The nine heart squares measure 20" square when put together.
And then I am to knit in the round several more rows of wide garter stitch stripes around that square.
What do you think of the idea of only backing the 20" square with cotton, but leaving the border stripes alone, as there will be no loose strands of yarn on that area?
Thank you Salmonmac for your suggestion to wash the fabric first.
Will do. I am thinking of using flannel. OR I may use cotton and transfer photos of baby's family members to it.