This project was a collaboration of several people in my local quilt club. It was inspired by my friend and fellow quilter, Nancy Fish, and her need for a cushion to cover her port from the seat belt while riding in a car. She found a quilted cover online, and the group began to make them for our local cancer care center. The design was modified by our club members over time to the one I’ll show you today. These go together in a flash, and they are a wonderful way to use up scraps of fabric and batting. Any hospital or chemotherapy center would love to have them. Maybe your local group can make some for your local chemo center. Our local group donates hundreds of these a year to our local cancer centers, who then give them to patients in need. For those who need one but do not sew, and otherwise have no access to get one, I have some in my Etsy store.
You’ll need the following materials –
2 pieces of fabric 5 x 7 inches for the base
2 pieces of fabric 3-1/2 x 4-3/4 for tabs
2 one-inch squares of velcro hooks and loops
1 piece of batting 4-1/2 x 6-1/2 inches
Fold the tab in half longwise, and sew across the short side on one end, pivot and sew down the long side.
Leave the other short end open for turning.
Turn and press the tabs, then sew the hook side of the velcro to the end of the tab. I use the hook side on all the tabs so I keep it straight when I am making more than one at a time. I made four at a time this day.
Place the tabs on the top of one of the pieces of 5×7 fabric about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in from each end velcro side down. Where exactly doesn’t really matter, just place them with some space at the ends and between the two tabs. Pin.
Now, turn up the end with the velcro, and mark an ‘X’ on the base to show where the loop side of the velcro should be sewn.
Place the loop side of the velcro over the mark, and sew in place.
Press the tab velcro onto the base velcro.
Place the backing 5×7 piece of fabric right sides together with the front unit. Pin through the tabs in line with the edge so they don’t shift inside while sewing.
Sew around the softie, pivoting at the corners, and leaving an opening on one short side for turning.
Stuff with batting. Update! I now use at least 4 layers of batting instead of two, and a bit more stuffing in the middle.
Topstitch the opening closed.
Continue topstitching around the edge to hold the batting in place. Then, add a bit more batting to the middle. It seems to be more comfortable for the patients if it is softly stuffed, not firm.
Remember that men need these too. So, for every floral one I make, I make another one in a more masculine fabric like a plaid. To use, simply un-hook the velcro and wrap the tabs over the seat belt, press the velcro tabs onto the base and adjust the pad to sit where needed. It can stay on the seat belt until no longer needed.
Easy, fast, and everyone that receives one will be grateful for the cushion in the car from those seat belts. The need is ongoing. There is likely a need in your local area too. Please share this as you can, and I hope that more groups will make these for local chemo patients in your area.
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