I made 6 individual lap blankets for the patio plus have the summer striped throws (shown at end of post) for the boat. Bring on the chill! I got my idea to make lap blankets for the patio while traveling in Eastern Europe. I noticed lap blankets at many restaurants, both small bistros to the expensive restaurants have them. They are mostly made of heavy (soft) felt in pretty colors like lime green, orange, or red, coordinated with the table linens, lanterns or awnings of the eatery.
The whole global idea of lingered dining, an idea not practiced here in the USA, is probably why so many restaurants offer lap blankets. So different from our restaurants where we are rushed through a meal to give new customers our table.
In the US you are more likely to see lap blankets offered at metropolitan restaurants, like a cool rooftop bar/restaurant in NYC or at wharfside San Francisco eateries.
I found that lap blankets are listed as an amenity on restaurant websites…”Warm” Lap blankets…right up there with the number of Michelin Stars the restaurant has garnered. One famous Swiss Alps restaurant offers guests a beaver lap blanket to wrap-up in while dining on a deck overlooking the Matterhorn. Whew! that’s a cozy experience you don’t want to pass up.
No-sew Process: I bought polar fleece fabric (No-Sew!) and made one for each of us to use Thanksgiving week, since we will be entertaining outside. I chose a solid navy blue for the guys and a plaid navy/orange for the gals. Using polar fleece makes this DIY so easy just cut the size you want, that’s it! I bought a 4 yd (144″) length of each print/color (one solid blue the other an orange & blue plaid, using my 50% off coupons, for 1 cut, at Jo-Ann Fabric) Fold in half, marked it and cut…into two 72″ long x 58″ wide lap blankets. You can get an adequate size using 3 yards, cut in half, too. Try it, you will soon be obsessed with finding blanket colors that coordinate with your Fall tablescape.
Thanks for meeting me lakeside…Stay cozy!