I’ve been busy packing blankets to send to the 3 Rez organizations we currently support- Healthy Start, the Obstetrics Unit at Pine Ridge Hospital and the Wanblee Community Center. The need is there winter, summer, spring and fall, only the type of blanket needed changes.
When summer temperatures soar to 90 plus, a light receiving blanket may be all that’s needed, mainly in the evenings when temperatures drop in desert areas. Receiving blankets are easy to make, cut a piece of flannel 36”x36” or measure the width of your fabric (after selvedges are trimmed), cut the length the same measurement and finish by serging or hemming with a ½ inch double hem.( Another example of a receiving blanket) Simple and finished in an hour or less. I always buy flannel on sale and can make a blanket for around $2.50, sometimes I’ve even found ready made blankets cheaper at clearance sales. If you’re short on cash look for good flannel sheets (flat usually in much better condition than fitted) at resale shops or garage sales to use for your project.
Lightweight quilts would be a welcome addition in early or late summer. Use your scraps for patchwork or a piece of brightly colored kids print for a “cheater” quilt, back them with cotton, flannel or light fleece and use a thin batting. Be creative use bright prints and solids, applique some blocks with animals, numbers, letters, etc. so the quilt becomes fun for the child in addition to keeping them warm. Quilts can be used on the floor for a play area or even thrown across a chair or table for a “tent”.
Suggested sizes: Baby 30×36 Toddler/lapghan 36×48 Youth 42×48 Twin 48×72( link)
In fall and winter when temperatures dip below zero thicker quilts are needed to keep kids warm as most homes are poorly insulated and fuel at times unaffordable. Fleece blankets are especially good as are receiving blankets that are double sided and knitted or crocheted afghans with solid patterns (not lacy) made from washable wool or acrylic
Blankets can of course be purchased new or gently used. Hospitals can only accept new items due to regulations. Handmade items are considered new. Doing laundry on the Rez can be a problem, many people don’t have washers and the closest laundromat is off the reservation so a few blankets per child are welcome especially for the younger ages. Healthy Start and the Wanblee community center will accept sheets and larger blankets for the family as many children at the young ages share a bed with their parents.
So rev up those machines or get your hooks and needles flying and make a few blankets for the kids in our programs. As always thanks from Sew For Kids and don’t forget to share your ideas and pics.