Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bedding needs

There are three things on my mind right now.

1.  We've increased from one bed to 5 beds in 12 years.
2.  We never have enough bedding.
3.  I want to make a quilt.

It's the quilt draped over the chair in our living room that brought this on. 

When we first got married we just had our own double bed.  It was easy to buy a few blankets and we were done with bedding.

After tiring of the double bed and needing a spare for visitors, we bought ourselves a queen-sized bed.  The spare then got all of our old blankets and we got new ones for ourselves.  They weren't Canadian winter-worthy though because we made that switch while living in Australia.  However, we were still set for ourselves and guests.

Then Beth came, and with her we added a crib.  A first baby invites tons of fluffy blankets as gifts, although we did notice that no one presented us with crib sheets.  (Note to self: Give sheets as baby gifts)  No offense meant to Beth, but she was a very pukey kid and lots of sheets were required unless we wanted to do daily laundry.

Then Laura came along.  Beth moved to a single and we needed new sheets and blankets again.  Humph.  By then we needed heavier blankets for ourselves as well because we were back in Canada.  All this bed expansion was getting tedious.  And we seemed to have lots of odd blankets that didn't quite fit.  Afghans and throw blankets and such that weren't long enough for a single bed.  How many throws do people really need?  We needed real blankets. 

Then Alice joined the family, taking over the crib again and moving Laura into a big bed.  More blankets required... and then Alice moved into her own big bed.

My mom has given each of the girls their own beautiful quilt.  I love them all.  However, you wouldn't believe how many blankets the kids think they need on their beds.  They have all sorts of fleece blankets, one massive down comforter on Beth's bed (although I admit the warmth isn't great because all of the down has shifted away from the centre), and last year when Laura moved to the cold basement she started throwing a sleeping bag on top of it all. 

I know every growing family goes through this, but I find it frustrating.  Somehow, some people just throw a duvet on their bed and it's done, but in our house no one seems to be happy or warm enough with that.  It's much more complicated than it needs to be, but that's the way it is around here.  One day I'll go through all of our fleeces (from birthday gifts and Girl Guides and all the odd sources of throws) and keep only the ones that truly fit on our beds. 

And then maybe I'll make my first scrappy quilt out of cottons in my sewing room.   I look at the quilting blogs, I go to historic sites and finger the stitching and admire them all.  I'm not quite there yet, but I'm getting closer and closer to starting my own.  And it will go on MY bed, even if it matches nothing at all in our room. 

This above quilt I picked up at a thrift shop recently.  I love it's scrappiness.  Although it's far from perfect and the colors are not terribly coordinated, I'm inspired by it.  The border has a few similar blocks to tie it together, but the centre pieces are all different patterns.  I'll never do any version of the crazy quilt section.  It has all sorts of handstitched areas and embroidered bits that I don't have the patience for (never say never, maybe).  It's made by a 70-something volunteer at the shop out of donated new cottons.  At $40, she obviously places little value on her time, but I appreciate all of the careful stitching and I've always loved knotted quilts.  It's probably all I will be able to do when I ever get around to trying. 

There is no point to this post whatsoever.  Just random things I think about while the rest of my family sleeps. 


Patty-Jean from LittleQuiver said...

There is something so heartwarming about quilts! Whether they coordinate or not. We have 2 that my husband's 100 year old grandmother made. One of them has no batting at all, it is just layers and layers of scrap pieces of fabric. It ended up in our possessions as a dog-quilt, because it was so ratty. But I'm putting it aside (so it doesn't get more torn), and I hope to patch it back together here and there - more for the nostalgia, because it would be easier just to make a new one. I hear you about bedding though! So far with our 3 children, we've been blessed with at least one bed quilt for each of them, but in winter we add a layer of felted wool blanket between the sheet and quilt. I'm a sucker for real wool blankets (like hudson's bay) at thrift shops and possibilities!
Thanks for Sharing - Pointless sometimes has more Point!

Unknown said...

My mom makes quilts and is making one for each of my kids (including my stepkids) which is fabulous! They are wonderful and we love them.

My best tip for bedding is *flat sheets only*. I have given up completely on fitted sheets. The corners give out long before there is a problem with the rest of the sheet, and flat sheets (especially one size too big) work wonderfully on all the beds! We have one twin, one double, two queens, and the motorhome (which is kinda double-and-a-bit) to put sheets on, so I buy single flat sheets, or king size flat sheets and they will work on any of the beds. :)

I seem to have acquired a massive quantity of blankets, so we never have a shortage - we store our extras out in the motorhome as that is our 'evacuation vehicle' in case of emergency (and meeting point in case of house fire) and knowing there are blankets out there is wonderful ... plus, they get in the way inside, and if you go camping, you usually need more blankets!

I have found that a down comforter *topped* by a polar fleece or mom-style quilt is much warmer than the comforter alone, the trick is the direction in which you do the layers. Putting the quilt over the down keeps in more warmth. Even adding an extra top sheet makes a bigger difference than you'd expect.

Happy quilting!