Since about mid-July, C has been begging me to put the down comforter back on the bed. At any temperature below 70 degrees, a quilt and two blankets just isn't enough for him. But, in addition to not wanting to be roasted alive, I enjoy having the summer quilt on the bed--it even inspires me to make my bed (almost) every morning. Besides, our old duvet had become threadbare, with the fabric eroding to tickly fringe all along the top edge. And no wonder--I made that one thirteen years ago!
I'd been meaning to replace the old duvet, which I'd made by piecing together fat quarters, for a while, but one of the fabric stores near me never reopened to in-person shopping after the pandemic, and the other one moved to a location farther away and changed focus to long-arm quilting, cutting way back on fabric inventory, so I hadn't been able to amass the requisite fat quarters. I finally gave in and ordered a couple of bundles online, supplementing with a couple of additional prints I picked up on a shopping trip with my mother-in-law (to a fabric store that's both open and still selling fabric!), and last week put them together in a big rectangle.
Last time I went with a lot of pastel hues (although, looking back at that old post, it was not as pastel-ey at the beginning as it was after 13 years of sun-bleaching). This time I went with bright, bold prints. My favorites are the feathers, the turkey-tail fungus, the snail shells, and the agates. So fun!
The procedure is pretty simple: for a queen-sized duvet, piece together 20 fat quarters in four rows, five quarters high. Sew this to a full-sized sheet*, wrong-sides together, leaving an opening of about 18-24 inches along the bottom edge. Fold the raw edge of the duvet top, at this opening, over on itself and hem, reinforcing the points where the opening meets the sewed-together bits, if that makes sense.
*It took me way too long that you only need a full-, not queen-sized sheet to back a queen-sized duvet.
My goal with this project was keep it simple as possible, with minimum labor, and so I used the fat quarters as they came. Unfortunately, there ended up being a difference size between quarters of up to two inches, and I don't think there was a square corner among them, so I had to stretch and fold and fudge to get it to all fit together. To save yourself that headache, consider cutting your quarters to be all the same, exact size.
The photo above is just staged--two blankets and a quilt still lie beneath the duvet, because it's still a smidge too warm to really need a down comforter, at least until November.