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Thread: Duvet Cover, sort of....

  1. #1
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    Duvet Cover, sort of....

    Hello. New here, and new to quilting.
    I am in the mental exercise phase of starting a project that I'm pretty sure is going to involve learning to quilt.

    A little back story. My husband and I have decided to redo the soft furnishings in our bedroom. We really want the curtains to match the bed covering, including throw pillows, bedskirt and shams. Initially we looked into what was available commercially and were less than thrilled with the offerings, so we decided that I would make it all myself (and probably spend a lot more money, but at least it would match our style).

    Here's the hard part, and let me see if I can explain this properly.
    For the comforter (using that term lightly) we are wanted a solid, single piece plus a relatively thin border. These first two sections will cover the whole top of the mattress with about an inch overhang (maybe more, haven't decided on actual dimensions other than finished size). Two more borders around three sides, plus full binding will constitute the "drop". After careful consideration we want to use Quilter's Dream wool batting. The problem is, I don't really want the amount of quilting (tied or stitched) that this batting requires. What I'd really like to be able to do is is just stitch in the ditch of the border seams. So, I was thinking, could I sandwich the batting with something like muslin, quilt that as required but do not finish it, then take this sandwich and place "fashion" top and backing, stitch in the ditch and bind as usual, thereby creating a kind of permanent duvet?
    Would that work? I'd been doing all the sewing on a domestic machine (or maybe do the quilting by hand).

  2. #2
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    I don't see why not! But then why not just make it an actual duvet cover? You could remove for washing more easily and not have to wash the batting. You could make it reversible as well. Just MHO.

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    I would be concerned that the unquilted area (if I am reading this right, you would have the large area that covers the mattress unquilted on top?) washing and using it, would put a lot of stress and strain on that area... Looking forward to what others have to say on the subject...

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    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    If I understand you correctly, you will quilt a plain muslin sandwich and then put that into a duvet cover that you'll make? And then sew in the ditch of the cover to attach it to the muslin sandwich? A friend of mine used the wool batting and it really puffed up like a comforter because she hadn't quilted it closely enough, so I see this happening to you unless you quilt the sandwich very closely. Then you also have the entire center of your cover loose and unattached.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by linda8450 View Post
    I don't see why not! But then why not just make it an actual duvet cover? You could remove for washing more easily and not have to wash the batting. You could make it reversible as well. Just MHO.
    Thank you Linda, for the feedback. As for why I don't want to just make a duvet cover...
    1: I've used duvets and covers before and was unimpressed with them. The duvet rarely fit the cover just right, and never stayed in place
    2: I very highly dislike most methods I've seen for closing the cover, it doesn't look clean enough for me.
    3: I have a California King mattress, and even when I find a commercial California King duvet, it does not have the right drop.

    Ok, so, 1 and 3 could be solved by making the duvet myself and putting ties in the corners.

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    I think your project would work. You are in essence making a "comforter" inside your cover. The only thing different from a duvet cover would be that you are sewing it to your middle "comforter". Hmm - pretty ingenious, I must say. I, like you, find that duvet covers are a bit of a pain in getting it to fit and then putting it back on when it is washed (ok a lot of a pain).

    Come back and let us know how it worked out. This sounds great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtsyOne View Post
    If I understand you correctly, you will quilt a plain muslin sandwich and then put that into a duvet cover that you'll make? And then sew in the ditch of the cover to attach it to the muslin sandwich? A friend of mine used the wool batting and it really puffed up like a comforter because she hadn't quilted it closely enough, so I see this happening to you unless you quilt the sandwich very closely. Then you also have the entire center of your cover loose and unattached.
    ArtsyOne, yes, exactly. If I remember right from my research, the Dream wool needs minimum 8" quilting, while trying to work this out, I figured a 4" grid set on point. You are right, the large center area of the top would be loose. I am still in the planning stages and we have discussed the idea of making a couched lace or appliqued center medallion. We are just uncertain as to whether this will end up looking too busy. We will lay the whole thing out full size in tissue paper before I start. If we do use a center medallion then we can use the edges to help anchor the top.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sewmary View Post
    I think your project would work. You are in essence making a "comforter" inside your cover. The only thing different from a duvet cover would be that you are sewing it to your middle "comforter". Hmm - pretty ingenious, I must say. I, like you, find that duvet covers are a bit of a pain in getting it to fit and then putting it back on when it is washed (ok a lot of a pain).

    Come back and let us know how it worked out. This sounds great!
    Thank you sewmary. That is why I join forums, to bounce ideas off people.

  9. #9
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    I don't see why it wouldn't work - sort of like a semi-attached quilt at the borders only, with all the actual quilting hidden on the layer beneath?
    What sort of fabric are you going to use for the large expanse of the top? I would be concerned at the amount of creasing there may be - quilting does eliminate the need for that iron once it's made!
    Can you iron the batting if the top gets creased?
    Lang may yer lum reek. (I'm a knitter - hence - 'Knit-ette'. Confuses a lot of people!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knitette View Post
    I don't see why it wouldn't work - sort of like a semi-attached quilt at the borders only, with all the actual quilting hidden on the layer beneath?
    What sort of fabric are you going to use for the large expanse of the top? I would be concerned at the amount of creasing there may be - quilting does eliminate the need for that iron once it's made!
    Can you iron the batting if the top gets creased?
    I was planning on silk dupioni for the top, or maybe satin, if I can find a pretty silver (not grey) in the right width. I don't know if the batting can be ironed, actually, I'm not even sure the fabric can.

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    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    The quilting lines on your "inner quilt" may telegraph thru to the dupioni. I would do a small version first using your intended fabrics.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    The quilting lines on your "inner quilt" may telegraph thru to the dupioni. I would do a small version first using your intended fabrics.
    That is a good idea PaperPrincess, thank you. If it does infact telegraph, is there anything I can do about it? I really want it to be as smooth as possible, without resorting to commercial comforter style tacking (ick!!!!!! talk about a quick way to ruin an otherwise beautiful top design)

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    Now you are wandering down the road of something so heavy you will suffocate under the weight.

    Because you would have to line your silk to create a smooth barrier between it and the quilting.

    Since you want an absolutely smooth top consider this: instead of a duvet cover create a bedspread (lined) - a bed topping over your sheets which you could pull smooth. Throw your comforter in the closet for the daytime. I have seen some modern rooms with just this sort of look, without loft on the bed.

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    The only thing I can think of is purchase a blanket instead of batting. I would go with a thinner manmade fiber, then add your top, no backing needed, although you can add one if desired. The blanket will not need to be quilted at all, just cut it to the desired size and bound. The only difficult thing would be to make sure that the top is smooth on the blanket. I would lay the center portion on the blanket and baste around the edge. Lay this in-process piece on the bed to ensure that the drape is correct and adjust as necessary. When you are happy with this part, add your borders with the sew and flip method, trim the blanket to the correct size and bind it.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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    Quote Originally Posted by sewmary View Post
    Now you are wandering down the road of something so heavy you will suffocate under the weight.

    Because you would have to line your silk to create a smooth barrier between it and the quilting.

    Since you want an absolutely smooth top consider this: instead of a duvet cover create a bedspread (lined) - a bed topping over your sheets which you could pull smooth. Throw your comforter in the closet for the daytime. I have seen some modern rooms with just this sort of look, without loft on the bed.
    That is definitely an idea, and something I will consider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    The only thing I can think of is purchase a blanket instead of batting. I would go with a thinner manmade fiber, then add your top, no backing needed, although you can add one if desired. The blanket will not need to be quilted at all, just cut it to the desired size and bound. The only difficult thing would be to make sure that the top is smooth on the blanket. I would lay the center portion on the blanket and baste around the edge. Lay this in-process piece on the bed to ensure that the drape is correct and adjust as necessary. When you are happy with this part, add your borders with the sew and flip method, trim the blanket to the correct size and bind it.
    If I went this route, would I take the blanket the full length and width of the top? If not, would the point where it stops be noticed?

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    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwoodgate View Post
    If I went this route, would I take the blanket the full length and width of the top? If not, would the point where it stops be noticed?
    Yes, the blanket would be the full area of the quilt. It would be like you were using the blanket as the foundation for foundation piecing if you are familiar with that technique.
    Here's a tutorial for a sew & flip:
    http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2010/...-tutorial.html
    She is using all small strips. Her first piece is the pink center strip. Your first piece would be the big center square, then add your border strips. When your borders are all added trim off the excess blanket and bind.
    Reading your posts it sounds like you are looking for a flat, smooth top portion. With any method you choose, you will need to be careful that the large top piece is correctly matched to where it's sewn to the batting or blanket or whatever you use. If you sew the 2 together and the top is even slightly larger or smaller than where you sewed it to the batting, it's not gonna lay right. Normally I would suggest basting the top to the backing in a grid of about 8" but if you use dupioni you can't do that. Can't baste silk where it's going to be seen because the needle marks don't come out.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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    Thank you PaperPrincess, you have been absolutely invaluable in offering me many options, as well as things to think about as I continue planning. By chance, if I were able to locate satin in the right color (it wouldn't be wasting money or fabric as I have not yet purchased anything) could I baste, or would I have the same issue with the pin marks not coming out?

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    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Re: pin marks in satin. This depends on the actual fabric content some will show some won't. Also, you do realize that there are going to be seams in the top. Most home dec fabric is about 54-56" wide, so even if your bed is a full a single cut won't cover once you remove the selvedges and add the seam allowance.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    Re: pin marks in satin. This depends on the actual fabric content some will show some won't. Also, you do realize that there are going to be seams in the top. Most home dec fabric is about 54-56" wide, so even if your bed is a full a single cut won't cover once you remove the selvedges and add the seam allowance.
    D'oh! You are right, the silk I found is 54" wide, not sure why I didn't look at that before. I was able to find 118" polyester satin, they just don't have the silver (had planned on using this for the back). Hmmm, more research. If I have to piece the top, what would be the "cleanest" way to do it?

    Hmmm, just had an idea, using triangles to piece it, with them meeting in the center, might work, depending on several things.
    Last edited by redwoodgate; 08-14-2012 at 08:55 AM. Reason: for flash of inspiration

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    At this point, I would see if you can find a BB dedicated to home dec. This has really crossed the line from quilting. They may have sources for wider goods and probably have better ideas for whole project. My final comment is that if you back it with satin, it will not stay on the bed if you are planning on sleeping under it, but would be fine for a covering that you plan on removing every night.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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    Thank you, I will do that.

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