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Project Linus, Community Quilters Provide Handmade Blankets to Kids in Need

Project Linus blanketeers sewing blankets

(ROCKWALL, TX — October 29, 2018) A local chapter of national nonprofit Project Linus is offering the community a chance to make a difference in a child’s life through the art of quilting.

Since 2007, Project Linus and a group of local quilters known as Community Quilters have teamed up to provide 500 handmade blankets a month to severely ill and hospitalized children in Collin, Grayson and Rockwall counties. Project Linus volunteers, known as “blanketeers,” distribute their handmade blankets to local hospitals each month, including Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall and Baylor Scott & White Medical Center.

“Our blankets are a source of security for many of the recipients,” said Regina Forthman, coordinator of the Collin/Grayson/Rockwall chapter of Project Linus.“It is such a good feeling knowing that you make a difference in a child’s life at a time when they are most vulnerable. I’m sure some blankets are never used after that one day at the hospital, but some become a constant companion of a child.”

Want to help a child in need in your area? Here are some ways to get involved with Project Linus and Community Quilters!

Become a Project Linus “Blanketeer”

Project Linus blanketeer cutting fabric

If you can sew, quilt, knit or crochet, then you can help a child in need! Project Linus accepts any new, washable, handmade blankets sizes small (36” x 36” or “36 x 45”), medium (45” x 60”) or large (54” x 63”). The blankets must be made with 100 percent cotton fabric (if sewing) or acrylic yarn with no wool (if knitting or crocheting). Feel free to get creative using kid-friendly patterns, designs and colors.

For those who don’t know how to sew or crochet but would still like to donate a blanket, there’s an easy alternative: no-sew tied fleece blankets. With these types of blankets, make sure to cut off the selvages and cut a five-inch square out of each corner of the fleece so that the blanket lays flat. For additional pointers to making these blankets, contact Chapter Coordinator Regina Forthman at 972-998-3378 or forthmar@msn.com.

Finally, make sure the handmade blanket does not contain any pins or buttons that a child might swallow. Since the blankets go to critically-ill children, they must also be smoke-free and have no pet hair or dander on them. Blanketeers who smoke or have pets should wash their blankets with non-scented laundry products before dropping them off.

Other Items and Ways to Donate

In addition to handmade blankets, Project Linus also accepts many other items to help make blankets for the children they serve. These include:

  • 100% cotton fabric in kid friendly designs and colors
  • Quilt batting (cotton preferred)
  • Sewing thread
  • Fleece fabric (1 ¼ yard or larger)
  • Acrylic yarn
  • Ziploc brand XXL blue bags
  • Clear or transparent color 30 gallon recycling bags (unscented)
  • 2 1/2 gallon plastic bags (zipper closure preferred)
  • Quart size plastic bags
  • Sandwich size plastic bags
  • Labels (size 1/2″ x 1-3/4″– i.e. Avery 5167)
  • Blue painters tape

Drop off any of the above materials at Project Linus drop off locations. Project Linus also offers pick-up service for those wishing to donate a large amount of materials. You can also order materials for donation through the chapter’s Amazon Wish List for even more convenience. Just visit the following link to easily view the items: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/giftlist/3M08TLWCVPJ3X/ref=topnav_lists_3

Along with the above items, the Collin / Grayson / Rockwall chapter also accepts monetary donations through the National Project Linus website, www.projectlinus.org/donations.

Where to Drop Off a Blanket

The Collin, Grayson and Rockwall chapter of Project Linus offers several places for folks to drop off blankets for children in need. Rockwall businesses JOANN Fabric and Craft (1049 E I-30) and Texas Quiltworks (212 E Rusk St.) both accept donated blankets for the cause during business hours. Simply place the blanket in a bag and label it “Project Linus” before dropping it off. For a complete list of blanket drop off locations visit www.plcollin.org.

Make Blankets with Community Quilters

Project Linus table of handmade blankets

Every Wednesday, Project Linus and Community Quilters invites all to a day full of fun blanket making and fellowship. Community Quilters meets at the old gym owned by Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church in Nevada (202 E. FM 6) between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Bring a lunch and enjoy a wonderful time crafting cuddly blankets for children in need! Blanket Making Days also offer a great learning environment for those new to quilting or sewing to perfect their skills. No need to worry about bringing supplies; Cutting tables and sewing machines are all set up and ready for use.

The group also holds meetings in Nevada on the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Forthman, who founded Community Quilters, said the group has given a newfound purpose to many of its members.

“It gives some of our blanketeers a reason to get up in the mornings,” she said. “We have ladies that had lost a spouse or a child and no longer had a purpose in life. We are a close knit group and support one another.”

For more information about Community Quilters and Project Linus, contact Forthman at 972-998-3378 or forthmar@msn.com.

By Austin Wells. Courtesy photos.
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