A few weeks ago, I received a stuffed package of trims, zippers, patches, and other things from Rosemary in Virginia to assist our quilt club with our Alzheimer quilts project. In return, I promised to make her two Alzheimer quilts for her local group to see how to do them. I finally got them finished, and shipped them off!
I began by quilting two pieces of fabric 18×24 inches. I used the same fabric front and back. The quilting was simple loops.
The second piece was put on the same backing piece with at least 3 inches between.
After quilting, I cut apart the pieces. I trimmed the backing/batting to 1-1/2 inches all around.
Then, I folded the 1-1/2 inches of backing overage to the back along the seam line…
and cut away the excess batting.
Fold the backing raw edge to the edge of the quilt…
then over again to cover the raw edge to form the binding on one side.
Fold the corner at a 90-degree angle to the quilt.
Then fold the next side’s fabric in half, meeting the raw edge to the edge of the quilt.
Fold over again to cover the raw edge, forming a perfect mitered corner.
Put pins in to secure all the corners and top-stitch along the edge of the binding.
Two bases done and ready to add the fidget items.
Rosemary sent all kinds of things to play with. Interesting items you have no other use for can be recycled into something very useful. Colors you might not use are perfect here, like an orange zipper. Bits of this and that can be put to good use rather than thrown away. I picked out this heavy zipper first, and placed it diagonally on the top, stitching it down on both side and each end.
A patch makes a wonderful texture to rub fingers on.
Alzheimer patients tend to like velcro, so I used the pieces Rosemary sent on large grosgrain ribbons. I stitched one side down to the topper.
And then added the other side held only at one end.
Next, long tails of picot trim were added to the zipper pulls to make them easy to grasp, and add another element to play with.
I added two more sections of textural ribbon pom-poms. First one done.
On the second one, I added lace seam binding to the zipper pull. Using a crochet hook makes this easier to thread through the small hole.
I stitched these tennis racket appliques onto a soft flannel pocket form, then stitched it to the quilt.
There was still some of the rainbow trim left, and I liked the gathering on it. This time I stitched two lengths of it down side by side with the gathers going in opposite directions.
This one got a velcro strip too.
I made a ribbon flower from a pretty ribbon trim, and added a button to the center.
This cute little patch was stitched down too.
Second one done.
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. Our local club makes these for two facilities, both with very different rules. You may find that at some facilities buttons are allowed, but not in others. In most cases, the items on the quilt need to be able to stand washing in hot water and drying in a dryer. Plastic that might melt isn’t a good idea. In some facilities, 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. You can see the other Alzheimer quilts I made last year HERE.
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17 thoughts on “More Fidget Quilts for Alzheimer and Dementia Patients”
What a wonderful thing to do for those people!!! We always hear about doing for regular nursing homes but I hate to admit this is the first time I have seen one for these special patients. I love them and will look into it for my area. Thank you Carole.
Wow, what a great idea! Love that you share how to make them in such great detail.
These did turn out exceptional! Carole, you are so inspiring, …. really!
Today I am taking mom to the heart doc for her check up and then later I am going to see the activities director and the nursing director at my parents Erickson Neighborhood, Ashby Ponds. There is a rehab center there Maple Grove and a long term care is also in that building. I am going to show them your creations and ask them if they have any thoughts or precautions.
Also going to find out exactly how many patients there are that might benefit from one of these. i like the idea of each patient having their very own, but also wonder if having many to share is better. Sometimes you would think different would be better, but upon further thought, different can be overwhelming.
Thank you for sharing how to make these. I am very excited to make them.
Enjoy the sun.
Good Morning Carole! These are absolutely fabulous activity quilts that you have created! I also think that you did a great job in explaining the reasons to check out the “rules” of the future homes, because knowing these would be extremely important. I will have to ask our guild leader if this is something that we contribute to. I know that we mainly focus on babies up to the age of 18, but we also try and include the whole community. So it never hurts to ask, plus if not, Deanna and I could make some and deliver them ourselves. We are also going to be making pet beds for local animal shelters. It really makes you feel wonderful giving something to someone just because you want to and you know that it will make them smile or in the case of the animal make them warm! Have a fantastic creative day and great job on both quilt projects Carole! You always inspire me! Thank You!
Your quilts are wonderful, and I’m sure quite appreciated! After seeing your first post about these quilts last year (had never heard of them before), I bought one on Etsy for my father-in-law with dementia. It has snaps, zippered and buttoned pockets and a bunch of (removable for washing) little gadgets for playing with. I even added a luggage tag that I wrote our family tree on, with his two kids & spouses and three grandkids, so he could (hopefully!) remember his immediate family when not in his presence. I put some goodies in the pockets for him, too. We find he won’t fiddle with it all the time, so we bring it out once a week and then it will occupy him for quite some time. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea with us!
So glade I saw this. My Mother had Alzheimer’s. She loved to using her hands to see her hold life. When she was declining, she would keep her hands busy touching things and some times hand sewing with nothing in her hands. She would have loved these little quilts. I am contacting people in my area to do this. Thank you!
It’s very kind of you and your group to make these.
This is the first time that I have heard of these or seen one…what a sweet and kind project for you and your group to work on!
What an interesting idea. I’ve never heard of this before. And I’ll take that orange zipper you don’t want — I love orange. LOL
What a wonderful sweet project.
My oldest daughter just started working as a activities corrdinator at a senior home, so I couldn’t resist sharing your post.idea with her as most here clients have Dementia. SHe’s handy with the sewing the machine and loved your idea. THANKS for sharing at TUesday Archives under our button theme this week Carole.
My grandmother, her sister and their mother all died of Alzheimers. I take that as a sign that it is hereditary, so I’m likely to see more family members go through it, and will probably go through it myself. This is a very nice thing you are doing. Anything to keep their hands and brains busy is a good thing.
what a wonderful and caring project !! Thanks for the great tutorial!
These are a great idea.
I would also add plastic snaps like your Velcro strips. I put some on my coffee mug just to test the pliers and play with them all the time.
Great tip about doing the backs first. I have been doing the other way around.
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