We have had a king-sized bed for more than twenty years. I had to teach myself to fold those huge sheets alone because there was rarely anyone capable of helping with this chore. I will try to explain how I do this.
When the sheets come out of the dryer, the pillow cases are easy enough to fold, of course.
The flat sheet is a bit trickier, but still quite possible. I find the top edge of the sheet. You know, the one with the extra thick fabric about four inches wide, sewn down. That is the top edge of the sheet. I find one corner of the top edge, then run my hand down the side to find the corner of the bottom edge on the same side. I then bring the bottom corner up to its matching top corner then keep those two corners tightly grasped in one hand while following the top edge along to the other corner. Once I find the other top corner, I repeat the search down the side for the other bottom corner. Once I find the other bottom corner, I match it to the top corner. Now the hard part is done. You have the king-sized sheet folded in half, bottom to top. Once you have this done, fold the two sets of corners together with the top edge out. From there it doesn’t really matter how you fold it and it is now a quite manageable size. I try to end up with a folded bundle about the size of a sheet of printer paper.
The fitted sheet is the hardest one to fold. It might be easier to practice this method using a twin sized sheet. Once you have it mastered the same method can be applied to any sized sheet. It is similar in theory to folding the flat sheet, but you put the corners over your hand like a mitten. One corner tucks into the other until you end up with a square about three foot in each direction with the four corners all tucked inside each other. Again, what you do from here is up to you but you want to end up with a folded bundle of a size similar to what you got when you folded the flat sheet.
Place the flat sheet on the tale first, then stack the fitted sheet on top of that and put the pillow cases on the very top. Now your sheet set is ready to go into the linen closet. This might be a good time to mention that when folding sheets it is very important to fold with the side you want facing up when you make the bed on the inside. This likely doesn’t matter unless you want to have troublemaking the bed with these clean and nicely folded sheets.
Now the benefit of folding the sheets as instructed with the right sides in for the fitted sheet and the side you want up in on the flat sheet, is that it make making the bed alone much easier. When you are ready to make the bed and have stripped off the dirty sheets, stuff all the dirty sheets into one of the dirty pillow cases. This keeps the entire sheet set together through the laundry process. Now that the bed is ready for the clean sheets, unfold the fitted sheet until you have the four corners tucked into each other and put that quarter sheet down on one corner of the bed. I usually put it at the head of the bed on the left side, but the process works whichever you corner you choose to make first. Unfold the sheet so that top half of the bed is covered with the half sheet. Now carefully unfold the rest of the sheet to cover the bottom of the bed. Walk from one corner to the next out your hand into the corner pocket then lay it at the very corner of the mattress and press firmly while the other hand slides the pocket off the hand that was holding it and wraps it neatly over the corner of the mattress. Repeat with all four corners. The flat sheet is done basically the same way, but when you get the sheet unfolded to the one quarter size, make sure the top edge of the flat sheet is in the proper corner of the bed where you want the sheet to be after the bed is made. Make sure the fold lines up with the center of the bed. I usually put it about six inches down from the top edge of the mattress, but if you like plenty of sheet to tuck up around your ears while sleeping go ahead and line it up with the top edge if the sheet is still long enough to tuck under the mattress at the foot of the bed. Unfold the first fold across the bed, smooth it out and walk from side to side to check that there is the same amount of over hang on each side. Once that adjustment is made, you are ready to unfold the final fold and smooth the flat sheet over the rest of the bed. Now if you plan to tuck the foot of the blanket in, go ahead and put it on now using the same method as we did for the flat sheet. If you don’t plan to tuck in a blanket, go ahead and tuck the foot of the sheet in under the mattress then add the blanket and you are done making the bed.
I usually put the folded set of sheets into one of the pillowcases and fold the pillowcase around it before putting the sheet set away in the linen closet. This is my way of keeping all the pieces of any given sheet set together without having to worry about digging through or having any of the parts come unfolded. This may not be anyone’s idea of the perfect way to fold sheets, but it is my way and it works for me. (1,019 words)
Lu Ann Barrington is in her mid to late fifties. Lu Ann was a recent widow after being married for 36 years and when she got the money from her husband’s life insurance, she decided to use it to open her own business so she could be surrounded by people who enjoyed the same things she did and earn a modest living while doing it. She opened her store only after she had paid off her house and car and put money in her retirement account. She was nervous about spending the money to start the store but felt she had done what she could to ensure her financial future by cutting her expenses and paying off her debts. She didn’t know if she could make it work, but she hoped she could if she started small. She was confident she could teach others to quilt, knit and crochet, she just wasn’t sure she could make a living doing it.
Stitches in Time is her brain child. She always loved to sew and do all sorts of crafts, but never seemed to know what to do with herself. She never went to college, never really wanted to even. She married her high school sweetheart and settled into married life trying to be the perfect home-maker. She never really worked outside the home, at least not for pay. She had done a lot of volunteering and being on various committees at the church and helped to organize the occasional bake sale, rummage sale or other fund raising event. She wasn’t without experience, after all, being a wife and mother for so many years had given her wisdom and experience a plenty. Her resume was a little thin, so being her own boss seemed the perfect solution.
Lu Ann wanted to help others develop the love of all things stitched like she had. She wanted a place where they could learn to knit, crochet, do cross-stitch or quilting, or even make their own clothes. She would offer classes for those who didn’t know how or those who wanted to learn more. She would offer the supplies needed to do all the projects that they could think up and give a ten percent discount to those who were buying supplies for the classes she offered. She was best at quilting, so she began by offering basic quilting classes and decided to wait and see what else her customers were interested in learning. She would meet lots of new people and thus would ease her new found loneliness.
She bought a large Victorian house near the business district of the small town, she made the upper level into her living quarters and the lower level was renovated into a store front. The living room now housed the quilting fabrics with the walls lined with notions of every kind. The dining room table was where they hosted quilting classes. There were lots of extra outlets installed and smaller tables around the edges of the walls so the customers could set up their sewing machines and work during classes. The kitchen was condensed to a much smaller version of its original size to use as a break room and the space saved from reducing the size of the kitchen made a great storage room. The rooms in the rest of the main floor had been combined to house the yarn arts area. The walls were lined with cubes to hold the various yarns, and there was a comfy seating area with a sofa and a few overstuffed chairs that customers could hang out and knit or crochet in or for seating during classes.
By living above her shop, she saved time not having to commute to work. She also saved money by being able to sell her house she had shared with her husband and the kids when they were growing up. She had loved the old house but was glad to be away from all the old memories now that she lived alone.
Lu Ann has a very strong faith and hopes having her shop will give her the chances to gently lead others to a relationship with the Lord too. She helps with various groups and tasks as needed at the church she has been a member of for many years. (717 words)
When we were kids we worked. I got a paper route delivering the Indianapolis News six days a week from the time I was eleven until I had two years in when I was thirteen. Mom made us keep the News route for two years so we would qualify to get the scholarships the newspaper offered. Supposedly if you carried the morning paper, The Indianapolis Star, you had to have had your route for two years or more and still have it at the time you graduated from high school. If you carried the afternoon paper, you just had to have had a route for two years to qualify. So we were bullied into keeping our routes until our two years had passed. My brother and I each had half of a sort of rough apartment complex called the Country Club Apartments located near Troy Avenue and Brill Road on the near south side of the city. We had a lot of trouble with people moving out without paying their bills. We always had pocket money and got pretty good at saving a portion of our income, even going so far as to open savings accounts at Indiana National Bank where there was a nearby branch at US 31 and National. If I recall correctly, at one point these savings accounts were paying eight percent interest, unheard of these days.
When mom would go grocery shopping, an almost nightly occurrence, we would often beg to tag along. Mom would be in the checkout line and invariably come up a few dollars short of the amount on the register. She would look down at us, at least I know she did it to me, and say, “Can you float me a loan?” We would gladly hand over the few dollars needed if we had it, proud that we could help out. This happened often, and eventually I learned not to carry much cash with me or not to go along at all, or I would suddenly not have any pocket money to spend at my discretion. Mom was pretty cool about it. She kept track of how much she had borrowed from us on a piece of paper she kept in her cigarette case. I did, eventually, get “paid back” in the spring of 1984, when I wanted to buy my first car, a 1974 Dodge Colt Wagon that was a dull chartreuse green. It was $795 dollars and I had part of that amount saved, but mom and dad came up with the amount they owed me from all the floated loans over the years to pay the rest of the money toward the car. Looking back, I’m not sure if floating these loans wasn’t some devious trick to get us to save our money unknowingly. We ought the car and got it home then took it to the mechanic for the once over. It turned out that what looked like just a lot of rust on the rounded insides of the body under the hood was actually rust on the frame of the car and required some pretty serious welding on of additional metal to make the car drivable. Dad was a barber, and not exactly mechanically inclined. I was a senior in high school before I got the Colt and then it took quite a while to get it fixed up and drivable. I had gotten my learner’s permit when I was fifteen and taken driver’s education which I had to pay for myself to the tune of over three hundred dollars. I got my license as soon as I was eligible after turning sixteen. Then mom and dad informed me that they could not afford to pay for auto insurance on both me and my older sister and since she had more driving experience they were giving it to her, so from the time I got my license at barely sixteen until late in my senior year two years later, I was not allowed to drive at all. I was upset, but what could I do? They couldn’t afford it, so I couldn’t drive. It never occurred to me to ask if I could pay the cost myself or even how much it would be. They never offered that option either. It wasn’t like my sister had a car to drive, she could drive mom’s nine passenger station wagon when mom wasn’t using it and that was it. The benefit to my parents, especially mom, was that my sister could drive to the store to grab a few items or pick one of us younger siblings up from an after-school event if need be and mom could get on with making dinner for the family. My sister was likely honored to be entrusted with this added responsibility and mom was likely thrilled at the freedom another driver afforded her. Then I got the car and was about to begin working the summer between high school and college and suddenly me having insurance was a necessity that could no longer be avoided. I had a car and was able to drive myself back and forth to work, pump and pay for my own gas and be responsible for my own car repairs. I loved that little wagon! It represented adulthood, freedom and responsibility to me. We probably never should have bought it. Although the body looked fairly decent and the interior was in good shape, with the rust on the frame members, it most likely belonged in a junk yard. It served me well for a couple of years before the engine gave out and it simply wasn’t worth putting that kind of money into it, so it did end up in the junk yard after all. One never forgets their first car. (965 words)