The Weighted Blanket That Gave Me Anxiety

The Gravity of The Weighted Blanket

weighted blanketAs a sufferer of anxiety, panic, and agoraphobia I am always searching for cures and ways to manage or reduce my symptoms. A dear friend and fellow sufferer suggested that we should make a weighted blanket together. Although I was skeptical, I was also curious to find out if a weighted blanket would be a good fit for me. I wanted to gain more incite. I spoke with a special education teacher who works with autistic children. She explained how her school uses weighted vests to comfort students. Her success rate was astonishing.

It all became clear; this project was a no-brainer. It was essential to do research, and understand the best way to construct it. I discovered some interesting techniques and a lot of great tips. I was unable to find a pattern that fit my style, so I decided to sketch my very own design. Since I am quite the perfectionist, the sketching part became a project within itself. With my graph paper in hand, I plotted my vision. Alex, (my number crunching husband) to help me with all the complicated calculations. I killed a few brain cells, had a little panic, then off to the fabric store I went. I purchased 9 yards of super cuddly Minky fabric and 20 pounds of poly pellets.

In My Quilt Cottage

I started to cut my fabric strips; making frequent stops to sweep up the Minky fuzz, (I’m OCD like that). There was so much fuzz, so I put the strips in the dryer to try and reduce the mess. Big mistake! Now all the strips are tangled and curled. After googling: “can you iron Minky?” Google (and the entire internet,) said NO. However, I’m a rule breaker. I ironed it anyway. With the iron set to max, I even added steam. It was perfectly fine. FYI, you CAN iron Minky. Now that all my strips were perfectly pressed, I was so eager to start assembling.

The Fun Is Slowly Fading

weighted blanket calculations Keep in mind, this was the first time I had ever worked with Minky. I was unaware that it required so much pinning to keep the fabric from shifting. There were pins everywhere. I pinned so much that I ran out of pins. I had to run back to the store to get more, great exposure therapy. Eventually after many hours, lots of tears, several stressful moments, much frustration and the urge to just throw it all in the trash… the quilt top was finally complete. I was so excited to start sewing rows and filling all 304 pockets with 25g of pellets. I thought the worst was behind me and there were clear meadows ahead but was I wrong! What did I get myself into?

Under Pressure

Meanwhile; Luan, my partner in crime (and weighted blanket buddy) had finished her quilt. She lay under it proudly while I was still struggling. The first row took me 2 hours to fill, pin and sew. Every row after that took 1 ½ hours and there were 18 rows in total. Have I mentioned the number of pins? I think that was my least favorite part. Well, maybe my least favorite was stabbing myself with all of those pins. Or perhaps it was the flying needles that broke after hitting numerous pellets, and I almost lost an eye. However you look at it, it was painful, to say the least.

As the rows filled the frustration was mounting. The weight of the blanket was too much to handle alone. ALEX!!!!!!! With the blanket slumped over my shoulders, Alex holding 20 pounds, pins poking me everywhere, drawn blood and The Bachelor on in the background, the final row was closed. I attached a Minky binding, and my blanket was officially complete. It is so pretty and super soft. I’m so proud, and so pleased that all our calculations were right. Thank you, Alex!

Just In Time

In total, this blanket took over 55 hours from start to finish, and cost around $150. It was well worth all the blood, anxiety, and tears because I can now enjoy using my blanket while meditating. I am also perfectly content just staring at my masterpiece folded neatly on my favorite comfy chair. That alone takes all my anxiety away.

completed weighted blanket

 

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