Early this year I completed a duvet cover in an effort to use some of the pieces of fabric I’d been acquiring over time. I joined the Stashbusting Sewalong, a virtual group that encourages us to put all those piles of stored fabric to good use. (It was working really well for me until I picked up this quilting habit and its associated stashing…but the group does keep me sewing!)
This was the largest project I’d completed to date. I’d bought the gray fabrics years before with a duvet in mind, but neglected to think about the reverse side. After sorting through my bins, I found a swath of Melody Miller roller skate print for Kokka that I’d bought at Fancy Tiger for a skirt, but decided was too heavy for a garment. It was exactly the length I needed for the back—I didn’t even trim it. I bought a little coordinating fabric to frame it, put together some simple patchwork, and I was set.
To prevent fraying in the wash, I used wide French seams throughout. So far it’s been washed a few times without any trouble, and the heavier cotton weaves look smooth and nice straight out of the dryer. I put a row of snaps along the opening, a good six inches in, so that the duvet can’t visibly ooze out the opening.
Despite its conceptual simplicity, this project was beset by difficulties. It’s basically a rectangle with folded over ends, so you wouldn’t think the math would be that hard; but I covered whole sheets of notepaper with calculations as I went. There’s so much fabric that it’s heavy—it was a challenge just to move the sucker around under the needle as the pieces all started coming together. I also ran into problems with the feed dogs pulling the bottom layer of fabric faster than the top layer on those long, long seams. Despite a lot of pinning, the difference was up to three inches on one seam. I did quite a bit of fudging at the bottom of the cover to deal with the resulting unevenness.
But in the end, I love how it looks. We end up using the cover a lot, just flipping it over to have a completely different look. Best of all, it gave me the confidence that I could finish a big project and end up with something I both liked and could use. I don’t think I’d be quilting without that insight.
Did you ever have a watershed project, that changed how you felt about doing something?