Frequently Asked Questions
Who or What is Linus?
Linus is a character from the cartoon strip, Peanuts (created by the late Charles Schultz). Linus is the little boy who always carries his comfort blanket.
What is Project Linus?
Project Linus is a national network of volunteers who make beautiful quilts and blankets for sick, distressed or traumatised children living in their local area.
What is a Linus Quilt/ Blanket?
A cheerful, handmade quilt or blanket, designed for a baby, child or teenager to provide warmth, comfort and security. They are given as gifts to individual children who are in need and have come to the attention of our coordinators, or to institutions where there are sick, disabled, disadvantaged or distressed children.
Where do the Quilts/Blankets go?
Typically Linus quilts are donated to the baby, child or teenage wards in hospitals and hospices, bereavement counsellors, children’s homes, foster services, social services, Barnardos, HomeStart, women’s refuges, ambulances, fire engines, police cars, or anywhere else we here of where a child might need that comfort.
How did the Linus Project Start?
The Project started in the US in 1995, when Karen Loucks, who had just learned to crochet, decided to make security blankets for Denver’s Rocky Mountain Children’s Cancer Centre. It was not the first time that volunteers had created these blankets, but Karen spread the word to friends via the internet, and the idea quickly caught on. This group of knitters and quilters organised themselves and Project Linus was born.
How did it get to the UK?
In 2000 Ann Salisbury Jones from England was visiting the Houston Quilt show and heard about Project Linus. Ann decided to get something started here in the UK. In 2003 Project Linus Uk really took off, when we were given a large stand at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC, and publicity in the national magazines Popular Patchwork and Woman’s Own. Visitors to the stand were invited to make patchwork blocks measuring 6 1/2″, to be sewn into quilts. We received 8,000 blocks and volunteers were busy for months making the quilts! From that time it has just grown.
How big is it now?
We have around 100 coordinators across the UK from Shetland to Jersey. Each coordinator has a team of volunteer supporters making quilts for us in their spare time, and some coordinators are supported by local patchwork or knitting groups. In 2016 we delivered just over 36,000 quilts and blankets. There are still a few gaps in the network and even the most active groups can’t provide for all the children who would benefit from a quilt.
How does it work?
Each coordinator keeps in touch with the sewing and knitting groups in their area, and communicates with the hospitals, hospices, and other organisations wanting to receive quilts. All of our coordinators are volunteers and take on as much or as little as they can comfortably manage. Some just collect and deliver quilts and blankets as they become available. Other coordinators organise regular working meetings to make the quilts. We always try to make these working meetings very enjoyable, with lots of fun, conversation, tea and cakes! Many wool or sewing shops throughout the UK have volunteered to act as depots where people can drop off what they have made – and of course , buy more materials for the next Linus project!
How do I find out what is going on in my local area?
The list of coordinators (by region) is available on the Project Linus UK website http://www.projectlinusuk.org.uk