What Is A Fidget Blanket: A Helpful 3-Step Guide To Make One

What is a fidget blanket, and how do you use it? Fidget blankets or sensory blankets have become popular over the past few years for seniors affected with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These individuals have restless hands that can benefit from something that they can focus on.

Fidget blankets will allow these individuals to redirect their energies into something familiar while being in the comfort of their own homes. Sensory blankets can be made by repurposing old materials from around the house, and they are pretty easy to make. Learn how using the tips below.

 

what is a fidget blanket

How To Make A Fidget Blanket

 

Step 1: Select the materials to use

Among the most important parts of creating a fidget blanket include choosing the suitable materials to use, materials that are durable and machine-washable. You can use two types of fabrics: a soft one like fleece to go on the lap and a textured one for embellishments.

Don’t limit yourself to picking types of materials. Fidget blankets can be quilted, knitted, or crocheted to provide textures or sensory stimulation for those living with dementia.

 

Step 2: Sew the fabrics together

Cut out your fabrics into the size desired. Sew the reverse sides of the fabrics together, leaving a three-inch opening for turning.

After turning the blanket, secure the rest of the blanket by sewing the opening shut. You can cut different types of fabric in equal-sized squares for a quilt-type option with different fabrics and textures.

Place the squares together, ensuring that the ends match each other, and sew the backside of quilt pieces. Attach pins to hold the fabrics in place while they are being sewn together. Leave a three-inch unsewn opening for turning.

 

Step 3: Decide on the embellishments to add

After turning your blanket, you can begin personalizing the blanket. In selecting embellishments, it is ideal to take into account what the receiver would need.

For instance, if he or she constantly pulls on their jacket zipper, you can add a zipper to the fidget blanket as well. There is no limit to your imagination — some fidget blankets feature buttons, ribbons, beads, ropes, toggles, and shoelaces, to name a few.

You can also personalize the blanket by adding the receiver’s name to the blanket, or adding items related to things they enjoy. Make sure that all the items on the fidget blanket are correctly reinforced. This is to avoid patients pulling on them or putting them in their mouth, which could turn them into choking hazards.

 

Who Benefits From Fidget Blankets

 

Individuals living with dementia or Alzheimer’s

When dementia or Alzheimer’s enter the later stages of the disease, the brain no longer works properly to stay calm. Those living with these diseases may start pulling on their clothes or scratch themselves. Fidget blankets become their outlet for their restlessness and aggression, as it gives them something to do.

 

Individuals with autism

People living with autism are likely to become overloaded with sensory inputs. They may tap their fingers or pull at their clothes. A fidget blanket can keep their hands occupied to help them focus, especially during therapy sessions.

 

Individuals with congenital disabilities or traumatic brain injuries

Making a busy blanket for someone suffering from a brain injury can help relieve stress or agitation. Incorporating the patient’s favorite items on the blanket can help stimulate memories and improve his or her brain activity.

 

Benefits Of Fidget Blankets

 

Encourages development of motor skills

Seniors who have dementia or Alzheimer’s who have restless hands use fidget blankets to use their hands and alleviate agitation, as it gives them something to focus on. This allows their energy to be redirected into something familiar to them.

 

Includes mindful activities

Children and adults alike learn best when they engage their senses. This is why providing sensory stimulus is crucial to brain development. Using fidget blankets can improve a person’s ability to learn more tasks and gross motor skills.

 

Calms or relieves anxiety

Fidget blankets are proven to reduce anxiety and relieve restlessness as they help make the nervous hands of patients busy. By including items on the blanket that could mean something to the patient, the blankets can stimulate the brain through memories and senses, leaving the patients with a sense of security.

Fidget blankets offer a lot of comfort for individuals living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It provides them with sensory and tactile stimulation and can even relieve them of anxiety.

When a disease such as dementia progresses, a person’s hands tend to get more nervous and fidgety; thus, they need these blankets to stimulate their memories and senses. While these are made with seniors in mind, fidget blankets can be used for other patients as a therapeutic sensory play item.

These blankets can be customized with patterns, textures, ribbons, beads, zippers, pompoms, pockets, and other personal items. No matter what you include in your fidget blanket, ensure that all items are attached securely to avoid patients from pulling them out. The decorative items should also be large enough to prevent them from being a choking hazard.

 

Conclusion

If you or a loved one are having trouble in dealing with nerves at certain times, learning what is a fidget blanket may help you out. This is a helpful tool in calming yourself down whenever necessary. Instead of seeking professional help right away, try the efficiency of fidget blankets first.

how to machine quilt a baby blanket

How To Machine Quilt A Baby Blanket: Basic 3-Step DIY Guide

Babies love soft things. If you’re a quilter with a little one, it’s essential to know how to machine quilt a baby blanket for them to snuggle with.

You’ll need a sewing machine, quite a few fabrics, and some patience. If all goes well, your baby will bask in the comfort of a newly quilted blanket in no time.

 

How Do You Machine Quilt A Baby Blanket?

Whether it’s your first time quilting or you need a recap, you need to invest in different fabrics for all the blanket parts.

To start, you’ll need the main fabric that will serve as the centerpiece of the blanket. Regarding measurements, the average starting size for a baby blanket is 40 to 42 inches, so you need the fabric to measure around this range.

You’ll also want a fabric for the backing or reverse side. The material will serve as a good complement for the main design or pattern. Measurements around 1 and ¼ to 1 and ½ yards should suffice.

Next is a binding fabric. This material will help hold the blanket together. You’ll need around 1/3 to ½ yard of this.

You’ll also need batting. The purpose is to ensure the blanket is soft and comfy on the inside.

Forty-two inches is a suitable measurement. Remember, the quality depends on the material, so decide what kind of batting will suit the baby. Last but not least, you’ll need pins, of course.

You might be thinking of pre-washing the fabrics before you start the project. It’s a good idea, no doubt, but many high-quality fabrics are color-safe. You won’t have to worry about pre-washing too much.

 

Step #1: Sandwich the materials

Start with the backing fabric. You probably have already noticed that its size is slightly bigger than the main fabric.

The reason for this is you start machine quilting from the blanket’s top, and everything beneath can move a bit during the process. If your backing is bigger than everything else, it won’t come off smaller than the front by mistake.

Lay the backing flat on the floor. When it’s all smoothed out, place the batting in the center. Repeat this with the main fabric.

Make sure they’re all appropriately centered. You should be able to see all three layers of this “fabric sandwich.”

From here, you can use pins to keep them in place.

 

Step #2: Stitch the layers

At this point, you can now let the machine do the work. Stitching is also the part where you get creative.

It may seem like you’re just trying to stitch the three layers together at first glance. However, the beauty of quilting comes in here as you can decide how the stitches will look on the quilt. This kind of creative control is why there are many ways to stitch a quilt.

When you’ve finished stitching, you don’t stop there. Remember the binding fabric?

 

Step #3: Bind the quilt

Binding is a rather tricky task. With a bit of patience, you’ll get the whole blanket finished and looking good.

Cut out the binding fabric into strips that measure 2 and ½ inches x the width of the blanket. Sew all the strips together by the shorter sides. Fold the result in half and press it down.

You can start pinning the binding on the blanket starting from the middle of one side. Make sure to place the binding on the front side. Start gradually pinning the binding to the side of the blanket.

When you reach a corner, stick a pin and fold the binding 45 degrees opposite the adjacent side. Fold it back into itself so that it aligns with the adjoining side and stick another pin. You should see a triangular flap on the corner.

When you reach the starting point, take both ends of the strips and fold the ends down. Don’t forget to pin both folds down.

Make sure the two ends still meet. You may want to press this part with an iron to make the folds crease.

Cut off any excess to about ¼ inch from the folds. Take off the pins, match the strips’ right sides, fasten with a pin again, and sew a seam on the crease. Open the fold, press it down, refold it, and pin it back again.

Now you can start sewing the binding in place. Start sewing with a ¼ inch allowance, removing pins as you go.

When you get to the flaps, stop when you’re ¼ inch away. Rotate the blanket and make sure the flap is in the opposite direction. Sew the next seam by the edge of the last side.

Once you’ve finished sewing, fold the binding over to the back. At this point, you’ll have to sew it to the backing by hand.

There you have it! Once you see how the blanket has turned out, you can congratulate yourself for a job well done.

 

Conclusion

Quilting sure is challenging, but who doesn’t love a challenge? It’ll be worthwhile once the lucky recipient feels nice and cozy rolling around in it. Now that you know how to machine quilt a baby blanket, your little one will be in for a treat!

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