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Friday Favorite: This Old Blanket

July 20th, 2012

I have this old blanket that I can remember having on my bed when I was as young as 3rd grade and I’ve used ever since. A very simple quilt, made by sewing two cotton king sized sheets together with a flannel sheet sandwiched in between. It’s tufted with that multi-colored yarn that was so popular back in the day.

This quilt was made for me by a group of older ladies in the church. Every time we’d come back to the States from Colombia, they’d present us with beautiful quilts, some very intricate and pretty, other’s crocheted from yarn and some plain and simple like this one.

This blanket is one of my favorite things because it’s the perfect weight for summer. It provides that comfortable weight that helps me sleep better without being too heavy or too hot. It’s also a great layer in winter, we usually add a heavy woolen blanket on top of it.

It’s not stunning, beautiful, intricate or pretty, at least not in the usual sense. I still LOVE it and it will be on my bed until it’s fallen into threads, not likely in my lifetime since it’s already almost 30 years old and shows no signs of wear. No doubt, many of the ladies that worked on it are no longer living and that makes even more special. I wonder if they realized when they lovingly stitched this blanket that I’d still be using it as an adult?

Keeping it around reminds me that it’s not always about surrounding yourself with beautiful things. Sometimes utility trumps beauty, and yet that makes something beautiful in it’s own way! This quilt will never be in a magazine, but it’s worth it’s weight in gold to me for the comfort it provides.

Do you have any items like this that you love?

15 Comments to “Friday Favorite: This Old Blanket”
  1. Lori on July 20, 2012 at 7:29 am

    This reminded me of an old blanket I have, crocheted (sp?) for me by my great grandmother when she was about 90 and I was 9. I picked out the colors myself back then and they are a riot of pinks and purples – hardly fit for grown up decor for sure, but I love it anyway. It warms my heart to see my daughters using it now, and I remind them how special it is because their great, GREAT grandmother made it herself.

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  2. K.B. on July 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

    This reminds me of the Catalogne blanket a friend of my mother made for me. It is the heaviest, most durable blanket I have ever seen, and like yours, has lasted for decades so far. Unfortunately, it’s sized for a twin bed, so don’t use it on my bed any more, but I still have it, and use it occasionally.

    Reply to K.B.'s comment

  3. Allison on July 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I am right there with you on the quilt front. I have a Sesame Street quilt made out of two sheets, who knows what on the inside and bound around the edges. It was my cousin’s before it was handed down to me, and I have had it as long as I can remember. I still use it daily, even though it has a few stains (what kid doesn’t spill Kool Aid?). The binding around the edge is finally starting to need repair, which I plan to take on this summer. Hopefully it will hold up for MANY years to come!

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  4. angie h. on July 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I am a very sentimental person, so I have many things from my childhood that I won’t get rid of.

    My great grandma sewed a lot-quilts, dolls, clothes. And I still have a few items of baby dresses she made me as a toddler. I used them for baby doll clothes as a kid and I have them tucked a way in a trunk somewhere.

    I have my blankie from my childhood, all ragged and worn. It wasn’t homemade but I took it everywhere.

    My husband often complains about me keeping every little thing but when it comes down to it he is just as sentimental as me. A few months ago I was cleaning our laundry room and we have this big, ratty, ugly orange blanket. My step son used it when he was little and that is all I knew off it. Brian saw it and apparently it was *his* blanket at his grandma’s house growing up. She always tucked him in with it, especially when he stayed home sick from school….needless to say, I didn’t throw it away. Isn’t it amazing how the senses of old things invoke such strong memmories?

    Reply to angie h.'s comment

  5. Donna B. on July 20, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I wish I had something like that from my past to cherish. I am a sentimental person, in some ways, but not all. I don’t mind thinning out things that don’t get used anymore but I hold onto objects that either remind me or something, or that I put so much effort into that I cannot let it go.
    Honestly, that blanket sounds like something we all need – a bit of comfort in these times of stress and work, hehe!. And *I* think that it’s the most beautiful blanket ever. it’s so lovely in it’s simplcity.

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  6. Peggy on July 20, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I know exactly what you mean! When I was 10 my grandmother made me a patchwork quilt using squares of polyester fabric from all the clothing she made, backed with a sheet and tied off with yarn. It is not the most attractive quilt by any stretch of the imagination but it was on my bed for as long as I can remember. It has stood the test of time and still looks brand new! I will never get rid of it.

    Reply to Peggy's comment

  7. Denimflyz on July 20, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I have a whle cloth quilt like this and its about 35 yrs old and I still love it. My mother made it when I left home and I still use it on my bed.
    I also have several very old, very thread bare utility quilts from my great grandmother, and I just will not part with them. They look bad but I use them on my patio furniture and they work well.
    I love the simple, the utilititarian, the mundane, it works and brings peace to me.
    Wonderful post today.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Reply to Denimflyz's comment

  8. misti on July 20, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I have a ton of blankets that are from family, some I recently just received back from storage. It is very hard for me to throw them away as well. I love to make blankets too but now I feel like I shouldn’t because I’m over run with blankets!

    Some of my moms are worn out from over use and others have withstood time.

    Reply to misti's comment

  9. Maybelline on July 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Yes. A lovely handstiched quilt from my brother’s godmother. It was a wedding gift 30 years ago.

    It’s sad that the socializing of ladies’ quilting bees don’t exist but if I can’t see myself having the time or interest, I can understand why others don’t continue the tradition. Sad.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  10. karen on July 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Yes, I do.

    I love your story and the meaning it gives to old useful items. Thank you for putting it into words. Made my day.

    Reply to karen's comment

  11. KimH on July 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    We have a collection of motley afghan throws that were made by m’honeys family members. One of them has his mom and dads entire family and grandchildrens names embroidered on it, each in a block with their birthdays and anniversaries too. It needs repaired but I keep forgetting to do it.. been forgetting for about 14 years now. ;) I will do it one of these days. We still use it in the winter time since its nice & heavy.
    I have squares that I cut out with my X grandmother in law that I feel like I should send to my sister in law but Im afraid Im attached to them. We cut them out of their family material and clothing scraps so it really does say “family”. I was making twin quilts for my daughters, and I got them cut out & about half of them pieced together and thats as far as I got… sigh.. Maybe I’ll finish them in large throws for my sister in laws girls.. There are three of them (as opposed to my two daughters) and I think they would love having them.
    Thanks for letting me think about them in this context. :)

    I had a baby quilt that one of my great grandmothers made, I think originally for my sister, but that I used and loved. I can still remember it vaguely and occasionally think about it and wish I still had it. It was soft pink and was completely hand stitched, so intricately done. When I was a tot, I would look at the stitching for hours.. Guess I was easily amused. :)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  12. bonnie k on July 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Beautiful post!

    Reply to bonnie k's comment

  13. Tammey on July 20, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Such a beautiful story you have shared with us about this special quilt! This gives me an idea of what a kind and loving girl you must be! I think often of the sweet little women who stiched the quilts I charish so much…I feel the same way that you do about these pricless treasures :)

    Reply to Tammey's comment

  14. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on July 26, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Love it but I have one question: how on earth have the tufts survived a lifetime of kittykats!? Mine would have shredded each one in turn within days :)

    Reply to louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife's comment

    • Susy on July 26, 2012 at 7:46 am

      I have no idea how they’ve survived. Perhaps because by the time the cats came along they were already old & tangled.

      Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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