You wouldn't believe how many comforters I have in my closet. Not only comforters, but blankets and quilts and throws. I've collected them since I was a kid. Not on purpose. I didn't claim to have a "cover collection", and people didn't give them to me for Christmas and birthdays. It just happened. And I CAN'T LET GO of any of them. It's a problem.
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The first member of my collection is a Raggedy Ann and Andy themed comforter. I was probably 8 or 9 years old. I think I was in the third grade. The comforter is more of a bedspread, but it's quilted. One side is blue and white checkered with Raggedy Ann and Andy haphazard all over. The other side is royal blue and there's a small gathered ruffle all around the edges. I had the complete set. Shams, quilted comforter, and the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls that watched over my kingdom while I was away learning my multiplication tables. I don't remember why I was so crazy about Raggedy Ann. It might have been popular in the 70's or maybe it was the power of suggestion. Mom might have picked it out, but she usually let us choose our bedspreads and other stuff to decorate our rooms. I'll have to ask her. I even had the alarm clock and the matching trash can. No expense spared.
After I outgrew the red, white and blue themed room that bedspread went into the hall closet and only came out for picnics, building forts and the occasional slumber party. My boys never wanted to take it on trips, or even use it to build a fort! It served it's purpose and then some. And has a place in my closet with all of the others.
One of my favorite covers is a hand-made quilt that Mamaw, my mother's mother, made for me. It's a Dutch Doll pattern with a pink and white gingham checkered border. Each Dutch Doll has a hat and shoes and hands out of the same, solid color fabric and a colorful coordinating print dress. Each doll is hand pieced and the entire quilt is hand quilted. I can't begin to calculate the hours of sewing that went into it.
I remember Mamaw sitting in her recliner, by the window, sewing. I guess the light was better there. She liked for her quilts to be color coordinated, so she would be surrounded by stacks of fabric that she had pulled out of the front room closet to choose the pieces that would work together. That closet was full of fabric. Some of it left over from past projects, and some of it new, just waiting it's turn. She spent hours patiently cutting out the small pieces, then stitching them together 'on her fingers'. (Needle and thread, no sewing machine.) Her running stitches were perfectly spaced and her squares were actually square. She made it look so easy. And after the piecing was done, she would put up the quilting frame in the living room or the front room and do the actual quilting. She would fix a needle and thread for any of us kids that wanted to stitch on the quilt. It was pretty tedious and none of us lasted long, or did a very good job, but we were included.
I remember lots of trips to the fabric store. Mom, Mamaw, my little brother and me, usually. We'd go to Perry Brothers, a five and dime type store where they had fresh popped popcorn and a candy counter, too. Then anywhere else we wanted to go. But, it seems we always made a stop at the fabric store. Maybe we didn't. But it seemed like we did. There's only so much for a kid to do at the fabric store. So, after I looked at all of the buttons, sorted the zippers and thread and leafed through the pattern books I was ready to go. I didn't appreciate, at the time, that there was an artist at work. And she was gathering memories to save in her quilts.
Another member of my vast collection is a bedspread that my mother bought for me as a mini-makeover for my room. I was bed-bound for a couple of weeks in high school and I remember being soooooo sick. We left the doctor's office and went by the mall for me to pick out a bedspread. It was all I could do to walk in there because I had mono and I was exhausted. The one I picked out was dark burgundy, navy, green and tan tapestry print. Not what a typical teenager would pick out, but I loved it. Mom went back later and got matching sheets, and blue drapes to finish the look because she knew something that I didn't. Sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference. And she believed that my surroundings would make me feel better. And they did.
That bedspread has been washed, dried and abused over the years. The fabric is worn around the edges and the colors have faded. My oldest son has hauled that bedspread on camping trips and weekend "excursions" since he was old enough to go, but it always came back. His track record of bringing back something he borrowed is sketchy, so if he didn't "misplace" it, then it's meant to be here.
I planned to convince you that duvets are better than comforters. I'm actually rethinking that now. I'm not sure that duvets are really "better", but they do have some advantages over comforters. So I'll go over the advantages.
Duvets are versatile. You can get them in colors, or just plain white, and you can use them as is or with a duvet cover.
You only need 1 duvet per bed. Just change the duvet cover any time you want to.
Duvets used with a cover don't need to be washed as often as a comforter. You don't have to wash the duvet every time you wash the duvet cover, unless you just want to.
Extra duvet covers don't take up a lot of space. You don't need a lot of storage space for duvet covers. They fold up just like a flat sheet and you can tuck them almost anywhere out of the way.
You can choose the weight that's right for you. An all-season duvet is my favorite, but you can get a light one or a heavy one.
I'll tell you a little about the duvet that I bought. I did my research because I'd never bought a duvet. I didn't know anything about them and I had to learn fast because I had just accidentally ordered a duvet cover!
Most of the duvets that I found were white. Which is fine with me. I like white. But there were a few double sided ones with white on one side and blue, red or gray on the other. I just recently ordered a double sided one with charcoal gray on one side and I'm using it without a duvet cover in one of the bedrooms. It's beautiful just like it is and it's easy to wash in a large capacity washing machine.
Here are some tips on choosing the perfect duvet:
Choose a duvet with sturdy loops sewn into the outside seams at each corner. The duvet cover will have strings at each corner that you tie to the duvet at each corner.
Compare the fabric contents. Polyester or polyester blends hold up very well, and don't tend to 'pill' up, or get fuzzy.
Choose one that's quilted. The quilting helps to hold the lining in place. Bedding has to hold up to a lot of tugging, washing and drying, so it's important to buy a well made duvet.
Down or down alternative. If you prefer down, just be sure that you read the reviews because sometimes a lot of feathers will work their way out or they are just plain sharp and will poke through a little. Also, note whether reviewers said anything about the down having an odor.
You can wash and dry synthetic or down filled duvets, just follow the manufacturer's instructions.
After reading reviews and comparing duvets I finally settled on an Equinox All-Season down alternative duvet that I found on Amazon. I like that it's the perfect weight for us year round. If it's really cold and the heat is out, like it was this winter for 3 days, I can add a quilt to the bed and maybe a throw on my feet and we're toasty. Of course, we're in East Texas where our "freezing" temperatures are rarely below actual freezing, but it does happen a few days each winter.
I also like that I can change my bedroom from spring to fall or pink to blue in a flash. And I enjoy sleeping under my duvet because it's warm without being too heavy and it doesn't bunch up when I roll over. It just floats over me like a cloud. Needless to say, I'm completely sold on duvets and I'm working on my collection of duvet covers!
If you're working on your collection of comforters, quilts or duvet sets you should browse Birch Lane .