Our Warm, Fluffy Feather Quilt

In the “Good Old Days” of my childhood, there are some memories that return quite often. Winter brings back the fun we kids had during the 50’s snowstorms. It was around that time my mother was busy with a group of ladies who shared knowledge in the skills of making feather quilts. We had known about this treasured, cozy bedcover because our grandmother had a feather quilt on her bed. It always dared me, with the foot-high fluff, to jump in the middle and get lost in the cozy, cuddling warmth. Now, mom had watched and helped friends create several quilts and decided to try it on her own. She bought the goose feathers from a farmer, had help removing any hard pieces or missed roots, assembled and stitched the cloth pieces, and carefully filled the huge “bag,” It got sewed up and ready for its outer covering.     

Mom was proud of her accomplishment and announced that as soon as she sewed a strong outer cover for the large “bag” of feathers, my sister and I could have it for our double bed. We were excited yet disappointed that we would have to wait. But we didn’t wait long. That weekend the weather changed into a freezing snowstorm. Our thin blankets were not enough for our comfort, especially when we knew there was a solution to our complaining. We decided to wake up our mother and ask for the warmth of the “almost” finished quilt tucked away in the closet. We pouted and turned on our sad faces. 

After some drama, mom gave in and retrieved the quilt “bag” to silence our complaints. She reminded us to be gentle. We were too busy to listen while we were getting covered with our new, toasty “bag” of feathers. We settled in and warmed up in a hurry. But my sister seemed to have more of the quilt on her side of the bed. I tried to adjust my half-space and pull a little bit more of the covers over to my area. At the same time, my sister was tugging the quilt over to her side of the bed. Then both of us sat up and grabbed two handfuls of the quilt, turned our back to each other and gave a healthy pull on the “bag.” It ripped down the middle. Feathers were everywhere. I felt so guilty and sat down and cried. We did this to ourselves. Might as well take the punishment. We had to call our mom and admit our selfish spectacle..

When mom turned on the lights, we saw the tremendous mess we had made. Not only was this  our fault, but it was the destruction of all of mom’s work too. Her tedious examination of the feathers all morning had resulted in utter chaos a few hours later. We were ashamed of our greed. Mom was angry, but tried not to wake my dad. It took her a few minutes to calm down enough to form a plan. We spent the rest of the night wrapped in blankets on the living room floor and spent some more time the next day filling up the repaired “bag”. My sister and I did what we could to apologize in between our frustration and sobbing. At least we learned a very important lesson. Get along with each other. And….. Don’t fool with feathers.

Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 12:09 AM, 01.02.2019