7 November 2017

Project Linus

The WI (Women's Institute) support many good causes. My branch of the WI currently supports Project Linus, a volunteer organisation that aims to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts and knitted/crocheted blankets.

When I started volunteering at the Salvation Army 6 years ago they had bags of wool that people had donated, all colours, and all weights. We volunteers were asked if we would like to knit 6'' squares which would eventually be made into blankets, but they didn't have a plan for what to do with them after that. I think I have knitted hundreds of them because I was the most ardent knitter, but I don't crochet and I didn't fancy sewing them together. As there were no volunteers to do this the squares just sat in a cupboard in carrier bags. 

Then I joined the WI and asked the Salvation Army if could have them for the Linus Project. They said yes and so I set about crocheting them together. I didn't really know how to do it but after watching a YouTube tutorial I sort of made up my own stitches and began. I became a thing obsessed. 


I started by sorting them into colour piles, then arranging them on the dining room table or my bed, taking photos of the finished layout. There were enough blues to make two blankets. 


Next I did the bright yellow with splashes of green and beige and a multi colour of red, green and yellow wool. I continued matching similar or contrasting colours until I was left with random colours that sort of went together. 
It was enjoyable, and very therapeutic relaxing watching Netflix whilst piecing them together, but after making 11 blankets I don't want to see another square for a very long time!!
Having said that when I finished the last one I felt slightly bereft, I like to have a project on the go, then ...... the Chair of my WI asked if some of us would like to make quilts!! 

Now, over 40 years ago, 48 to be precise, my firstborn daughter arrived and I thought about making an heirloom quilt for her. I had the same idea when my second daughter arrived 2½ years later. The idea popped into my head again when my daughters met their respective partners and again when my grandson was born. I suspect you know where this is going don't you? the idea has always been there but I never acted on it!! So when the chair asked us about making quilts I thought what a good opportunity to learn. 



This was my first one using material gifted and some of my own. I used 36 6" squares. 



Instead of the traditional wadding and a backing material I used fleece, which gives a nice soft comforting feel, and warmth. And instead of nice swirly patterns which show up on the backing I did straight criss-cross lines. 
I was very pleased with my first attempt.



This second one was more difficult. My daughter gave me the material which was left over from a number of her dressmaking projects. Most of it was rayon and silk, difficult to work with and frayed like mad. I used small amounts of super glue on some of the seams, I just hope it stays together! I have since found out that there is a Hi Tack glue that can be used to stop fraying. 




This little pirate cot quilt was made from a couple of pillow cases that one of the WI ladies gave me. It was quite difficult.  



To get the finished quilt the right size I needed 25 6" squares. I wanted to use as many of the images as possible but some of them were close to each other so it was tricky.  I had to piece a few oddments together. The material also frayed like mad.



I used a pretty pale blue fleece backing and joined them by stitching "in the ditch" (where the squares meet).


So the blankets and quilts are ready to go. We are taking them to the Linus co-ordinator this week. 
I'm going to continue making them because I have been given so much material.


A bit of advice at this time of year - don't wash you car a couple of days before bonfire night, 

I did and two days later it was covered in a fine coating of bonfire ash!!

I'm off to Australia at the weekend to visit my youngest daughter. 
I almost forgot to arrange my visa!


Polly x
  

14 comments:

  1. You did an awesome job... loads of love ..

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  2. Amazing! I like Very much your Jobs! ♥️♥️♥️

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  3. What a wonderfully inspiring post. Brava bravissima, you are obviously very talented in arranging the colours and patterns. All the blankets and quilts look lovely, and will certainly warm the hearts of those that receive them.
    Have a nice journey! xx

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    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment Sara xx

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  4. Geweldig Polly, de dekens zijn stuk voor stuk PRACHTIG geworden,
    mooi gemaakt en e kleuren samengesteld.
    Liefdevol werk voor een goed doel en voor jou kinderen.
    Je mag er trots op zijn.

    Lieve groetjes,
    Josephine

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    Replies
    1. Hello Josephine, I translated your comment, thank you for your lovely compliment.

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  5. Hello Polly,
    Those are just beautiful. You did a fantastic job on them. What a wonderful idea for a great cause.
    Big hug
    Giac

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  6. Oh Polly! I am so impressed! First of all, the project itself is wonderful -- but then to see all you have done with it: learned to crochet and make quilts! And now special quilts. A dream deferred comes true. I have a big smile on my face right now!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jeanie, you are such a lovely lady xx

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  7. Have a great time in Aus, Polly! Impressed by the quilting etc - not by bag at all, but so admire people who can do things like this - it all looks fabulous, but such hard work!

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