Over the years I have heard a lot about weighted blankets. I had thought about making one but I never did. However, when Thing 2 started to have problems falling asleep I decided to research weighted blankets and make him one.
It took me a couple of attempts through trial-and-error to construct the weighted blanket exactly how I felt it should be constructed. This resulted in Thing 1 and myself also getting weighted blankets! I must say that they are truly wonderful and relaxing!
Weighted blankets can be somewhat expensive. I take extra care, as you will see below, when making my weighted blankets so that the material does not slide around during construction and stays even. I take care to make sure that my seams are strong and secure. Since weighted blankets can be expensive I try my best to make sure that the customer has exactly the weighted blanket that they desire. This is why I work with a customer so that they can pick out the pattern for their top fabric to make the blanket more personable to them. I also offer an embroidery option to have a person’s name embroidered in the top corner of the blanket. (I will be using pictures from different projects in this blog post. Some pictures are from weighted blankets and some are from weighted lap pads)
When I make a weighted blanket I use a cotton fabric for the top of the blanket and a matching color of minky fabric for the back. I also use a layer of medium weight quilt batting inbetween the layers of fabric.
I begin the process by measuring and cutting my fabric to the size that I need. Once I have them measured and placed together I then start pinning the fabric pieces by placing a line of pins in the center of the fabric. I then pin a square around the perimeter of the fabric and possibly a second time around depending on how big the blanket measures.
Finally, I use small clips and I clip the two pieces of fabric together all around the edges placing the clips about one inch apart. I do this for both weighted blankets and weighted lap pads. This is very time consuming but it is an important step. The minky fabric slides very easily and without all of the pinning and clips the blanket would come out very crooked.
Once I have the blanket pieces pinned and clipped I sew around the two long sides and the bottom short side of the blanket.
Once I have the blanket pieces sewn together I need to remove all of the clips and pins, trim the corners and turn the blanket right side out. Once that is done I press the seams and then start the pinning process all over again. I clip the top opening of the blanket to keep the minky fabric from slipping during sewing. I re-pin the center and perimeter of the blanket. Once that is completed I top-stitch the two long sides and bottom of the blanket adding more stability to the blanket.
When the top-stitching is completed I remove all of the pins and clips and insert a layer of quilt batting.
I then re-clip the top of the blanket closed to keep the fabric and quilt batting even. I lay out the blanket and use either painter’s tape or dressmakers chalk to draw and evenly space the squares on the fabric. The painter’s tape does not leave any residue behind and the chalk brushes off of the fabric by the time I am done with the blanket. If it hasn’t all come off by the time the blanket is completed I use a damp cloth to remove the rest of the chalk.
I then place pins every few inches apart lengthwise following the painters tape or long chalk lines to keep the fabric from sliding. I stitch next to the painter’s tape or I stitch down the long chalk lines on the blanket to make tubes and then I remove the pins.
Now I need to figure out how many poly-pellets I will need. If a customer needs a nine pound blanket and the empty blanket weighs one pound then I know I need eight pounds of poly pellets to make the blanket’s total weight equal to nine pounds. I then have more math to do.
I need to know the amount of squares that I need per blanket which I have done in advance for each of my blanket sizes. I then need to determine how many ounces of poly-pellets I need to place in each square.
So, using the example from above, if I need eight pounds of poly-pellets I convert the pounds into ounces and then divide the ounces by how many squares are in the blanket
In this example, I will have 55 squares in the blanket and 8 pounds, or 128 ounces, of poly pellets. I will divide the 128 ounces by the 55 squares and this will yield 2.33 ounces per square. I then measure each of those squares using a food scale for accuracy and ease of measuring.
At this point it is time to fill the tubes that I stitched into the blanket. Each tube, using the previous example, will receive approximately 2.33 ounces of poly-pellets. I use a plastic tube and funnel to add the poly-pellets to the blanket. This makes sure that the poly-pellets will all go to the bottom of the tube without getting stuck on the layer of quilt batting inside the blanket.
Once each tube has the correct amount of poly-pellets I then stitch next to the painters tape or short chalk line which then creates the square which holds all of the poly-pellets. I then repeat this process of adding the poly-pellets to each tube and sewing them into the square until I have filled all of the squares.
I can then finally stitch the blanket closed. Once I finish the last row of squares I add another row of stitching to the edge of the blanket for added stability.
As you can see, weighted blankets are a lot of work! However, I love the process and the final product. When I had finished my first weighted blanket for Thing 2 he was already in bed asleep. I decided to read on the couch for a little while before I went to bed. I covered myself up using his blanket to try it out and I couldn’t believe how relaxing it felt! I suffer from some anxiety and the weight of the blanket just seemed to really relax me. I made a few adjustments to my pattern and made a weighted blanket for Thing 2. I then made a few more adjustments to my pattern and made myself a weighted blanket using the description above and I am very happy with the outcome.
I have washed our weighted blankets many times. I wash them on the delicate cycle. Once washed I either hang them out to dry on the clothes line or I hang them over the back of a kitchen chair. Now, I will say that I have also put the blankets through the drier on low heat and they turned out fine but I try not to make a habit of it.
The length and width of the blankets that I made for myself and my boys seem to cover us well. The boys are 9 and 10 and they cover up to their shoulders with the weighted blankets. I made them each the large blanket which measures 38″x 58″ and I made them at a weight of 8 pounds each. For myself, I made the extra-large size which measures 38″x68″ and I made it at a weight of 10 pounds. I am 5’6″ tall and my blanket covers comfortably from my shoulders to my toes. If I turn on my side sometimes I have to readjust the blanket but then it covers my front and back. If you roll around while you sleep part of the blanket may slide off but I have found when I wake up that I am pretty much still covered with the weighted blanket. I find that the minky is super soft against my skin and makes the blanket even more cozy!
We are having a lot of cold weather here this week so I think that I will take my weighted blanket, a good book and a cup of tea and snuggle up on the couch for a little while!
If you are interested in purchasing one of my weight blankets you can fine them in my Etsy store here.