This is a Fidget Quilt that I made with a kit from my guild, Citrus Belt Quilters. Fidget Quilts have a variety of different textured fabrics such as chenille, corduroy, fleece, faux fur, knits, lace, tapestry, terry cloth, silk, velvet, wool and more. Their bright colors and varied textures offer sensory stimulation that relieves anxiety for Alzheimer’s patients.
Fidget Quilts are easy to make. Why not make them as a guild project and create kits, or even make a day of it and hold a workshop where everyone brings a prewashed remnant or two of fabric and their sewing machines, exchanges the fabric, and assembles the quilts together.
To make a fidget quilt:
1). Collect a variety of fabrics in different colors and textures. Check out the remnants at your local fabric store for all kinds of possibilities. If you’re an art quilter you probably have many interesting fabrics in your stash already. Iron a fusible interfacing to the back of any stretchy or sheer fabrics, then wash all the fabrics to pre-shrink, remove excess dyes, and test for durability. Do not use any fabrics which don’t survive the wash. Fidget Quilts receive a lot of use and will need to be sturdy.
2). Cut 36 7-1/2″ squares of fabric in different colors and textures for each Fidget Quilt. Lay the squares out in 6 rows of 6 square each. To make things easy on yourself and your sewing machine, avoid placing two thick fabrics such as faux fur next to each other. Sew the blocks together into rows with a 1/2″ seam allowance and then sew the rows together. A sturdy sewing machine (not your lightweight travel machine) and walking foot is highly recommended.
3). Layer the quilt top and a 40″ square of fleece right sides together. Sew around all 4 outside edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a 12″ opening. Turn the quilt right side out and sew the opening shut by hand or machine.
4). Using a machine bar tack or needle and embroidery floss/yarn, tie the quilt together in the center of each block and at all block intersections.
Your local nursing homes and Alzheimer’s care centers can advise you about any special needs their patients might have.