There is always a need for homemade items where commercial markets may leave a gap. I am constantly looking for things that are easy to sew or construct and useful. If you have read any of my other posts, you can see that I am fond of dish drying mats. They are usually made of forgiving materials and can be transformed quickly. I have read many blogs about Blankets or mats for Alzheimer's or dementia patients. The idea behind these is to stimulate the reflexes and keep idle hands busy as people with these ailments fidget and repetitively work things they can grasp.
I thought the dish drying mats would be a great thing to use because most of the work is done on the material. They are like a blank cushy canvas. I wanted to have a very soft back on my mats in the event they were placed on a lap or hugged to someone's body.
I used fleece cut slightly larger than the mats and sewed it right sides facing around the perimeter, then turned right side out and closed up the seam. This made for a larger finished size and also allowed me to do all of the decorating on the mat enclosing the unsightly seams inside once complete.
If you have small scraps or leftover ends and pieces of lace, elastic and ribbon, you can have a lot of fun with these. I also used some rubber stamps and heat set ink to do small details like the little pillow above. Buttons, beads, Ric Rac can also be used. The most important thing I did was use industrial strength thread like you might use for upholstery. I also made sure to use an anchor button on the back of all buttons that could be manipulated on the front. This should help with aggressive twisting.
Small pieces of hook and loop tape, will provide a wonderful sensory experience.
Little plastic pockets can hold pictures of family members and be changed out.
Fussy cutting material that has themes like this recipe will stimulate reading or memories of cooking
Zippers and ribbon can be sewn directly on top of the mat using decorative stitches.
Appliqued fabric shapes and different stitches will help imaginations go to work.
Beads and buttons can be moved back and forth across ribbon or twine.
Sweet pieces of lace can be held and admired.
This mat even has two bows that can be used to attach the mat to wheelchairs or the arms of a sitting chair.
Here is another color combination with more ideas. It is really up to your imagination and creativity what you decide to add to these mats. There is a gallery below with more pictures to inspire you. If you have small scraps, don't throw them out. We used several embroidered items that were on other projects but had to be cut apart because of mistakes. Everything is a possibility. For a minimal investment, you can create something that will be helpful for the patient and it may also assist the caregiver as it will help comfort the loved one they are watching over. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work
Mermaids are very popular right now and I have a little friend who is redecorating her bedroom. I have been collecting fleece remnants for a little while and they are starting to fill up my stash. This gave me the perfect excuse to sew something really sweet for her and reduce my fabrics a little bit.
The embroidery is from Designs by Sick. (*no affiliation*) This little Mermaid stitches out beautifully. The applique is very easy to follow and it doesn't take long to complete. I didn't have a pattern to follow, but I did create some instructions to show how I worked through the process. You can download below. My little friend really enjoyed receiving this pillow and the fleece is so soft. It is a forgiving fabric to work with as it does not ravel. The applique is not very big so there is not a lot of detail work in this project. If you are looking for something to sew in an afternoon, this might fix the creative urge for you.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you create, Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Sewing gives us a unique opportunity to create whatever makes us happy. It also will enable us to make others happy. When I am sewing, I usually have a person in mind that will be the receiver. For many of my projects, I am drawn to useful or things that will have a purpose. Difficult times are sometimes made easier when our friends feel we genuinely care about their hardships.
This month I have devoted much of my sewing time to being mindful of others and giving back. I have a friend who is going through a difficult time and I found a beautiful pattern offered by Embroidery Library. It is free to download the embroidery file as well as instructions to sew this very useful pillow. It is meant to be used after a surgical procedure to relieve the pressure and weight on tender areas.
I wrapped the gift and surprised her with it and she really did enjoy receiving it.
In speaking to her about the procedures she is going through and the time between appointments when the wait for results is so hard, I started to do more research and found more patterns available. I realized the scope of Cancer is so very broad and it touches everyone in some way. So I sewed more gifts for people I don't know.
These are Port Pillows. They are meant to be installed on a seatbelt and worn above a Port-O-Cath that is being used for Treatments. My understanding is the seatbelt applies pressure to that area and these help cushion the rider.
The pattern I used can be found here. It is very easy to sew and for minimal cost also. I did alter the pattern slightly as I had some 5x5 charm squares and it calls for 5 1/2 inch squares of fabric. As per usual, when I sew I love to find things that are premade and the Dollar Tree had some very soft polishing cloths in their automotive section. They are a bit messy when you cut them up, but WOW they are very cuddly.
After sewing a couple dozen, I printed off some little cards and attached them with string. I also made sure to sew pillows for the gentlemen as well as the ladies.
Here they are bagged up and ready to deliver to our local Treatment Center. I know they will be a most welcome diversion for the patients. I hope you are inspired and have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift