I’m not the sort to make the bed.  I really have a hard time seeing the point.  My bed is not a decorative object, it is an object of use.  Making the bed makes it prettier, but less useful.  I’m opposed to this on philosophical grounds (it’s the same objection I have to many of the world’s more ludicrous shoes…they may make me prettier, but they also make me less useful).  I’m also deeply lazy.  So I more or less never make the bed.  I did, shockingly, make an exception for the new duvet covers.  Just this once mind you.

It was more or less instantly claimed by Kitten Overlord Barry.

Completely gratuitous cute kitten shot.

But lest you get any unfounded notions about the general state of my housekeeping, this is what it will usually look like.


Iron Age

I stand by my position that sewing is poorly named.  The activity we call sewing is mostly ironing with occasional spurts of other activities to leaven the tedium.  I spent about 10 hours putting together two duvet covers and two pillowcases this weekend, and I’d say about 2 hours were spent actually sewing.  The rest were spent ironing, measuring, ironing, pinning, ironing, cutting, and ironing.

Given the scale of the project (huge), the complexity of the sewing (low), and the intended final result (rumply wrinkly bedding), I determined I would do the absolute minimum necessary amount of ironing (a good general life guideline actually).  The edges of the fabric looked like this, though, so some ironing was inevitable.

Sewing on that would just be asking for swearing, no matter how simple the project.  So I took the reasonable approach and ironed the 4 inches or so closest to the bit I’d actually be sewing on.

I started out trying to iron it perfectly, but no amount of pressing, steaming, tugging, and scowling would get all the wrinkles out (it’s linen, wrinkles are its nature…if you don’t iron it damp from the dryer, it’s never going to be perfect).  I elected to embrace imperfection and just get on with it.  And the truth is, it worked just fine.

After the ironing came the pinning, stitching, trimming, more ironing, more stitching, more ironing, more stitching, and more ironing.  Do you sense the theme?  The time actually at the sewing machine was limited.

I’m not actually going to tell you much about the putting together bits.  I more or less did this.  There’s another helpful tutorial over here.  They know more about sewing than I do, so it’s likely best to do what they said rather than precisely what I did.  The only real modification I added was to tuck some lengths of twill tape in at the corners so I can tie my duvet in place.

Next step, get them on the bed.  I’ll even properly make the bed and take pictures for next time.  Between now and then, I’ll be vacuuming.  This was the lintiest sewing project I’ve ever seen.  Everything is coated in a fine layer of fuzz.


Barry and Levon would like you to know that they, too, are making contributions to the current sewing project.  They’re doing their very best to fuzz up the place.  They are quite effective.

And Mr. Random Number Generator would like you to know that Leslie has won Rachel’s lovely book.  Thanks to everyone who entered, and special thanks to Rachel for making such fantastic socks!


I’m making duvet covers.  I plan to be making duvet covers for the next several days.  I fully expect this to eclipse more or less all the knitting for the next week or so.  You’ve been warned.

The goal is two, twin sized, linen duvet covers.  You may recall I got the fabric when we were in San Francisco.  I realized at the time that 19 yards of fabric was a lot.  Somehow I’d forgotten just how much it was until I dumped it out on the table (sewing happens on the dining room table around here).  It’s really quite an amazing amount.

Somehow, it all fit in the washer, and then in the dryer.  And yes, yes it is wrinkled as all hell.  I’ll be engaging in judicious ironing during the making process (just enough to make sure I’m putting it together right), but then I’ll be reveling in the inherently wrinkly nature of linen and pretending it’s an intentional feature once it’s all done and on the bed.  If you object, you’re welcome to come iron for me.  Douglas will keep you company.

Oh, and I’m shutting down comments for Rachel’s awesome book now.  Winner announced later this week!



I tend to bring back somewhat non-traditional goodies from my various excursions.  I don’t have much use for tshirts.  I am always drawn to pretty drawings of the places I go, but I never manage to get them framed and hung.  Pretty much if it’s meant to be sold as a souvenir, I’m not so interested.  Three of my very favorite possessions in the whole world are the tiny little salt pot we brought back from Bulgaria, the sea glass we brought back from Maine, and the stick we brought back from Nova Scotia.  That stick is on the ‘grab when packing the car to flee the hurricane list’ (granted, an unlikely situation in Ohio, but you never know).

I’m continuing the tradition with what I bring home from this trip.

That’s 19 yards of beautiful buttery soft gray/beige linen (as a side note, 19 yards of fabric is freaking heavy…and huge…I had no idea), a whack of very expensive buttons (but they were oh so perfect for the project), and that fabric string stuff (which I have now learned is called twill tape). All from Britex, which was more than a bit overwhelming.

These will all be magically combined (once I’m home…I did not bring a sewing machine on the trip) to become new duvet covers and pillows.  I’ve been wanting linen ones forever, but I can’t justify the cost.  Making them myself isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s a bit less, and I’ll get exactly what I want.

I’ll be detailing the making (likely at nauseating length…I’m bad at sewing but good at spatial reasoning and crackerjack at origami, so I’m thinking it shouldn’t be too hard) once I’m home.  Well, once I’m home and back from TNNA and have gotten over the trip funk.  But I have a suspicion this will be one hell of a souvenir.