Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Tale of Two Blankets

I am feeling very rich these days, and it's all about two blankets.

Our entire household loves blankets, and we have lots of them.* Homemade baby blankets, still in use for making forts and creating quiet spaces. A huge duvet from my single days, back when I occupied my queen-size bed by myself. Soft, cuddly fleece blankets from Target for the sofa and kids' beds and smaller, thinner sports-themed fleece throws. Gigantic thin fleece blankets for covering the sofa - why we didn't spend the extra money to get a dark-colored couch is beyond me. Full-size store-bought quilts for the boys' beds. Medium-sized thick fleece blankets for our bed and the guest bedroom, brought over from Germany when I came for college, thirty years ago.

And two god-awful comforters that The Dude had from his college days.

Lumpy, ripped, ugly comforters. I've never liked comforters anyway, and the entire time we've lived together I've hated these, hated making up the Dude's side of the bed and seeing another rip which I would dutifully mend, hated the lumps and the fraying fibers. And then a few years ago, I don't remember why, I started sleeping under one as well. I immediately vowed to make a quilt for myself to replace it, only that didn't happen, and eventually I didn't see it happening any time soon.

Then over the summer our cat started peeing and pooping places she shouldn't. Namely, our sofa and the beds. (It was a medical issue, now thankfully addressed.) I started having to do a lot of laundry, using special anti-urine enzymatic products which got the smell out just fine of everything but my comforter. Not that it smelled of cat pee, exactly, I think that comforter was just so old and tired I could no longer get it feeling fresh. So we retired that one and I went back to sleeping under an assortment of fleece blankets of varying sizes and thicknesses.

And then G got his own full-size store-bought quilt for his birthday. (He in particular loves blankets and had been coveting his brother's.) One day he had it spread out on the ground for some game or another and I looked at it and I thought, "I want that quilt." Not one with dinosaurs on it, certainly, but something of that size and weight. I had not felt that way about the ones we'd bought for D some years ago, but G's quilt was a little nicer, a little bigger.

I said as much to The Dude and he remarked that the store had had a plain quilt in that size as well and did I maybe want it for my Christmas gift?

Heck yeah.

And so it was. And I liked it so much - and so did The Dude - that two weeks later we went out and got the remaining style (with a sports theme) for his side of the bed.

Once I had the quilt on my bed it just made sense to put the throw my mother had knitted for me this year on it as well - I had loved the colors and feel of this smaller blanket but hadn't found a good way to use it other than as a decorative piece. (I didn't want to put it on the sofa where it ran the risk of cat or child accidents, but our bed we cover with a tarp these days, just in case. So classy.**)

And now every time I come to bed I see these two blankets - my quilt and my mother's throw on top of it - and I feel rich.

The quilt isn't visually exciting by any means, it's very neutral: a mix of muted blue, red, cream and tan, in no particular pattern. In fact it's so simple that it's inspiring me again to make my own quilt, since I have lovely and meaningful fabrics I've been saving for that purpose. But it's the right size and the the right weight and it's mine. And it's not lumpy or ripped or ugly.

Dreaming sweetly,

*I counted up all the blankets in the house that I could think of and we've got 27. I'm pretty sure there are more seasonal ones I'm not thinking of.

**No, we don't sleep under the tarp. The cat's not allowed in at night. But her daytime hidey-hole is in a box in our closet, so we can't close the door during the day. I think there's been only one accident since the summer but that's one too many for my liking.

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