Tag Archives: rain

Making a duvet cover


Its funny sometimes when you have an idea and then all of a sudden bits of information come your way about it. Well probably not. Probably the bits of information would have come your way anyway, and you would have ignored them because you weren’t interested. Surprisingly, this has to do with duvet covers.

When I moved into my house I had no bedding left after being flooded, and I had not a lot of money on account of having just bought a house. But it was winter, just a little freezing and I needed something warm for my bed. I ended up buying this quilted duvet thing off the internet. I think it cost me $20 including postage. It’s really warm, but there’s one problem. It doesn’t have a removable cover and it’s too big to fit in my washing machine. Which is kind of gross, because I’m of the opinion that you should wash your bedding every now and then, especially if you are like me and eat in bed. There are several ways of dealing with this: I could find a laundromat with a big washing machine (a rarity around where I live), take it to the dry cleaners (expensive) or hand wash it. So over the christmas holidays I was hand washing this thing in my bath, trying to get some chocolate stains out and giving it a general clean, when I had the thought that I should probably make a cover for it. That’s were the coincidence comes in to it. A couple of days later on my email quilt list people started talking about making patchwork duvet covers. Which is great, because I happen to currently be in possession of a large amount of large pieces of patchwork just sitting around waiting to be quilted. Of course none of them were the right size, but that’s easily fixed.

I picked a couple that were almost big enough and added some extra borders in matching fabric.  Then I placed them face sides together and pinned round three edges.

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I trimmed off the edges of the larger one so they were the same size.

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On the fourth edge I made a hem on both quilt tops, and then I bagged it.

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Kind of like making a cushion cover. Sewed about three quarters of the way round, turned it inside out and then put some press studs along the opening so it will close once I put the duvet inside.

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Some people on the email list suggested you should back the quilt top before sewing the two sides together, but I didn’t. While adding the backing might protect the patchwork, if I had to pay for two large pieces of wideback fabric it would have been cheaper just to go out and buy a duvet cover from the shops. Not to mention that joining the backing to the patchwork pieces would have required quilting the two pieces together and would have made the whole process hugely time-consuming. In the end, I’m quite glad that I didn’t because the finished thing is actually quite heavy, and I’m not sure adding extra weight would have been wise. I’m quite happy with the finished product and when it comes time to put the winter duvet back on the bed it will have a new cover to go on it, and because it has a different quilt on each side I can flip it to suit my mood.

In other news here it is raining. A lot. This is my rain gauge.

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When I came home from work on Thursday night it was empty. Thankfully I stopped off at the library on the way home from work on Thursday and have a stack of books and DVDs. A perfect way to spend a rainy long weekend. I may even make another duvet cover.


A little bit melancholy


Not sure why. I am going to blame it on the rain. Yes, it is raining again here. It seems like it’s always raining of late, but I think after 10 years of drought I’ve just forgotten what a sub-tropical summer is all about.

I thinking I am starting to go a little stir crazy from too much time inside. I am trying to stay away from the shops so I don’t spend any money, and it is too rainy to do all the free outdoor stuff I had planned.

Though I did finally finish the quilt top I’ve been working on. I was struggling with it. Not just because it was so big but also because I wasn’t sure it was working. I’m still not sure that it does. I think that the background fabric might be a bit too busy for the blocks. Anyway, I forced myself to finish it this morning. Told myself once it was done I could spend the rest of the day on the couch reading. So, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing, except for about an hour between rain storms when I went outside and dug in my garden. At least all the rain is making the ground soft.

Pictures of the quilt are below. It was really hard to get a decent shot of it because of the size. It took up nearly the entire floor of my sewing room. 


travel and worry


Ever since it started raining lots a couple of weeks ago I have had this insane worry about the structural integrity of my house. I have had to resist the urge to spend hours obsessively looking at stains on the walls and the ceilings trying to discover whether they are signs of damp. This is despite having had a building inspection less than a year ago and being told the roof was sound. And despite the fact that my house had a tenant in for 5 years before I bought it and it clearly hasn’t had a new paint job for probably a considerable amount of time before that. There are a fair few stains but you tend not to notice them until you go looking. Which leaves you wondering whether they are new or whether they have been there all along and I just haven’t noticed them.

I guess the real thing I have been worrying about is that if something goes seriously wrong I may need to come up with a significant amount of money to fix it, which was fine because I had a little bit of a nest egg. Had being the operative word, because today I went out and spent it on booking some travel. Well, half of some travel. In order to pay for the other half, not to mention travel insurance, visas, shots and expenses when I get there I am going to have to save every spare dollar I have between now and the 8 August. I may have to resort to eating baked beans on toast for dinner 3 times a week. Though that would probably help with my weight loss goal, so probably isn’t a bad thing.

I am trying to make a conscious decision not to worry about problems that may never happen and to focus instead on the incredible holiday that I am going to have. Six weeks away including my Aunt’s 60th birthday party, the Birmingham Festival of Quilts (I hope), Jordan (including a horse ride through Petra which I have wanted to see ever since I saw it in Indiana Jones) and Turkey.  I maybe able to knock off all 100 places I have never been before in one shot. Well worth a diet of baked beans for 6 months I think.

I have also started writing the novel. I have just over 800 words. Which is pretty atrocious but not bad considering I have just been working on it 15 minutes every morning. And I have another quilt almost cut out and ready to go, I just need to square up about 30 more 4 inch blocks. See picture below. Which includes a diagram of the quilt plan which is like a chain where the 4 inch blocks will be the squares.



It’s still raining, and I’m getting a little bit sick of it. Everything feels kind of damp, one of my skirting boards is sprouting black soot, and I can’t get out in the garden to mow my lawn. I’m not sure that the last one is such a bad thing, I may have mentioned previously that I hate mowing, but it doesn’t stop growing just because it is raining and if it gets too long it will be harder to mow later.

Plus all the grey is really putting a dampener on my mood and my energy levels, and I get tired because I don’t sleep. It’s not just me, it feels like the whole city is kind of on edge. I don’t think psychologically we have really recovered from the flooding last year yet. Even though we have had nowhere near as much rain, it’s not in the right catchments etc and mentally you know that we are not going to flood there is an emotional response to the rain now that wasn’t there before.

As for progress on my goals – not a lot.  

Words written – none. The problem is I have about 15 possible beginnings, 2 possible endings and no idea what happens in the middle. I know I am just going to have to pick one and go with it and I can change it later if I need to, but I am not quite ready to abandon possible stories and go with one yet.

BMI – no change. I was doing alright at the start of the week but kind of had a chocolate blowout towards the end which undid all my good work.

Places visited – 1 . Actually made some progress on this one. Would have been more without the rain dampening my efforts. I went to Sew Creative in Gatton. I know it’s a Patchwork shop, but I had never been there before. It’s been on my list of places that are quite close by but not close enough to be convenient and that I probably should check out at some point. Plus I now know that a return visit to the area is probably justified to see some of the other stuff that I would have stopped to see if it wasn’t for the fact that it was raining. 

I am going to have to find other places to visit besides patchwork shops though, because otherwise I will go bankrupt. Spent far too much money yesterday. I realised during the week that the reason my rotary cutter blades were going blunt really quickly was because my cutting mat was stuffed so I bought a new one that is bigger and quite cool because it rotates,  as well as about 10 metres of fabric (to use to put together some of my 1000 quilt blocks) and also some bigger rulers. I spent so much money the shop lady actually gave me a discount, which was very nice.

Nothing finished quilt wise, but definitely some progress towards something that will be finished soon. I should have taken a photo of the shop so I can keep a visual record of all the new places I visit, but I think I would have felt like a bit of a crazy lady taking a photo of someones shop. You will have to make do with a picture of my new cutting mat and rulers. I was a bit disconcerted by the brightness of the rulers at first, but they do make cutting a whole lot easier.

Saturday and its raining


I was hoping for a sleep in this morning, but I was awake at 5am. The rain woke me up, and it has been raining fairly steadily ever since. It never used to bother me really, but ever since the flooding last year every time it rains I have in the back of your mind that it could happen again. I guess there is no point worrying about it until it does.

Not much happening here really, I have been reading but none of it is really sticking in my head, or standing out as really pertinent when I read it. Still on the topic of freedom and now looking at the role death plays.

I am starting to feel a little less tired, I had a big bowl of pasta for the first time in ages Thursday night and I perked right up, so I figure I haven’t been getting enough carbohydrates. I got loads of cutting out done last night and so am hoping to get a lot of blocks done today. Might have to make an excursion to the shops at some point to get some bread and need some new clothes for a trip away over Christmas. All my casual clothes at the moment seem to fall into either winter, or never be seen outside the house in categories. More importantly I also need to start preparing some sewing for the trip.

Sin, Guilt and Rain


It has been raining here, lots of rain. At least it always seems like lots of rain when it wakes me up in the middle of the night, but then I have a tin roof and it might be amplifying things a little. The end point is that I am exhausted. I think I have only managed about 4 hours sleep the last two nights. Might have to sneak in a nap some time today, and I was hoping to get so much done this weekend too.

Am making slow but steady progress on the book. Have had a brief sojourn on the topic of sin and guilt. Which was interesting because Sartre thinks that there can only be sin and guilt in the presence of others. I’m not sure about that. Imagine you are the last person alive, some kind of plague has wiped out all the rest of humanity. Theoretically according to Sartre you would have no sin or guilt. I’m inclined to think not. If you went around smashing up art, or torturing cats, or wiping out ecosystems I’d like to think you would still feel guilty about it, that it would still be wrong on some level. But maybe wrong isn’t the same as sin, and maybe something non-human can act as an other. The cat perhaps, or posterity, or even the memory of people.

Not much done on the sewing front. I was at work for far too long yesterday.