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!!
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!