what's mine is yours:
wool for babies and pets
Like a favorite sweater, cozy, heirloom pieces get passed around between grandparents and grandchildren, and even kids and pets. In this case, Raymond, my perfect little cat, tried to steal two quilts made for two friends' babies on the west coast.
My grandmother was a child of the Great Depression. She lived in what was rural Connecticut – where my family still lives – played the accordion in her family's Square Dancing band, and was a quilter, a rug braider, a seamstress, an upholsterer – you name the craft, she could excelled at it. While I didn't try to steal any of her pieces growing up, I have become attached to her hobbies.
Although I peripherally appreciated her skill growing up, I didn't like her crafts. Her color choices skewed earthy (read: browns – probably whatever she got on sale) and as a Limited Too loving, Girls Life and Architectural Digest reading child, I didn't connect with it. As an adult, I'm in awe of my Grammy and quilts have a special place in my heart because of her early influence. I remember asking her when I was young why she gave up sewing, and her answer was, "Because we can buy clothing for cheaper than we can make it now." That might be true of some pieces, but the price also speaks to the quality of the materials used.
I have never opened up one of her quilts. I would assume that she mostly used cotton batting since she mostly did these activities before synthetics took over in the '70s. But you all know my preference is wool! Naturally breathable, hypoallergenic, and refluffable, I believe wool batting provides the best batting for baby quilts and play mats. For any skeptics out there, it can be machine washed! (Just make sure to use the gentle cycle and let it air dry.)
Below are a couple of baby quilts that I made with Raymond's help ;)
Patterns by Riane Elise – a contemporary hand quilter whose work I adore
Wool Batting – from Herd Supply Co. – although we sell wool batting by the pound, I found I only needed one 27x32 inch batt (about five ounces) per quilt.
Quilting Fabric – from my beloved local fabric store Gather Here