Welcome to SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. Sensory items such as twiddle blankets, fidget quilts, fidget aprons, vests, lap quilts are a lot of fun to make because we get to use up little bits and pieces that we have collected over the years, such as little pieces of velvet, satin, and fur. We can also use things that have very hard dimension to them like belt buckles, clips, ribbons, bows, buttons. Anything can be put on these fidget quilts. I like to make them in what I call “building blocks.” That way we can build one piece at a time and keep making it until we get the size that we want. I’m going to be using a low-loft, 100% polyester fleece. This one is from Fairfield and it has fusible on one side with a nice soft fleece on the other. This is going to speed up making all those little blocks because I get to fuse them on one side, which is going to give all of the things that I need to put on some stability and it still has that nice softness. And being 100% polyester, it’s very washable. I’m going to take this and cut them into squares. Now you can make these squares any size you want. I like to use a 6″ square. It’s enough room where I can put little pieces of ribbon and leftover fabric on and yet it’s large enough that they’re going to be able to touch the item on the square. The amount of squares you’re going to need will depend on what you’re going to do. To match these squares, I will use leftover fabric at 6″. I will take the fusible side, which is that rougher side, and fuse the fabric right on top. This is the good side of the fabric. I can work with it just this way. A lot of times I’m going to be able to work with the fusible fleece on its own. By fusing this down, it’s stabilizing this piece so you won’t have to worry about it stretching or pulling in as you stitch on it. Once you have it fused on, you’re going to be able to embellish it, and each one can be totally different. There’s no right and there’s no wrong. For example, here was an old clip that I had. I’ve cut off a piece and I put it on the end. For the center I want to make this come up and down so it gives an area where they can hold on. So I stitched on one area, stitched in the center, I’m going to be able to lift it up, stitch again, lift, stitch, and I’m going to continue doing that right to the end. I don’t worry about trimming off the edges until the end. We’re going to be putting these blocks together so it’s important that you keep the outside edges free of anything that you really can’t sew over top. Here’s another block. This was just a piece of ribbon, then I wove another ribbon through and topstitched that down. In the center there are little nailheads, which have these little claws in them. I was able to fold them back into that fleece so that’s stabilizing it. Old zippers are another great thing that you can put on. This was just an old zipper and I’ve just used whatever decorative stitch I’ve had on the machine and have stitched it down. I didn’t want any of those hard ends into the seam allowances, so I just stitched another piece of fabric down on each end and just continued that decorative stitch so it is nice and stable and strong. The zipper is still workable. Old belt buckles work great. Loops also are a great thing to hold onto. Lace fabric also has a great texture to it. In this case I’ve just taken a piece of that lace fabric and stitched it right on top of that piece. I also have a piece of Velcro which they’re going to be able to fiddle with, but I’ve taken that Velcro top piece and I’ve moved it out of the way until I finish stitching. I put the soft piece up at the top so the rougher piece is down at the bottom. Little elastic pieces are good to use. Little pieces of lace. This was from a project and that’s all I had left, so I’ve just stitched it down and then have taken an extra piece of fabric, stitched the corner down, and folded that over. I’m going to be able to trim these all off after. I’ve used a white piece of fabric so you could really see the different colors. This was leftover loop embellishing. I’ve put the two together and have stitched a piece of ribbon on top with these little circles. These are made for the backs of curtains but it’s a great thing that they’re going to be able to play with. Whatever ribbon I had left over, I’ve just made some extra loops in the edges. By putting them on an angle, versus straight, you’re able to get smaller pieces up in the corner, and then the larger pieces will fit. You can put them this way if you have pieces long enough. I have some gathered fabric and old trimmings. I’ve just put it on top of that white fabric with the fleece back. If I’m using just a solid fabric I don’t need to put the first fabric on top. This was just a thin fur and I fused it right on top of that fleece. For a longer fur I’ve done the same thing. I’ve just fused it right on the backside of that fur. Again, they all can be trimmed after. Sequin fabric is another great one to use. I put a piece of sequin fabric right in the center and then just stitched that fabric and then folded it down on all four sides. So I’ve lots of edge I can trim off and that sequin fabric is in the center. This is a heavily embroidered lace. I just fused that fabric right on top of that fleece. Velvets also work great. This is a raised velvet so I have the thin fabric on the background and the raised velvet on the top. Again, just fuse that right down. Fun shiny fabric is another one that’s great to use. I’ve taken this fabric and brought it right to the iron, and I’ve taken it and scrunched it up. Put a pressing cloth over top of it and press. Some of the fabric will stick on. Some will not because it’s laying on the top. But when this is all trimmed down it’s going to have some nice texture. Sheer fabric is another one that you can use because it has a different texture to it. In this case I’ve just taken that fabric and I have twisted it and have pressed it. It now has little areas sticking up. Another thing that you can add on these little squares are little Poly-Pellets. They’re washable little plastic pellets, but inside fabric it gives a nice feeling. I want the poly pellets to sit in something dimensional like a little bag sitting on top. I’ve started with the fabric fused on top of the fleece and I’ve just stitched down the center of this very thin fabric. Stitch down one side so you’re going to secure this pocket and you’re closing one end. Make sure you stitch at least ½” in, and that way those pellets will not get caught in the seam allowance. Once this one side is stitched down I can fill this little pocket with the pellets. If you don’t want to make a little pocket you could just put the pellets inside and stitch all the way around. I want enough pellets inside so that those pellets are going to be able to be moved as you touch them. Shake them all into one corner. Put a couple of pins to hold all of those pellets out of the way. Do another row of stitching so you close up the end of the pocket. Those pellets now are sort of free-falling but are contained. There are so many different things that you can add right onto these little blocks. When you’ve made enough of these little squares, we’re going to be able to trim them up and we’re going to tape them together. And we’re going to make fabric tape. All of my pieces have just been trimmed with a pair of scissors. For the back of the quilt I’m going to use a piece of flannel. You can use any fabric you want. I like to have a flannel for two reasons. Number one: It’s nice and soft. The other reason is flannel is not slippery like a satin or something very slick, so if it’s sitting on a lap it’s not going to slide off the lap. That flannel helps hold it onto the lap. Lay your background fabric so the wrong side is up. If you’re going to use the flannel be sure to wash it and dry it first so any shrinking is already done. From there I get to just build this. I’m not overlapping my blocks. I’m just going to place them side by side. If they’re off a little bit that’s fine, too. Now we need to pin these blocks onto this back fabric or we can put them on with an adhesive: A spray adhesive, or a couple of drops of glue, just to hold them on. That way the quilting is going to go really easy. Pin baste or spray baste those blocks right down. Once these are all pin basted or spray basted, we’re going to tape them together. And we’re going to make fabric tape. The goal is to take a piece of fabric and have the raw edges folded inside, so that we can place them over the edges. There are a couple of ways you can do them: Just iron them over and then pin and stick them down, or we can use a fusible web. There’s lots of different fusible webs that we’re going to be able to use. I’m going to show you the example on a red piece of fabric. That way you’re going to be able to see it. But I’m going to use white to put these all together. I’m going to use a fusible web from Quilters Select. It has adhesive on both sides, but one side you iron on, and the side that’s under this paper has a sticky surface that you can just press down. You can cut strips out of your own fusible web or you can get a box like this one which happens to be already cut at 1″ wide. This strip of fabric can be anywhere between 1½” to 2″. I find 1¾” is a really nice measurement for me. The adhesive is going to go down. Just lightly press that adhesive on. From there, without removing that top piece, I can just fold over that one edge and then turn it over and fold over the second edge. I’m using the edge of that tape to keep a nice sharp line. That’s all going to have a really nice 1″ edge. When I take that top paper off I have a sticky surface. I can fold that edge right down. So I have a nice clean finish on one edge and this edge is like a tape. I’m going to be able to take that tape side and place it over top of each of the seams. You can start with little pieces and then add the large pieces, or do them all one large piece. I’ll put one large piece down covering all of the edges and that’s sticky is going to be like a tape and stick right down over top of the fabric. By taping this over top you’re going to make sure that all of your ends are covered. You can overlap right in these Intersections. You just finger-press that down. The next thing is going to be topstitching this fabric down. We’re going to topstitch through the white sashing, through those little squares, and the back fabric, so it’s all going to be quilted at the same time. Following the edge, stitch all of this tape down. You’re going to have little squares when you’re finished. With that tape stitch down, it’s going to be quilted. Once it’s all trimmed you can put your favorite method of binding on. With the binding stitched down, you’re done. If you’re making these just to sit on someone’s lap, you can take some strong ribbon and stitch ribbon onto each end so that it becomes more of an apron. It will be able to be tied around them and it won’t fall off their lap. No matter how many different things you put on it, it always looks nice and clean. What a fun way to use up all of your scraps, your bits and pieces. And you can do it as you go. Thank you for joining me today on SewVeryEasy. Feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back. Let’s see what I’m sewing next time in the sewing room. Bye for now!