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Thread: Fidget blanket

  1. #1
    29cathie's Avatar
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    Does anyone have any idea how to make an Alzheimer fidget blanket? I have received lap quilts and have been asked to put zippers, buttons, ribbons and anything that will keep fidget hands busy while the body is sitting in the wheelchair. I have tried to google it but only get a small picture of an apron. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member hannajo's Avatar
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    I've never heard of this, but it sounds like a great idea.

  3. #3
    Super Member michelehuston's Avatar
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    Just lost my grandmother last week to Alzheimer's :cry:
    . The blanket is a good idea, may bring some comfort. Please post a pic when you get it completed.

  4. #4
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    http://figjamandlimecordial.com/2011...nsory-blanket/

    Perhaps this will give you some ideas.

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    I'm thinking of different blocks on a lap quilt.... an envelope to open and find loosely strung wooden and plastic beads on a cord that is attached inside so it is not lost. a block with a zipper that reveals some i spy type fabric. a block with tabs that button on multicolored buttons. I think the apron is a good idea so that it does not slide off while the activities are being done... it can be made with various quilt blocks the same as a lap quilt. Please show us what you come up with.

  6. #6
    29cathie's Avatar
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    Thank you so very much. That is just what I was looking for. It gave me a lot of good ideas of what to put on the quilt. Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I'd approach it much like an I Spy quilt, made with blocks. Every block doesn't need something to do. The rest of the blocks could be colourful and with I Spy material for visual stimulation. This could include photos transferred to the fabric if you are making it specific to someone you have access to pictures.

    Some fabrics ... corduroy, velvet, burlap, polar fleece (perhaps the backing?), velvacord, fur fabric, suede, leather, pleather, trims, chenille, flannelette, clear plastic (window!), plastic that gives a mirror effect), fine wool, coarse wool, denim, sparkly, shiny, etc. Be sure to check out decorator fabrics for some different textures. What would be like sandpaper??

    Some fidgets ... zippers, velcro, snaps, rivets, cording, shoelaces to tie up, buttons, pockets with hidden items, roping, trims, coarse lace, ribbons, braids, hooks and loops, etc. Keep an open eye in your notions department as there will be lots more! Think of our different quilting techniques that provide fidgetable (new word!!) items.

    Some pocket items (have them on a "leash" and permanently anchored inside, so they don't fall and disappear) ... flashlight, small toys/dolls, other textures such as a silk scarf, an embroidered/lace hankie, mylar foil for crinkly-crackly sound, a knitted mitten, something crocheted (a doily? a granny square?), etc. Cut off some pockets from jeans and sew them in as patches.

    I know some of what I have said above are duplications, though I'm not going back to check which they are!

    ITA with others, if this is for someone wheelchair bound, consider the apron, or perhaps a tie or velcro to attach to the wheelchair. Also, safety needs to be considered re any of the more loose or longer items.

    My Mother had alzheimers, so I know the sorrows and how difficult this time is for family and loved ones. In a lot of ways, it is more difficult for the family than the one inflicted.

    Bless you, 29Cathie, for taking on this opportunity!
    I'll look forward to seeing what you create.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kristin in ME's Avatar
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    What a great idea.

    I just looked on etsy to see if there was anything. Nothing for adults, but there were some baby activity blankets- they also included things like a variety of soft ribbons attached at the side (you know how babies often like the tag that's at the side of a blanket?), and that crinkly fabric, that kind of makes a crunching noise when you handle it. Just some more ideas!

  9. #9
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    Lots of great ideas here! Let's keep them coming! :)

    Embroidered stitches to create texture-?? Contrast of colors in fabrics.

  10. #10
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    There is a webshot website for fidget quilts: http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...59829158icRmXT
    Sorry, I don't know how to post a clickable link, but if you cut and paste this into your browser, you should be able to go there. This has a lot of pictures of fidget quilts. Great ideas. One of my groups is going to start making these and I will try to post pics as soon as we get some made.

  11. #11
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    It came through "clickable"--hooray!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29cathie
    Does anyone have any idea how to make an Alzheimer fidget blanket? I have received lap quilts and have been asked to put zippers, buttons, ribbons and anything that will keep fidget hands busy while the body is sitting in the wheelchair. I have tried to google it but only get a small picture of an apron. Thanks.
    They use these at the hospital I work at. They are just small quilts, lap quilts, and you sew a large tooth zipper to two strips of fabric, turn under the edges and sew it somewhere on the quilt close to where the persons lap would be. Also you can overlap two strips of fabric, put button holes on one side, buttons on the other, so they over lap just like a blouse would button up, tuen the outer edges to the quilt close to the zipper. You can do this with snaps too. You can sew two pieces of cording to the quilt, sort of like shoe laces, to be tied into bows, like on tennis shoes. You can put eyelets in two pieces of fabric, secure a cord or string, thick cord or string for arthritic hands, so it can be laced through the eyelets, just like lacing up tennis shoes.....If this is a family member, you can make a sort of apron front so it doesn't slip off of the persons lap and add the same things to the front of the apron. These are only a few of the things I can think of right now. I'll check the lap pads we have at work and see what else they have on them......

  13. #13
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    for "crinkly fabric" wash a potato chip bag & put it in the quilt sandwich, or insert in a dimentional flap.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltmouse
    for "crinkly fabric" wash a potato chip bag & put it in the quilt sandwich, or insert in a dimentional flap.
    LOL. they did that at work and the 'elderly' ladies like to pick the fabric apart to find the krinkly sounds. Keeps them busy but then the fidgity pads have to be mended, LOLOL..

  15. #15
    Super Member New Quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilt1950
    http://figjamandlimecordial.com/2011...nsory-blanket/

    Perhaps this will give you some ideas.
    What a fantastic idea...thank you for sharing...Naomi


    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

  16. #16
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patti Mahoney
    Quote Originally Posted by quiltmouse
    for "crinkly fabric" wash a potato chip bag & put it in the quilt sandwich, or insert in a dimentional flap.
    LOL. they did that at work and the 'elderly' ladies like to pick the fabric apart to find the krinkly sounds. Keeps them busy but then the fidgity pads have to be mended, LOLOL..
    Because of this, it might be a good idea that all the stitching be done as a finer stitch than normal to make it harder for the busy hands/fingers to pick away!!

  17. #17
    29cathie's Avatar
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    thanks, that helps gives me ideas.

  18. #18
    Junior Member Deb53's Avatar
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    http://video.wpt2.org/program/1518398531/
    See Nancy's video "column quilts part 2"
    It shows how to make columns of interesting flaps, soft fabrics, pockets, etc. That would keep anyone busy
    with checking it out. When you get to the website you need to keep pulling up more videos.
    Maybe this link will get you there faster.
    http://video.wpt2.org/video/1701085790

    Deb in NC

  19. #19
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    o, the poor, sweet dears! Bless their hearts!

    okay, then, stitch the crinkly outside the quilt, with separate stiches so they can pick it off without damaging the quilt.

  20. #20
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltmouse
    o, the poor, sweet dears! Bless their hearts!

    okay, then, stitch the crinkly outside the quilt, with separate stiches so they can pick it off without damaging the quilt.
    What happens to the potato chip bags when the quilt is laundered? I would think that it would melt? be a fire hazard? in the dryer?

  21. #21
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    There are patterns out there for toddler busy books where they have ties and zippers and whatnot. I'd use the pages as blocks... I know I have seen some free ones online.

    I will admit that I didn't read every response here. Maybe someone else suggested it already :)

  22. #22
    Senior Member gellybean402's Avatar
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    That's a great idea! When my mother was in the nursing home with Alzheimers, I made her a quilted purse that had zippered pockets on the inside and outside and filled it with stuff like a note pad,a pen, a calendar filled with family birthday dates, comb, chapstick, small photo album, wallet with change, etc. She loved it and it kept her quite busy checking it all out. Please post what you make so we can all see! (((HUGS)))

    Quote Originally Posted by 29cathie
    Does anyone have any idea how to make an Alzheimer fidget blanket? I have received lap quilts and have been asked to put zippers, buttons, ribbons and anything that will keep fidget hands busy while the body is sitting in the wheelchair. I have tried to google it but only get a small picture of an apron. Thanks.

  23. #23
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    what a fantastic idea. I know, when my DSIL's dad was confined to a nursing home, the Alzheimers wing had chests of drawers in the hallways, filled with 'things'. They helped keep the residents happy. You are doing something very very special. Please post your progress.

  24. #24
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Add some keys to the fidget blanket ... either on the outside, or on a string in the pockets

  25. #25
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    Very interesting - I never heard of these before but what a great idea!

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