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Thread: Quilt ideas for people with mental health issues

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Lincolnshire, UK

    Quilt ideas for people with mental health issues

    I work in a local museum and twice a week there is a meeting for people with mental health issues. Many have major anxiety issues. It is a safe place for them to talk, have some lunch (many don't eat properly or know how to cook), participate in art activities or just be with other people in a peaceful environment. Last week one of the group had a bad week and had a major melt-down. Poor chap had the shakes so badly he needed wrapping a blanket.

    I want to make a quilt to be used if such an event happens again. Something warm and comforting rather than the scratchy old wool packing blankets we have. Has anyone done a quilt for people with mental health issues? If so, do you have any suggestions on colours/patterns? I imagine that bright colours or busy patterns wouldn't be calming. I was thinking that poly batting might be nice - person could sort of be enveloped by it like a little kid hiding under the covers!

    Any suggestions would be most appreciated.


  2. #2
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Pacific NW
    Blog Entries
    On the other hand, a quilt with bright colors might be very cheerful and uplifting. I guess it all depends on where you're coming from.

    Maybe make a couple throw-sized quilts, one with cheerful happy colors, one with cool, calm, quiet colors, and let them pick.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Central Michigan
    I have been a mental health nurse most of my life. My office is decorated with several quilts that I frequently change out. Bright, colorful quilts seem to distract in a very good way when someone is struggling with depression and anxiety. I would go for colorful with interesting patterns and very soft and warm. Minky would be wonderful as would flannel. The quilt I keep in my office for use is light gray, aqua and lavender and very soft. I also keep a weighted blanket that is soft and colorful for the austistic kids. All kids like it. This is a very thoughtful kind thing for you to do.

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Running a program such as this at your museum is a remarkable offering to those in need.
    You are wise to be considerate, in that you do not want to escalate problems.

    Surely, you are also working with professional mental health care workers.
    They would be the best to advise you, as they will have some insight into those in the program,
    their needs, and what may trigger further problems, or to help settle an individual.

    Good Luck!
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  5. #5
    Super Member Tiggersmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Wonderful idea you have but I don't know as each person is so different. Take your cues from the experts.
    I think minky type fabrics would be wonderful, at least you could put minky on the back.
    Jennifer: Organized in my dreams.
    🌷RIP dear Tigger....you are missed!
    Buddybear's Mom ...Yorkie Fur Baby

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I think some of the fleece would be good, easily washed. There are many choices here in the states. Hope you can find them there. You could tie the edges, make it two sided if you like. Best of luck all around.

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    I'm a mental health professional (retired) and would suggest something bright without being chaotic. My DIL deals with severe anxiety and like bright and heavy. So a weighted blanket is reassuring to someone with anxiety or autism. Even a quilt that has a double bat (maybe a cotton/poly and a poly or cotton/poly & wool combo). She also is trying to convince me to make her a new lap quilt with minky on the back after using mine while here for medical tests which reinforced her mental health diagosis--so that is what Christmas will be.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Eden Valley, MN
    Weighted lap pad. I've made my DGD one the size of a laptop computer, just to fit across her lap.

  9. #9
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Central Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA
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    Years ago. I made comforters for a friend’s kids that had some real issues after being returned from their dads home. I used soft floral, and super hero, twin sheets (way before I quilted things) and used the button stitch on my machine, spaced per batting directions (a doubled batt), using a contrast or matching threads. Quick, easy and loved for years by all three of them. You could use the same idea on a quilt. The button sewer is much easier to handle than quilting can be on a DSM.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

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