If you need ideas to get started on making an afghan or blanket, there are many free patterns out on the internet, ranging from easy/beginner to difficult/expert patterns.
Check out the major yarn brand sites for their free patterns. Some may require you to sign up so that you can log-in for the pattern, but the membership is free.
You can also knit or crochet granny squares and send the completed squares. The squares will be distributed to other group members who will join the squares together to form a blanket. Granny squares should be 6 ins by 6 ins; no lacy patterns.
Caron.com – Afghans
LionBrand.com – afghans, blankets, throws
Ravelry.com – selection of popular designs for blankets, throws, afghans
Tipnut.com – selection of afghan patterns; baby blanket patterns
Granny square patterns:
Tipnut.com – selection of granny square patterns;
(click on photo for link to pattern)