Arranging Quilt Blocks

For a quilter or anyone who enjoys designing things…

it is the process that is the enjoyment. It’s the combining of colors and fabrics, mixing and matching, until you get the perfect combination.

quilt blocks and doll blanket

Quilt squares and triangles-top
Doll Blanket-bottom

This activity is for quilters or anyone who may benefit from a simple activity arranging quilting pieces.

  • Cut out quilt pieces from fabrics of different colors. Squares of the same size are easiest, but you may wish to get more complex by obtaining a quilting pattern, such as a star pattern, and cut fabric from that. Experiment with fabrics of one or two colors first, then increase the fabric choices from there. Starting out with less choices helps to not overwhelm someone who may have dementia.
  • Cut enough of the quilt pieces to arrange a design. You don’t have to make a finished project with the design, just allow your loved one to tinker around with the pieces. Their finished design can be anything they desire. They may mix and match, change things around, etc…
  • Make a project from their design if they wish. If your loved one enjoys sewing, hand-sew pieces together. A lap quilt, a wall design, a baby doll blanket are all small designs that can be made from quilt pieces.
  • If this is an activity you can see your older family member benefiting or enjoying each day (sometimes activities that are repeated for persons with dementia works well), you can glue fabric pieces on sturdy cardboard, poster board, or cardstock. After it is glued, just cut the quilt piece out. This way the fabric pieces might be easier to arrange and the fabric will not fray. You can still save their design by gluing the design onto a poster board to display on a wall or on a coffee table.
  • For a loved one who would benefit from sensory stimulation, try fabrics that have more texture, for example, fleece, burlap, felt, or flannel. Notice and point out all the colors and designs in the fabrics. Talk about them and reminisce about them if possible.
  • Try out this activity using cardstock instead of fabric that is cut into quilting pieces. Cardstock is available in a number of designs, textures, and colors.

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