Project Linus is not new to Sewing With Nancy viewers. Many of you have donated blankets to this national organization that has provided nearly five million blankets to children in crisis. Thank you!
Mary Balagna, from the national headquarters of Project Linus, joined me on Sewing With Nancy to tell about their venture, encouraging volunteers to stitch weighted blankets. The pressure provided by a weighted blanket creates a calming effect for children with sensory disorders, similar to swaddling an infant. The channeled blankets are stuffed with twin sheets to provide weight. Watch the interview online.
Children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, ADD, and more seem to benefit from this weighted blanket. The requests are daunting, and it seems that the need is never met!
Sew a Weighted Blanket—An overview
My staff and I were inspired to make Weighted Blankets and we thought we’d share the easy process with you. The free instructions are available on the Project Linus website. There are two weighted blanket patterns available. One is named Lili’s Hug© and the other is named Cheryl’s Weighted Blankets. We used Cheryl’s Weighted Blankets pattern. We selected fabric from Riley Blake Designs, the fabric line entitled Pieces of Hope.
- Purchase fabric according to the instructions. You’ll be able to create two blankets from this amount of fabric.
- Cut the fabric into panels.
- Sew the sections together and turn under the lengthwise edges.
- Stitch Velcro strips to the wrong side of the fabric along the top and lower edges.
- Cut the backing as detailed, turn under the top and lower edges. Again, add Velcro.
- Align right sides of the weighted blanket top and backing. Stitch the side seams.
- Turn right side out, press, and stitch in the ditch, sewing in the seams to create channels.
- Now it’s time to send the un-weighted, weighted blanket to Project Linus or give to a medical center in your area.
In order to make a blanket that is safe and appropriate for the child, the weight of the blanket (size and number of sheets used to provide the weight) should be determined by the physician or Occupational Therapist of the child.
So that you can visualize the process of filling the channels, we’ve folded twin sheets (We purchased eight of them from Goodwill.) according to the instructions and inserted them in the channels.
The blanket is heavy! Just look at the depth of each channel. The comfort that this gives children with sensory disorders can truly make a difference in their lives and the lives of their family.
Bye for now,