My quilting teacher, Janet Salcido, reserved the room at Leah's Fabric Gallery for a sort of quilting bee, during which anyone willing could come and help crank out lots and lots of quilts for kids! Here's a bit of information about Project Linus, which is a nationwide effort...
If you google for Project Linus, there is a wealth of information to read. These blankets go to children who are traumatized. Policemen sometimes carry them in their trunks to use when they encounter accident victims, or have to remove children from a dangerous situation, or even the child's own parents). They go to very sick children (many children receive one while being treated for serious illnesses - it gives them something warm and cuddly to cling to).
If I heard Janet correctly, an average of 1046 of these blankets, handmade in any fashion (quilted, knit, crocheted, fleeces, etc), are given to children every single day in our country. 365 days a year. That made me both sad, and glad. Its astounding so many people participate in this effort and so many blankets are distributed. Its sad that its not nearly enough.
At any rate.....I was able to participate this year, and will certainly try to next year also. Here are some pictures of the work stations we had set up in the room. Janet had some people cutting simple strips and squares that were assembled into quilt tops.
(double clicking on a picture should enlarge it)
She had some people cutting backings and layering backing, batting and quilt tops, and pinning them.
She had some (I was one) sewing around the layered and pinned quilts and then turning them inside out and zig-zagging the edge all around to catch all the layers and the turned edges and give it stability.
(there were snacks everywhere, and I was less than successful at avoiding the cookie jar someone placed just to my right on one of the few empty tables which was also used for cutting......so yummy!)
(that pinkish/red/lightblue one in the center was a top someone else made that I turned and stitched the edge.)
Janet and another lady named Patti were stippling the quilts as a final step, to machine quilt them and permanently hold the layers just so.....
Every how and then, Janet would announce it was time to exercise and stretch our muscles.....
She would encourage us to "stipple in the air" which resulted in some crazy dance moves!
She cooked us a fantastic lunch with wonderful pulled pork sandwiches and slaw and goodies....(she knows how to keep us quilting! Feed us!!)
And throughout the day, women wandered in, dropping off quilt tops or completed quilts they had made for Project Linus. The pile of completed quilts grew so big they started bagging the quilts in huge lawn/leaf bags and moving them out of the quilting classroom!
Janet kept a tally - and her goal for us was to finish 40 quilts today.
When I left, they still had about an hour to go, and they were up to 46 quilts that we had completed so far, and we had a total of 91 quilts counting the ones dropped off just that day. There were more quilts yet to be counted from staff members and since this is an ongoing project, I'm sure more will come in.
I felt so good about what we were doing. We can't fix the evil or the catastrophes in the world. I can't fix much of anything, other than my response to what I encounter. But maybe we can help in some small way. Maybe we can help give a little one something to cling to, when their world shatters around them and things are confusing!
I'm so grateful to Janet for stepping up to the plate and being the messenger, the organizer and the cheerleader (and a great cook!)....
I now know how I will use a significant portion of my personal quilting stash!!