Simple stripes quilt top

So having realized how long it will take me to get a queen size quilt’s worth of hand stitched stars, I decided to branch out into quilting for real.

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A really long way to go…. I expect to work on this on and off over a few years.

Well, not real quilting exactly – doona/duvet/comforter covers. The reason is that I have been given several beautiful quilts already, a gorgeous green queen bed one as a wedding gift, and my aunt has made my kids many gorgeous quilts including Althea’s flower fairies one that is in her room now. However, Althea would like to use a duvet/doona/quilt instead on blankets so I thought that some nice colorful doona covers would be a good birthday gift.

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Being a complete beginner I decided on precut jelly rolls as an affordable way to get a gradient of colours and a manageable place to start.

The pattern I’m using as inspiration is the Line Art Quilt or Skinny Strips Quilt. The Skinny Strips quilt free pattern is a starting point, but the size is too small for a standard single/twin duvet cover and I did a few things differently.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

Ingredients – Artisan Batiks Roll up (40 strips each 2.5″ wide and actually not all exactly 44″ long), Kona Solids Jelly Roll in grey (40 2.5″x 42″ strips), Big spool of grey cotton thread.

1. I taped out my desired duvet cover size on the floor. I was working with 86″ x 64″ as I was originally planning to sew the top onto a plain Ikea duvet cover and that is the size that they are.

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2. I played with arranging the strips in a pleasing sequence. Annoyingly I found that I had to include all 40 strips to get my desired length. I would have liked to exclude the plain black strips. Also, the roll contained different numbers of each color, some had 2 others 3 so I played with the arrangement until I was happy.

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3. I labelled all the strips in numerical order.

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4. I cut each solid grey strip in half down the middle, making two shorter 2.5″ wide strips.

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5. I carefully pinned a grey strip to both ends of a colored strip, right sides together, and sewed a 1/4″ seam, then pressed the seam towards the coloured strip.

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Actually I did this in batches of three which was faster.

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6. After all the grey-colour-grey long length strips were completed I laid them all back on the floor in numerical order and arranged the offset stack design so I was happy with it. This picture shows only half the strips completed. When all were arranged they were longer than the taped duvet size because of all the seam allowances along the length of the strips.

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7.  I then used my quilting ruler to draw a line along the edge of the taped duvet size on the floor using a wash away pen.

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8. Using scissors I then cut off the strips 2″ past the blue lines. (1″ seam allowance and 1″ insurance in case I decided to make the cover slighter wider. I have found sites saying that a standard twin duvet is actually 86″ by 66″).

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9. I then batched the strips up in groups of five, ready to sew.

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10. To sew the strips together, I matched the blue lines at each end of the strip and pinned them right sides together, then sewed a 1/4″ seam and pressed the seam allowances up. I sewed strip 1 to 2, then 2 to 3, 3 to 4, 4 to 5. Then I sewed the next 5, then joined groups of 10.

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11. Finally I joined my groups of 10 strips, making 40 joined strips.

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12. As you can see fro the picture above the top was not quite long enough, so I sewed some of the longer pieces of grey strips together and added them to the top and bottom of the top, framing the colored strips.

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13. Done! Here it is!

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It turns out the a US twin quilt it quite a bit bigger than an Australian single size, here is an Australian single doona cover laid over the finished top.

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We were planning on buying her a new duvet/doona/quilt/comforter anyway (seriously most annoying Australia/UK/US word divergence ever), but sadly I won’t be able to use these covers on the quilt we already have.

I’m really happy with how this turned out and am now working on a second jelly roll pieced top to turn into a second duvet cover. I’m using two jelly rolls – a rainbow of solids and plain white.

Now I just have to turn this into a duvet cover! I have to admit that I am a bit nervous about this part. I found a few online tutorials to get ideas, but am really not sure whether to double layer the top to enclose all the raw edges. Finishing all the tiny 1/4″ seams would be a total pain – but double layering the top and sewing the two layers together before attaching a bottom layer would also be a pain and make the whole thing a bit heavy. At the moment I’m leaning towards leaving them raw and unenclosed (they’ll be on the inside of the duvet cover of course – not visible when in use) and just hoping the fraying doesn’t reduce the life of the cover. I’m also on the fence about adding piping to the edges – that would be a lot of work too, and I’ve never made or used piping before, on the other hand I’m sure it would give a lovely finish.

If you have any experience or opinions on hand made duvet covers I’d love hear it!

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