3 Years, 600 Blankets and Counting!

Tying BlanketsLayers of Love was launched on February 24, 2010.  We are nearing our three year anniversary.  Layers of Love began because of a simple need, one terrible side effect of chemotherapy treatment is being susceptible to cold.

Fleece Blanket Donations

In just under three years we have provided over 600 brand new fleece blankets to chemotherapy patients all over the United States and Canada.  We have received donations from all over the world.  We have donated blankets to Cancer infusion centers all over the United States, from Miami to New York City, from Camden, New Jersey to Milwaukee, from California to North Carolina and many more locations. We collect  both adult sized blankets and pediatric sized blankets.  We collect pediatric size blankets for two wonderful organizations: Chai Lifeline and The Isiah Alonso Foundation.  We have also shipped blankets that have been privately requested by loved ones for their friends, family members, and work colleagues.  We have received requests through our twitter account, our facebook page and through email.  Layers of Love is proud to say that we have never turned down a request for a blanket.  In fact, we have even been able to fulfill requests that have come in for multiple blankets to infusion centers from both nurses and patients.

The reason we have been able to provide so many chemotherapy patients with comfort and warmth is because of generous people just like you.  We have so many friends of Layers of Love donate blankets so that we can continue on our mission.

Community Groups

We have had community groups, church groups, Girl Scout Troops, Brownie Troops, a Life ScoutUniversity dorms, Summer Camp programs plus incredible individuals that have continuously donated blankets to us time and time again.   We are so grateful and thank you for all the support, and blanket donations we have received over the past three years.  With each day that passes by we become more and more committed to providing comfort and warmth to chemotherapy patients.  We do not intend on stopping until each and every chemotherapy patient has a blanket to provide them with comfort and warmth as they go through their treatment. What three years has taught us is that not only are we warming a chemotherapy patient’s body with our blankets, we are also warming their hearts.  What three years has taught us, is that when a chemotherapy patient receives a brand new fleece blanket that was donated from a complete stranger, their face lights up, their hope is raised,  they don’t feel so alone, their heart is indeed warmed. We hope that as we begin on this next year of our journey that you will continue to support our mission, to help us carry on the comfort and warmth.

If you would like to donate a brand new fleece blanket to Layers of Love and aren’t sure where to begin, be sure to visit our website. Check out the FAQ/Guideline tab for more information.

Putting It All Together

I recently took a day and put together several No Sew Fleece Blanket Kits.  Before starting I thought to myself, oh boy, this is going to be 1. very time-consuming and 2. very difficult for a very un-crafty person such as myself.

What unfolded throughout the morning was a very pleasant surprise.

I found that putting together the blankets was a very simple, easy to do, process.  Anyone can really do this.  If you have purchased a kit and aren’t quite sure if you can or how to put it together here are some easy to follow directions.

1.  Open up the blanket kit, lay out both pieces of fabric one right on top of the other.

2. The directions on the kit call for cutting out 7 inch squares on each corner.  Being the type of person who likes to live on the edge, I did not measure.  I just cut the square big enough to allow the strips of fabric to be knotted together.  Once I had one square-cut, I used that first cut out square as a template on the other 3 corners.

3.  Here is a look at the blanket kit with all four corners cut out.

4. After all four corners are cut out you can begin cutting the 1 inch strips out along all four sides of the blanket.  Once again I was living on the edge, just did this by my eye without measuring.

5.  Once I had two sides all cut I started to knot the blanket.  I only knotted the corners.  The reason I did this was so when I picked up the blanket to knot all the sides, the two pieces of fabric would stay matched up together, that way I wouldn’t have to sit on the floor to do the knotting.

6.  Here is a view of the corners knotted.  I found that knotting 2-4 strips of fabric on the corners holds the two pieces of fabric together nicely.

7.  The blanket with all four sides cut out, corners only knotted and ready to be completely knotted.  As I mentioned before, you don’t have to continue on the floor, with all four corners knotted you can move yourself and the blanket to a more comfortable position on a chair to continue knotting all four sides.

8.  Here is the finished No Sew Fleece Blanket Kit.

Here are a few tips that I discovered along the way:

Make sure you have sharp scissors, remember you are cutting through two pieces of fleece fabric at once.

Make sure you have a big enough space to lay out your fabric, remember they are 72 inches long.

If you make a mistake cutting, ie. one strip longer than the other, one square not exact to the other three, don’t sweat it.  This is a homemade project, what you might notice, no one else will.  It’s the imperfections in your work that essentially make it your own and perfect to others.

Set aside about 35 minutes to an hour for your blanket kit from start to finish.  My first blanket kit (of course) took me longer to complete, probably around 50 minutes from start to finish.  By the time I moved on to my third and fourth blanket kit, I was down to about 35 minutes from start to finish.  As with any project, you get into a groove and work in a manner that works for you.

I work best with music.  Before I started putting together the blanket kit I turned on my stereo and some of my favorite music.  It helped me to relax and enjoy the process.

If  you have put together your own blankets, let us know your tips.  What worked best for you?  Make sure you snap some photographs, we would love to share your experience here on our blog!

We understand that everyone is in a time crunch and might not have time to try this for yourself, you can always purchase your kit and have it sent directly to us, we are more than happy to put it together for you.  Simply just ship your donation to:

Layers of Love

154 Galway Circle

Chalfont PA 18914

Thank you!

Where We Are

The donation drive has started.  We are very excited.  We have already received blanket kit donations in the mail.  We have heard from many that you have either planned to donate a blanket or that you already have done so and it is on it’s way to us.  We are so grateful and thank you all.

As we go along with our donation drive we will have suggestions on how you can get involved, and how you can get others involved with you.

The first of these ideas that we offer to you is a great one to bring families together.  Next weekend, we are planning a “Fleece Tying Family Fun Night”.    My daughter is going to have a few of her friends over and they are going to put several of the blanket kits together along with myself and my husband.  We are planning to make it a fun night, we have pizza on the menu and a movie and popcorn also planned.  We are going to have a lot of fun together all while volunteering and donating for a great cause.

Keep an eye right here on our blog and and if  you haven’t yet be sure to  become a Fan on facebook.  We will have photographs and updates from our Fleece Tying Family Fun Night for you.

In the meanwhile, be sure to check out our photographs of the No Sew Fleece Blanket kits that have already been donated for us to put together.  You can view all our photographs on our flickr page.

We are very excited and grateful for everyone who is donating to our cause.  Your donations are helping all the chemotherapy patients have a special homemade warm blanket to comfort them when they need it the most.