"If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,'' said Adm. William H. McCraven, a Navy SEAL for 36 years.
"It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another,Ē he added. ďAnd by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.Ē
I agree with the admiral 100 percent. But maybe not for the same reasons. I like to make my bed each morning with my cat carefully watching my every move. This brings order to my day. But what I put on my bed also is very important. And itís not a thin, Navy-issue brown/green blanket.
I like to cover my double bed with a cotton quilt, either one that I made or helped make, or one that a friend made, or one that I bought at a church or nonprofit auction. Sometimes I use the same quilt to decorate the top of the bed for weeks, sometimes I change it after a few days.
Additionally, I make it a habit to review Ebay to see what quilts are for sale. I like sturdy quilts, not vintage, and I am not a purist about the designs. In fact, I donít like traditional quilt designs, which I find far too fussy, geometrical and disciplined. I donít care for applique or anything that canít be washed, or can wash off or come loose. The quilts I like need to be thrown in the washing machine and stand up to loving use. Over the course of many washes they become soft and comforting.
One of my recent favorites is a red, white and blue cat quilt. I pieced the top, meaning I designed the top and sewed the pieces together. I also sandwiched it, meaning I put cotton batting under the top and pinned on a fabric back.
The focus of the quilt is two centered panels featuring cartoonish white cats on a red background with blue trim. I added blue and white panels and solid blue panels to make it wider and longer at my husbandís request. Then I gave it to an Allenspark friend who did the actual quilting on her large machine (not a little sewing machine) and hemmed the edges.
I do my sewing on a machine in the guest room and thereís not much room to spread out so itís infinitely easier to have someone else do the quilting design on a professional quilterís frame.
When I made my bed this morning, I pulled out the red, white and blue cat quilt and used it as the bedspread. Tomorrow I may use a multi-colored striped quilt with black trim, which I bought at a church auction in Texas, or a blue flowered quilt with blue trim, which a friend of mine made in California more than 20 years ago.
As I shake out the quilt in mid-air, my orange and white cat makes an acrobatic leap across the bed, eager to be part of the game. He then rolls on his back for a belly-rub as I attempt to smooth out the fabric.
He doesnít really like cotton quilts. His favorite blanket is pure wool and seems to rake his fur as he rolls around on it. He would probably love a moth-eaten old Navy blanket. I believe he finds the cotton fabric too slick. But really, do I care what the catís preferences are? No.
Nonetheless, I feel rich as I fold my quilts away at the bottom of the closet, the edges exposed so I know which is which.
Just making the bed is not enough. It has to be a beautiful bed with colorful cotton quilt on top. Thatís the right way to start off the day.
-- Reach Elisabeth Sherwin at firstname.lastname@example.org
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