Monday, July 20, 2015

Fidget Quilt

My guild is collecting Fidget Quilts for donation to a memory care unit at a local nursing home. Dementia patients often need something to do with their hands, and fidget quilts are offer tactile textures they can stroke, pick at, etc. Our fidget quilts are due at tomorrow's meeting for distribution later this month. Here's mine:

I made one for my dad last year and they tell me he likes it. This new one has some of the same elements but others as well. I assembled it improv-style, adding trims etc. into the seams as the top grew.

It measures 13-1/2" by 21", and I used a hand towel for the backing. I kept adding pieces to the top until it was as big as the towel, then sewed the top & towel together, turned it right side out, and edge-stitched. There's no batting. I quilted over the seam lines for added strength so the trims won't pull out of the seams. The towel provides enough bulk, an additional texture, and makes it non-slip so it won't fall off the user's lap. The size is good for someone sitting in a wheelchair or recliner.

Everything about a fidget quilt must be washable; it'll probably get washed often. When choosing fabrics and trims other than quilting cotton, look for trims and faux fur that are labeled washable. Minkee would be a good alternative to faux fur.

Here are detail shots of the textures and elements. This first one shows stretchy mesh (over cotton), rickrack, grosgrain ribbon with a plastic buckle, and ribbon with a plastic tube that spins around. The tube is part of a thread spool.
The next photo shows ball fringe, pleated ribbon, and buttons from an old shirt cuff.

Next photo shows faux fur, more rickrack, a grosgrain ribbon bow, and some narrow lace. The bow is hand sewn through the know so it won't come untied.

This last photo shows the pocket. Attached to that ribbon tucked into the pocket is a plastic ring, which can be pulled out of the pocket.

Hopefully this little fidget quilt will help keep someone's hands occupied. Since I don't have anything on my design wall today, this will have to suffice. I'm linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times. Check out the real design walls over there.


  1. That's a very interesting idea, thanks for sharing.

  2. Another great example of a fidget quilt, Jan. I'm going to forward this onto a friend who is making some for a nursing home near her. Yours is very creative and has a lot of "fidgety" things on it.

  3. I especially like all the different textures you incorporated into this iteration; it seems like it will offer a lot of great tactile exploration.

  4. This looks so well put together with lots of different textures. What a great group project.

  5. Our guild made some a few years ago. I didn't have all the interesting stuff to add to the fidget quilt. I'm thinking I need to keep an eye out for some stuff because you have really inspired me.


  6. What a wonderful project! It is a great charity item!

  7. I love this idea. I might make one and take it to my local nursing home. My friends mum is there. If they like them I'm sure I will make some more. Great idea.