Thursday, February 26, 2015

March 2015 newsletter

Dear Blanketeers,

February being only 28 days and our blanket day being a week later, made the time fly!  This newsletter is with short notice, as our regularly scheduled blanket making day is this coming Monday, March 2nd from 10:00am to 2:00pm at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Holladay.

Utah National Guard

      Our Project Linus Chapter has always been interested in doing whatever we can for the children of military service people.  This month we have been in contact with the National Guard office that handles families of deployed guard soldiers.  Every month there is a deployment of soldiers that leave Utah and leave their families for a period of time.  The children of these soldiers whose Daddies/Mommies are leaving them are certainly in need of comfort.  The family service department does prepare a survival kit for the families and now our blankets (one for each child in the family) will be a part of that departure kit.   Good work blanketeers! 

  Blanketeer spotlight - Jacalyn Cohen & Chris Nash

Sisters Jackie and Chris were searching for a charitable outlet for their handwork when they saw a note in “Crochet World Magazine” listing project Linus and then discovered how to reach our Chapter.     They have been participating for the past year as a team since Jackie returned to SLC from Los Angeles area.

These two sisters are both talented and imaginative blanket makers.   Together they have contributed scores of blankets for children.  The blankets are very diversified and sometimes are crocheted edges, often quilts, (large and small), or afghans.   

They meet every week together and spend the day stitching the items that are then contributed to our Chapter on blanket day.   They challenge themselves to create interesting items from the supply of fabric and yarn left to them by Chris’ s mother in law.  Chris is the sewing machine expert, and Jackie organizes the quilts and crochets. 

Jackie is a “Thrivent” member and has recently contributed her allotment for charitable projects - a generous amount of money - to our Linus Chapter!   Our thanks to Jackie and Chris for their generosity and hours of donated work for the comfort of children.   We love the enthusiasm, smiles, and energy that these lovely sisters bring to our project.     

If you are wondering what size of blankets we need most - we are running low on medium size (1 1/2 yard fleece)  These blankets go to children ages 6-12.  Please choose fabrics appropriate for elementary school kids.

Thank you for all you do!  We hope to see you all soon!

Millie & Kristin

Saturday, January 31, 2015

February 2015 newsletter

  Dear Blanketeers,

We have some statistics we'd like to share with you for 2014.  We distributed a total of 1874 blankets to children in Salt Lake County!  Isn't that wonderful?  This brings our total blanket distribution from the beginning of our chapter to over 13,600!  Thank you to everyone who donates their time, materials, supplies. chapter funds (yes, we need donations of cash too!), mileage (Denna,  Millie  & Kristin making deliveries and picking up drop offs) and Our Saviour's Lutheran Church for the use of your building each month!  We really appreciate those of you who organize your blanket events and bring us stacks of beautiful blankets!  Every one of you makes a difference and contributes to what we can do for children in Salt Lake County!

Our February blanket workday will be held Monday, February 9th from 10:00am to 2:00pm at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 2500 East 3900 South, Holladay.  In March we will be back on schedule meeting the first Monday of the month.

There are so many people out there that appreciate the work that all of our blanketeers do.

     1.   A “thank you” note from the nurses at St. Mark’s NICU

         ‘We would like to thank you and the members of the Linus Project who make blankets for our tiny patients to take home.  It means so much to these families to take home their baby in one of your beautiful hand made blankets.  You are all angels!”

     2.   From Sargent Shriver Head Start
          “ Our three year olds and their moms and dads were so tickled with the wonderful blankets you sent for their Christmas gifts. “   One of our moms said how fun it was for her son to pick the blanket he wanted.  Please thank your ladies who sew such little treasures.    Miss Kelley, pre school teacher 

     3.   From Refugee Services
          “Dear Project Linus Ladies,
             It is hard to imagine the distress that our clients are under when they arrive in the USA from whatever hostile situation they are fleeing.    Greeting the children with a warm colorful blanket of their very own means a lot to a child who has nothing.  Thank you Project Linus.  Our case-workers are very pleased to distribute these blankets to children. Thanks very much.”
                 Danielle Rodriguez 

 4. Hello!  My name is Rudy and we had an adorable little girl yesterday and when we got to our room there was a beautiful blanket for our baby Aurora waiting for her.  The blanket was made by Mary and we absolutely love it and we are extremely appreciative of the small things in life such as a blanket like this given to us.  Thank you for your time and support and it's awesome that there are projects like Project Linus out there doing great things.  Again, thank you all!

American Express employees

Once again the employees of American Express scheduled a couple of meetings to make some bright, colorful and fun blankets for our chapter.  It was really fun to pull up in front of their building and see a cart stacked with blankets!

p.s. they didn't all fit in the back of my car!  Thank you employees of American Express!

Congregation Kol Ami 

     Again this year the Mitzvah day at Kol Ami produced lovely fringed fleece blankets for Project Linus - 23 of them!   Thanks to Nicole Fenwick for all the shopping, and preparation of the fabric that she did in advance to make this day of service a great success.  We at Project Linus appreciate the generous donation and the beautiful work.   

Mr. Lingen's 3rd grade class - Highland Park Elementary

Webelos Troops 3305 & 3505


                                             Blanket Making Reminders

Remember, when you are making fleece blankets, pick a fabric pattern suitable to the size of the blanket and the intended child recipient. 
                           Baby & NICU 
                                        Baby patterns & soft yarn ---these 1 yard square approx.

                           Child Small
                                        Child patterns --- these are 1 & ¼ yards
                           School Age Medium 
                                        General patterns --– these are l &1/2 yards
                           Teen Age   
                                        No baby print patterns --- these are 2 yards

           We don't recommend making fleece blankets less than 1 1/2 yards to fringe.  If you want to make smaller fleece blankets, it is best to crochet the edges and trim the width.   A blanket that is only 1 yard of fleece, is too wide and makes a long, narrow blankets.  We also love quilts and crocheted/knitted blankets in all sizes listed above as well.

Please email Kristin at if you would like a receipt for items or material donated in 2014.   Include your full name and address for the receipt.

We look forward to seeing you all next week!

Kristin & Millie
Salt Lake County
Project Linus

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blanket Day - Monday February 9th

North Valley blanket  day will be held the second Monday in February on Monday the 9th from 10:00am to 2:00 pm.  Please join us at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church 2500 E 3900 S, Holladay, UT.  We hope to see you there!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Newsletter January 2015

Dear Blanketeers,                                                                 December 2014

Our annual Christmas social this year was another success!  20 plus blanketeers, all worked together and then enjoyed a lovely lunch.  Thanks Kristin for bringing the main course (wrap sandwiches, veggies and chips).  Thank you also to the blanketeers who brought fruit and desserts.  Last month we received 153 blankets and that allowed us to distribute 306 blankets in December, (included in this total was a once a year delivery to Shop with a Cop South Jordan).  For those who could not attend, we missed you!  Thank you for keeping our project running great!

Spotlight on Blanketeers

Doris Long, who has been a long time blanketeer with Project Linus, is going to spend the winter in St. George (rather than her usual Arizona destination).  It happens that we have a group of Project Linus contributors who live either full time of part time in St. George.  Doris is anxious to meet them and work on Linus blankets this winter.

Two of our St George blanketeers are: Terry Whittrey and Bea Keohane.  Terry has been crocheting for most of her life.  Her mom taught her when she was very young.  Terry's blankets are beautiful and she says she can complete two of them during a television football game!

Bea has been a quilter for several years, but has given it up and now concentrates on crochet.  She has not only donated blankets, but also contributed her cutting boards, rotary cutters and fabric punchers. This makes it possible for her, Rochelle Pacheco and Karen Park, to operate quite independently.

Millie is always happy to drop off and pick up blankets  on her frequent trips thru St. George.  In this picture, Bea is on the left and Terry on the right.  Thanks ladies for all your many donated hours!

Olympus Hills Stake Service Project

Olympus Hills Stake held it's annual service-day project in December.  The theme of the day was "The Night before Christmas?  Among their projects, the  pajama clad volunteers (about 40 of them) worked on Project Linus blankets.  Sarah Harris and Somer Holt organized the volunteers, shopped for the fleece, and also prepared the fleece for this event.  Their prep work of squaring material, removing selvage, cutting the corners and taping one side, allowed their workers to quickly see what had to be done.  They completed 30 beautiful snuggle blankets for children this Christmas.  Our chapter was able to distribute a large number of blankets in December thanks to projects like this one.  We so appreciate the generosity of the members of Olympus Hills LDS Stake!

A note of thanks for Darren Orr, Director of Shop with a Cop (South Jordan)

Greetings all,
     Just a quick note to follow up on our event and to thank you so very much for your support!!
     We had 87 children show up for the event this year and as always, the blankets were a huge hit!  They are so soft and comforting, I always get joy watching the ones who snuggle them as they shop around the store.
     We had 9 children who couldn't make the event so we did a home delivery of gifts, stockings and of course blankets and the remaining ones we have given to Salt Lake Police officers to put in their cars to use as a comfort for calls involving children.
     Again, I can't thank you and your volunteers enough for your continued support of the program, it is truly and greatly appreciated.
     Merry Christmas and all the best,

Again, we want to thank you all for supporting our Salt Lake County Chapter of Project Linus!  We appreciate each and every one of you and the contribution you make to provide blankets for children in a time of crisis.  Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends!  We hope to see you all in 2015!

With a blanket hug,

Kristin & Millie

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Newsletter December 2014

Dear Blanketeers,

November has gotten busy and we couldn't be more pleased!  As we approach the holiday season we are happy to have groups doing amazing service work and a few extra blankets coming in to help fill the requests and needs for the end of the year!  It's keeping Millie and Kristin very busy!

December blanket day - includes a Holiday Lunch, hosted by Millie and Kristin
Please join us at our North Valley make a blanket day on Monday, December 1st from 10:00am to 2:00pm at Our Saviours Lutheran Church 2500 East 3900 South in Holladay.  We will have our normal work day and lunch is provided for all who can attend.  We hope to see you there!

America First Credit Union

     Another year with the volunteers at America First Credit Union. 

 Randi Jackson has inspired 60 of the America First team from branches all over town to again volunteer to make blankets for Project Linus.    In order to accomplish the completion of 15 blankets in 45 minutes they had to start at 7:30 in the morning.  About 8 of the employees met with Millie earlier in the week to cut and lay the tape so the fleece would be ready for fringe work.  

The giving spirit of all these volunteers was a pleasure to experience.  Thanks Randi and your team for your continued interest and participation in Project Linus. 

University Student Accountants

      Corbin Christensen, was in charge of the annual volunteer project this year for his professional organization.  While searching for a worthy project, he remembered his experience with Project Linus a few years ago when he participated in the program at his high school – Rowland Hall.   So he organized the accounting students from the Institute of Management Accountants to make blankets for Project Linus. 
IIn order to complete the project in a two-hour period of time, Corbin and Millie had shopped, cut the fleece square and had the corners cut out and ready to fringe.  These students, with their faculty sponsor, Shannon Charles (and her two children), “Managed” in a “Businesslike” manner to “Account” for 18 blankets.  All the blankets were well made and beautiful.   Several participants said they would love to do the blankets again.  They are a wonderful addition to the volunteer blanket-making team and we thank them sincerely.  

LDS Riverton's 14th Ward Young Women

Last month Kristin was invited by Evelyn Beck to join the Young Women (and their leaders) to talk about Project Linus and make some beautiful blankets.  We had to make due with a small space, because of a Halloween Party going on the same night, that's why a few leaders were sitting on the job!  Kristin was happy to introduce Evelyn to Project Linus 2 years ago, when we worked together at Herriman High.  For this work night Evelyn purchased all the fleece and had everything in various stages of completion.  Evelyn's prep work made the evening a great success!  The girls completed several blankets, all of amazing quality.  Thank you ladies and your great leaders, we appreciate your care in making such great blankets!

TIPS & Tricks

When crocheting the edge on a blanket, make sure to stitch 2 single crochet in each hole or 1 single crochet and a chain to prevent the blanket from bunching.  Sometimes the corners also require an extra stitch or two.   This will ensure your blanket lies flat.

When fringing no sew fleece, make sure to use tape; so when you cut the fringe it is all the same length.  We have attached sew fleece instructions under "blanket making guidelines" to offer help for the steps.  Always remove the tape before flipping the fringe up to make the tiny slit to pull the fringe through to finish the edge.  This allows for the slip to be in the right place and not too low.

We appreciate your attention to detail, so that we have beautiful, well made blankets to donate.  Blankets that you are proud enough to put your name on and think of as a gift to a child in need.

We have much to be thankful for....we hope you enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends this week.  We look forward to seeing you all December 1st for our annual holiday lunch.  We so appreciate all that you do to support our chapter of Project Linus.  The children of Salt Lake County receive comfort in our blankets with each donation.

With a blanket hug,

Kristin & Millie

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Newsletter - November 2014

Dear Blanketeers,

I hope you have all been enjoying this beautiful fall weather.  It has been wonderful!  As we know living in Utah means the weather can change in an instant, so I hope we have a few more weeks of this to enjoy before it gets too cold.  We have had a great month and been very busy!

Our next north valley blanket day will be Monday, November 3rd from 10:00am to 2:00pm at Our Saviours Lutheran Church 2500 East 3900 South, Holladay.  Please join us for a great day of blanket making!

Also, mark your calendar to join us for a Holiday celebration at out next North Valley blanket day on Monday, December 1st.  Kristin & Millie will provide lunch and treats!  We'd love to have you all join us to celebrate a successful 2014 and get into the spirit of the season!

Blanketeer Spotlight....

From Executive V. P. -  to Volunteer
 There is always more to be done for Project Linus than the actual blanket-making function.  In previous newsletters I have spotlighted Denna for delivering blankets all over town, Dayle for always making the food for blanket day workers, Barbara for her fund raising success, as well as others who have actually made the blankets.
     Today I wish to spotlight my husband, Dean Martensen.  After his retirement Dean volunteered at Ronald McDonald House for four years .  But now he volunteers with Project Linus.  No, he doesn’t make blankets!  He is the muscles in our organization and does the heavy work for us.  He is on the job every blanket day to set up a dozen tables and chairs before the blanketeers arrive.  In the afternoon when we are finished, he returns to fold them all up, stack and store them.

    Dean is always there to load the equipment and fleece into the car for me in the morning, the finished blankets back into the car in the afternoon, and to unload the car when I arrive with the bags at home.   If you never noticed, those plastic bags full of blankets are very heavy.  Dean carries the ones to be labeled upstairs and the ones to tag, package for delivery downstairs.  Then of course, when the deliveries are organized for the month, he carries the finished bags up from the basement again and helps Denna load them into her delivery van. 
       It’s not every woman who is lucky enough to have an executive vice president assist her with the heavy work.  Thanks Dean, not only for your physical help, but for your patience and tolerance as you endure a house full of blankets, and the constant presence of “fuzz” from cutting blanket fabric.      Millie

Rowland Hall High School - Half Day of Service

      We were so happy to be invited back to help with Rowland Hall's Half Day of Service.  High School students participate in a variety of service projects around Salt Lake and we had a great group of 36 students make blankets for our chapter of Project Linus.  

 Each student brought a new piece of fleece (or two) to make a beautiful no sew fleece/fringed blankets in under 2 hours.  Kristin spoke to the students about our Chapter, who we make blankets for and some of our donation sites.  We so appreciated the students, their adult volunteers and teacher/soccer coach Missy who were such a huge help!

The students immediately got to work and in the final count of donated material and completed blankets we have a grand total of 47!!  Their contribution is a huge boost for the project as we attempt to meet the needs of children who need the hug of a beautiful Linus blanket. Thank you Rowland Hall High are all amazing!

We are working to meet the requests from our drop offs for the next couple of months.  We are so grateful for all of you to help us keep children in Salt Lake County supplied with blankets.  Your time, talent and donations keep us moving forward.  Thank you for all that you do!

We hope to see you all soon!

Millie & Kristin

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Newsletter - October 2014

Dear Blanketeers,

Welcome fall!  Has anyone had a chance to drive through the canyons?  I couldn't believe how the colors are so quickly changing!  What a beautiful time of year!

North Valley blanket day will be held, Monday, October 6th from 10:00am until about 2:00pm.  Our Saviours Lutheran Church, 2500 E 3900 S, Holladay.  We have a wonderful group - we hope you can join us!

Service Sunday—“God’s Work - Our Hands”

         Once a year several Salt Lake valley protestant churches gather together to give service to the community in as many ways as they can.  One of the ways this year was to make blankets for Project Linus to be given to the Maliheh Free Clinic.  The clinic offers medical care to people who have neither insurance nor the ability to pay. 
      Pictured here are some of the volunteers who purchased materials and donated their time on that Sunday.   There is a happiness and satisfaction in giving and in knowing that someone in crisis or in need will be given a cuddly hug in the form of a Project Linus beautiful blanket.      

Blanketeer Spotlight   ----   Linda Kesler

       Utah born and raised, Linda Kesler, is a devoted Project Linus volunteer.  Her early years were spent in Bingham Canyon and she later went to school in Sandy.   As a girl, her family always loved music and encouraged her and her brother to play.   She played the clarinet in the school band and orchestra.  She has two daughters and four grandchildren.  Must also mention her two cats, Kati and Kali. 
      Her friends, Carol Holmes and Shirley Geary, recruited her to Project Linus four years ago, and she has been making blankets ever since.  Her aunt taught her to crochet and embroider, so it was fun for her to pick it up again in later years.

     Linda has had an impressive career of 29 years of service as a nurse.  She first earned her LPN and worked at Holy Cross Hospital.  Later, with the help of a program called “Upward Mobility”, she was assisted by the V. A. hospital in earning her RN degree.    

     Linda still enjoys music and sings in the church choir.  She also paints with water- color, makes jewelry, and enjoys meeting with the “Red Hat” ladies.   Our chapter is pleased to enjoy Linda’s company and appreciative of her talent and contributions.  

              Sharing the purpose and meaning of  “Project Linus” with children

      Laura Nixon of Herriman, Utah planned several craft projects in which her family members could participate at their annual Nixon family reunion.  Pictured here are her niece  and nephew showing off the quilts that they worked on.  Laura planned the experience so quilts could be completed in the single day.  She cut the fabric and batting in advance to have it ready so the kids could have the “hands on” experience of tying the quilts.     
     How nice that kids can learn to give, and to help other little ones who need the hug of a cuddly blanket.  Thanks Laura!

We picked up some very nice quilts at Quilts, Etc and have no idea who made them!  If you leave blankets at one of our drop offs, please leave us a note!  

A blanket making reminder...
We love all kinds and types of blankets that are new and homemade in kid friendly prints, in soft and washable fabrics.  Here is a tip for afghans...
Please use small knitting needles or crochet hooks and soft yarn to make preemie/baby afghans.  Litle fingers and toes, and medical instruments, can get caught in big stitches.  Please use soft washable yarns, we are unable to accept blankets with wool or wool blends (due to allergies and washability).  If you prefer using larger size crochet hooks or knitting needles, please consider making bigger afghans in larger child and teen sizes.  Weave in all yarn ends on crocheted and knitted afghans, do not just tie and cut them off since yarn stretches and knots may come apart on your wonderful work!

Thank you to everyone who contributes to our chapter.  It's been a great year!  We know that some specific requests for blankets come in for the holidays and special events, so we are working hard to meet everyone's requests in our distribution.  Your continued support allows us to distribute and provide for many children in Salt Lake County.  All of our blanketeers make an impact.  Thank you for your part!

We hope to see you soon!
Millie & Kristin