I finished making a weighted blanket for my nephew at the beginning of June and then immediately started dreading the process of blogging it. So ridiculous. I think I just got completely bogged down by the idea of having to describe the whole process, step-by-step—especially since it was kind of an involved process. And then, I remembered that I don’t actually have to do that if I don’t want to. What a novel idea!
Here’s what I have the energy to offer in terms of describing what I did:
- I relied heavily on the steps described in this tutorial from Mama Smiles as I was planning and making the blanket.
- I looked at this website that produces weighted blankets commercially to determine appropriate dimensions for a child-sized blanket.
- The fabric is just quilting cotton, but for the filling I bought poly pellets from ResearchTherapy Solutions via Amazon. They sell them in 5, 10, and 20 pound increments, which is really convenient.
- I used the same binding method I used for the rainbow quilt I made last summer for Jude, which is the machine binding method described in the Craftsy’s “Mastering in Minutes: Finishing Quilts.”
- I actually documented the entire process, step-by-step, on my Instagram stories and saved it all to the highlights that appear on my profile.
I was frankly worried that the process of making this blanket would just feel tedious and unending, but I actually really enjoyed working on this project. I think there were a couple of factors that made this a fairly fun project to work on. First, I’d never made a blanket like this before and didn’t have a specific pattern that I was working with, so planning the project and piecing together tips and tricks to get this made was a refreshing challenge. (I think I really enjoyed working on the baby quilt I made for Jude for the same reason.) Second, I was wise enough to tell my sister-in-law that I wouldn’t be able to work on this project at all until summer when my classes were all finished, so I was able to wait to start making the blanket until I was able to really delve into the project and enjoy the longer sewing sessions. And third, I was making a blanket for a very small child—my nephew is only thirty pounds right now and the finished blanket ended up being about five pounds. A bigger blanket definitely would have been more of a pain.
Weighted blankets (which can have therapeutic benefits for people with anxiety, insomnia, sensory processing disorders, ADD/ADHD, and Autism) are getting more and more popular, but they are pretty expensive. The sticker shock is a lot to take in, especially if you are already in the position of paying for other therapies and treatments. And it’s all the more shocking if you are thinking of it as “just a blanket.” But it’s really not just a blanket. Filing the blanket is time intensive, and the materials required definitely cost more than your average throw. And the guidelines for how heavy the blanket should be can mean that you need something that is custom made.
But the feeling of the blanket once it’s completely filled and finished is really unique—it has a heavy drape that puts just a light, even pressure all over your body that is really calming. I found myself kind of wishing I had an adult-sized blanket, but I definitely do not have the patience or desire to make one for myself. My nephew loves the blanket. And I love him, so I will happily make him another when he outgrows this one.
Right after I finished the blanket, my 16-year-old sister came to stay with us for a week. I took her to Joann’s, bought her some fabric, printed off some PDF patterns for her, and she spent nearly the whole week working away in my sewing room. Nearly every day, I’d give her the option of going out somewhere or spending more time sewing, and she always chose sewing. I gave her very light guidance—she primarily worked through the instructions on her own, made mistakes, found ways to fix them herself, and learned a lot in the process. In the end, she made a Plantain tee, two Halifax hoodies, and a few pairs of underwear. I’m so proud of her!