Just in case you're curious about Project Linus, here are a couple pictures from last Sunday's workday...
That, my friends, is one humongous pile of donated blankets! Some of these were donated by the folks that came to the meeting (my three are in there somewhere!), but many more were dropped off at certain stores and other locations during the previous month. This is not even all of them! There were at least 5 big bags of blankets waiting to have their labels sewn in. I spent most of my time hand-sewing labels into the knit and crocheted ones. Exciting, huh?
After the blankets have their labels, they are wanded with a hand-held metal detector (just like at the airport - no joke!) to make sure there are no stray pins in them. I got to do some of the wanding, which actually was exciting - it's a great chance to check out a bunch of quilts! There were a few stunning ones. Seriously, just so beautiful I couldn't believe they were donated! Next time I might take pictures to show some off. I wonder if that would be weird?
After wanding, the blankets are roughly sorted by size (small ones for the preemies, big ones for camps, then everything else), and finally they are bagged up in big garbage bags, 20 or 25 to a bag. Then our wonderful coordinator delivers them to the area hospitals!
And then there is the fabric! Bins, bins, and more bins! This workday was also a sorting day. Pacific Fabrics accepts donated fabrics all year 'round, but they also host big fabric drives in February and August. During a drive, people can donate their unwanted fabric in exchange for discounts on their purchases. At this workday, all that fabric was sorted by color/theme, and any small bits (squares, strips, blocks, etc.) were pulled out and sorted by size. After sorting, folks worked on putting together kits for the upcoming Blanket Bee (Sunday, September 27th from Noon to 5:00pm at all Pacific Fabric stores). The kits are either ready to go (a printed panel or flimsy for the front, paired with a coordinating backing), or they are a set of squares that will get sewn into a simple patchwork.
During the bee, the patchworks are sewn, and the blankets are made with a simple pillowcase method, and then hand tied or simply quilted. It's quite a production, and a whole lot of fun! If you're in the area, why not stop by a store to lend a hand? You don't have to be in a Project Linus group - just show up!