A Special Project

A while back a friend of mine approached me and asked if I would be interested in doing a project for her. Part of the year she lives in China, and while there she had purchased a lovely silk duvet. The problem was that it was an unusual size, and she could not find a duvet cover for it that she has happy with.

She also had a great pack of fat quarters, which had certain fabrics to go with each month of the year. So she challenged me to come up with a pieced duvet cover that would work well for these fabrics.

I did a bit of planning and a lot of thinking, and realized that the Swoon quilt pattern (with some modifications) would be perfect. The blocks are very large (24″x24″) so they show off the fabric, but they have enough interest to be…well…interesting. (Golden piece of writing there.) The other great thing about Swoon is that the instructions are super clear and the piecing is relatively straight forward, albeit time consuming.

The first thing I need to do was pick out which pairs of FQ’s I would use for each block.

Once I had a “light” and “dark” fabric for each block, it was time to make the blocks themselves. You can see that each one has a monthly theme to it. (Click to see them larger)

The original size of the quilt is only 3×3 blocks, but this duvet cover needed to be almost king sized. And with 12 months of the year, 12 blocks worked out perfectly. Once the blocks were together it was time to add sashing as well as borders.

As for quilting, since this was actually a duvet cover and we didn’t want to add too much weight, we decided it would be best to go with no batting. So the top was quilted onto a layer of washed muslin using a quilting pattern called “Signature”.

Once the quilting was finished and the sides trimmed, it was time to make the backing. Luckily my friend had provided me with a 108″ backing, so I didn’t have to do too much piecing. I did however add an invisible zipper to the bottom of the backing, so that the duvet could easily be taken out for washing.

If I do say so myself, that was one of my better invisible zipper installs. I went with this type of zipper because I wanted it to be the least noticeable both visually and texture wise. Who wants to rub toes with a big icky zipper?

Once the backing was made I added 8 ribbon ties to the inside of the cover. The duvet had little loops, so I figured this was the best way to keep it in place. Once that was done, I sewed the backing and the top together like a big pillow. I turned the whole thing right side in through the zipper opening, and then stitched in the ditch around three sides to create the extra borders on the quilt that did not have any duvet in them (as an overhang for the sides and the bottom of the quilt).

And with that, a king size Swoon duvet cover was born!

I’m sorry for the less than stellar pictures, but I had to take pictures this morning before I delivered it, and it was dark and rainy, and I don’t have a king sized bed to spread it out on.

It is too large for my double guest bed, but it does fit on a king. I promise.

I delivered it this morning and I think my friend was pleased (however it was hard to spread it out in Starbucks, so I will get a better idea once she can get it home and on her bed). Hopefully she can send me some more pictures as well!

So that is how my special Swoon project came to be. I am definitely going to make a few more of these blocks for myself – they were a lot of fun!

I’ll be back this week with another organization post – I am debating either the linen closet or the bathroom cabinet (if anyone has a preference, holler!)

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