This is a weighted blanket. I have a severely disabled 11-year old niece. She was born with some unidentified genetic glitch which has endowed her with a variety of special needs. She appears to be very autistic but that's not it... anyway, for some time I've been hearing about "heavy blankets" being a comfort to many people with sensory disorders, and I've talked with my brother about them but never quite knew how to construct one.
Then I ran across a free pattern on Craft Nectar -- Weeks Ringle's blog -- and decided to give it a try. I used some winnings from the Block Lotto to make the top, and the back is a solid piece of flannel in a floral print. Basically, you sew lengthwise channels and pour in small amounts of poly pellets and then sew crosswise to create a simple series of squares. This one has about 5 pounds of pellets.
It was fairly easy to make, although those pellets seem to scatter with little provocation! If I did it again, I would either make sure that all my seams were pressed toward the bottom (so that the pellets wouldn't get caught as I poured them in) or use a solid piece of fabric on both sides. I sewed through about 10 pellets on my first row and trust me -- you don't want to do that!
I'll be delivering the blanket at the beginning of December and I can't wait to see how Keely likes it.