Friday, February 26, 2016

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Comfort Incoming!!!

Hi, all!

Welcome to Can I Get A Whoop Whoop Friday!  For a change, I'm actually writing this on Friday instead of Thursday night - I forgot my husband and I had a work-related obligation last night, so I'm up early this morning.  Excuse me if I'm a little bleary-eyed!!  But I'm chugging caffeine, so all will be well shortly!  Are you ready to get your dancing shoes on? I know I am!  So let's get started!!


If you follow me on Instagram (@fabricaddictquilts) you know that for the last two weeks or so I've been working on a pair of weighted blankets for a customer.  Many people on IG have been asking the purpose of weighted blankets, so I'll share a little info here that I found on the internet....

Traditionally, weighted blankets are used as part of occupational therapy for children experiencing sensory disorders, anxiety, stress or issues related to autism.  But even kids without such a diagnosis find important benefits.  The extra pressure on the body is helpful for kids of all kinds, but particularly for kids with autism and sensory processing disorder.  The added weight causes the brain to release neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that improve moods and induce a calming effect.

A couple of years ago, at the request of a school teacher friend, I came up with a tutorial for a simple, inexpensive, weight-adjustable weighted blanket that she could make for her classroom.  I've also made these for my grandchildren (the deaf ones) and we've found that they help with some of the sensory issues they face, and improve their sleep.  However this was the first time I had made any as commission jobs.  I had to adjust the pattern for the larger twin size - and now I will need to add that info to the tutorial!  

Everything started with this enormous pile of 90" wide muslin...

...which got cut into strips and sewn into this (note to self: press as you go, not after assembly!)...

...and ended up looking like this!

Here's another view of the weight pockets.

Then it was off to the chain sewing races, putting together 140 little bean bags for the weights.  It helps if you remember that for 140 beanies, you need 280 pieces of fabric!

Whew!  That's a lot of chain stitching!!!

Then it's time to stuff those babies!  My postal scale came in very handy, because each beanie was filled with 1.3 ounces of pellets for the lighter blanket, and 1.6 ounces of pellets for the heavier one.  I use a weighting pellet similar to what you would find in a Beanie Baby - made of a poly substance, so liquid doesn't affect it.

140 weights, all sewed shut and serged around for added strength.  Did you know that sergers are v-e-r-y s-l-o-w??????  That took a LONG time!

Then it was time to stuff all the little pockets on the blanket.  There are ten rows of seven pockets on the twin size blanket.

Next comes loading the blanket into the cover.  The blanket has loops sewn into the bottom, top and sides, and the cover has tie strings sewn into the seams at coordinating spots to secure the blanket in place.  It's rather like putting on a rather complicated pillowcase!

And in the end, two finished weighted blankets, ready to go to their new home!  

For any who are interested, the tutorial for the crib size blanket can be found by clicking the Weighted Blanket Tutorial page tab under my blog header.  I probably won't get the twin size info on there for a couple of weeks, but if you need it, email me and I'll be glad to send you a pic of my notes!

And I learned a funny thing while working on these blankets - I really don't like the feel of fleece!  I actually found that handling fleece for any extended period of time (like folding, cutting, pinning, sewing, you know, all the important stuff!) totally sets my teeth on edge, like fingernails on a blackboard!  Who knew?

And one more fun thing to whoop about, even if it is a day late - Thursday was Cochlear Implant Day!  Having two grandchildren with cochlear implants, I can testify to what an amazing difference they make in the lives of people with hearing disabilities.  Hooray for cochlears!!!

Oh, and one more thing!  Remember this?

Well, on Savannah's Sweet 16 birthday, 2/23/16, my friend Robin filled up this truck.....

 with large storage tubs filled with 17,212 pairs of socks and took them to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital!!!!!  (If you want to see a video of the many tubs she filled, check out her Facebook page, Savannah's Sweet 16 Sock Drive.)  Savannah is surely smiling down from heaven at the sight of all those happy feet at Vandy.  The socks are still rolling in, so I imagine that number will increase, but what a wonderful showing of support from the global community!  She received socks from all over the world, including Spain and Australia.  Many of them came from readers of this blog. You should be proud of yourselves!!  
Good work!!

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop??


And now it's your turn!

What are you whooping about this week?

What's making you dance a little happy dance?

Share - we want to dance with you!
And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!




  1. Hi Sarah-I was going to link but it says closed but this is dated today?

  2. Hi, Sarah. Your weighted blankets sound fantastic! I also was hoping to link up today, but it says the linky is already closed. Please let me know if you get it working again!

  3. I smile every Friday, when I see the picture at the end of your post!

  4. I linked anyway! Hope it's okay! The weighted blankets are so amazing. You did a fantastic job! And good for you for powering through the 'icky' feeling fleece!!

  5. The weighted blankets are such a great idea! Thanks for sharing it.

  6. You probably had the same 'feel' as I do when I touch Batiks. Great job on a time/task project - I am sure the recepient is going to be thrilled. And I have been watching the socks roll in on FB - fabulous!!

  7. I'm not a big fleece fan myself.
    So thrilled about how many socks were received for Savannah! Makes my heart sing!

  8. The concept of a weighted blanket is fascinating. Sometimes I sleep w/a heavy pillow on top of me, maybe I should consider making one. I just learned what a cochlear implant is too. I'm always smarter after reading your blog! Thanks for the info, the tute and the link up.

  9. Sarah, I had no idea about the weighted blankets. Thank you for sharing their need and your process. What exactly are the pellets? Thank you for hosting the party!

  10. great job on the that blanket! I used that star wars fabric for pajamas for a young man at my house!!

  11. What an undertaking! Kudos for getting those blankets done. My daughter doesn't like the feel of velvet, velveteen, or new flannel. Same reaction you had with the fleece. It's funny to see her jump when she's browsing through a rack of clothes and comes across that texture. ;- )

  12. What an amazing undertaking for the weighted blankets! I've heard of them but never seen the process before. And certainly not seen any as large as the ones you've created! I know they'll be much appreciated and loved.

  13. Sarah, what an interesting project. I hadn't heard about these blankets before. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Great project! I'm not crazy about fleece either. :)

  15. it was a post like this mentioning weighted quilts , that finally got me to help my son get a diagnosis of sensory integration disorder - after 33 years and severe depression. keep on telling people about it please

  16. I'm glad I'm not the only one, fleece does the same thing to me, like nails on a chalkboard.

  17. I was wondering what the weighted blankets were for. So fascinating!

  18. I find that so interesting about the weighted blankets. I know I sleep better under a heavy quilt, not just because of the warmth. Funny about fleece giving you the heebie jeebies. Microfiber (the stuff they make dishcloths, etc. from) does that to me. Something about fabrics that feel snaggy. Anyway, whoop whoop for your weighted blankets and the mega load of socks!

  19. Thank you for providing a tutorial for the weighted blankets. My daughter also has cochlear implants (Yeah CI Day!) and we just recently were introduced to the need for OT and sensory alignment. I think I will be making a new blanket for her next week.

  20. Those weighted blankets are amazing--and what a process! Whoop whoop for you for sticking with all those pockets. And Whoop whoop for your friend Robin for gathering all those socks! I don't mind the feeling of fleece, but microfiber is another story. It feels rough to me and catches on any little rough spot on my fingers. Cringe!


Comments make me smile!! If you want a PDF of a pattern, PLEASE leave your email address in your comment, or email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com!