My bed, during these cold winter months, is covered with three family quilts. 

Who am I kidding? The a/c is set low, so come May, I may continue to dress up my mattress with quilts come summer. 

Lest you think I blame Alex for the low nighttime temperatures, nope, that’s mostly on me. Sixty-six in the winter, (sixty-eight in the summer). Whoever invented the programmable thermostat—genius. The heat comes on at 5:00a.m., I roll out of bed at 5:30 and yes, thank you so much, the house is a cozy 70 degrees. It’s still hard to leave that stack of cozy quilts, but I manage.

My bed is layered like the fur on an Arctic Fox. Okay, I’m not that smart—I just learned about the multiple layers on these small (12-15 lb) foxes while researching this blog. Their winter fur increases by 200%, which sounds like my bed this year. 

There were multiple blanket combination attempts that failed, including an autumnal-colored afghan my mother made for me when I left for college. I thought about getting a weighted blanket, read about them, researched, and never could decide. In the end, I did what any practical woman would do: I went to the linen closest and nosed around a bit.

Let’s start with the basics: sheets

Ah, smooth lavender sheets cover the bed and four pillows are encased in deep purple. Yes, four pillows because that’s an even number. Three are put to use, one is flung on the chair in the corner. One goes under my head, one on either side as I flip left and right to wedge a pillow between my knees. If you decide you want purple sheets—start looking now. They were nearly impossible to find a year ago when that great new bed arrived from Levin’s Furniture. Purple, seriously? Who doesn’t love purple?

Next is a sort of green-tinged electric blanket

I’ve been addicted to an electric blanket for about thirty years. Isn’t it nice to climb into a toasty warm bed? Mom always said she married Dad because he put off heat like a furnace. Mom’s theory was flawed in that she tucked herself under a quilt and went to bed before him. Even as he lost body mass to ALS, that man could radiate enough heat to thaw out cold fingers from a foot away. 

The first quilt is a duplicate Jackie and I share

Our grandmother Lillian Griffith made these quilts for us when we were tiny tykes. Long before Joanne came along or she would have had to make three of them.

For years, and I mean long years, I called this a cat quilt, never figuring out why the ears were different sized.

I know, I know, clear as day to you that it’s a little gal with a parasol. Hey, I’m inventive and can stump the best displayer of Rorschach tests.

The top edge of my little girls has required some inventive repairs, but otherwise, the appliqué stay perfect.

I win. I win.

Scoring the next quilt off Mom before either sister (like what would our brother care?) could nab it was a major coup.

I check their cars before they leave after a visit to make sure they haven’t ferreted it away.

Mom and her mom, “Dolly” Houghton, made this octagon patch quilt around when Mom married in 1951.

I’ve had to fix one or two loose stitches. Can you imagine buying something from some national retail store that would still be holding together 70 years later? 

Finally, Another Lillian Appliqué Quilt

Oh gosh, was it a treat when Grandma decided to dole out her quilts to the granddaughters.

She traipsed us up the stairs to their bedroom, opened an old chest and pulled one after another out.

Knowing her, we picked in age order. I’ve treasured this floral quilt, always. Are you asking why it is on my bed and not tucked among the moth balls in a cedar chest?

No way. I don’t have kids to leave belongings to, so why wouldn’t I enjoy and smile over them every day?

This applies to quilts, antique salt dishes, and precious coffee cups.

But Wait, There’s More

The blanket draped across the foot of the bed was made by Jackie. Purple, right? Once in a while I wake up mid-night and think, I’m cold, and pull that puppy up to my shoulders.

I’m not selfish, though. In the winter, my own furnace-imitating husband has a down comforter and one sheet on his bed. And the option of using a two-layer, flannel-lined blanket I made him this fall. But in the summer? One sheet and a pretty yellow floral quilt made by Mom. 

What? Two beds? Don’t Judge. 

When you marry after 50, you have a lifetime of bed-hogging (us), snoring (him), and reading at two a.m. (me). We survived a few years, but honestly, drove each other nuts, so split the rooms. As you can see, our blanket differences alone could cause battles, let alone the mutual thrashing we tend to do. Ouch.

So What’s the Point of This Blog? 

It started wistfully about the history of the quilts on my bed. Of missing Grandma and Mom and siblings and cousins …. Maybe you choose Laura Ashley (a-okay by me if that’s your preference). Or perhaps, you make your bed a haven of history that envelopes people in your family and memories made and shared.

Seems to me a pretty good way to sleep into the dawning of a new year.


Read: Do you enjoy making your bed?