11 March, 2003
Traditionally Valentine’s Day brings warmth to the hearts of many with declarations of caring and love. This year Cupid’s day of devotion extended throughout the weekend as volunteers from coast to coast met at Janome dealerships for National Make a Blanket Day. This fourth annual event, the first sponsored by Janome, was held on February 15 and generated more than 25,000 blankets for Project Linus, a non-profit organization that distributes new, handmade blankets to kids in need. A total of 189 Janome dealers in 40 states participated nationwide.
Despite some severe weather in the east/northeast (where some dealers had to cancel or postpone the event), National Make a Blanket Day was a huge success. Many participating dealers brought in hundreds of blankets. Five Janome dealers in Oregon collected a total of 864 handmade blankets; A-1 Vacuum & Sewing in Fairhope, AL (population 17,000) collected 239 blankets; Kramer’s Sew-N Vac East in Cincinnati, OH generated 505 blankets; and The Needle Nest in Spring, TX added 411 blankets to the project. In most cases blankets will be distributed by Project Linus reps to children’s hospitals, fire departments and family service organizations in the area in which the blankets were created; however eight blankets from Quilt n Sew in Katy, TX went to the children of the astronauts who were killed in the recent shuttle explosion.
Sewing clubs, Girl Scout troops, quilt guilds, and a variety of other sewing organizations contributed time, effort and donations of notions and fabric to the cause and, with each blanket made, increased their chances of winning a Janome 6125QC sewing machine. The machine give-away was part of the program; everyone who turned in a new, handmade blanket to participating Janome dealers received a ticket to enter the drawing.
Randy Thomas, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Janome, is delighted with the outcome and extended a warm thanks to all Janome dealers as well as a group of employees who donated their time on National Make a Blanket Day to create handmade quilts at the company’s Mahwah, NJ office. “I am proud that Janome can be part of the Project Linus mission to provide blankets to every kid that needs a hug,” says Thomas.
Carol Babbitt, President of Project Linus, is overwhelmed with the sheer numbers of blankets generated but does not worry for a minute about where they will all go. “We’ve never been able to accommodate the needs of all the children out there,” says Babbitt. “This year, with the help of Janome America, we will be much closer to being able to do that.”
Janome and Project Linus have committed to co-presenting National Make a Blanket Day in 2004. Planning for next year is already underway.
Janome , with North American headquarters in Mahwah, New Jersey, produces over one million sewing machines annually as well as a line of related sewing products and embroidery software. They are a category leader in innovation, and Janome sewing machines are recognized throughout the industry for their ease-of-use and unsurpassed stitch quality. In December 2002, Janome’s 40 millionth home sewing machine came off the line at the company’s Tokyo manufacturing plant.
Project Linus is a 100% volunteer organization whose mission is to provide love, security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade, washable blankets.
To view more photographs from National Make a Blanket Day, visit, our Janome In The News section.