Saturday, April 23, 2016

Fidget Like Crazy

When you were a child, did anybody ever tell you "Stop fidgeting!" ?  I can still hear my grandmother's voice saying that.  And in more recent years, I can remember saying it to my own kids, especially in church.
Keeping calm and paying attention without moving around is all well and good in most situations.  It keeps us from distracting others.  But sometimes, due to illness or trauma or mental state, small movements are good for us.  Sometimes we just need to fidget.
Quilters have started making Fidget Quilts for this reason.  The little quilts, about the size of a placemat, fit in the patient's lap.  There are usually lots of textures for people to feel, and sometimes zippers or velcro or buttons to work.  Many nursing homes are using these quilts with Alzheimers patients.
My amazing quilt group (Ties that Bind Quilters) has made stacks of these quilts.  Here's Joan D. holding up a couple.  The ladies are so inventive.
Here's a closeup of the one Joan's holding up.  It has great colorful fabrics, loops of rick rack and beads, and a place for a photo in the center.
Check out the butterfly on this one!
It's a great place to use orphan blocks and fun fabrics.
This is our fidget cat!  It's made from lots of wild fabrics like fake fur and crushed velvet, with some orphan blocks and buttons.  We're going to make a few more, some this size and some smaller.
This is my first fidget quilt, and it's my finish this week.  It wasn't easy for me to make one of these.  I just felt like I didn't have any good ideas.  Putting all these different fabrics together reminded me of all the crazy quilts I've seen at documentations, so I made a crazy fidget quilt. 

The fabrics are crushed velvet, flannel, brocade from a dress, acetate/satin from runners I made for last year's wedding, etc.  Lots of etc.
Here's the back.  I made this as one large piece, adding the scraps to a large piece of batting and backing.  You can see the seams, which function as quilting.
I'm thinking about adding some embellishments, like buttons or ribbons.  I want this to be fun for the person who receives it.
These things are addictive!  I'm already planning another one.
Below is a link to an info sheet on Fidget Quilts.  I don't know if the person who wrote it actually invented these or not, but it's a good summary of what they are and why we make them.
Fidget Quilt Info Sheet

Have fun this week, and fidget like crazy.


  1. Thanks, Kat. I never heard of fidget quilts until the ladies in my group starting making them. They say the quilts are helpful for kids with ADHD too.

  2. It broke my heart when I read elsewhere not to make Fidget Quilts --I call mine Touch Quilts-- 'Pretty' because they tend to be stolen if attractive. I like mine to tell a story, like 'beneath the sea' or 'a lady's pretty things.' To guard them, I machine stitch MCNH or other facility intials in 2" letters along one side through all layers as a reminder of where they belong.


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