Tuesday Tip: Weighted Blankets using poly pellets

If you’ve never heard of or used a weighted blanket before, they are often described as feeling like a gentle hug as they apply a soothing and consistent pressure to sleepers. Weighted blankets can also have positive effects on mental health, decreasing anxiety and can help you get a more restful sleep. On top of all of those awesome uses, a weighted blanket also, obviously, helps keep you warm.

Weighted blankets have been proven to help with many different things, alleviating ailments that include but are not limited to:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Frustration or Anger
  • Stress
  • Autism symptoms such as sensory overload

A couple of ladies on staff, here at the shop, have made weighted blankets for grandchildren and loved ones in their families. The results so far have been great and the recipients of these blankets are receiving restful sleep. So we recommend making a blanket like this for yourself or a loved one!

If this is your first time making one of these blankets, start with materials like cotton or flannel. Measure your length and width of choice for your blanket, and choose two pieces of fabric at this size.

Note:  In this post, we are going to refer to the ingredients to create your own weighted blanket(s) and for more information or tutorials, we refer you to information on the internet.

These blankets are not quilted with batting (like a traditional quilt), but rather pockets are made, filled with poly pellets and then stitched shut. The poly pellets are available via our website and take approximately 10 days to come from our warehouse. Once you determine how many pounds of pellets you need for your weighted blanket, you can choose between a small bag, a 6 pound bag for a small child or a 25 pound box if you are making a weighted blanket for an adult. The rule is to purchase pellets for the blanket you are going to make in a quantity to match 10% of the person’s body weight; typically around 15 to 20 pounds for adults. If the blanket is for a child, keeping a cautious eye on the blanket weight is even more important.

Brief construction details:

  1. Sew front and back fabrics right sides together, and double stitch it on three sides.
  2. Divide up your blanket into pockets by measuring the overall size. Make your columns no smaller than 7″, and try to evenly divide them up like she shows in the video below. The less rows, the faster the project!
  3. Calculate how many pockets you will sew and evenly divide the pellets to go inside each pocket. All the pockets will have the same amount of pellets inserted. Using a scale will ensure even distribution of the pellets.
  4. After filling an amount into what will become a pocket, sew across your blanket making an enclosed square that contains a determined amount of pellets.

Below are a couple of images from one of the weighted blankets. Denise, who works here at the store, made this pink and white blanket for a member of her family.

Denise chose to put flannel on the front and reverse side of the weighted blanket she sewed.

We hope that you will consider sewing a weighted blanket for someone special you know that could use a blanket that feels like a gentle soothing hug. We could all use more of that don’t you think!

Happy stitching!


Tuesday Tip: Bamboo Batting

Arctic Bamboo Batting - Blend Queen Size 96 Wide

Looking for batting to use in your next quilt? Consider “Arctic Bamboo Batting” that we offer both by the metre or in a full roll. It comes in either 96 or 124″ widths and comes from a warehouse in Vancouver, BC.

Arctic Bamboo Batting is a natural fibre, of course which makes it breathable; warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is easy to machine quilt through. This batting is 50% natural bamboo and 50% cotton–best of both worlds! It drapes well and is soft and supple. It has a right and wrong side to it and the wrong side should face down when you create your quilt sandwich. When you make your quilt you can stitch up to 8″ apart without fear of bunching or twisting.

We hope you will try Arctic Bamboo Batting the next time you are selecting quilt batting for your project. Happy stitching!

Image result for bamboo batting


Tuseday Tip….Wool Pressing Mats Work Wonderfully

Wool pressing mats have come onto the market over the last while and although they are a bit of an investment, they really are a wonderful surface to press your patchwork on. This wool mat is heat resistant and won’t easily melt or burn with a cotton setting from your iron. After receiving one for Christmas a few weeks ago, I now understand the difference these mats can make when pressing fabrics. There are a few different sizes available and are produced by a few manufacturers to select from.

The wool pressing mat helps you press any pieced or embroidered block with ease. The density of this high-quality 100% felted wool mat absorbs seams and stitches, effectively pressing both sides at once. Block knitted projects as well by pinning them directly to the mat.
An added bonus? The texture of the wool stops fabrics from shifting so there is no distortion when pressing.

Here’s a quick video showing this mat in action!

Tips and Tricks
The pressing mat can be used with a dry iron on any surface. If using steam, place the mat on a protected surface since moisture does go through the mat and can harm the surface below.
Never place the mat on a rotary cutting mat when pressing. The heat could warp the cutting mat.
If mat feels damp after use, hang to air-dry before storing.
Wash the mat occasionally by rinsing it in cold water and hanging the mat until dry – especially if using a spray starch.
Safe surfaces include Formica, Corian, stone and metal (an ironing board). Wood and painted surfaces should be avoided.
A wool mat is a handy tool for quick pressing when kept next to your sewing machine. Enjoy!