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How a Bearloom Inspires My Quilting

By Casey Corey

How a Bearloom Inspires My Quilting

Isn’t it funny how when one of your senses are triggered, it can bring you right back to a specific moment in time. A specific feeling. A specific emotion.

Stuffed Panda Toy and Bouncing Baby

When I was born, my grandfather brought this huge stuffed panda bear for me to the hospital (My enneagram 5 wing cringes at the thought of the impracticality of transporting that bear home). Over 30 years later, I am proud to say that bear still sits tall in my bedroom. And every day, one of my senses trigger a happy, comforting memory of my childhood with him. 

Sometimes I get a big whiff of Big Panda when I bend over to pick up the dirty laundry that’s stacked up next to him on the floor. When I do, I remember sitting next to him with my childhood dog and reading books. I loved sitting up against him to read. He was sturdy and soft- a delicate balance. My miniature dachshund would sleep in my lap as we got lost in the pages. 

Each time I touch Big Panda’s thick arm to move him or give him a little pat, I think about how I’ve brought him every where I’ve lived including my college dorm room. Even though he takes up a surprising amount of space, he has always been an essential. He probably knows me better than I know myself. 

Although I don’t have any actual taste memories of Big Panda, I’m sure I drooled all over that guy as a baby. 

Every time I hear Dylan fall on top of Big Panda, I smile to myself thinking of how I used to run at Big Panda full speed in my carpeted bedroom and launch into him. We’d roll over on top of each other and I’d burst into a fit of giggles. He was such a kind playmate. 

And whenever I see Big Panda, I’m reminded of how he’s provided me comfort throughout the years. It feels like a big bear hug just thinking about it. One day I’ll pass him on to my kids and their grandkids, and he’ll continue the tradition for them. 

big stuffed panda teddy bear with handmade quilt

If one bear who is relatively immobile and just hangs out in my room can provide all of that, can you imagine what a child’s quilt can do? Fort builder, reading side kick, good dream catcher, all around protector- a source of comfort and love. Can you imagine unpacking your child’s quilt after years of being tucked away so they can regift it to their new babies? What a treasure. Both Alice and Dylan have custom versions of the Everything Quilt. I can’t wait to see the memories that smelling their quilts 30 years from now sparks for them. Custom quilts are open for 2021, send an email to casey@caseysheilaquilts.com to get started planning today. 

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