The hum of sewing machines filled the Richmond Hill Public Library on Saturday when members of the Project Linus Greater Savannah Chapter gathered to create special blankets for local children in need.
Judy King, co-coordinator of the Greater Savannah Chapter, said she was glad to see a good turnout of about 15 women from the Richmond Hill and Savannah areas for the chapter’s Project Linus Blanket Day.
The majority of the blankets that the chapter makes go to local children, King said, though she noted the group sent 29 blankets to Joplin, Mo., after a deadly tornado struck the town in May.
“We donate to both hospitals in Savannah, the Red Cross, Bethesda Home for Boys, Gabriel’s House in Hinesville and more,” King said.
“It’s 99.9 percent local,” Pam Petermann, the chapter’s other co-coordinator, added.
Though there wasn’t a set goal for the number blankets for the group to make Saturday, King said making blankets isn’t limited to one of the four Project Linus days held each year.
“We’re lucky if we make 20 today, but we work year round,” King said.
She said some women in the group sew at home, and on each of the four project days the chapter hosts, members bring in blankets they’ve finished and also bring in unfinished blankets and new pieces of fabric to work on.
The only stipulations for blankets, King said, are that the material must be new and of good quality, and the blankets must also be handmade.
“We’re not making art quilts,” King said. “We’re making things for children in distress to help them feel better about themselves.”
No piece of fabric is out of the question according to seamstress Barbara Colay, who said quilting was similar to puzzles.
“I found some scraps and another lady and I found enough to make another blanket,” Colay said. “It’s a free form way of everyone (sewing) their own way and still enjoying it.”
Colay said she enjoyed participating in the group because it allows participants to choose which part of the process they want to do. She said some people sew the Project Linus label on the blankets, and some sew at home and finish them up at the blanket day, but they all work together for a common goal.
“It’s an art form as well as the fact we’re doing something for kids,” Colay said.
Project Linus is a national organization that was started in 1995 to make blankets for children in distress. King said the local chapter was started about five years ago and according to the group’s website, the chapter has donated more than 1,700 blankets to date.
“We do it to give back to the community and help our neighbors – and we know where (the blankets) are going,” participant Dorita D’Alto said.
The Greater Savannah Chapter is looking for new members and people to help.
For more information, visit www.orgsites.com/ga/plsav/ or www.projectlinus.org, or email Pam Petermann at firstname.lastname@example.org.