I'm excited to say that I have recently taken on an exciting new voluntary role.
I am now the Cambridgeshire coordinator for Project Linus UK.
Project Linus UK (named after the Peanuts character who always had his blanket with him!) is a volunteer organisation that aims to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers by providing new home made patchwork quilts and knitted/crocheted blankets.
Project Linus began in America in 1995 when Karen Loucks saw a newspaper article showing how much a comfort blanket had helped a child cancer victim and decided to organise blankets for her local children’s cancer unit and started spreading the word. Since that time over 4 million blankets and quilts have been delivered worldwide.
The organisation began in the UK in March 2000 as a result of a quilter’s desire to help children in need. To date the UK organisation has delivered over 228,000 quilts and blankets, over 11,000 of them this year so far!
As the area coordinator I'm responsible for finding the 'makers' of the quilts and delivering them to babies and children locally in need of 'a hug they can keep'. Premature baby quilts start at about 18" and the most popular quilt size is about 36" as this works well for comforters and lap quilts suitable for wheelchair users. The blankets can also be knitted/crocheted however tighter patterns are preferred as little fingers and medical equipment can get caught in lacy designs. Most hospitals however prefer quilted blankets as these are easier to machine wash.
So far I only have contributed one quilt, which I sent to Project Linus before I became a coordinator, this quilt was a joint effort with an elderly lady I visit, between us we came up with a hexie quilt design, she has a wealth of sewing skills and knowledge and I have the sharp eyesight to put it to good use!
I am sure I'll have quite a few quilts to show you all before long, I have two on the go at the moment, I have been experimenting with big hexies and I've also just had a go at machine patchwork for the first time!