Sunday, December 29, 2019

Fidget Quilt - Island Batik 3D Challenge Project 2

I'm back with another project I made for the December 3D Challenge for Island Batik! I had an unplanned two-week hiatus from sewing my Island Batik projects, (I made the lap quilt 'Grace' and looked after my granddog, Penny), so I'm squeaking this one in, and hopefully one more before the 31.

This is a fidget quilt. It's an extra-large placemat sized quilt that can easily sit on a person's lap. As you can see, there are several items sewn onto the quilt. What is their purpose? Read on to find out.

For those of you observant types with good memories, you may notice a bunch of oak leaves around the little quilt in the above photo. Yes, the English oak has been finally furiously shedding his leaves. In case you don't recall my first project for the 3D Challenge, you can visit my Holiday House post.

The fabric was again supplied to me by Island Batik for this second project. There are some 'current box' fabrics and some previous box fabrics. I was influenced by Carole's post at From My Carolina Home, for some of the 3D tactile elements I stitched onto the quilt.

Fidget quilts or mats are activity mats that can keep agitated hands busy. Fiddling around with the items attached to the mats can help to soothe patients because the mats focus their attention and stimulate their senses. Hands are also getting exercise.

I first made the quilt by sandwiching two layers of batik measuring about 18X22" with a layer of thin polyester fleece. I sewed around all sides, right sides together, leaving an opening to turn it right sides out. I then top-stitched all the way around and quilted it with lines about 4-5" apart. Then it was time to embellish it.

First I added a zipper, attached to the quilt with Island Batik twill 'ribbon'! These are tied around some of their precuts. I am glad that I've found a use for it!👏

I'm also pretty pumped about finding a use for an empty thread spool! I've stopped throwing them out because of all the plastic in the world, (but I have no clue what to do with them) and so this made me very happy to come up with this tactile element on the quilt. I fed some ribbon through it, and sewed down the two ends of the ribbon for about an inch. The spool now can slide along the ribbon, but won't fall off. Above it is another ribbon made into a bow for fingers to play with.The white circle is a piece of Minky applied to the quilt. I thought it would be an interesting texture to run one's fingers through.

Finally, I made a little book that closes with Velcro. You can see it open below. One side is sewn down to the quilt and the other is loose.

The backing and the majority of the top are pieces from the Dear William line. The purple is from the Basics, and the cactus from Electric Desert. My label is yet another tactile element for a person to fidget with.

I plan to contact one of the seniors homes near me to see if there is a need for this type of thing. I suspect there is. And then I will be making some more!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design (inspiration from From My Carolina Home)
Size: 21.5 X 17.5"
Fabric: Island Batik
Backing: Island Batik
Batting: a fleece style polyester
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: pieced and quilted on my Bernina with Mettler polyester

Linking up
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
The Madd Quilter
Quilt Fabrication
Alycia Quilts-Quilty Girl
Clever Chameleon


  1. Great idea to contact nearby retirement/nursing homes. I think I will check and see if I find a need. I could easily make some fidget quilts.

  2. This is the prettiest fidget quilt I've ever seen! I'm not surprised that it came from your hands. I have a friend who might need one, so I'm going to ask her husband if it would be appropriate to make one for her. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  3. My guild made a bunch and donated them to Alzheimer services. You can add different things like a plastic window for photos, netting, beads on a ribbon just to name a few. We put flannel on the back so they didn't slide off their laps if they used them in a wheel chair.

  4. I love the way you put together this little fidget mat. My mother-in-law used to worry a napkin to pieces. This would have been a better option.

  5. I was just talking to a friend of mine who works in a senior home about these fidget mats! I will be making some for that home in the near future.

  6. This is such a great idea. I've thought about having our quilt group make some of these for our local nursing homes. Good use of that thread spool. (I wonder if you could also use the spools to hold binding??)

  7. Your fidget quilt is fabulous!! These are good for kids 4+ to learn how to zip zippers, button buttons, snaps, velcro, tie bows...I definitely could have used some of these when I was teaching a life skills to elementary school children with cognitive deficits!! Great for occupational therapy for them as well.

  8. Wonderful idea for your 3D project, Sandra! I especially like the spool on the ribbon. That plastic sure does pile up, doesn’t it, so I’m glad you found a way to reuse it.

  9. Hi Sandra! I think this is a fabulous project. I can recall my dad sitting in his chair, twiddling his thumbs. He did that anytime he had nothing to do - just to pass the time. I would think the Minky circle would be very calming. I look forward to hearing what the senior's home has to say about this project. We have a few near us - I may give them a shout out. What a great wrap up project to 2019. Happy New Year to you and your family! ~smile~ Roseanne

  10. I have a plan to make a couple of these. I like that you made a small one. I might try that.