Sunday, July 16, 2006

Blanket CPR: Is There a Surgeon in the House?

Our Project Linus blanketeers have a variety of skills and a variety of skill levels. Sometimes we receive a blanket that needs a little tender loving care before going to a child. Recently the Kansas City chapter received a bag of blankets that needed CPR.

quick quiltAll of these blankets were made from the quick quilt pattern created by one of our KC volunteers. It is a simple top with only 7 pieces of fabric to sew together. This pattern was used for all of the blankets that needed CPR. The pattern is available on the patterns page on our KC chapter website. The finished size is about 31" by 43".

The twins who run our 3rd Sunday blanket making group brought 11 of these blankets to our meeting at JoAnns this afternoon. All 5 of us dove in to perform CPR. Some blankets needed more CPR than others. There were seams with holes in them and other problems. None of the blankets had any quilting to hold the layers together. The multi-step zig-zag was a popular quilting stitch this afternoon as it holds the layers together and reinforces weak seams.

We found that cutting lines had been marked on the fabric and the pieces cut with scissors with varying accuracy. We guessed that these blankets were a service project for a youth group that had little skilled adult supervision. Christy, who works as an EMT, ripped one blanket completely apart and restitched everything. The machine used the first time had tension problems and the seams had lots of loops in the thread. One blanket was backed with red felt that was attached with long stitches. It was easy to remove.

Fortuitously, a nice fabric donation was delivered to us while we were doing our CPR work. Some of the backs on the CPR blankets were not large enough and the red felt was deemed inappropriate for a blanket. Some of the fabric donation was used to back 2 of the blankets. And the purple back that was too small for the blanket that Christy did open heart surgery on was the right size for a red/lime green/orange/pink blanket.

quick quilt

The results of our days work:

  • 9 blankets were revived and are ready to go to a child
  • 1 blanket is still in intensive care. Our EMT is going to rip it out while she sits in the ambulance between calls
  • we pulled the plug on 1 blanket and it will be an organ donor

Fixing blankets with problems is not fun. Especially when it is a stranger's work you're fixing. We did have fun describing what we were doing. The photo shows 3 of the blankets that we revived. We even had time to sew on a couple of brand new blankets.

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