To date, the majority of the 154 blankets that our blanketers have made are quilts made from cotton fabric. We also receive a few baby blankets that have been knit or crocheted. Quilts are a labor of love and can be quite time intensive. Fleece, on the other hand, can be cut, skip cut for a crochet edging and worked up into a light weight and warm blanket in just a few hours. Fleece is easy to wash as it dries quickly in a warm dryer.
Fleece may be discounted by some in the sewing world as it is not a natural fiber like cotton. In fact, it is made from plastic. There are varying qualities of fleece, but whatever the quality, it is soft and warm! I have been buying yard plus remnants of fleece from a local fabric store. They sell their remnants at 50% off so you can purchase a piece to make a fleece blanket for about $6.00. Crochet some colorful yarn to the edge of the fleece and you end up with a very kid friendly blanket.
I made a decision early on that our chapter would not make and distribute fleece that had cut and or knotted edges. I felt that any Humboldt Project Linus blanket, needs to show some investment in hand work and the crocheted edge to these blankets does just that.
These fleece blankets have been perfect for a local non-profit that provides services to homeless youth. These kids may be living in a car with a parent or staying with a friend and sleeping on a couch, neither of which is ideal for positive development and instilling a sense of security.
I attended a local Community Resource Center conference recently and learned more about the agencies in our community that are working hard to improve the quality of life for young children and their families. Homelessness, mental health issues and drug addiction are problems in our community which affect adults and the children in their care. You might think that for a kid facing these challenges, a blanket is not going to fix anything. It doesn’t really. But maybe for a night or a few months or maybe even longer, a Project Linus blanket wrapped around a kid who may be feeling scared or cold, can find some warmth and comfort in that blanket which, blanketeers believe, is better than no blanket at all.