A blanket statement about how warm quilts are during cold times

I’ve been cleaning closets and dresser drawers. It is amazing what one accumulates. I’m separating items into four categories: garbage, consignment shop, charities and keep.

I found several things I haven’t seen in quite some time. I was delighted to find my colorful knit doll blanket tucked beneath some tablecloths. My grandmother Edna Whittaker made it for me. I believe she gave it to me on my sixth birthday, shortly before she passed away. I thought about the time it took her to make this precious little blanket. I can remember placing my dolls in a buggy and covering them with the blanket. I saved this doll blanket for decades. It will definitely go in the “keep pile.”

Not unlike most of you, I have several memories that involve blankets and quilts. I asked my hubby if he had a favorite blanket or quilt when he was a kid. His response was, “What is the difference between a blanket and a quilt?”

I explained to him, “A quilt is a combination of different layers often filled with cotton or fiber. A quilt is generally made from many small pieces of fabric sewed together into patterns. Usually quilts are thicker and heavier than blankets. They are primarily used for warmth. A blanket is a large piece of fabric, often soft to the touch.”

My hubby said, “Well, I remember a quilt that my mother made. It had boats on it. My bedroom was upstairs and there were no heat vents in my room. I remember frost on the inside and outside of my window. In winter, my bed was really cold when I got into it, but when I wrapped myself in the quilt, I was actually pretty warm.”

The term “quilt” comes from the Latin “culcita” which means stuffed sack. The word “quilt” actually has two meanings. When used as a noun, it means a three-layer stitched bedcovering. It is also used as a verb, meaning the act of stitching through the three layers to hold them together.

Blankets may also be used to keep one warm outside the bed. Kids often have a favorite “blankie” for comfort. Native Americans sometimes wore wool blankets as coats or robes. In Mexico, colorful blankets called zarape are worn by men like shawls.

I have many wonderful memories involving blankets. I remember when my friends and family surprised me with a baby shower. I recall getting “receiving blankets.” They were soft, made of cotton and just the right size to wrap a newborn in. I remember they were assorted pastel colors. I also received a crotched blanket for the bassinet and a crib blanket.

It seems like yesterday when the nurse brought me my newborn baby wrapped tightly in a receiving blanket. Just my baby’s head was visible.

Mothers and fathers have been wrapping their newborn babies in soft cloths for thousands of years. The second book of the Gospel of Luke tells us the Virgin Mary wrapped baby Jesus in swaddling cloth (swaddling restricted the movement of arms and legs) before laying Him in the manger.

Now babies are kept warm and comfortable in beautiful blankets made of organic materials, which are more natural, or synthetic fibers, which are a bit more affordable.

When I was a child, the only blanket I remember using was a green wool army blanket. I would wrap myself in the blanket and sit by our kerosene stove. The blanket wasn’t very soft, but it was warm.

My hubby and I have two quilts his mother made for us. When I look at all the colorful ties on the quilts, I know they were made with love. We received them many years ago as Christmas gifts, and we treasure them more today than when we received them.

A few years ago, our grandson, Jeff, his lovely wife, Amanda, and our great-grandchildren spent Christmas with us. The kids were excited for the present opening. Instead of being anxious to open the gifts they were about to receive, they jumped around excitedly, waiting for me to open my gift from them.

As I am typing this my eyes are filling with tears as I remember the absolutely “best gift ever” they gave me. It was a handmade blanket they each helped make; a delightful colorful Raggedy Ann and Andy blanket with hand-tied red fringes around it. I have it displayed on a quilt/blanket rack in my Raggedy Ann and Andy filled dining room. It is so precious, I can’t bring myself to use it. Maybe someday it will go back to the Lenzner family and they will remember the “Raggedy Ann” grandma they made very happy one special Christmas.

Question: What was the name of the grocery store located at 318 W. Picnic St. in 1973?

Clothesline Conversation Answer: The grocery store was Jung’s Grocery. It was purchased in 1928 by Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Jung.

Lorna Marquardt is a former Shawano mayor.