Have you ever heard of a Fidget Quilt? They are lap quilts, the size of oversized placemats, with different textures to feel, and things to open and close to keep hands busy. Our local quilt club is doing them for a couple of local facilities. These are really easy, I made both of these in an afternoon. All you need are some items that can withstand hot water washing and drying in a dryer.
I started by taking a couple of my husbands flannel shirts where the sleeves were worn but the back was still good, and cutting them to get a rectangular piece of flannel for the back. These quilts don’t need to be warm or quilted. The flannel helps to keep them on the patient’s lap so they don’t slide off.
I put this wrong sides together with a larger piece of quilting cotton in a neutral color. This is so the items on the front can be easily seen.
Fold the cotton over about an inch all around the edge, then again to fold over the edge of the flannel, and pin in place on the back side.
Stitch down through all the layers on the back to finish off the edges.
The idea is to provide textures for the Alzheimer’s patient to fiddle with, giving them something to do with their hands. This is a great place to use small bits of crochet, or damaged pieces. These were sent to me by fellow blogger, Kathy in Ozarks, who was happy that I had a use for them.
If you use buttons, they must be large, able to withstand heated drying, and well secured.
Dementia patients will do repetitive things with their hands, so zippers become a great way to provide an activity. Zipping and unzipping is tactile, and provides a bit of sound too. And where else am I going to use this zipper with no pull in fire engine red? I sewed some print fabric to each side to make it larger, then topstitched the piece to the quilt.
I added ribbons to the zipper pulls to give a better gripping area, plus another texture to the quilt. This pink one has been sitting around my craft room forever. Yes, that is a selvege fabric edge, adding another texture to feel. This one is set at an angle, and just stitched down without any additional fabric.
Then I took a hand towel, never used for more then decoration, and cut it in half. I put half on each quilt, one with the satin butterflies flat, and the other was gathered with a ribbon to cover the raw edge. Terry cloth adds another texture to the quilt.
I read online that Alzheimer patients love velcro, and the suggestion was made to put it along opposite sides creating a ‘book’ out of the whole quilt. Interesting idea, but I didn’t have enough Velcro to do that. So I made two little ‘books’ out of fabric and put the velcro on them.
So, here is the first one –
And here is the second one –
I want to add that if you want to do this with your quilt club, be sure you ask at the facility first to be sure you provide what they need. We did two facilities, both with very different rules. You may find that at some facilities buttons are allowed, but not in others. In some, each resident will be given the fidget quilt for their use alone, so they wouldn’t get washed that often. In others, all fidget quilts might be washed frequently, and the recipients receive different ones each time they are brought out. Just check first, so there are no misunderstandings. I am happy to support this worthy cause, and find a way to use some things that would otherwise get donated or thrown away. I hope you enjoyed seeing how some interesting items can be recycled into something very useful.
To see more Alzheimer Fidget Quilts, see my post from early 2016- More Fidget Quilts.
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