Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Project Linus - Third Sunday Group - February

Yesterday, Anonymous asked, "What happened in January?" That's a very a good question. Our 3rd Sunday of January meeting is a distant blur. I believe Anita was stitching a 3-D bowtie quilt that will be displayed this Saturday as a sample of our local project for National Make a Blanket Day. I know Jodie was working on some quilt blocks.

In January, I brought several "problem" quilts that had been donated. The stitching was poor and they weren't tied enough to keep the batting from tearing apart in the laundry. Louise and Lucille tackled them and within 2 hours had taken them apart to reclaim the fabric and batting. The sewing machine tension was so unbalanced on some of them, that it was a breeze to pull out the whole seam. I don't remember what I did, but I'm sure it had something to do with blankets that needed some TLC.

Memories of our February meeting last Sunday are clearer, but fading fast. Saturday is National Make a Blanket Day and I'm working hard to get everything ready. I forgot my camera again, but all the finished blankets came home with me, so I have a couple of pictures to share.

Floating Squares Quilt

Above, displayed on my design wall at home, is the quilt that Jodie worked on during our January and February meetings. She finished it last Sunday. The finished blocks are 6 inches square. Cut 2½" squares for the centers and cut 2½" wide strips to frame them with.

I brought a 30 gallon bag of fleece blankets to inspect and get ready to label. I spent several hours last week working on 22 fleece blankets that had been donated. Five of those still needed work and I just couldn't face going through the bag I picked up Thursday by myself. Louise and Lucille helped with the new bag and I brought 22 of them home ready to sew our Project Linus label on.

Ruth has moved back from Columbia, MO and dropped by so Louise could show her how to make the 3-D bowtie block. She stuck around and tied the fringe I'd recut on a couple of fleece blankets.

fleece blankets

These all all the fleece blankets we worked on Sunday afternoon. There are 22 from the bag I picked up Thursday and 3 from the previous group. When we finished working Sunday, I almost did a happy dance, but was too busy packing things up and loading my car. I was one happy Project Linus coordinator.

The fleece blankets are a nice project for groups that want to help Project Linus, but have no sewing, knitting or crocheting skills. Unfortunately, frequently, they have no one to guide them to make good blankets that are ready to label and deliver.

  • They don't know what a selvage is or that it needs to be cut off.
  • They cut off the selvage edge that doesn't match the color of the fleece, but leave the one that blends with the color of the fleece.
  • Fringe is cut in random widths, sometimes with a 1" wide fringe right next to a 1.75" fringe.
  • Fringe is cut at a slant, instead of perpendicular to the edge.
  • The sides of the fringe are curved or jagged instead of straight.
  • Knots are tied so tight the result is more like a parachute than a blanket.

So we trim selvage off the ends of fringe, pull knots away from the center of the blanket and usually make a blanket that lays flat. Occasionally, the fringe is so bad, we cut it off and cut new fringe. There are times, I'd be happy to never see another fleece blanket. Someone needs to write Making Fleece Blankets for Dummies.

The hospitals tell me the children love getting the fleece blankets. About a month and a half ago, we got 15 great fleece blankets from a group of 5th graders. I adjusted a very few knots and other than that, they were good to go. That was a joyous occasion.

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