Thursday, January 3, 2019

Guest Writer: Reasons to Stockpile Blankets

When Rosanne Franchini shared her writings with me I knew it needed to be shared, Rosanne gave me permission so here you go...
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For practical purposes, there is no need to buy anything expensive, not when there are always older, maybe even oddly colored, blankets at thrift stores and yard sales. Those cheap blankets can serve many purposes and can easily be tucked into corners until needed. Though keeping your eyes open for sales and clearances is also very good. (Remember to use those coupons when possible also).

You should keep a small stockpile of several blankets on hand, for the following reasons:

1.   Let’s start with the obvious. Blankets keep us warm. In an emergency situation, sitting underneath and on top of blankets when there’s no or little heat can quite literally keep us alive. Having more than enough on hand means we can care for extra people as well: the elderly neighbor, extended family and friends who come to visit or un-expectantly show up.

2.   To sleep warmer put a blanket under you fitted bottom sheet also while under the bottom sheet on a bed they act as a mattress protector.

3.   Old, but clean, blankets can be used if you come across a car accident. It will help the victims keep warm, just don`t move them, put the blanket on top. Then when the ambulance finally comes, the EMS folks can just keep the patient covered up, and you won`t be out a favorite one. Remember that when shock occurs, one gets the shivers and chills.

4.   Use an old blanket, comforter, etc… to make a ‘haybox’ cooker, heat up your stew or similar in pot on stove for 10 mins then remove from heat and wrap in blankets – it will continue to cook without using power.

5.    Receiving blankets also can make a “flat” cloth diaper in a pinch.

6.    You can also use some cheap blankets that shrunk into little square to be used as cloth wipes.

7.    Use them as draft dodgers (roll up a small blanket and stuff along the bottom edge of a window or door to block drafts). I have also used old towels for this purpose.

8.    If someone is exposed to a bad chemical, they will need to be stripped, washed and covered with blankets. The clothes are disposed.

9.   If someone leaves a burning house at night they will need a blanket. I have needed to do this very thing when I lived in the city. My neighbor’s house was on fire. My son and I ran out with a heavy blanket for our elderly neighbor before the rescue squad made it.

10. Do you have a garden? A late spring or early fall frost can destroy our plants quickly.  Keep extra blankets in the garden shed or garage for frost protection. When the weather forecast looks ominous, toss the blankets over sensitive plants to protect them from the damaging effects of a light frost. You can also use old tablecloths or sheets.

11. Add a pocket to one edge of a quilt and hang it from a tension rod in windows, to add an extra layer of warmth during frigid cold spells. This helps keep the cold out from drafty windows or even just large windows that get cold from sheer size. These window quilts can help keep cold out and heat in.

12. Use them as makeshift beds. A few blankets piled on a floor add padding and a slightly more comfortable sleeping space than the hard floor. It’s not as comfortable as a bed, but for extra guests in an emergency situation, it would be appreciated.

13.  Pets and livestock occasionally need bedding beyond just wood chips or straw, and your spare blankets can be a just as much a lifesaver for them as they are for humans. Keep a pile in the outbuildings specifically for animal bedding. At worst, they get destroyed and can’t be used again, but most likely they can be washed and re-used multiple times.

14. Receiving blankets and other thin cotton and wool blankets can make great scrap fabric. Hold onto these to repair thicker quilts that get torn or for piecing together larger quilts and throws. Depending on your sewing skill level, they can often be fashioned into coats, pants, pajamas, and more.

15. Large heavy comforters are great for the beach or park. They provide some cushioning and stays put better than sheets.

16. Buy the rather cheap seasonal fleece throws at Walmart, Target, Etc… right after seasonal holidays. They usually sell them for 2 for $5 or $6 and then half price right after the holidays. I know they have them for Halloween and Christmas, and you can stock up. Use them for the pets and for plenty of other purposes. They are very easy to wash and dry really quick as well.
Another good time to buy is right before school starts in the fall. Walmart and Amazon often have Back to College sales and offers on linens.

17. When your car has little heat in a cold winter, use old receiving blankets (and a hot water bottle) over your lap. They are small enough that they didn’t interfere with your feet.

18. Use them for winter bedding for the barn cats.

19. Use old blankets as batting for quilts.

20.  Another use (one that is very hard on the blankets) is if your vehicle is stuck and cannot gain any traction in sand, mud, or snow… lay folded blankets down in front of the tires. The tires can catch the blanket, helping it displace a little bit of the load, and sometimes it is the tiny extra bit of traction needed to get you free.

21. Use as slings, as medical supports. Great for immobilization in a pinch.

22. Blankets between stored items such as furniture keep it from being scratched up. Also helpful when moving.

23. Something to place under anyone needing to crawl under a car. Also seat covers to keep upholstery clean.

24. Blankets sewn into sleeping bag shape. Then place a regular sleeping bag inside for extra warmth. They won’t fall off of a slippery sleeping bag.

25. Place a hole in the middle of an old blanket and you have a camping poncho, great for sitting around the fire.

26.You can use them like the curtains to divide a room. Especially if you have someone who’s a light sleeper, light sensitive or just for privacy.

27. Let the kids make tents.

28.  You can also store them under your mattresses. They literally take up no room that way.

To keep your stockpiled blankets in the best possible shape, store them in space bags, plastic garbage sacks, or even plastic tubs to keep them from getting dirty between uses and to protect them from pests like insects or mice, especially when being kept outside. I’ve added small pieces of cedar planking to ward off insects, lavender and bay leaves. I have also tossed a fabric softener sheet into a tote, no bugs.

You can also use a zippered Pillow Protectors for keeping folded quilts and blankets in. They can still breath, but by zippering shut, you don’t have to worry about any Moths, Spiders or other vermin getting inside. Also, by staying zipped, your blankets will stay cleaner longer.
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Isn't this some handy information??? Thanks Rosanne!


She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

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  1. So many great uses for blankets thanks Rosanne! I would love to try the hay box cooker method sometime.

  2. Dear Rosanne and Patsi,
    Thank you for this helpful list! It's a good reminder to keep those old blankets around just in case...they still have plenty of uses!
    Love, Kelsey

  3. Great ideas but remember fleeces are plastic and shead microlastics when washed, also store your summer duvet on top of your matress in winter for extra warmth

  4. Thanks for all the good ideas!

  5. I've used towels or blankets to wrap around hot food I am taking to a pot luck. It keeps the food warm and makes it easier to carry the hot containers!

  6. Is this from Rosanne's blog? Could you give a link to the source? Thanks!

  7. Thank you Patsy for showing this post and Roseanne for taking the time to write it it has great information in it :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).


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