The Anti-Nightmare Blanket and Other Tales

Once upon a time a little boy was 3 years old when his grandfather died.  He didn’t understand much at the time, but he knew something sad had occurred.  Not much later, a friend of his family’s passed away.  By that time the little boy was 4 years old and was just beginning to understand the enormity of the loss.  He thought about it and thought about it, and one night he woke up crying.  “Mommy, mommy, I had a nightmare.  It was so scary.”  He told her he dreamt about people dying and about things chasing him. And the mom listened.

Even though she was not sure what to do,  she spent a long time talking with her little boy.  Then, together, they went to a big chain store and bought a cheesy, gaudy  fleece blanket kit, which the little boy picked out.  He sat on her lap while she sewed it together, and they continued to talk about life and death and cookies and puppies and Christmas and games and grandparents and birds in the backyard.  All the while, he watched her sew the blanket stitch by stitch. Then, together, they signed it using thread.

When night came, she tucked the little boy into bed and surrounded him with the blanket. “This is your anti-nightmare blanket. When you sleep under this blanket, you will not have any nightmares, only sweet dreams.”  And from that day forward, he did not have another nightmare. Well, at least no more than you or I ever have.

The End.









Once upon a time an elderly woman walked into a sewing store.  She looked around a bit, and started a conversation with the salesperson. “Sewing saved my life, you know,” she began.  “When I was young I was home alone very often with 4 young children.  I thought I would go crazy, I really did.  Instead, I sewed.  It saved my sanity. It saved my life.  It gave me a reason to carry on.”  The sales person listened.

“I’m 80 years old now.  My children are all grown with lives of their own.  And sewing is still giving me meaning.  When you’re 80 years old, you wonder if there’s anything you can do, when your abilities are limited.  But there is something I can do.  I can sew.  I can sew quilts for kids in the cancer wards.  I can sew for homeless shelters and for maternity wards.  I can sew.”  She smiled.

The End.


Once upon another time another woman walked into  a sewing store.  After shopping for a bit she began to speak to the sales person.  “I thought last year was rough, what with my surgery and all.  But it didn’t compare to this year. ”  And the sales person listened.

“Three weeks ago, I buried my 40 year old daughter.  She died of breast cancer, and it was a long struggle.  She left behind a husband and 3 children.”

The sales person, heart breaking, wished she had an anti-nightmare blanket for the woman.

We all need one sooner or later.

If your sewing needs meaning, here’s a place to start

Who will make the anti-nightmare blankets if we don’t make them for one another?

The End.


Finally.  It’s done.








I wish I were able to follow a pattern without making modifications and adjustments and tweaking in different ways.  It might all be easier.  Then again, it might not be so much fun.  On this pattern, I doubled the amount of ruffles (because once I started with the ruffler, basically, I couldn’t stop).  The bag has nine yards of pieced and bias-cut ruffles ON EACH SIDE.

Of course, it made the pattern bulkier, but very touchable. Really. Whenever I walk past the bag, I just want to run my hands over all those delicious ruffles.  And sometimes I want to hug it.  (Possibly because it’s stuffed with a pillow).  I worried it would be too heavy, but turns out it’s just fine.

If you want to see it in person, stop by Sew Generously in St. Charles – any time after Tuesday Oct 9.

You may want to hug it too.  Or make one of your own.  The bag is modified from a pattern created by Kay Whitt in her book Sew Serendipity Bags.

I see a pillow in my future.