Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Airing of the Bedcovers

It's cold and windy here in Minnesota today with peeks of sunshine - a good day to give a good old fashioned 'airing' to some bedcovers I brought back from the cabin 'up north' when we closed it for the winter.
Here are two Hudson Bay blankets draped over the railing of the deck -enjoying the breeze, The red and black one was a wedding gift to my parents from close friends in 1942.
I purchased the white one from a friend having a garage sale and it had also been a wedding gift to her in-laws.

These blankets were made in England and traded in Canada and America during the 18th and 19th century; usually for Beaver pelts and other items. Often called 'point' blankets, the thin indigo lines woven along the edge denoted the size and weight - a convenience in that the blanket did not have to be unfolded and measured during trade. It is a common misconception that the stripes indicated the number of pelts traded. The wool was desirable as it was warm, even when wet, and was easier to sew into garments than animal hides.

Image from the HBC website
Wikipedia image
According to Wikipedia, since the earliest days of the fur trade, these blankets were made into Capotes - hooded coats well suited to cold winters in Canada.
Hudson Bay blankets are still made today. You can read more about the history of the Hudson Bay Company here.

The other quilt that needed airing is a pieced quilt I made from blocks given to me when I served as guild president many years ago. I assembled the blocks and added a scrappy irregular border.

Full view on my photography rack. I call it 'Starry Night'.

This is the block. That's right. All blocks are made in this exact pattern but the placement of the dark and light values makes them look very different. Some look like bonafide stars and others like 'X's. I machine quilted this one in simple lines.

Here it is on the cabin bed. I put the pieced border of rectangles on only three sides.  It fits the queen size bed perfectly!

I so enjoy all of my textiles - quilts, of course, but also blankets, embroidered pillowcases, afghans, vintage aprons, dresser scarves, weavings and more.

Do you have textiles, other than quilts, that you cherish?


  1. Interesting stuff about the blankets.
    I cherish the quilts my Mom made, along with an intricate doily she crocheted and a few afghans she made for me. I also have a shawl my grandma knitted.

  2. You brought childhood memories tome. Growing up in Michigan there were red Hudson-Bay blankets on my brothers beds. I have several table linens that I cherish. Some made by my Mother and some that we worked on together. Thanks for your nostalgic post.

  3. Great blog post Jean. I did not make it to my sister's cabin this summer. Working every Saturday makes it difficult to go "up North". Time will change this I know. I have always admired the Hudson Bay blankets. I do not own any but I do have a wool blanket that is so warm. It is worn from use which you know me that makes it even more of a treasure. I collected lavender handkerchiefs for years and have a small box of them. I have always thought of framing them and decorating my bedroom in those colors for Spring. It may happen in my retirement years. Who knows. Keep blogging. I enjoy each post. Theresa

  4. Thanks for your comments - I love hearing how others cherish textiles of all sorts.


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