Try to remember the comfort against the big cold world you got from a cherished blanket when you were a child.
Christine Taylor, the coordinator of the Dufferin County Project Linus chapter, had a cherished quilt made by her 15-year-old great-great grandmother. It was of a mix of different fabrics and completely sewn and quilted by hand.
“This quilt was always on the bed at our family cottage when I was growing up and I spent many nights cuddled up under it,” Taylor said. “This particular quilt was the inspiration for my very first quilt that I made in my early 20s and it is what started my journey into quilting.”
That journey led her to Project Linus Canada. There are 44 chapters across Canada of “blanketeers” who provide much-loved blankets to children going through a crisis in their lives.
Blankets go to young children who have lost a parent or sibling, to a youth watching his home burn down, to teens diagnosed with cancer or other debilitating disease. When the world goes crazy and a child feels like a speck of dust, the gift of a blanket from someone who made it with love and care is huge.
Volunteer blanketeers provide new, handmade, washable blankets to be given as gifts to seriously ill and traumatized children as old as 17.
All blanket styles are welcome, including quilts, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted Afghans, and receiving blankets in child-friendly colors.
From the group’s website: Always remember that blankets must be homemade, washable, free of pins, and come from environments free from contaminates due to allergy reasons.
Taylor’s childhood quilt remained at the family cottage until the cottage was sold. Then it was given to her mother.
“Over the years, it had become very well loved and was starting to show signs of wear. My mother took this quilt and repaired and replaced some of the fabrics that needed it and added new binding on the edge of the quilt to restore it.
“This quilt was then given to me before my mother passed and is now a treasured quilt in my collection that holds fond memories of my childhood and my mother.”
Taylor decided to get involved with the project as a means to provide comfort to young people in tough times, she said. The Dufferin County chapter is only a few weeks old with about a dozen blanketeers.
“I have followed Project Linus Canada for many years and have contributed a few quilts over the years to neighboring chapters,” she said.
She said the gift of a handmade blanket for a child going through a tough time in their lives or a child who is battling an illness offers a tangible sense of warmth, comfort, and love from their community.
It is also a special way for blanketeers to share their gifts of knitting, crochet, or sewing with others who are going through a difficult time in their lives.
“I am sure there are many children in our area that would enjoy the comfort of a handmade blanket,” Taylor said. “I have always loved quilts. I grew up with a family of knitters, crocheters, and quilters so there was always a handmade blanket within reach when you needed to feel warm and cozy.
“It is my goal to connect children in Dufferin County with a handmade blanket so that they can enjoy the same feeling of love and comfort when they need it the most.”
For information on how to take part in the project, you can email Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org
By James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on May 12, 2023 at 07:38