Weighted Blanket

The many uses of weighted blankets has interested me for a long time. So, I finally took the jump and decided to make one. The personal use to fight anxiety or aiding with sensory processing disorder. For use with children at work, during therapy, or as a source of pressure for fidgets and anxiety. With so many possibilities, I decided after shopping around that I wanted to make a weighted blanket that was customized to my own wants and needs. And as a plus it could be created for way less money than it takes to buy one.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Gather the following tools and equipment:

- Rotary Cutter and Cutting Board or Fabric Scissors

- Square Template (I used 6x6)

- Clear straight edge ruler

- Pen or fabric pencil

- Iron and Ironing Board

- Sewing Machine

- Walking foot attachment for Sewing Machine (optional)

- Pins

- Funnel

- A scale that can measure at least up to 0.1 oz.

- Wrapping Paper Tube or Paper Towel Tube

Gather the following materials:

- Old Jeans (or other fabric) (The amount will vary depending on size of blanket - used 8 pairs of adult jeans making around 100, 6x6 squares)

- Backing and Binding material (The amount will vary depending on size of blanket – I used 2 ½ yards) TIP from Experience: Unless you are feeling like a pro at sewing try to stay away from directional patterns such as the plaid that I used for my example. It makes piecing and sewing straight look really difficult!

- Thread

- Plastic Poly Pellets (Amount varies on size of person using blanket. General rule is around 10% of persons body weight not exceeding 15 lbs.)

Step 2: Measuring and Cutting

The Jeans: Cut open the jeans on the outside seams on the legs of the pants. Use your pre-made square template to cut out the general sized shape out of the jeans, then use the clear straight edge to trim off overlapping pieces. (using the straight edge is to ensure that the square pieces are truly square and to decrease irregularities of the shapes) Repeat the steps, cutting out squares until there is no usable fabric left in the pair of jeans. Continue the process until you have the desired number of squares for your size quilt (I used 96 squares).

The Backing: Measure and cut the backing of the fabric. Add ½ an inch on each side of the finished quilts height and width.

The Binding: Find the perimeter of your blanket, take that number and add 10 inches. Cut the binding 2 ½ in x perimeter +10 in. You may have to piece pieces together to get the desired length. Further information on cutting and sewing bindings can be found here from the website All People Quilt. (http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/how-to-quilt/finishing/how-to-cut-binding-step-step-guide?page=0%2C2)

Step 3: Placement and Ironing

Iron: Iron all jean squares so there are no wrinkles or folds in them.

Placement: Choose a placement of the jean square pieces that best works for you. It can be any combination of colors, I choose to put no like colors together for a random looking pattern. Lay out the squares in the desired pattern and format.

Step 4: Pinning, Sewing, and Ironing Individual Rows

Pinning: Begin by taking two pieces from the same row and fold them on top of each other with the right sides together. Once the pieces are aligned, pin them together (I used 2 pins per square, but the exact number is up to you). Continue pinning the squares of the same row together until you have all of the squares connected in the row (see 4th figure above). Once you are done with one row, repeat the steps until you are done pining all individual rows.

Sewing: You will need your sewing machine for this step. If you are unsure of how to use your machine or a specific component, please consult your manual. Taking the first row, use your sewing machine to sew a straight line where you pinned. Use a ¼ of an inch inseam (I marked a ¼ in with masking tape on my machine, so I was accurate with every block) As you sew, take out the pins as you come to them because sewing pins can be hard on your machine and needle. Cut off the connecting thread and repeat the process for the rest of the seams in the row. Place the row back in its original place to maintain the pattern of your quilt top. Once the row is sewed together and put back, continue to the rest of the rows repeating the same process.

Ironing: Once you have all the rows sewed together, you need to iron the seams. I choose to iron open the steams to create some added strength, however, you can also choose to iron them one specific direction and maintain the same direction throughout. Do this for every seam that you have sewed up to this point, remembering to place the rows back in the same location to maintain your pattern.

Step 5: Pinning, Sewing, and Ironing Rows Together

Pinning: Begin by taking two rows and folding them on top of each other with the right sides together. Start pining by looking at the alignment of the two rows, make sure that the seams of the individual blocks align and are touching, then pin (I put my pins at the seams of each jean block, so I know that they will stay aligned even when moving). Continue pinning the two rows together at the seams until you have the rows connected all the way down. Once you are done with one group of rows, repeat the steps until all the rows have been pinned to another.

Sewing: Taking the group of rows, use your sewing machine to sew a straight line on the side where you pinned. Use a ¼ of an inch inseam (I marked a ¼ in with masking tape on my machine, so I was accurate with every block) As you sew, take out the pins as you come to them because sewing pins can be hard on your machine and needle. Cut off the connecting thread and repeat the process for the rest of the row groups. Place them back in its original place to maintain the pattern of your quilt top. Once the rows are sewn together and put back, continue to the rest of the rows repeating the same process.

Ironing: Once you have all the row groups sewed together, you need to iron the seams. Use the same ironing style you used before (Open, directional, etc.) Do this for every seam that you have sewed up to this point, remembering to place the rows back in the same location to maintain your pattern.

Step 6: Pinning, Sewing, and Ironing the Front Together

Pinning: Begin by taking two of the piece together groups of rows and fold them on top of each other with the right sides together. Start pinning by looking at the alignment of the two groups, make sure that the seams of the individual blocks align and are touching, then pin (I put my pins at the seams of each jean block, so I know that they will stay aligned even when moving). Continue pinning the two groups together at the seams until you have all four of the rows connected all the way down. Once you are done with one group of rows, repeat the steps until all the rows have been pinned to another.

Sewing: Taking the group of rows, use your sewing machine to sew a straight line on the side where you pinned. Use a ¼ of an inch inseam (I marked a ¼ in with masking tape on my machine, so I was accurate with every block) As you sew, take out the pins as you come to them because sewing pins can be hard on your machine and needle. Cut off the connecting thread and repeat the process for the rest of the row groups. Place them back in its original place to maintain the pattern of your quilt top. Once the rows are sewn together and put back, continue to the rest of the rows repeating the same process. Do this until all rows are sewn together making the front of the quilt.

Ironing: Once you have all the row groups sewed together, you need to iron the seams. Use the same ironing style you used before (Open, directional, etc.) Do this for every seam that you have sewed up to this point, remembering to place the rows back in the same location to maintain your pattern.

Step 7: Putting It Together

The Back: Take the backing fabric (already measured and cut in step 2) and lay it down wrong side up and make sure it is flat.

The Front: Take the pieced together front part and lay it down on top of the backing fabric right side up, making sure it is flat and doesn’t overlap the backing fabric

Pinning: Use pins or fabric clips to place and keep the two pieces of fabric together. Place them in both middle and outside locations

Sewing: Using ¼ in. inseam, sew of both sides of every seam going up and down. This keep the front and the back together and act as another barrier once filler is added.

Step 8: Putting the Binding On

Iron: Iron open the seams at the locations where you sewed the binding pieces together. Use the binding material cut out during step 2, and fold in half right sides out. Use the iron to crease the material at the half.

Pinning: Place the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of the quilt and pin the binding along three of the sides (You need to leave the top, 4th, side open to insert the filler beads). When it comes to pinning the corners, I use a mitered corner. This can be done by folding the binding to a 45-degree angle, making it even with the edge and then continuing down the next side. More information about mitering corners can be found here on the website The Spruce Crafts. (https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/sew-easy-mitered-quilt-binding-2821069)

Sewing: With a ¼ inch inseam, use the sewing machine to sew where you pinned. Make sure you only sew 3 of the 4 sides of binding on! Further information about sewing binding, or what it might look like can be found here on the website Connecting the Threads. (https://www.connectingthreads.com/tutorials/t/binding-basics-part-4-attaching-the-binding-by-machine/101)

Step 9: Filling the Quilt

Measuring and Math: Use the poly pellets and scale to equally distribute the filler throughout all of the quilt. Do this by taking the total number of squares and dividing it by the ounces of poly pellets you are using (there are 16 ounces in a pound) For my quilt I had 96 squares and used 6 pounds (6lbs. x 16oz. = 96oz.) therefore, I had enough poly pellets for each square in my quilt. Determine the correct amount for your quilt, and the measure that amount using the scale.

Filling the Squares: Insert the wrapping paper tube down to the bottom of the column and use the funnel to pour 1 square worth of poly pellets. Continue this with the rest of the squares on the bottom of the quilt. Hold the quilt upright and wiggle so the pellets all fall to the bottom.

Sewing: Sew a seam ¼ inch from the bottom of the bottom horizontal seam, and then another straight seam ¼ inch from the top of the bottom of the bottom horizontal seam.

Repeat: Repeat this series of steps gradually filling each row and sewing it up starting from the bottom and continuing to the top of the quilt.

Finish: After finishing filling all of the rows with poly pellets, place a straight seam at the top so the pellets don’t roll out when finishing the last part of the binding.

Step 10: Finishing the Quilt

Binding: Machine Sew the binding on the fourth side of the quilt. Finish it off by using the seamed method which can be found on the Connecting Threads website here. (https://www.connectingthreads.com/tutorials/t/binding-basics-part-4-attaching-the-binding-by-machine/101) Use thread and a needle to hand sew the second seam of the binding to the backing of the quilt.

Step 11: Snuggle Up and Enjoy Your Blanket!

You now have a finished blanket, that is ready to snuggle up and keep you warm and anxiety free. I made mine for less than $30, whereas to buy a blanket similar in size would cost anywhere from $40 to $70 plus shipping and handling.

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