Bifurcated bedding – a weekend project

Right now, I’m supposed to be clearing the table so that I can cut a doona in half. It’s too big to fit in my washing machine, and I’m sick of washing it in the bathtub. Too much effort.

The plan is to then sew on some buttons or ties (or safety pins, if it comes to that) to join it up when its on the bed. It’s a straightforward job, but I need some space first.

However, while trying to clear the table, I opened a packet of chips. Rather than get chips and salt on everything I touched, I opened up the laptop and clicked my way through some reading. A task one can do one-handed. I ended up here. The chip bag is empty and I’m typing with what I hope are clean-enough fingers.

The empty packet signals the next step – all rubbish into the bin.

I’ve decided that the doona will be this weekend’s project because this week’s peak heat is today, Saturday. All the bedding is getting a wash because everything will dry incredibly quickly in 38 degrees C.

I found this queen-sized doona in a second-hand store in Canberra as part of still-packaged bed set – doona, doona cover and two pillow slips. It was probably another purchase I couldn’t really afford, with consequent cutting back in other areas, but the shimmering call of the golden bronze colours would not be ignored.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a wool and cashmere doona inside. Wool and Cashmere. Lux.

But lux has to be practical in my simple world. I’ve struggled with this doona for years. Today, the bifurcation begins.

(I looked up words for dividing something into two and I “bifurcate” appealed!)

Although, thinking about it, there will be handsewing, which means handling a wool and cashmere queen-sized doona in 38 degrees C heat.

Sometimes, you just have to stick it out if you want to get an idea over the line.

There’s the familiar beep that tells me another load of washing is ready to hang out. Time to also clear the laptop away and get started.

I’m not being too fussy with the stitching. In theory, it will be inside a doona cover … in theory. Sometime during the last few years, I seem to have given up on covers. The doonas are piled on top of each other as needed.

Growing up in rural NSW in the 60s and 70s, there were no doonas. Blankets ruled. In later years, I learned of the Continental Doona, with advocates raving about the practicality of adjusting the feather distribution to suit the needs of the sleeper. It sounded like too much bother compared to the ease of adding another blanket. I was not a convert.

My collection of blankets is not really a collection in the collector sense of the word. But there’s definitely more than one person needs, even if I had a guest bedroom. The problem is I love each and every one of them, and their stories should be a blog post.

Yet, I feel guilty because I cannot donate them to someone who really needs them. I have decided, just now as I type, that this issue must be addressed. I will gradually buy new and unloved blankets, one for each that I own, and donate them instead. Might take a while but it will restore the balance.

The doonas that I eventually purchased are glorified, simplified blankets; two pieces of cotton stitched to the outside of a length of fluffy wool. More like an unadorned quilt.

Sunday – and one half of the bifurcated bedding has been washed and is out to dry. So much easier.

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