Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Duvet (or not duvet?)

I first experienced duvet sleeping at my best friend from high school, CS's house. The beds in her house were made up with thick, fleecy wool blankets neatly pinned inside crisp cotton covers that I'm sure her mother, a German national, had made. I spent the night at CS's a lot--so much that I had my own toothbrush hanging on the back of their medicine cabinet with a little "Andrea" label taped next to it (Mrs. S was a stickler for detail)--and house sat for them when they went to Europe in the summer. I loved the cozy cocoon-like feel of plump blanket tucked up in the course cotton (no poly-cotton sateen sheets for the S family--I still love my sheets to feel slightly crunchy). I also appreciated not messing with hospital corners (while my own mother was most definitely NOT a stickler for detail on the level of Mrs. S, we did make our beds with hospital corners--and I still do) when making the bed (although we did have to mess with pinning the blanket in place with diaper pins).

I didn't have a duvet of my own, however, until about five years ago, when C and I finally bought a new bed (I refused to turn 30 sleeping on a mattress on the floor), and I headed to the nearest big box bedding store and bought two sets of flannel sheets and sewed the top sheets together. We tuck our down comforter inside and it keeps us nice and cozy all winter long. In the summer, however, we switch to cotton sheets and our poor down comforter has gotten a little dingy, all naked and exposed on top of our bed like that. It was ready for a summer cover (yes, we sleep under a down comforter all year long--c'mon this is Maine; it hasn't even been warm enough to open the windows at night yet! Plus I like to be cozy).

I was at first inspired by this SouleMama blanket and very strongly considered ordering a stack of Anna Maria Horner fat quarters, but decided I wanted to see the fabric in real life before buying. So Sunday, I was able to escape the brood for a few hours and took myself to a fabric store that carries her fabrics, and which I have only been to once or twice because I always have kids with me when I'm in that neck of the woods (Alewives in Damariscotta Mills, if you're interested). After a good hour or two, I had amassed my giant pile of 24 bolts of gorgeous, bright, beautiful fabric and, as it turned out, not one was an Anna Maria Horner--they were mostly Kaffe Fasset (who is my original and all-time favorite fabric designer), Amy Butler and Martha Negly, and probably some other who knows whats. I felt a bit guilty not buying it all at the local Hallowell shop I usually go to (Whipper Snappers), since I know she carries at least some variation of most of what I bought (I felt even worse when I got her email that on Fridays fat quarters are only $2 each off if you buy more than 10!).

I got home at 5:00 on Sunday with my fabric, and by 4:30 Monday afternoon, I had this:

So easy. So satisfying. So gorgeous. I did have to wait another day to sleep under it because I hadn't pre-washed anything. (The backing is the flat sheet from a set of off-white organic sheets from Target--which I bought last week and which happened to be on sale, woo-hoo!) Somehow I made the button holes excessively large, but since they don't have to hold up my pants, I'm not too worried about it.

What I should have been working on this whole time, however, was teacher gifts, which is why I found myself making 11 loaves of banana bread at 10:00 that night, but more on that tomorrow.
P. S. And the winner of the fabulous Brain, Child Magazine give-away is Snoozetska. Since I know where she lives, she doesn't need to send me her address, but I may hold it hostage for a moms' night out. Congratulations Snooze, and I promise to offer an even more exciting giveaway soon!


  1. The cover looks great-- summery & fun. I am particularly keen on the brighter green on lime leaf- patterned square.

  2. It's lovely, and I so enjoyed your anecdote about the wool blankets tucked into course cotton duvet covers. I never thought about just putting a wool blanket in there!


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