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

Monday, August 25, 2014

Newsletter - September 2014

Dear Blankeers,

Well Summer is coming to a close.  Schools are back in session and we've enjoyed some wonderful, cooler weather.  It makes me think of cooler evenings, when I can sit and crochet and all things pumpkin!  I love fall and am very excited that we are headed into that season.  I'm hoping we have cooler weather, but no snow! Thank you for including Project Linus in your summer.  I know many of you have travelled and had lots of other things going on.  We are going strong in 2014!

Our blanket day has moved a week - due to Labor day - so we hope to see you Monday, September 8th from 10:00am to 2:00pm at Our Saviours Lutheran Church, 2500 East 3900 South in Holladay.  Please join us for a great time and blanket making too!  We hope to see you there!

This month Millie suggested a Kathy Morrow update.  Kathy was our amazing coordinator that opened the Salt Lake County Chapter after moving from Wyoming.  She moved to Colorado and here's what she's been up to...

We love Grand Junction!  The people are very friendly and so many are transplants, we fit in well.  The scenery is gorgeous and there are so many outdoor activities, including hiking, biking and camping.  We spent our first winter working on insulating and sheet rocking the inside of the "car barn".  It's not quite finished because spring came and there were outside jobs to take care of.  We're learning how to control the weeds, planted lots of corn ( should be ready for harvest this week and next), beans and cherry tomatoes.  We have 2 grape vines on a pergola and with luck will have red and green grapes in about a month.  Who knew I'd like gentleman farming so much?   There is always work to do on the house and property - it was a little overgrown and needs some updating inside ( that's this winters project).

Three of our daughters, Ann Marie and her very significant other, Laura and her VSO and Kristen and James came for the Fourth of July weekend. We went to a Pioneer League ballgame, BBQ'd and had smores with lots of laughter.   We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed getting to know the young men even better.   We plan on fall trips to SLC and Dallas to see the girls.   We get to Denver every couple of months to see my Dad and sister.  Phil's sister and family live in Cortez and we've been to see them at their mountain ranch.  We take 2-3 day trips from time to time just to see the area and explore western Colorado.

I do continue to make blankets, the PL chapter here is much smaller but does the same kind of good work you do there.  I often think of all of you and hope you are well.   Each of you has a very special place in my heart!

My best to you all,

For all you Joann Fabric shoppers - you may have been advised or noticed the expiration on your non-profit discount card, they expire August 31, 2014.  Here is the link to renew for another year. 

                                                          Quilting Literature

    Am I the only one who was not aware of author Jennifer Chiaverini and her series of books/novels about quilters and quilt making? 
    You all may already know of her, but her “Thanksgiving – The Giving Quilt” actually has instructions and patterns on line for making it.  Phyllis McKininn, a quilter from Cedar City, told me about her.   Phyllis contacted her for permission to use the quilt pattern and Ms. Chiaverini said, “of course,” and that she would also like to see a picture of it when it is finished. 
    I have since read her novel “Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker” and enjoyed it very much.  She has written some 20 + books that you may be interested in reading.  Among them are: The Wedding Quilt, The Union Quilters, The Quilter’s Legacy and on and on….  
     Let me know if you read one that I should check out.    


Thank you for all you do!  Have a wonderful September!


Kristin & Millie

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Newsletter - August 2014

July 27, 2014

Dear Blanketeers,

We hope you are all doing well.  We can't believe how quick summer is flying by!  We appreciate all of you and your continued support.  We have had a great year and have distributed more than a 1,000 blankets to children in need so far this year!  Thank you to all of you who continue to support our chapter.  We also want to add a thank you to Denna for all her hard work taking care of our deliveries.  In July, Denna picked up 14 bags of blankets to deliver throughout the valley.  Thank you Denna!

Our next blanket day will be Monday, August 4th from 10:00am to 2:00pm at Our Saviours Lutheran Church, 2500 East 3900 South in Holladay.  Please join us for a great time and blanket making too!  We hope to see you there! 

(Please note..Labor Day will shift our blanket day to the 2nd Monday in September - mark your calendars for Monday, September 8th)


“Whither Thou Goest – I Will Go”(Ruth 1:16) 

     Spotlight this month is on blanketeer - Dayle Young – who hails originally from Mount Vernon, Washington.  She puts me in mind of Ruth from the Bible because of her travels with her hubby, Pastor Gordon Young.  His callings as a Lutheran minister, took her from Chehalis, Washington; to Pocatello, Idaho; to El Paso Texas; to Roy, Utah; and finally to SLC. 
      Dayle spent 15 years teaching elementary school P.E. in Washington and Utah.  She also spent her early career as a lay associate, working with different churches to set up programs for singles, and for Sunday schools.  She and Gordon have two daughters, Katie and Elizabeth, and three grandchildren.
     In her early youth Dayle learned two special skills from her cousin Mable – sewing and baking – both of which our Linus Chapter happily enjoys now.  She began sewing at age 10 with embroidery, crocheting, tatting, and later on when she needed a square dance dress, she simply made it herself.
     Since Dayle joined our chapter, she has baked something special for us every blanket day – rhubarb cake is my personal favorite – but her biscotti runs a close second.   We are so happy to have Dayle in our Chapter.  Thank you Dayle for your generosity, for blankets, and for goodies. 

This month we are a little low on the small size blankets (1 & 1/4 yard).  If you have a small blanket that you were meaning to finish...we need it!  When asked we always say we need all sizes and both boy and girl, it just seems we are a running a little low in the smalls this month.

We hope to see you in August and plan for September 8th for next month too!

With a blanket hug,

Millie & Kristin

Sunday, June 29, 2014

newsletter - July 2014

Dear Blanketeers,                                                              June 2 9, 2014

Happy Summer!  I can't believe how fast the days fly by!  I hope you are all well and enjoying the sunshine and warm weather.

Our next blanket day will be Monday, July 7th from 10:00am to 2:00pm at Our Saviours Lutheran Church, 2500 East 3900 South in Holladay.  Please join us to drop off blankets and say "hi" or to spend some time with us this month.  We hope to see you there!

Our chapter is doing great things!  Thank you to you all that you do!  I know summer usually gets busy with family and additional commitments.  We've had a great summer with our donations remaining steady.  You continued support is so appreciated and makes a huge difference to a child in crisis.  The blanket we make, mean the world to a child.

Millie and Kristin go shopping!
Shopping for new materials is always fun and we've been watching the sales.  Both Millie and Kristin did some shopping with funds generously donated by Center Shift.  There are some great new materials to work on at our blanket days.  Thank you again to Center Shift for your support of our Chapter of Project Linus!

This month I wanted to share a couple of pictures of beautiful blankets made by some great blanketeers.  These were made from scraps that we received as a donation.  We appreciate these generous donations of materials and have some talented quilt makers!  I envy them for their skill, as I'm learning to quilt and it take a talent to put materials together and to sew straight!  It's a lot harder than you'd think!

  Thank you Lola, Jean Ann and Jean.  You are some of our regular contributors who love to sew!  We are so happy to receive your blankets they are so amazing!

Millie is working to set aside the blankets we need for South Jordan's Shop with a Cop - so we'd love to see your medium size (1 1/2 yard) fleece blankets.  They can be crocheted on the edges or fringed.  Just look for fun, kid friendly prints appropriate for ages 8-10.

Kristin picked up a donation of well made medium and large sized blankets from Bingham High School Service Club.  Their leader had been in contact with us a few times and did such a great job making the blankets all ready to label and distribute.  The club members met during their lunch hours and after school to work on many service projects.  We were glad to have them include us in their year and hope to hear from them again.  We so appreciate their beautiful work and fun teen printed blankets.  Thank you BHS Service Club!

Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!  We hope to see you soon!


Millie & Kristin

Monday, May 26, 2014

newsletter - June 2014

Dear blanketeers,                                                              May 26, 2014

“Make a Blanket Day” for north VALLEY WILL be Monday june 2nd... come join us at Our Saviour’s Lutheran church 3900 S. 2500 E. From 10-2.   Bring your lunch – we have a wonderful time!! 

 We are planning ahead to some blanket needs coming up this fall.  We've supported South Jordan's Shop with a Cop for several seasons.  Each year before Christmas they take deserving children, who may not always have much, shopping with a law enforcement officer.  This year Millie has started collecting & setting aside the blankets we need.  Please start to think of this project & bring a 1-1/2 yard piece of fleece in print appropriate for 7-10 year olds.  We'll need both boy and girl prints.  These children have had some contact with law enforcement, sometimes now always positive.  This program allows them to have a good experience & some fun with the police officers.   Thank you to all the loving blanketeers making this project possible!  

AFTER THE BLANKETS ARE MADE - Blanketeer Spotlight - Beverley Cook

      There are lots of things to get done before a Linus Blanket is given to a child in need.  One of those is the labeling.  When a blanket passes our high quality standards it is given a special label, packaged, tagged to indicate the appropriate age and gender of the child who should receive it. 
     Beverley Cook, has been the official label sewer for months now.  She sews labels for us from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the first Monday of every month.  She says she loves this job because she gets to see and handle every beautiful cuddly blanket.

       Thanks to Bev for her diligent attention to this important task.    

Blanketeer spotlight
Last week Millie was invited by Barbara Brae (who also crochets, and raises funds for Project Linus) to spend the evening training her Quail Run Ward relief society friends to make fringed no-sew blankets.   They learned how to make a Perfect blanket and completed 6 flawless, cuddly, beautiful pieces during the evening.  As all of us know, there are some pitfalls to be aware of and avoid in order to fringe a high quality blanket.   This group plans to continue making blankets for Project Linus as an ongoing activity.  Many pieces of fleece have already been purchased and are just waiting for their next meeting to be completed.   Thanks ladies for your interest, generosity, and willingness to do good things for children!

All of your time and talent is so appreciated!  We love your beautiful, bright, well made blankets!  Also, if you ever leave a blanket at a drop off site, please leave your name on it so we know who donated it to us.  We do have receipts, if you ever need one from your donation, just contact Kristin.

Thank you to everyone who contributes to Project Linus in Salt Lake County.  Whether you make blankets, sew labels on, package blankets, yarn or fabric, each one of you helps to grow our chapter so we may give a little bit of love and security to a child in crisis. 

Hugs to you all,

Millie & Kristin
Millie #801-272-4024