Downhome Magazine

Quilt For My Bed

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When we were young, my brothers and sisters and I, winters were long. The weather was really cold and there was always lots of snow on the ground. We did not have central heating in our house, only a wood and coal stove in the kitchen. Most houses around were the same.

My mother would make quilts from pieces of material salvaged from old curtains, dresses, or worn out bed sheets and flour sacks. Sometimes she would dye the white flour sacks a different colour - blue and green were he favourite colours. She had a quilting frame which she would set up in our back kitchen.

There were four bedrooms in our house. The two girls slept in a double bed together. Likewise mom and dad - when dad was home. My oldest brother had a room of his own. Me and my other two brothers shared a room but we each had our own bed. That meant six beds, three of them doubles, to make quilts for. You didn't have to make all six the same winter, but there were always two or three that needed replacing. You must remember the quilts were made from things that had already seen a lot of wear.

I remember one of the quilts on my bed when I was small had a picture of Robin Hood on it. He was dressed in a green outfit with a funny green cap on his head with a feather in it. He had a bow an arrow in his hand, the string of the bow was drawn back as if he was about to shoot the arrow. The picture was printed into the sack.

The quilts were heavy, designed to keep the body heat in the bed. You might have more than one on your bed during the really cold nights. There were many in those days. When it was time to wake up in the morning it took a mighty effort to throw those quilts aside so you could get out of bed.

Cyril Griffin
New Perlican, NL

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