Call it my Best Kept Secret. Or my Unsung Hero. The quillow I received for Christmas from my father about four or five years ago has turned out to be my favourite gift of all time.
The really fun thing about a quillow isn’t even how functional and diverse an invention it is. What’s fun is that no one KNOWS they even EXIST! Let me explain. A quillow is like a small quilt, really only big enough for one person. And at one end, it has a pocket that is about a foot squared. When you want to conserve space, say in a suitcase or in an overnight bag or in the car, you can neatly fold up the quillow into this tiny pocket and voila! You have a pillow. It’s what you get when a quilt and a pillow get a little too friendly.
My quillow is great for watching tv, that goes without saying. But it is also wonderful for taking on plane trips and car trips. You can snuggle up and be warm if you get sleepy; you can cover your legs if someone in charge of the thermostat cranks the air conditioning; you can even avoid that seemingly unavoidable I-just-fell-asleep-in-the-car-and-now-I-can’t-move-my-neck syndrome. You simply tuck up that quillow into its pocket and there you go. But really, the best use for the quillow is one that I don’t think even the engineers of the quillow foresaw (though I do not mean to diminish in any way their genius – or genii if there were several of them). You see, when in a car or on a Greyhound or even in a lawn chair in the back yard during a cool autumn evening, the worst thing about a blanket is how your feet are always sticking out somewhere and your toes get chilly. I simply orient the quillow so the pocket is at the bottom, and I can sneak my feet into it. It’s a perfect foot pocket! However, now I can’t sleep with the foot pocket near my face, because in my mind it has become just that – a foot pocket.
A pillow. A quilt. A foot pocket. And a beautiful bluejay on the front. I don’t think my dad had any idea how much he changed my life that day.