Thursday, March 29, 2018

Are You Confused by Bedding Terms - Quilt, Coverlet, Bedspread, Duvet?

If you are shopping on line, you depend on the description of a particular bedding you are interested in purchasing to give you information about the product in question. Just how do you differentiate between them? Here is an overview you may find helpful.

Quilt: This is a 3 layer bedding cover that consists of a top fabric, an inner fill material and a fabric underneath. These layers are stitched together in a designed pattern throughout the entire quilt. This stitching gives the quilt a puffy appearance. For a thinner fill material, it could be termed a quilted coverlet.

Coverlet: This is a general term for a lightweight cover. It can be a bedspread or a quilt. Often this type of bedding is used in layering the bed where different types of bedding are used and this can be a complimentary color, usually a solid color as an accent to the colors found in the design of the dominant bedding piece.

Bedspread: This is a single layer cover, like a blanket. Different weaves will enhance the beauty of a bedspread. A matalasse weave, for example, is one that has the appearance of a quilt in that its design is puffy. Still it is a single layer cover. The bedspread isn't designed for warmth. It is used mostly for beauty so you need layers underneath for warmth. Sometimes the term bedspread is loosely used to describe a lightweight cover that does have more than one layer. But technically a bedspread is a single layer piece.

Duvet: This is a fluffy, warm comforter type bedding. A duvet cover is typically used in conjunction with a duvet. The duvet itself is the fill. The duvet cover or sheet encloses completely the duvet insert. It is removed for laundering purposes. Many find a duvet the desirable option because different duvet covers are more practical for changing seasons or color schemes rather than purchasing a variety of comforters.

Comforter: This is a warm, thick bedding with a top and bottom layer and a fill material in the middle and usually stitched together in a large box stitch design. The fill can be either down and feather or down alternative. A comforter can also be used as a duvet insert. Many comforters are machine washable, although it may be necessary to take it to a laundromat because of it's bulk. Comforters can be described more specifically in one of three warmth factor categories - lightweight, medium or all seasons and heavy/warm.

While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably and the terms given may not be altogether by definition totally accurate as used, this is provided as a general overview. I hope you find this useful for your shopping experience.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring is Here - Finally!

Time to dress up your bedroom with spring. Fold up the drab and pull out the bright spring colors. Nature is coming back alive and it's time for your bedroom to come alive too.

What does that mean? Well you probably will want to start with the spring cleaning issue. That means ridding yourself of unused, unwanted items in your closet, vacuuming your mattress, laundering or dry cleaning the bedding (which you will want to do anyway before storing them away for the season) and cleaning the pillows. Then a new paint job on your walls if you are leaning toward a new look, and all the rest of what the normal spring cleaning involves. You know what these tasks are.

Freshening up can begin with bright spring colors in your bed linen. There are a myriad of color choices to fit every mood. No need to stick with the same colors either. Switch out the colors, keep it moving, keep it fresh. That's my motto. From the bed linens, then check out what dresses the top of the bed, that beautiful dainty duvet sheet set or the bold colors of spring flowers in our Butterfly Kisses duvet set.

New energy reverberates all over, spring does that. It's the most wonderful season in the year, I believe. Everything comes alive, shedding off the old, drab, dead things and letting life bloom!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

How to Choose Decorator Pillows

Choosing decorator pillows can be a tough task but it doesn't need to be.  There are a number of combinations and styles that will bring different moods and character to your décor.

Your first choice is finding the right color scheme and style that compliments the room.  If you have a modern contemporary style, you may want to stick with just two or three colors at the most.  These colors are picked up somewhere else in the room - a picture, or the bedding, for example.  Contemporary style allows geometric designed pillows and straight lines along with solid colored pillows.

Country style allows for much more liberty in design choices.  You
will see floral designed pillows as well as solid colors.  Country décor allows for affluence in the number of pillows as well.  You could say “busy” would fit readily here.  This style allows for a mixture of different styles.  You may have an antique style bed and a modern dresser for example.  This style encourages flexibility.

Victorian style is a formal vintage style.  Frills, tassels and lace are appropriate as an accent and compliment the solid colored pillows. 
Pictorial accent pillows work as well.  Carved furniture and ornate detailed accessories fit perfectly here.  The color scheme could embrace the darker colored walls with a mix of delicate floral pastels in your pillows and other accessories.

In all the choices of style and colors, one thing is predominant.  What you enjoy is top priority.  You are the one who lives with it, so the colors and style you choose should make you feel good.  Your choice in colors for the decorator pillows should best be what is found somewhere else in the room.  This will tie your room together to complete your theme and create the atmosphere you desire.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Blankets for Children in the Hospital

Children are in for a special surprise in their hospital stay.  Volunteers are providing homemade blankets to local hospitals for children who have been hospitalized with serious illnesses.  In Guilford, Maine, Project Linus, under the direction of their organizer, Heather Burgess is a non-profit organization that provides an outlet for those who want to give back to the community. There are, "so many different things that this means to me," Burgess said. "I like to give my time to the community, and I like to make others feel good and be able to feel safe, especially kids. It means a lot."   

A year ago some students from Foxcroft Academy helped make more than 30 blankets, each one donated to area hospitals.  No sewing skills are required to participate in this project and they are reportedly enjoying their task according to WABI5 news.

Our granddaughter was a recipient of such an act of kindness as this when in 2016, she suffered an injury at the age of two.  This colorful blanket was a treasured comfort to her in her stay at the hospital. Her blanket is on her bed to this day.

While the blankets are special, just as special is the joy it brings to those who have created them.  It's the heart behind the gift that matters and there is added satisfaction in knowing they bring comfort to the children.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Does Your Sleep Position Matter?

Everyone has their own favorite sleep position.  Does it matter at all?
Back sleeper

It is a general consensus that sleeping on your back
is the most advantageous simply because your back is aligned properly and there is no strain to your body.  However, this is problematic for those who snore and your partner will more than likely want you to roll over and hang tight to the blankets in the process.

Side sleeper
Sleeping on your side is said to be the next best position.  In this position, your back is still aligned providing bed pillows are tucked between the knees.  It is also good for those who suffer with sleep apnea and for snorers.  There is said to be pressure on the organs like the liver, stomach and lungs if you sleep on your left side while this is not normally an issue in quality sleep, and sleeping on your right side increases the chance of heartburn.

Stomach sleeper
It is said that sleeping on your stomach is the worst position.  Your back is in an unnatural arched position that could lead to tingling or pain, and since the head is turned to the side, pain in the neck area as well.  A bed pillow is not recommended in this position as this would increase the arch in the spine.  There is a plus to this position as snoring can be reduced.

You are the master of your sleep position.  What works best for you and your partner is what you will want to stick with.  So sleep well, that's the goal.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Where Did Today's Wedding Ring Quilt Design Come From?

Romantic Wedding Ring

Romance is the theme of the wedding ring quilt design.  This design originated way back in the 4th century from the interlocking metal rings that decorated Roman glass cups. Later on, gimmel interlocking rings were made and used in engagement ceremonies in the 15th and 16th centuries. According to, when the couple became engaged in this ceremony, the man wore one ring and the woman the other. When they married, the rings were interlocked and both rings were worn by the woman. Thus began its romantic theme that evolved into the double wedding ring design we have in our quilts today. It is believed that this design came to America from the German immigrants that settled in Pennsylvania in the 17th century.

Nicolette Wedding Ring
Quilts have always been around. They have always been an item of beauty as well as functional. Before material was mass produced, the material was spun and woven by hand, a time consuming project that could take years to make. With the manufacture of cotton material around 1840, it became a much easier feat and more affordable. With the early settlers in America, scraps from clothing were reused as patches and the women formed their own designs for the quilts.
Royal Wedding Ring

The wedding ring quilt design gained popularity in the 30's and 40's when quilt magazines and newspapers published articles about it and printed the pattern. Kits were even sold with fabric already cut as the demand increased. The romance continues today in this continuing popular wedding ring quilt design.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

What to Eat During the Day for Better Sleep

Many people struggle with sleeping restfully at night. Or their sleep is interrupted.  Sometimes there are simple solutions to alleviate the problem without resorting to over-the-counter sleeping pills that may cause unwanted side effects the next day.  Here are a couple preparatory ideas to implement during the day to encourage a restful night's sleep.

The food we eat during the day is a large factor to what happens when we lay down under the blankets at night to sleep.  Foods create neurotransmitters in the brain that trigger different functions of the body.  Serotonin and melatonin are in certain foods that create these transmitters for restful sleep.  A study in 2010 published in the  Journal of Medicinal Food discovered that tart cherry juice can reduce insomnia.  Researchers believe it is due to its high content of melatonin.  Other foods high in melatonin are the B6 vitamins that include fish and bananas.

Foods high in amino acid also make you drowsy, like the turkey in those holiday dinners as well as milk and cheese.  For best results eat these with some carbohydrates like mashed potatoes or crackers.

Food rich in magnesium lends to better sleep, longer and uninterrupted sleep.  As a matter of fact, frequent nighttime interrupted sleep is found to be one of the most prevalent symptoms of a diet deficient in magnesium according to a report in Medical News Today.  Some foods rich in magnesium include seeds and nuts, bananas, whole grains and spinach.  A diet rich in magnesium
and low in aluminum is associated with deeper and longer uninterrupted sleep.

And finally, foods like potatoes, pasta, rice and bread can actually help you sleep.  What is good to know is when to eat them though.  It's most effective 3 to 4 hours before bedtime.  So skip the bedtime snack of the rich food and now you can settle in under the blankets for a full night of restful, uninterrupted sleep.