Sewing isn’t my thing. Think goodness, the fidget blanket or busy blanket didn’t require me to actually use a sewing machine.
I first published this post in November 2016 and was just re-reading it today. My Mom passed away from Covid in December of 2020 and this post brought back so many memories of her Alzheimer's journey. I haven't changed the post in any way to republish it today. I have the feeling someone needs this post.
When I post an update on my Mom’s Alzheimer’s disease, you guys always leave the kindest comments for me. Some of you are dealing with the same thing with parents, other relatives, or friends. My good blogging friend, Marie of The Interior Frugalista, commented on my last family post about the busy blanket she was making for her mom.
I have to admit I never heard of a busy blanket. After investigating (Googling), I found out they are also called fidget blankets. I had noticed in past visits that my Mom sometimes “fidgeted” with the edges of her throw. She is cold-natured and always has the throw on her lap when sitting in her recliner.
Well, I decided to try and make a busy blanket. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought two pieces of colorful fleece and gathered a bunch of items from my junk stash in the shop. I planned to make the blanket before going to Arkansas last week but that didn’t happen. I threw everything in a bag and took it with me when I went to visit my parents.
After they went to bed at night, I sat at the kitchen table and made the blanket. I worked on it for two nights for a total of 4 hours. It would have taken less time if I knew what I was doing.
I winged it the whole way. It's difficult to work on projects when out of my natural environment. I didn’t measure anything…..just cut the fabric and stitched the items onto it.
I found one tutorial that showed how to get the fringed ends together without that big knot of fabric.
I sewed all the bits and pieces on one layer of fabric before tying the two pieces of fleece together—no ugly sewing to see. I found a small inexpensive ring in my stash and tied it to the blanket.
I also added this silver heart. Isn’t it pretty? I made the blanket so that all the non-washable pieces could be removed before washing the blanket.
Just bits and pieces of ribbon and buttons.
The blue tassel fringe is so colorful. I get the love of bright colors from my Mom.
You can’t have a busy blanket without a touch of vintage pom-pom fringe.
For the past two months, Mom’s Alzheimer’s has been rapidly progressing. For the past two years since her time in the hospital, the changes have been really slow, until now.
I spent a week with my parents and now I better understand what Dad goes through daily. He has Hospice two half days a week and hired help four half days a week. So every day, but one, there is a helper there for 5 hours a day.
But it’s not the same as someone being there as backup around the clock. Dad is doing a wonderful job of taking care of Mom, but I can see the toll it’s taking on him. He is 86 years old.
Yep, I took just a few photos of the farm. I couldn’t resist the rusty barbed wire.
I will be going to Arkansas every month for at least a week at a time. The drive is 7 hours each way. That doesn't bother me, I don't mind driving or traveling by myself. The JTS was in the Army for 27 years, so I'm pretty independent. When I'm in Arkansas, he's home holding down the fort. Thanks honey.
Had you guys heard of a busy blanket or fidget blanket? Leave a comment please. I read them all although sometimes I don't have time to respond to all of them.
To read my Mom's Alzheimer's story and Arkansas stories from the beginning, start here...….Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone | Getting Personal (Nov. 2014)
Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com