Tag Archives: rainy days

Appreciating the rain


It’s actually raining. Really raining. Which is good. I have a huge Mango tree in my yard. It was here when I bought the house and from the size of it I think it is probably at least 40 or 50 years old. Yesterday I had to remove a huge branch which had died. I was standing on my dried out back lawn, which I haven’t had to mow for months, trying to figure out what was wrong with the thing and whether I should prune the whole thing instead of just the dead branch, and realised that the only explanation was the drought we’d been having. It’s bad when even the big trees are struggling.

So today, I am just appreciating the rain even if it means I don’t get my washing done.

Not much crafting going on here, though maybe I will get some done this afternoon. It would be a good day to sit on the couch and knit.

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.

Grey and unproductive


I am feeling very unproductive. I had a long list of things I wanted to do today and I haven’t done any of them. I have instead been curled up under a quilt reading a book. The last week has seen the first real cold spell of the year. I have taken to wearing socks in the house. It’s not just cold, but cold and rainy, with a grey, grey sky. It’s hard to feel motivated when the weather is like this. All I want to do is curl up somewhere warm, sleep and eat chocolate.

In a fit of madness I decided that the way to get motivated to sew was to get all my blocks out of the cupboard and have them sitting around my sewing room. It means I have a very messy sewing room but it seems to be working. I have finished a quilt top, and am part way through finishing another. Plus I have ideas galore for what I can do with the rest of them. Every time I am in the room and look at the piles I start thinking about which ones go with each other and new ideas for putting them together.