Most quilters I think want to donate quilts to charity. There are so many sick children, veterans, and other people in the world who could use a little extra love.
I too wanted to donate, but I hit a snag. Most organizations, particularly those servicing children with illnesses, can not accept quilts that have any pet hair on them. Even Quilts of Valor has “must be free of pet hair” on their list of requirements.
I have pets, so everything I own is covered in dog and cat hair. Washing the quilt does not remove the hair. There’s actually a permanent layer of dog and cat hair in my washer and dryer. If you brought in a hair-free item in a sealed bag and ran it through my laundry, it wouldn’t be pet-hair-free when you left with it. (Provided you took it out of the bag…)
As someone with other allergies / asthma, I totally get it and respect it.
But it left me feeling really bummed out that I couldn’t donate. (It also made me sad to realize that seven quilts I had previously donated to a hospital before I knew the No Hair rule were most likely trashed. That probably explains why I never got any kind of “thank you for your donation” letter.)
It occurred to me that there was probably one group that wouldn’t mind a little dog and cat hair: other dogs and cats!
A quick search led me to Comfort for Critters, an organization that accepts any type of washable handmade blankets and provides them to shelter animals. The blanket belongs to the animal for life and when they are adopted, the blanket goes with them to their new home to help with transition anxieties.
Perfect! I’ve volunteered at an animal shelter before and know how stressful it can be for the animals getting moved about between cages. It’s nice to have something familiar to move with them. Plus, little quilts go together rather quickly and are an excellent way to use scraps and orphan blocks.
Here are my first two. #1 was made from an orphan block and scrap borders. I even had enough leftover binding from another project for it! It is approximately 20 square.
#2 was made from a little bundle of coordinating end-of-bolt remnants I picked up for a song at the local quilt shop. It finished at approximately 21.5 square.
I’m going to put together another 4 before I send these off. Batches of 6 feels right. I’m excited I finally found a charity I can sew for.