I read two articles on the Internet this morning that really set me off…
Pardon me while I step up on my soapbox.
Things you can snuggle under when you are cold are called by several different names.
Afghan: An afghan is normally knitted or crocheted using yarn. The maker uses knitting needles or a crochet hook to create an afghan. There are hundreds of different patterns that can be followed to make the afghan, and just as many different kinds an colors of yarn.
Blanket: A blanket is normally one layer thick, and is usually commercially available in a store to cover beds of varying sizes. It is considered a form of bedding intended to keep the sleeper warm. In recent years, a fabric called “fleece” has been created in umpteen different colors and patterns. Fleece is a very soft, thick, fluffy and warm fabric that makes a great blanket. Oftentimes, two layers of fleece are tied together around the edges to create a warm and unique baby blanket. A blanket may also be woven on a loom using threads, yarn, or strips of cloth.
Comforter and Duvet: Comforters and Duvets are thick, fluffy bedding that serve two uses: as a decoration on a bed, and to keep the sleeper warm. Both consist of three layers: top, bottom and inner batting. The three layers of a comforter are held together with machine stitching spaced far enough apart to hold the layers together, but it is the puffiness that gives it its warmth. A duvet uses a “decorative pillowcase style cover” which will hold the inner unadorned covered batting. The duvet cover may be removed for laundering and is easily put back on the batting after wash. I think of a duvet cover as a “comforter cozy.”
Quilt: A quilt is made by stitching together 3 layers of material: the top layer which is usually created by piecing several different materials together in a design; the bottom (called the backing), and the middle layer which is normally made of a cotton, wool or polyester batting which gives the quilt its warmth. Quilt tops can be pieced or appliquéd or a combination of both methods. They may also be designed in what is called “whole cloth,” in which the design is stitched into plain fabric and no piecing or applique is utilized.
I have noticed many examples of confusion in the media and general public over the categories mentioned above, and it’s time that we set the record straight. A quilt may keep you warm, but it should never be called a blanket. It’s like calling Monet’s work “coloring.” Quilts take hundreds (sometimes thousands) of hours to make. Quilts can be simple and utilitarian, traditional, contemporary or artistic, but however the maker designs or sews the quilt represents a tremendous commitment of time, materials and effort. Calling a quilt a “blanket” is an insult to the maker.
You would never refer to Claude Monet’s painting as “coloring.” The Mona Lisa is more than a “sketch.” A moped is not called a motorcycle (even though it has a motor in it).
Now, I am off to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blanket to have the photo of a “girl wearing a blanket over her head” removed from the page. She doesn’t have a blanket over her head. It’s a pieced star quilt, for goodness sake! By the time you read this, I will hopefully have change it to make it more accurate.