Friday, April 21, 2017

Weighted (Sensory) Blanket

I made my first weighted blanket recently, and it wasn't as intimidating as I thought it would be!  Ok, I was nervous about bringing a 10 lb. box of poly pellets into the house...with little ones it's easy to imagine the whole thing getting dumped out by someone (probably a 2 year old)!  I found this great tutorial from Mama Smiles (thanks!), gathered the supplies (2 different fabrics, 1 and a 1/4 yd of each, 10 lb box of poly pellets, and a postal scale), and did some quick math.  The recommendation for children is to have it weigh 10% of their body weight, plus 1-2 lbs, but no more than 15% of their body weight.  I wanted my blanket to come out to just under 4.5 lbs, so filled each of the 100 squares with .7 oz of pellets.  I used a 1/4 C measuring cup, placed it on my scale, and hit the tare button on to zero it out.  The cup was small enough that I could scoop some pellets out of the box, weigh them, then dump straight into one of the tunnels without a funnel or PVC pipe.  The total size of the blanket is about 40 in. x 40 in., so it should be a good size for sleeping and snuggling for quite awhile.  I figure once it's too small for sleeping with, it will still be a good size for a lap blanket for car rides or lounging around.

One tip I have is once you get to the second to last and then last row of the blanket, only fill a few squares at a time, otherwise it's too much to manage, and becomes very easy to spill pellets everywhere.  On the second to last row I filled 5 squares at a time, then sewed across those squares, and then filled the rest and sewed.  On the very last row, I only filled 2-3 at a time and then sewed across them.  I did double stitch every column and row, just to ensure durability.  I figured with washing and all those pellets tumbling in the dryer against the fabric, it will be a little rougher on the fabric than a regular blanket.

This was a fun project, and after a few family members tested it out, I've decided to definitely make one (or two...) for us!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tell Me a Story blocks

I've been wanting to do an I spy sort of quilt for the kids for a couple years now, but couldn't decide just how I wanted to do the blocks.  When I saw an Instagram post of someone using Amy Friend's (of During Quiet Time) Tell Me a Story quilt pattern from her book Intentional Piecing, I knew that's what I wanted to do!  This pattern is perfect for fussy cutting, and even though I've never done paper piecing before, the instructions were easy to follow.  These blocks were so fun to put together, and I'm looking forward to doing the rest of them (all from my stash!).  5 down, 51 to go...