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Thread: I made the heavy blanket for my autistic grandson

  1. #1
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    I made the heavy blanket for my autistic grandson

    Thanks to everyone who made suggestions for how to make a heavy blanket for my grandson. I forgot to take a picture before I wrapped and sent it to him. I'll ask them to take a picture of him using it and send it to me.

    I decided to make it out of jeans. I bought 10 humungous pairs at Savers on a Wed, 30% off day for seniors. I made alternate 8 inch blocks of pinwheels and 4 patches - all pieces cut with Accuquilt. Without my Accuquilt, my hand would have been paralyzed! My DIL said the recommendation was to make it crib size, so I made it 4 X 7 blocks, with a 3inch border. I sewed leg panels together to make the back. The jeans had been washed so many times, that they had that wonderful smooth feeling that old jeans have.

    Next problem was what to use for weights inside the quilt/blanket. The 'real' ones use either smooth, sanitized river rock or plastic pellets. I could not find either (though I could order the pellets from Hobby Lobby). Of course, I needed them yesterday, so I went to Jo Ann's and found 1# packages of plastic beads. Perfect! And washable! I had enough 50% coupons to cut the total cost by $20! I sewed individual 1/2# bags (like bean bags) of flannel (from stash).

    I 'birthed' top and back on 3 sides, using 1/2" seams. Then starting on the bottom, I sewed the side seams of the blocks in the first row, added the bags, sewed the top seam; ditto for each row until it was finished. Boyohboy, if you think wrestling with quilting a king size quilt is fun, you should have seen me wrestling with this baby! It weighed 14 pounds when it was finished. But it looks great, and I'm proud of myself for making it.

  2. #2
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    I would love to see a picture of your quilt and I'm also interested in how it works for your gs.

  3. #3
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    WOW! Hope this will work for him and blessyou for making it and wrestling it around to finish.

    delma

  4. #4
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I don't understand what a heavy blanket would do for an autistic child. I don't any children with it. Good for you.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  5. #5
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    Please show a picture when you can! In our room we use the weighted vest for one little guy, but I am sure his mom would be interested in the blanket.

  6. #6
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    I am interested in knowing why the heavy blanket, comforting or made to stay on better?

  7. #7
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    You should be very proud of yourself for tackling & finishing the quilt. It sounds great. I hope it helps your GS!

  8. #8
    Junior Member NewbieToQuilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    I don't understand what a heavy blanket would do for an autistic child. I don't any children with it. Good for you.
    The weight of the blanket is calming to them. My son is Autistic and he loves getting under lots of blankets and snuggling in under the weight.

  9. #9
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Many people with autism have sensory issues. Lots of times heavy or confining blankets or clothing can be soothing to them.

  10. #10
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Deep pressure (which is provided by the heavy blanket) is very good for many children, not just autistic children. It works for some kids with sensory integration issues, attention deficit disorder, etc. my son would react very adversely to light touch (as a preemie in the NICU). Lots of kids like the security and feeling/sensory input of a weighted blanket. We even put weighted vests on some kids in the school and it really helps.
    I am sure your DGS will love the quilt. Make sure you post pictures.

  11. #11
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Heck, even I like the lead aprons they put on you at the dentist's office. I ask them to leave it on me until they're done.

  12. #12
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    I'm proud of you. Our Quilt Guild made several "weighted" blankets last year as we had a request for them from the special ed teachers at the local school. The weight of the blankets has a calming effect on kids with autism. Sounds crazy but it is proven that these weighted blankets really do help sooth the children that have autism--even if they just have them in their lap during the day.

  13. #13
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    Can't wait to see your picture. I made just a regular quilt out of denim and it was beast on its own. At 14# I can imagine this is going to be an adventure in washing. =)
    A bed without a Quilt is like a Sky without Stars..Sew On!

  14. #14
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Wow. I had no idea. I like sleeping under my cathedral window quilt- It is heavy, though, and once in position, difficult to move!

  15. #15
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    I sleep better with a lot of blankets on me. The weight helps. Weighted blankets help a lot of people. I like the room cool and have a lot of blankets. My DH on the other hand doesn't like the weight so I have several blankets folded in half and just over me. Works for us.
    Sue

  16. #16
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    Thank you for explaining. I too like to sleep under weighted heavy blankets so I can see where this could be soothing.

  17. #17
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information. I never knew about the weighted blankets or vest. I'm glad they are comforted by them. I couldn't stand the weight, I would feel pinned down. I usually sleep with PJs and a sheet.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  18. #18
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    I've learned a lot from reading this thread.

    Hope your gs enjoys his blanket. Hope you can share a photo later.

    Merry Christmas!

  19. #19
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    Merry Christmas to you! What a wonderful Grandmother you are to do this for your GS. I hope to see pictures too!

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  21. #21
    Senior Member GrammaBabs's Avatar
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    For those that are curious...may i suggest "House Rules" by Jodi Picoult"... she's a wonderful writer... has taken many subjects,, some contraversal.. and written some fabulous novels... stories really hold ones interest while giving "perspective" from all angles... at the same time really teaching us about it!!
    "Each day well-lived and Happy
    that's all there is to LIFE!"

  22. #22
    Member conniescretions's Avatar
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    Just found out my grandson has autism. They suggested a weighted blanket for him. I am going to try and make him one. That's for the tips.
    I have 3 children, 7 grandchildren 1 kitten & a husband.

  23. #23
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Very, very interesting. Yes, Please post a picture of the blanket. I have always needed some type of cover to sleep. But love a cold room with lots of blankets, heavy blankets. Now I have an idea why I'm getting a little frustrated with the lighter weight batting available. I'll have to think about this!!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  24. #24
    Super Member pjnesler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrammaBabs View Post
    For those that are curious...may i suggest "House Rules" by Jodi Picoult"... she's a wonderful writer... has taken many subjects,, some contraversal.. and written some fabulous novels... stories really hold ones interest while giving "perspective" from all angles... at the same time really teaching us about it!!
    I just finished listening to the book "Unlocked" by Karen Kingsbury also covers the subject of autism. It gives a person hope.

  25. #25
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I have made a couple for kids in my class. Yes they are kinda a pain to wrestle with to sew. I have made a bunch of lap sized ones for ADD kids at school too. They work great. Merry Christmas everyone.

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