Weighted Blankets

A while back my sister asked me to make her a blanket that was heavy like the lead cover used at the dentist.  Frankly, I thought she was crazy, but I would do anything for her.

I researched weighted blankets and found they were very useful in helping to calm people with anxiety and autism.  The added weight is comforting like being tucked tightly into bed.

I made this blanket for her with 12 pounds of stuffing pellets, like these at Joann’s.  I used 2 twin sized sheets.  


To construct the blanket, I sewed the 2 sheets together to create a sack and turned it right side out.  I stitched around 3 sides twice to make sure it was a strong seam.  Then I sewed 8 channels down the length of the sack.  I marked the seam lines by ironing the blanket in half and then in half 2 more times.  It gave me a nice straight sewing line the length of the sack.

The online instructions for a blanket is 1 pound of weight for every 10 pounds the person weighs.  I used less than that and still make the blanket 12 pounds.  I don’t think I would go much heavier than that, even for an adult man.  It is quite heavy.

Then we have to do some math.  Basically, you are quilting the blanket in a square grid pattern.  Determine the number of columns you have and how many crosswise rows you will stitch.  Your total weight will be different based on the size of the recipient.  Here it is:   6 bags of beads X 32 ounces per bag = 192 ounces of beads.   192 ounces / 8 columns = 24 ounces per column.   24 ounces / 8 rows per column = 3 ounces per quilted square.   

Pour the 3 ounces of beads in each of the columns and shake it to the bottom.   Stitch across the width of the blanket.  Then pour 3 ounces in each column and shake it down to the stitch line and stitch across.  Continue until all beads are used.  Then I double stitched across the top.  And I was done.

The blanket was a huge success.  Both my sisters sat under it all afternoon.  4 other people in the room asked for one for Christmas – so I guess my list is half done!


September is National Sewing Month

National Sewing month seems to be a good time to revitalize my blog.  I have been sewing, just not blogging about it.

New classes are starting at Accent Sewing in Murrells Inlet, SC.  We will be meeting every other Saturday starting Sept 10 from 10:30 am to 1:15 pm.  Come by and see us when you are in town.

Also, registration is open for classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Coastal Carolina University.  We will meet Wednesday evenings from 5 pm to 8 pm starting Sept 21.

I hope you have a good month sewing.

New home; new Sewing Room

DSC01127 DSC01132DSC01128We moved into a new home in October and I finally have my sewing room set up so I can do some real sewing.   I am not fully organized yet, but most of the boxes are gone.  I set up my cutting table a couple of weeks ago and I have enough room to work.  I completed a dress & sweater in February, which will be my next post.

Over the holidays I did some shopping online at Fabric.com and MoodFabrics.com.  Below is a quick picture of some of my purchases.  I will be starting a new project this week and posting on the ones I completed in February.  In the mean time, some eye candy.  I love my bright colors.


Seam Finishes: the flat felled seam

Flat Felled Seams are great because they are strong, there is no edges to ravel or to rub on your skin and they can make a garment reversible. Below are the basic steps to creating a flat felled seam.

1. Match WRONG sides together and stitch a standard 5/8″ seam.
Stitch WRONG sides together
2. Trim ONE (only ONE) of the seam allowances to 1/4″
Trim one seam allowance

3. Iron the seam allowance to one side, so that the longer allowance covers the narrow allowance.

4. Fold the longer allowance to the underside, enclosing the narrow allowance.
Fold Under

5. Stitch the allowance down close to the folded edge.
Stitch close to fold

This is a beautiful and classic seam finishing. I have a silk charmeuse camisole that uses this finish to allow it to be reversible.

Fashion Friday! Skirt

I saw this skirt on Pinterest and knew I needed one. The orignal is a Nic + Zoe skirt from Nordstroms, which cost about $130.

I made mine for $16.20! I purchased the fabric and zipper from Joanns. I used my 1-hour skirt technique for the basic skirt and added the pleats as an embelishiment. Total time to construct was less than 2 hours.

To make this, I created a basic pencil skirt. I created 1 1/2″ tubes of the fabric and stiched them to the front of the skirt in an asymetrical design.

The skirt takes an 1/2 yard more fabric than a pencil skirt to create the pleats.

Take my class on a 1-hour skirt at Quilting at the Beach and create your own!

New Beginnings – Teaching in Myrtle Beach

In August, I moved to Myrtle Beach area. I have started a new endeavor teaching various sewing classes in the area. At Quilting at the Beach, I am teaching classes using your embroidery machine to do embroideries and quilting in the hoop!. Also, various projects each month. Checkout their web page to see the classes at http://www.quiltingatthebeach.com

I am teaching clothing construction and sewing at Accent Sewing in Murrell’s Inlet. (www.accentsewing.com)

This is very exiting. Please leave comments on the types of classes you would like to see.