My lifelong greediness for blankets might have had its beginning when I was a young girl in a small town where a house burned down. Someone in the community was taking up a collection of household items for the victims, and my father and mother, not ever known for almsgiving, collaborated on taking blankets from the household supply to donate to the family in need.
From this event I learned something, that blankets were not a given for everyone, and the new knowledge was strongly impressed on my young mind. For years it was merely an appreciation for the blessing of being warm under the covers in an intact house, but as an adult responsible for making up my own children’s beds, the formative thankfulness has combined with my sinful tendency to hoard, so that I have collected many more blankets than I need.
Many of them are hand-me-downs, even electric blankets from which I pulled the wires and sometimes even sewed up the holes. Some veteran wool military blankets were so thin I had to retire them, but even then I didn’t throw them away, but lacking linen closets I stored them between mattresses and box springs until such time as I could use them for quilt batting.
Most of these thrifty blanket plans I never carried out. My blanket love was fed by passing through the bedding department at Macy’s or Target. More sinful impulses rose up in those places.
This week, I sit here at the computer and use the mouse in my right hand to browse web pages displaying gorgeous works of love and art in fabric. My left arm cradles my sleeping grandbaby wrapped in his own cozy layers of love demonstrated through time and creativity. I feel a wealth of blankets in the world.
One particular story on the Quilt Festival site was of another house that burned down, and a woman who took her own recently completed wall-hanging Christmas quilt to the suddenly homeless and blanketless as a gift. It was many years ago, but the sacrificial act goes on warming and strengthening the original recipients and many more of us who need to get a proper perspective on making a house a home.
Lately I’ve been lightening my hoard, as pieces devolve into moving pads or cat beds, or go to my children who are setting up their own households. With the increasing mental and physical space I hope to better exercise my homemaking skills. I might even make a new blanket!