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Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Flannel Blankets

Editor's Note - From an earlier blog by Peg's daughter who just had her first baby this month.


The Initial Impressions two-sided flannel blanket is my favorite baby gift to celebrate the arrival of my friends’ babies for both intrinsic and sentimental reasons. Intrinsically, they’re just well-made custom baby blankets out of 100% cotton high-quality flannel which is then personalized for the new baby. Nothing could be simpler. Sentimentally it’s more complex.

When I was younger my mother would let me play in her hope chest. She had tucked away all her pretty things there, including many of the things she was holding onto as mementos of us children. In there she has a worn-out yellow and pink flannel baby blanket or receiving blanket, which she explained to me was hand-made for my arrival by my godmother Paula. Mom showed me the stitches in the hem which demonstrated that this blanket really was sewn with love by someone who was thinking about me as she made it. Mom gets a little teary-eyed when she thinks about things like this, so I know that it’s really special.

My mother hand-makes each of these two-sided baby blankets out of natural 100% cotton flannel. In so doing she’s created both an object that will last (my blanket’s over 31 years old now!) but also something even more timeless. I would wager that ever since brushed cotton flannel was invented, women have been using it to keep their babies warm and snuggly. I recognize that tiny pink rosebud print because I had a nightgown made of that, and most of my girlfriends did too. I appreciate high-tech fabrics as much as the next athlete, but for a new baby I want to go back to basics.

There’s something outside of time when life perpetuates and my friends have babies. I appreciate the timelessness of a hand-made old-fashioned gift. For a practical yet sentimental memento that will last, I always turn to my mother’s two-sided flannel blankets and heartily recommend them to anyone.

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