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Thread: Fidget quilts for Alzheimer patients

  1. #1
    Super Member EmiliasNana's Avatar
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    Fidget quilts for Alzheimer patients

    My Mom has geriatric dementia and is almost 92. She still has a sense of humor, can carry on a conversation and dress herself etc. but her short term memory is pretty non-existent. She is in assisted living and doing pretty well, so I am thankful. When I visited in April (she lives in NC; I live in IL) I asked the head RN if the medical center (more nursing home care) could use some fidget quilts for their Alzheimer patients, and if so, what size. They said there were several patients that could benefit and that placemat size would be preferable, but it would be nice if it was on a lap board type arrangement. It took me almost a month to figure out what I was going to do since I could no longer find the inexpensive lap desks that used to be made for kids. Now they are bigger, often kidney shaped, with bars to prevent slippage of lap tops, cup holders, recessed areas for pens etc. My DH cut masonite 12" x 18" and I made a boxed pillow attached with Velcro. I used fleece for the bottom, then a "pocket" of two layers of muslin sewn in quarters and filled with 1 lb. of plastic pellets for weight, then the pillow boxing and top with the Velcro attached, stuffed with polyfill. For each fidget top I cut a 13" x 19" rectangle of super stiff Peltex and attached my 6 - 6 1/2" squares to it, overlapping as necessary. I then added a denim backing with fusible fleece and proceeded to quilt through all layers. To cover the seam allowances I used bias tape and then added various trims for visual and sensory texture. If I make more tops, they will go much faster, now that I know what I am doing LOL I then placed elastic that would avoid the Velcro placement, within the binding seam allowance, to hold the top to the board. My machine got a workout sewing through all those layers but my Bernina 1260 was a real trooper with a size 18 Jeans needle. It was challenging to design, but easy to execute, once I made up my mind. Here are the two finished products. I hope they like and use them.
    Name:  DSCF5025.JPG
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Size:  1.27 MB
    From top left to Bottom right: strung plastic beads on a cord and a magnetic clasp purse with a key chain, elasticized pocket with a fleece kitten made on my embroidery machine; Minkee, chenille and ribbon flower; various textures: cotton, flannel, satin, yo-yo with button, crochet, vinyl and Minkee; a peek-a-boo block with an embroidered dog inside; and a sport zipper with ribbon pull.
    Name:  DSCF5030.JPG
Views: 14477
Size:  1.24 MB
    L - R: Minkee and chenille square with a 3D puff stuffed with a clean cereal bag for a crinkle sound; a sport zipper in a plastic mesh material; a fleece elephant made on my emb. machine; shoe lace and grommets with the shoe string sewn to the block at the top; another peek-a-boo block with a hidden embroidered monkey; jeans pocket with a key chain and belt with plastic buckle clasp.

    Here are the lap desk pillows:
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Size:  940.6 KB
    top view of floral pillow
    Name:  DSCF5028.JPG
Views: 10627
Size:  1.05 MB
    pillow and masonite top separated
    Name:  DSCF5029.JPG
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Size:  965.9 KB
    fleece bottom
    Name:  DSCF5031.JPG
Views: 10489
Size:  1.22 MB
    sports themed pillow
    Name:  DSCF5026.JPG
Views: 10280
Size:  1.26 MB
    picture of elastic placement

    I know several guilds already make these because I have seen a couple mentioned here, but I hope this inspires several more individuals or groups to try them out. Find out what size and type would work best for your local facilities. They were fun to make and similar to making a busy book for toddlers. It's a great way to use scraps of fabric and trims too.
    Last edited by EmiliasNana; 05-20-2016 at 04:43 PM. Reason: add additional picture

  2. #2
    Senior Member woodyandjake's Avatar
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    I really like the thought you put into each one, very nice.
    Diane
    Casa Grande, Arizona

  3. #3
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    They are very nice!!!
    QUILTNMO

  4. #4
    Super Member busy fingers's Avatar
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    How very kind and thoughtful of you to create such items.

  5. #5
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    You are very creative.

  6. #6
    Super Member Tiggersmom's Avatar
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    Amazing!
    You're so very talented. These will give many hours of enjoyment to the elderly.
    Your quality of workmanship really shows.
    Well done you!!!!!
    Jennifer: Organized in my dreams.
    🌷RIP dear Tigger....you are missed!
    Buddybear's Mom ...Yorkie Fur Baby

  7. #7
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    I've heard these are very well received by Alzheimer patents. Yours are beautiful!

  8. #8
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    You've done a wonderful job on these! Surely they will be much used by the patients.
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  9. #9
    QM
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    Very thoughtful work. Good for you.

  10. #10
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Fantastic quilts.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  11. #11
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    Your lapboards and quilts for residents are fantastic.
    Mavis

  12. #12
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    Those are so nice. I made one for my mother and she loved it. She really loved to fold things so I also made her some napkins. She worked on those for hours on end. I took her every quilt I made and she thought she made them. I miss her!
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  13. #13
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    wow, you went above and beyond with these lap pillows. You are a very talented and kind person.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  14. #14
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    These are wonderful and you are wonderful for making them for the patients. They will have something to do with their hands and minds. Great job! Congratulations for figuring out how to make them.

  15. #15
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    Bless you for making them & same to your DH for his work. Any help for dementia patients
    is so appreciated......they are too often forgotten / ignored.
    Many of us will someday be in their shoes.JMO
    Pat

  16. #16
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    What a great idea of attaching them to a pillow board like that. Thank you for showing all your details, it is very inspiring. The ones I made a few years ago were like a little quilt but had elastic on the backs so the home could put them over the end of the table to hold them in place. Your work is so precise and appealing in colour choices as well.

  17. #17
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandma Bonnie View Post
    These are wonderful and you are wonderful for making them for the patients. They will have something to do with their hands and minds. Great job! Congratulations for figuring out how to make them.
    I agree. So nice of you to care and make these marvelous gifts.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  18. #18
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    You did a fabulous job on those!
    People who start projects and never finish them are cooler
    than people who never start projects at all.


    http://quiltingquick.weebly.com/blog.html

  19. #19
    Senior Member quiltin-nannie's Avatar
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    These are the nicest fidgets I have ever seen! Great job!
    Julie
    Good friends are like stars; you don't always see them, but you know they're always there!

  20. #20
    Super Member quilting cat's Avatar
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    You have included enough photos and information to allow any of us to try this == THANK YOU!
    I have made touch balls for blind children with different textured fabrics on each side of the dodecahedron. You could add corduroy and upholstery scraps, or maybe something from the hardware store, for additional touch stimuli.
    Retired math teacher --
    I CAN FIGURE IT OUT!

  21. #21
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    Wow a lot of work went into them but what the patients will get out of them, I'm sure, will be well worth it.
    "Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late".

    Benjamin Franklin

  22. #22
    Super Member Kathy T.'s Avatar
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    You are a very special person to put all of that thought and energy into these projects. They will be so welcome and useful. Bless your heart.

  23. #23
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    Super kool. Thank you for doing this. BrendaK
    Be kind to yourself, by being kind to others. When you help others you help yourself.

  24. #24
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    I've never heard of a fidget quilt before. That's so neat! Thanks for explaining them so well. Might not be a bad idea to make some!
    Go forth and sew!

  25. #25
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    That is a great way to help others. Great job.

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