"Blanketeers" Convene for Charity and Comfort

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Equipped with products donated by industry leaders, Project Linus volunteers from across the U.S. gather in Illinois to create quilts and blankets that will provide love, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill or traumatized.

A happy Project Linus blanket recipient

They don't call quilts 'comforters' for nothing!

Carol Babbitt, president of Project Linus, has announced the 10th annual Project Linus National Conference, June 18-21, at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center, Bloomington, Illinois. The conference is held each summer as an educational seminar, and is open only to Project Linus Chapter Coordinators. Nearly 200 participants are expected.

Mark Hyland, CEO of Handi Quilter and author of ''Help! I Married a Quilter'', is the keynote speaker for the Saturday Symposium. Author and motivational speaker, Kirk Weisler (http://www.kirkweisler.com) offers a presentation on Saturday evening. Chef J. Warren, Five-Star Executive Chef and bestselling author, will tempt energetic stitchers who have worked up an appetite, with a cooking class on Friday afternoon. And Cathy Miller, ''The Singing Quilter,'' will provide entertainment at the Friday dinner.

Author Meryl Ann Butler will teach techniques from her book, ''90-Minute Quilts: 15+ Projects You Can Stitch in an Afternoon'' (http://www.90minutequilts.com) in two classes on Wednesday. She has created and designed many quilt-related community service projects, including the First U.S.-Soviet Children's Peace Quilt Exchange Project (1987-88), and the Anti-Apartheid: Love for All Mankind Quilt (1993), now in the collection of Nelson Mandela. In the days following the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, she created healing quilts for both the school, and for her daughter, a student there. Butler notes, "They don't call quilts 'comforters' for nothing!"

Several dozen quilts for the Project Linus coffers will be made in Butler's classes. All of the materials for these quilts as well as door prizes have been donated: Quilting Treasures has provided fabrics from their Marie Osmond Heirloom Gardens and Paddington collections, and backing and binding flannel fabrics have been supplied by Henry Glass. Fairfield Processing has provided Nature-Fil Bamboo Batting, a new blend of sustainable bamboo fiber-organic cotton batting, and threads are courtesy of Coats and Clark.

The use of one hundred Brother sewing machines is being provided by Galesburg Sewing Center, Galesburg, IL. Owner, Dave Gillette, also donated a Brother SE270D sewing machine, as a grand prize for a lucky volunteer. Other door prize donors include: Clover Needlecraft, Cut for the Cure Rulers (Brewer), Island Batik, Prym-Dritz, and Quilting NOW, Quilter's World, and Quiltmaker magazines.

Project Linus is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that provides love, a sense of security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need, through their gifts of new, handmade blankets. An estimated 50,000 volunteers in 400 chapters across the U.S. have donated over 2 million lovingly sewn, quilted, knitted, and crocheted blankets since the inception of the project in 1995. To make a donation of blankets or a monetary contribution, or to locate a local chapter near you, please see the website at http://www.projectlinus.org

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Carol Babbitt, president
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