40 X 40 Welcome Blanket Project

The people who brought us the Pussyhat Project have now brought us the Welcome Blanket Project . They ask, What if we welcome instead of exclude? What if instead of a concrete wall 2000 miles long we offer a yarn line 2000 miles long, a line of welcome blankets?

Blankets can be knitted, crocheted, woven or–drum roll–quilted.

I decided to get out my F2F (FootSquare Freestyle) blocks since 9 of the 12 1/2-inch blocks with a small border would make the required 40 x 40 size. This being the first quilt I’ll have made from the total (well, minus one really as I have one of my own 3 yet to make) I have a full range to choose from.

Arranging sampler blocks, various patterned blocks, requires a balancing act. Will I balance blocks by color? by saturation? by shapes? by value?

I started out with my eye on color. I create balance mostly diagonally in a square construction, but I pay some attention to horizontal and vertical.


Although it doesn’t show in the photo, the middle-column blocks each have green in them, the brights make a cross, and the browns finish the corners.

Not quite working. The upper right is too light. So I started to work with value, keeping the color arrangement.


Better. Now one diagonal is brown and the other brown with a touch of bright. Nice. But the white background of the lower-right block draws attention as out of place. And the upper right square piece didn’t complement the lower left checkerboard. So I switched the top and bottom of the right column.


Somewhat improved, but there was still that white background problem, now in the upper right.

And then it dawns on me. The color arrangement isn’t cut in stone. It too is a variable. And there are lots of star blocks.


This time, paying more attention to shape created the final arrangement. I’ll sew the top tomorrow, then quilt it as soon as I can.

The final due date for quilted/knitted/crocheted/woven blankets is September 5, 2017.  However, the Installation at the Smart Museum of Art of the University of Chicago will open in July with an empty room and change as they receive blankets. So the sooner the better.  When the Installation closes, the quilts will be distributed to various refugee resettlement groups.

Are you interested in making one?

Essential information (more detail on the  website– https://www.welcomeblanket.org/ )

The blanket itself: 40 inches by 40 inches. (If they find more sizes can be used, this will be updated on the FAQ on the website.) Preferably washable fibers

Include a note of welcome and introduction. There are suggestions on the FAQ. Without the suggestions, I’d not have thought of including my own immigration background.

Mail them to Smart Museum of Art, WELCOME BLANKET, 5550 S Greenwood Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60637, USA




Filed under design, quilting

10 responses to “40 X 40 Welcome Blanket Project

  1. quilt32

    My daughter heard about this last week and we are both in the process of knitting blankets. Mine is about 1/3 finished. I love the idea of this. Your quilt looks wonderful.

  2. Cher Smith

    thank for sharing this! right up my area of interest..

  3. One time when I wish I wasn’t so far away (most of the time I’m grateful for every mile of distance from your beloved President). I’d love to participate, but it just isn’t practical. Bravo for holding out the hand of friendship.

  4. What a wonderful project to participate in! You have a large and beautiful heart 🙂

  5. Super, Claire. You always do inspire me! I love your final arrangement, and to such a good cause. Thanks for this post.

  6. dezertsuz

    Thanks for showing your process. I do like the final arrangement quite a bit.

  7. magpiesue

    I’m glad to learn about this project. Your F2F blocks are a perfect source for a quilt for this since they came from all around the world! I don’t find 40″ square quilts terribly useful but if that’s what they want, that’s what I’ll try to provide. 🙂

  8. Nice! I get great ideas from you! I ‘all go look at that website!

  9. Your blocks look nice and that sounds like a great project. Unfortunately, if I joined in they’s end up with high customs charges.

  10. Love your final arrangement!

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