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Thread: Lap quilts for nursing home residents

  1. #1
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    Lap quilts for nursing home residents

    My niece who lives with me works as a CNA for a nursing home. She was telling me about some of the residents that are only supported by the state and have no family members etc., to help them with expenses for clothes or personal items. She was saying so many of them are frail and get cold so easy and have nothing to put on to keep them warm so I gave her some clothes I was going to donate to Good Will for her residents...then I got to thinking that maybe I could make some lap quilts that could also be used around their shoulders to help keep them warm this winter. I was wondering if any of you might have easy quilt patterns that I could use to make about 44 quilts with. I know of a couple but thought maybe someone might of already had done something like this, and might of worked out the kinks with really easy patterns. Or do any of you know of any easy jacket patterns...anything that would help them. I'm going to be down with a knee replacement the end of Oct. so I thought maybe this would be a good project to help others this winter for me. Thanks and all suggestions are appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member carolstickelmaier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Renfro View Post
    My niece who lives with me works as a CNA for a nursing home. She was telling me about some of the residents that are only supported by the state and have no family members etc., to help them with expenses for clothes or personal items. She was saying so many of them are frail and get cold so easy and have nothing to put on to keep them warm so I gave her some clothes I was going to donate to Good Will for her residents...then I got to thinking that maybe I could make some lap quilts that could also be used around their shoulders to help keep them warm this winter. I was wondering if any of you might have easy quilt patterns that I could use to make about 44 quilts with. I know of a couple but thought maybe someone might of already had done something like this, and might of worked out the kinks with really easy patterns. Or do any of you know of any easy jacket patterns...anything that would help them. I'm going to be down with a knee replacement the end of Oct. so I thought maybe this would be a good project to help others this winter for me. Thanks and all suggestions are appreciated!
    Lap quilts are probably the easiest but not the cheapest. If you do them just use squares sewn together and flannel for batting.

    We used sheeting for backing or flannel which ever we could get the cheapest. We also made over 150 reversible vests one year for Christmas..even the men loved them. We saw tears from men and women (tears of happiness) They had been remembered. We matched the fabric to each persons likes or past history. You can draft up a really simple pattern. Be sure to make them at least one size bigger than they wear as they have trouble getting their arms up and into anything. They went fast and easy to make. Also we would buy with our $$$$ yarn and tea towels to give to those who wanted to sew or make things they used to....We got lots of Kitchen towels with crocheted tops and buttons. We paid for the materials and then bought them back from the residents....They loved it and had a little spending money of their own. Some were not of the best quality but it was worth seeing their faces light up when they provided something for us.
    We also provided paperback books to those that still read....pick them up for a dime or so at sales....They would fold the corner of the pages down on what they thought were good readings and pass them back to us or to another resident. At Christmas time we had several employees bring in things they received and did not want such as powder, perfume, lotions, BLING for the girls. Just keep your eyes open as to what you can do that does not cost you your paycheck. Even candy is a treat to them. Good Luck and have fun. Bless you for noticing others need help and doing something about it. Carol RN

  3. #3
    Senior Member Marycumi's Avatar
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    Here is a link to a free pattern for a cozy shoulder shawl from Sewing With Nancy. Easy quick and just right for a nursing home resident.

    http://www.nancysnotions.com/jump.do...=cozyshoulders

  4. #4
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if there were members here that would want to volunteer to make some, or donate fabric, or squares. I'm not a great sewer, and I'm not totally proud of my skills, but I would think of helping out. Some of the members have been very generous with their scraps, and I would love to share. Let me know.
    Barri

  5. #5
    Junior Member x7lillies's Avatar
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    Log cabin patterns always go so fast for me. If you do simple patterns and split the colors on a diagonal, you can arrange the same blocks a bunch of different ways to make "different" quilts. You might want to cut all the fabric before your knee surgery, but after that the chain-stitching is fast, and all you'd have to do is stitch, cut, press, repeat for as many blocks as you have fabric for. I have a spreadsheet worked up that tells me how much of each fabric I need for a certain-sized quilt, and if you like I could work up the numbers for you for whatever dimensions you were planning.

    Also, to keep it simple, I'd suggest making the backing a flannel, then just folding it over the sides to the front for the binding. Quick and easy, and soft and warm
    Last edited by x7lillies; 09-14-2012 at 10:58 AM.
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  6. #6
    Junior Member x7lillies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barri1 View Post
    I'm wondering if there were members here that would want to volunteer to make some, or donate fabric, or squares. I'm not a great sewer, and I'm not totally proud of my skills, but I would think of helping out. Some of the members have been very generous with their scraps, and I would love to share. Let me know.
    Barri
    I second that idea. I'd be more than willing to donate some scraps, or even blocks (maybe everyone could donate enough blocks for one quilt?).
    - Kim

    kimkolbquilts.etsy.com

  7. #7
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    Here's a link that you could use scrappy strips: http://www.modabakeshop.com/2010/08/pure-comfort.html


    Once you take it off, it can be put at the foot of the bed to keep feet warm.

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    If people would help out that would be awesome!!! I know it's a lot to ask of people because we are all busy with our own lives, but when my niece told me she had to go take clothes from other residents to clothe some of the people that didn't have anything to keep them warm my heart just broke. I thought it's the least I can do to help keep someone warm and comfortable...we never know when it could be us or someone we care about.
    I have several bolts of flannel I bought last year from JoAnn's when they had their sale so I probably have enough for several dozen backings. Any help would be greatly appreciated and if any of you would like the name of the nursing home for their own reference I will certainly provide it to show it's a legit cause. It's just something I thought of doing on my own to help make the life a little better for some people that can't help themselves.

  9. #9
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Linda, I often wonder about state supported people in nursing homes. My Dear Dad is in a home now with Alzheimer's and my Mom looks after him daily. But, we notice others who never have visitors, let alone someone who brings them things they need. Lap quilts or the easily put on shawls are a great idea. I would think simple patchwork squares of 8.5" or 12.5" squares would be greatly appreciated and go together quickly. SITD or tieing them also would speed the quilting up. Pretty sure noone cares if they are perfectly sewn. It's the thought that really touches hearts. God bless you.

    PS: knee replacements are worth it. I have had both of mine replaced.

    Linda

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

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  10. #10
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I have made several for the residents where my Grandmother lives I use the Missouri Star Quilt Company patern called the double cut or twice cut square. they have a tut on it starts with a 10 inch sq. great for large scraps. goes together fast. no fussing used flannel or soft cotton for backing.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    Humm I need to check out some nursing homes around here.As for material think of used clothing. I watch those storage wars and they throw allot of those cloths away. If they don't smell bad or are not moldy they could be washed and cut into squares. Great way to recycle what would go to waste. Yard sales and Goodwill ect. You would be amazed how much material comes out of a 1-2 or 3X shirt. I saw a cross pattern that would be easy if I can find it. Just squares sewed together would be welcome I'm sure. When you have nothing, anything is welcome!

  12. #12
    QM
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    Any quick pattern will do. I tend to do oversized blocks, but my fav is still my QAYG pattern. All but the sunflower were made for this exact purpose. The star was made from a striped fabric.
    Attached Images Attached Images




  13. #13
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    Okay, Now that I got the ball rolling, and I'm home to see that I have, I need to know when you are planning on giving our friends their presents. I found left over rag quilt squares I can whip into a quilt They are flannel on both sides with batting in the middle. The quilt was made for my nephew, so it's manly. How big do you need it?
    I am very lucky. My mom is 84. She still drives, and goes to the gym four times a week. Babysits my dog while I am at work. Picks up stranded kids when they call, etc...

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    You folks are so awesome...it's just amazing. So many helping hands will certainly make this happen in a timely fashion! I'm thinking that if I could get the quilts together by the middle or 3rd week of December that would be good. It would be nice to give them to the residents for Christmas presents I was thinking. So anything anyone can do will help. This is turning into such a wonderful thing with all the help everyone is offering.

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    Super Member donnalynett's Avatar
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    For those who are in wheelchairs, the quilts need to be a little longer. I try to make them 42"x 70".

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    I think this is awesome that you are doing this and I am going to try myself. I also wanted to point out that using flannel or double knit for the backing helps keep them from sliding off so easily. Double knit isn't what we want on a work of art but it helps with the functionality and wears like iron.

    Since everyone's stuff needs to be labeled it would be nice if you put a label with a blank spot for their name.

    You are an angel for thinking of them

    Mary

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marycumi View Post
    Here is a link to a free pattern for a cozy shoulder shawl from Sewing With Nancy. Easy quick and just right for a nursing home resident.

    http://www.nancysnotions.com/jump.do...=cozyshoulders
    ****************
    I made a few of these last winter with fleece and they worked up quickly!!!! Just enough to take the chill off your shoulders and back. Fleece has been on sale the last few weeks at JoAnns and Hancocks

  18. #18
    cjr
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    May I suggest if making lap quilts to put ties on so they do not fall off laps. When I made my mother her quilt thats what I did, Nursing staff really appreciated that and they can be untied to use restroom.
    www.etsy.com/shop/quiltinglycaroline

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    Thank you CJR for the suggestion of ties...I wouldn't have thought to do that.

  20. #20
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnalynett View Post
    For those who are in wheelchairs, the quilts need to be a little longer. I try to make them 42"x 70".
    I'm a bit puzzled, by this. When my FIL was wheelchair-bound, the nursing home advised against anything too long, as it could get caught in the wheels.
    Neesie


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  21. #21
    Super Member mermaid's Avatar
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    Just a suggestion for quick little quilts--a panel with strips around 4 sides to the size needed. I've been making the small quilts for my local nursing home for quite a while. They are so appreciated...but...even more so are the wheelchair bags & walker bags. The residents want storage for their own things and to keep their belongings close. A nh employee told me the bags were special, and I try to make all the gifts special with embroidered cute sayings and designs. I put pockets for their glasses, and cell phones--yep, many of them have their own phones! She told me once that some residents have laptops and welcome the storage bags for their wheel chairs. But as "Neesie" said, I was told to make the wheelchair quilts a little smaller--like 36 x 36 or not much bigger. For bed throws or wraparounds, they can be larger. Today I discussed ''what else is needed'' with the administrator. Know what she said? Maybe I could give some time to help teach some of them some quilting basics! So they can have hobbies with purpose. You know, many of us will be there one of these days.

  22. #22
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neesie View Post
    I'm a bit puzzled, by this. When my FIL was wheelchair-bound, the nursing home advised against anything too long, as it could get caught in the wheels.
    Now that you mention the length, and wheelchair sizes, can you give me a hint on what would be appropriate. I have two month, and this is something that I would like to help with. It's sort of like a RAK, but in Jewish it's called a Chesed project. Since this week is the Jewish New Year, the commitment is more important.

  23. #23
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    Before you add ties to your quilts, check with your local Nursing homes. In Washington state you can not restrain any one in any way. This includes using tied clothing protecters at meal time. I think tying quilts to wheel chairs or on the person might fall into the same area. Best check first if it can be done and how.

  24. #24
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    thanks for posting this. I had planned on making some lapquilts and such for the nursing home, but when do we find or make the time? So this day going forward my challenge to myself is to get a couple made before Christmas. Maybe it will bring a smile to some of the residents. The fleece shoulders covers won't take much to make either. I may get started this weekend even. I make blankets and burp cloths for daycare and crisis centers in our area. This will give me a chance to branch out and give to others! Lucky, I got stash!

  25. #25
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    What a great idea...I have two nursing homes in my town...I think I will do the same. Thanks for the idea...winters are cold here.

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