Project Linus Blanket Requirements

 

What kind of blanket-making materials does Project Linus use?

  • Materials must be new, washable, and free of contaminants such as mold, mildew, smoke and pet hair.

  • Materials should be unused and unwashed due to possible allergic reactions to some detergents and fabric softeners.

  • Materials can be cotton or cotton/poly blend fabrics, flannel, or fleece.

  • Quilt batting should be a cotton or cotton/poly blend and low-loft.

  • Yarns should be soft & washable and contain no metallic threads. Besides afghans, an array of colorful yarn is also used for tacking blankets to hold them together.

  • We also use colorful embroidery floss to tack some of the smallest quilts.

  • We use a lot of thread in a multitude of colors to sew these blankets together.

What types of blankets are acceptable for Project Linus?

  • We accept NEW, HANDMADE/HOMEMADE, WASHABLE, blankets and afghans for children ages 0-18 years.

  • Project Linus blankets are not donated to adults.

  • As a national policy we accept all sizes and styles, although some chapters may have more narrow requirements based on the needs of the facilities to which they donate.

  • Project Linus has a non-smoking policy for chapter coordinators. Coordinators must be non-smokers and live and store blankets in a smoke free environment.

  • Project Linus blankets must be of excellent quality and free from contaminants. Special care should be taken to ensure that blankets are free of smoky smells or any chemicals which could cause problems for a child. Ensure that blankets are free of pet hair. Hospitals will not accept these blankets, and they will most likely be discarded.

  • Recent studies show that laundering these blankets does not remove contamination, and in some cases can even make it worse.

  • Always check blankets carefully for pins, and remove any embellishments such as buttons or ribbons that could be swallowed by a small child.

Common blanket types we use:

Quilts & tied comforters: a quilt is defined as a blanket which has three layers – a top (which may be “pieced” or simply a single large piece of fabric), batting in the center, and backing (which is usually a single large piece of fabric). In order to keep the batting from shifting, the three layers of the quilt must be secured together. This is accomplished by sewing the three layers together by machine, by hand, or by darning with ties every several inches. If you are tying the blanket, make sure that the ends are trimmed to 1” and that the knots are secure. Quilts do not have to be complex. Simple patterns work great.

 

Afghans: made of yarn that is crocheted or knitted into a blanket. Remember to use soft yarn for the delicate skin the blanket will touch.

 

Receiving blankets: usually a piece of flannel with a decorative or hemmed edge. A crocheted edge adds a beautiful touch to a receiving blanket. Skip stitch blades can be found at local craft stores to accomplish a crocheted edge.

 

Fleece blankets: fleece makes great, warm blankets for older children. Several techniques that may be used include – hemming the edge, fringing, or adding blanket binding. Please remember to trim all selvage edge sides of the fleece before construction. This makes for a neat, clean look when complete. Cotton and flannel will not hold up in the wash when used with fleece to create fringe tied blankets. We recommend sewing the flannel or cotton to the fleece instead of fringing the material.

What do you mean by “handmade” and why?

When we say “handmade” or “homemade” we mean something that is not commercially manufactured or purchased. Of course, home sewing machines, knitting machines, etc. are absolutely acceptable to use in making these blankets. It has always been the mission of Project Linus to donate only handmade/homemade blankets. We receive thousands of letters and thank you notes every year from children. Over and over they express how touched they are that a stranger would take the time to make something for them. They really know the difference. Purchased blankets are nice, but handmade blankets are from the heart. If you do not have the time or ability to hand craft a blanket, perhaps you would consider a monetary donation or helping out in some other way.

 

What types of blankets are NOT acceptable for Project Linus?

Project Linus chapter coordinators are instructed to reject blankets that are not of excellent quality. In addition, they must be free from contaminants. Special care should be taken to ensure all blankets are free of smoky smells or any chemicals which could cause problems for a child. Hospitals will not accept these blankets, and they will most likely be discarded. Recent studies show laundering such blankets does not remove contamination, and in some cases can even make it worse. Again, if unusually strong smells due to chemicals used in detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets, mold and mildew or smoking products or pet hair are apparent, most hospitals will discard the blanket rather than jeopardize the health of a patient. Always check blankets carefully for pins, and remove any embellishments such as buttons that could be swallowed. Thank you for helping to make sure that Project Linus blankets are safe and healthy, and will bring only comfort and security to a child in need!

What about sizes?

Blankets, just like kids, come in all sizes.  These specific dimensions are only suggestions unless an organization requires a particular size for a special need. They can’t all be perfect and we understand that. We take blankets of any size, but it’s also very nice to have them all fit into a size range, allowing a difference of 1-3” in either direction. As long as the blanket meets the material requirements and is made of good quality, this chapter coordinator finds allowing a size range perfectly acceptable.

 

Preemie baby      19" x 19"      24" x 24"      No fringe, please!

A very small blanket can easily wrap a preemie baby, but some hospitals may prefer a larger blanket.

Newborn infant      min. of 30" x 36"     36" x 36"     36" x 42"    No fringe, please!

Pre-printed panel quilts make excellent baby quilts and they are very easy to finish. Usually all you need to finish it is binding sewn around the edges. One yard of fabric makes an acceptable baby-sized blanket. If using fleece, a 1-yard cut of a 60" wide fabric will usually yield two 30" x 36" blankets if cut in half.

Toddler      36" x 48"      40" x 55" 

A cut of fabric is usually 40-42" wide, so a cut of 1 & 2/3 yards of a 40-42" wide fabric is the perfect size for a blanket. If using fleece, a 1 & 1/4 yards piece will usually be sufficient.  

Child      40" x 60"      45" x 54"

Some toddler & child blankets may come close in size. If using fleece, a 1 & 1/4 yards piece will generally work well.

Pre-Teen / Teen     48" x 60"     45" x 65"      50" x 72"

In order for a blanket to be comfortable for a teenager, it needs to be at least 2 yards in lenght. Since most fleece comes 50" wide, a 2-yard piece makes a nice blanket for a teenager. For pre-teens, the smaller sizes will usually do fine. The no-sew throw kits usually start at a size of 48" x 60" and would work perfectly for the younger ones.