Posts Tagged ‘blanket’


 

Patch Blanket 1996-2013It is done! That is correct, the second of my patch blankets is complete. I picked up the last patches this morning from the Scout Shop. Now I am waiting for the glue to dry. This new blanket contains 144 patches.

This second blanket had a couple interesting “happenings” that were unplanned. First, as you can see from the picture, I used the 2010 B.S.A. anniversary blanket design, the same as the first blanket. Since this blanket would contain patches from the 100th anniversary year, I decided to leave the 2010 logo mostly exposed, instead of covering it up like I did on blanket one. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the row featuring patches from 2010 actually ended up on the same level as the logo. I was even able to use an anniversary patch on top of the zero of 2010.

The last two patches I needed included a roundtable staff patch. I wanted to it to recognize that I joined the Scenic District roundtable staff in the fall of 2013. It was also the last patch I “earned” for the year. The final patch was the generic Leave No Trace patch. I really wanted 2013 to end this blanket and it happened to work out that way. The year 2014 will be the year to start a new one. However, each of the two completed blankets display 16-17 years of patches. I have a feeling there may not be a third blanket for me. At least, not a completely covered one.

When I was at the Scout Shop this morning Bob, my district executive, happen to catch me and we had a nice chat. He also asked me if I planned to bring the blankets to the roundtable on Tuesday, January 7th. I replied that I could. I bought a couple of garment racks to hang them on to display. I did bring the first blanket to the Boy Scout roundtable in December which meant, of course, that the Cub Scout leaders did not see it. I may display both blankets in the lobby this time so everyone can view them. After all, I did create the blankets to be viewed. The next time I plan to display the flags will be during the first week of February, during Scouting Anniversary week.

Both patch blankets 1980-2013Now that that Scouting project is complete, what do I begin as a new one?

Click on the pictures to see a larger photo.

 

 

 

 

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Boy Scout Patch BlanketIt is only five more weeks until Boy Scout Troops and Cub Scout Packs around the country celebrate B.S.A. Scout Anniversary Week. Local units will be setting up displays in their communities to promote their Scout programs. We will probably be doing the same here in Melrose. We have four businesses in town that allow us to set up displays. Soon it will be time to plan what will be on the tables in each establishment. (Check out our 2012 displays at http://www.melrosetroop68.org/blog/?p=2892 )

If you have been following this blog you know that I completed my first Scouting patch blanket a month or so ago. It took several months for me to finish it but I think it turned out well. I plan to use that blanket as a part of one of the displays this coming year. I think it will attract a fair amount of attention.

I have now been working on the second blanket. This new blanket will hopefully display the rest of my patches (from 1996 to present day). I am also hoping their will be some room left over to apply future patches. At least a couple years worth. I think it will, but I will not be sure until I add a few more rows. If not, well, I guess I may have to start a third blanket.

Back to Scouting anniversary week. I really would like to be able to display both blankets, but that means I will not be able to take several months to complete the new one. In fact, I cannot even take several weeks. I have five weeks left. I guess I will not be able to drag my feet this time. I finished the third row tonight, and laid out the patches for the fourth row. As you can see, this will bring me to the year 2001. I guess you could say I have 14 years worth of patches to apply in a one month period. Lucky for me there are not as many patches in this 14 period as there was in the previous 14 years.

patchblanket2layoutI recently completed my first Scouting patch blanket. I have received several positive comments about it already. One Scouter even wrote to say he may start his own after seeing the pictures of mine. I say, go for it. It is a great way to display the patches collected through the years. Much better than a notebook anyway. Unfortunately, my first blanket only displays patches collected to 1996. I have a lot more patches so it is time to think about creating a second blanket.

Today I began laying out the patches for that second blanket. The 4 foot by 4 foot piece of paneling I used to staple the patches to only went up to 2004, so I had to start looking around the house for last nine years worth of patches. You see, I did not have one nice place that I would put them after each outing. This could be interesting.

I began looking in the closet cabinet in my basement family room. I keep a lot of Scouting stuff in there. I did find quite a few in the various small totes but I knew there was more of them. I checked my briefcase, the bedroom, the office, and the kitchen. (I did actually find a couple in the kitchen.) I soon had enough patches to make a couple more rows.

I found a few Many Point Scout Camp patches but they did not have years shown on the design. Time to do a online search on the Many Point virtual patch collection. I discovered the years of all the patches on the site except for one. For some reason the site only shows patches to 2010. I hope that one patch is for 2012 because that is were I plan to place it.

No one will be playing table tennis at my house for awhile. As you can see in the picture, the second blanket is laying on half the table. The patches are laid out on the other half. Last time it took me nearly a year to create a patch blanket. The goal this time is to finish the new blanket by Christmas. This year. Or at least by the end of 2013.

I do have a question for those of you who have created your own patch blankets. Have you put your Scouting knots on your blanket?

2013-11-26 patch blanketIt is hard to believe that it is nearly three years since I first seriously began thinking of taking thirty years of patches from various Scouting events and sewing them on a blanket like so many Scouters have done. In the summer of 2012 I laid out one of my Scouting blankets on my ping pong table and started placing patches to see how it would look, and play around with an arrangement. After six months I came to the conclusion the patches were not going to sew themselves so in January of this year I began sewing patches.

After the first row was sewn, the blanket laid untouched for a few months. I do not like to sew. Finally, the second row was complete. By the time I was working on the third row I discovered I had a hard time keeping the patches straight and that the blanket was starting to bunch up a bit. I tried an experiment when I began the fourth row. I had a bottle of Fabri-Tac so I tried spot glueing the patches into place to try to keep them straight. It worked, very well in fact. I decided to try using only glue on a few patches to see if they would stay without sewing. They did. Sewing was now done. The rest of the patches would be glued into place.

Last Sunday I finished the last three rows on the blanket. It took me nearly 11 months from when I first grabbed a needle and thread. If the Fabri-Tac had not worked well I would bet the blanket would not be even one third of the way completed today. I was able to glue 4 patches in the same time I was able to sew one patch. I just had to be careful. I only had one chance to place a patch properly when I glued it.

There one hundred forty two patches in twelve rows on the blanket, including the segment patches from summer camp. For the bottom half I used a straight edge to keep the patches in line. The first patch is from a 1980 council camporee. The last patches were from the 1996 summer camp at Many Point Scout Camp. Patches from Wood Badge, Philmont Scout Ranch, and awards earned at the summer camp rifle range are included. In the middle of the blanket I placed an assistant scoutmaster and a scoutmaster patch to represent those troop positions I held during those 16 years. A roundtable commissioner patch can be found along the left edge. Order of the Arrow conclave patches and one from the 1995 B.S.A National Meeting complete the blanket.

The only thing left is to find a way to display the blanket when it is part of Scouting displays set up around town. The best thing I have found online so far is an expandable garment rack. I am open for suggestions if you have any.

If you click on the picture a larger version will appear. Which one is your favorite patch? Do you see the one from America’s Funniest Home Videos? How does this blanket compare to your patch blanket? Send me a picture and I may post a future article featuring your blankets.

Now it is time to consider starting work on the second blanket….

Patch BlanketI do not know about you, but I hate sewing. Maybe one reason for that is I am not very good at it. And it takes too long. And I keep sticking myself with the needle. That is why when I decided to take the Scouting patches I have collected over the last 33 years and start sewing them onto blankets (yes, that is plural) I knew it was going to be a challenging task to accomplish.

Well, I have two rows of patches sewn to the first blanket. They cover the years 1980 through 1984. I have discovered that sewing gets tougher when you start moving further into the center of the blanket. Also, I am having trouble keeping the patches straight. They seem to move on me when I am not paying attention. Grrrrr. When it came time to start the third row I decided to try a few spots of Fabri-Tac permanent adhesive to hold them in the proper place while I sewed them. It worked very well, but I was still sticking my fingers.

I finally decided to try completely glueing a patch into place. Actually, it was three little ones, quality unity patches. After an hour I checked them. The glue was holding very well. I tugged on the four previous spot glued patches and the glue was holding the patches to the blanket very well. I decided to glue four pocket patches along the border.

Wow, what a time saver. I am able to position and glue ten or more patches in the time it would take me to sew one patch. Of course, they will be stuck permanently to the blanket, but I really have no intention of ever removing them. I have only one chance to position them properly or I will end up with a mess.

The goal was to have at least one blanket done to use in the displays we set up around town during Boy Scout anniversary week in February. If I glue them, I may have both blankets done in time for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday. Actually, I could probably have the first blanket done by this weekend which would be great because the troop’s overnighter will be held at my place, and I will need the ping pong table open so the Scouts can have their their table tennis tournament.

I will wait another hour or two before making a final decision, but I have a feeling the rest of the patches will be glued. Of course, I would not use the Fabri-Tac for glueing patches to a shirt. Sewing or Badge Magic is still best for that type of use.

Boy Scout patch blanket

When you have been involved in Scouting for as long as I have (over 32 years) you end up accumulating a lot of patches. Some are earned by simply attending a Scouting event. Others are earned by being on staff for an activity. Others have requirements that must be completed before being awarded. And finally, there are those that you buy just because they look cool. There is a lot of truth in the saying, “A Scout (or Scouter) will do anything for a patch.”

I probably have nearly 200 Scout related patches. For many years I stapled them to a four foot by four foot sheet of paneling and hung it on the wall. The patches were placed in rows, by year in the order I received them. I was fun to be able to view all the patches at one time. It was a colorful item used in some of the Scouting displays I would place around town during Boy Scout anniversary week in February.

Unfortunately, a few years ago, I ran out of room on the patch board. I had teased the Boy Scouts that when the board was full it would be time for me to retire from Scouting. The last patch was stapled to the board in 2005. I remained as scoutmaster (until the end of 2011) and currently serve as a committee member. I guess you could say the board really did not have any say on when I would retire from the Scout program.

I now have a problem. I have a lot more patches that need a home. I also need wall space to hang photos, art prints, and other items. It is time for the old patch board to come down off the wall, but I really have no place to store it. It may be time to do something I have wanted to do for a long time. It is time to create a patch blanket. Or two. Yep, definitely two blankets.

Several Christmases ago my sister gave me a Scout blanket as a present. A few years ago a couple Eagle Scouts gave me another Scout blanket as a gift. Last year I received a third Scout blanket at another Eagle court of honor. I guess I have enough blankets to make this work.

Tonight I began taking patches off the board and started placing them on the first blanket, which happens to be a Boy Scouts of America 100th anniversary design. I am placing more patches on it them I originally thought I would be able to place on it. I think it is going to look pretty sharp. I am far enough along to see that I will need two blankets for all the patches.

There is one major problem with my plan. I do not sew. I hate sewing. I am not good at it. And I do not plan to get good at it. I think I will use some Badge Magic to hold the patches in place and take them to a person in town has a sewing business in her home. I realize it will cost me some bucks to have this done put I think it is going to be well worth it. I plan to ask her if she can put a couple loops at the top of the blanket so that I could hang it on a wall or rod. This way I could continue to use it as part of Scouting displays.

What do you think about my first blanket? Do you have a patch blanket? I would appreciate hearing your comments.

Here is what is left on the board yet.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about patch blankets since the last blog post. In fact, I took out my two Scouting blankets over the weekend to see if they would work. I received both blankets as gifts, one from my sister for Christmas, the other from a couple of Eagle Scouts at their court of honor.

As I looked at them I thought that if I did start sewing patches on them I would not want to cover up the center logo or the writing on the edge of the design. However, I could put quite a few patches between the logo and border. That could look pretty cool.

The next thought was that I would not want to turn both of them into a patch blanket. The one with the white frills on the edge would have to stay as a throw blanket. So, I would need another one or two if I was to put all my patches onto blankets. I began looking online and found several Scouting themed patterns that could be used as a blanket. However, I did not find the fleece pattern for these blankets any longer. I could just use a red or green surplus army blanket. But this would look much cooler.

The next thought was how would I display it when it was done. I thought a loop sewn into the top of the blanket would allow me to hang the blanket by sliding a closet rod or dowel into it, like I saw in a picture recently. Or maybe just a few small loops instead of one full length one.

My last thought was why am I making this such a tough decision? I still do not know what I should do.

I have collected a lot of patches during thirty years as a Boy Scout leader. The council shoulder patches are alphabetically arranged in a three ring binder. So are the Order of the Arrow lodge patches and the patches from the 2001 National Jamboree.

The patches I have collected from attending Scouts camporees and other functions have found a place stapled to a four foot by four foot sheet of paneling that is hanging on a wall in my basement family room. (This can be seen in one of Buttons’ videos.) I have used this colorful patch filled sheet in displays set up around town for Scout Anniversary Week.

I few years ago I ran out of space on the sheet so the patches have been accumulating in a couple places around the house. I was thinking about starting a few more binders but they do not display as nicely as the paneling. I would like to be able to display them well but yet store them away easily.

It may be time to start a patch blanket, or two, or three. The reason I have not started one in the past is because I do not sew. I have tried sewing a few patches onto my uniform and discovered I am lousy at it, and I do not like doing it. Thus, I am a fan of Badge Magic.

There is a lady in Melrose who lives about three blocks from em who has a small sewing shop in her house. She has sown several patches to my uniform and was very reasonably priced for her service. I do not know what she would charge to sew a hundred patches unto a blanket. It might be a little costly, but I have to do something.

I have a few questions for those of you who read this blog. Where is a good place to find a reasonably priced blanket for this purpose? What kind of blanket should it be? Fleece or wool? What is the best size? I appreciate your suggestions and comments.