I’m participating in a fidget quilt contest on a Facebook group, and I had a blast making my first block. Fidget quilts, in case you’re not aware, are quilts that are used to help calm patients with diseases such as Autism or Alzheimer’s. These quilts are tactile and interactive. I typically only sew with fabrics, not with embellishments, so this was a move outside of my sewing comfort zone.
For this quilt, I’m making the blocks 11″ finished, so 11.5″ raw. Our assignment was to create a block that included a zippered component with something connected to play with inside, plus one additional interactive element.
This is my first block.
There are two main components to this block. First, a mini yellow pocket with a flap. The lined flap has a hair elastic sewn in between the layers. This elastic loops onto a giant button. The button has two mini buttons layered underneath to give plenty of room for the elastic so the button stays flat. There is lace that sticks out from the “hinge” of the flap for extra texture.
Second, I’ve created a lined zipper pouch with dangling pom poms (you might recognize these as leftovers from my Quick and Easy 8-Piece Christmas Tree Skirt tutorial). I attached the zipper pouch to the block only on the left, right, and bottom, leaving the top open. This essentially creates an additional pocket.
This zipper pouch contains a surprise… When you reach inside, you can start pulling out a ribbon with sliding decorative buttons.
Keep on pulling and there is a little stuffed cat with a button nose and a dapper bow tie!
The stuffed animal cat is not a very complicated design. I drew out a cat head shape directly on my yellow polka dot fabric with disappearing ink fabric marker. Then I drew his simple face with a Sharpie, and sewed a button on for his nose. With the right sides together, I sewed around the perimeter of the cat head, leaving a small hole for turning. After flipping it inside out, I stuffed it with cotton batting.
I rarely use the fancy stitches on my Kenmore sewing machine, but I used one today to attach the ribbon to the background of my block. I used a fancy thick zigzag stitch. When you run your fingers over it, it gives a neat texture. I used the same stitch to attach my pom-pom embellishment, but the pouch and embellishment was so thick that the zigzag there didn’t turn out as cute. In retrospect, I should have attached the pom poms by hand – my machine really struggled with all the layers!
This concludes my fidget block summary for Week 1! There will be three more weeks of challenge blocks coming up. I’m excited to learn what the next project will be and how it will all come together.