This is to comfort children with severe sleeping problem such as those caused by autism or various conditions where the sensory system is disturbed. A smaller version can also be used as a lap quilt for children who cannot sit still.
The use of a weighted quilt and the size and weight should be at the recommendation of a doctor or medical social worker. Three typical sizes are given but they can be adjusted to suit the needs of the child. A false back is sewn on to a quilt with the result being a cross between a quilt and duvet stitched to its cover. The weight is provided by sandbags stitched into pockets which are velcro’d to the back of the quilt and covered by the false back. These can be removed when the quilt is washed.
Economy mattress protector or similar ready quilted base. 2’ x 3’, 3’ x 4’6” or 4’6” x 6’. Good quality sheeting or lightweight curtain fabric – two pieces slightly larger than the finished size. Velcro type fastening – approx 3m, 6m or 10m. Old sheeting or offcuts. Kiln dried sand – 2kg, 4kg or 7kg approx.
Sew strips of the smooth Velcro across the better side of the mattress protector, 3-6” in from the edge and about 9” apart. Lay the bottom piece of fabric face up and the top piece of fabric face down with the mattress protector Velcro side up on top. Line them up and pin. Stitch the layers together along the sides and top and part way in from the bottom corners, leaving enough open to turn right sides out once the seams have been trimmed. Once it is right side out, stitch again ½” in from the edge to hold the layers firmly in place. Sew Velcro across the open end, taking care to stitch both the mattress protector and the top fabric to one piece of Velcro and turn in the edges of the bottom fabric under the other piece. This is to close the quilt in use.
Cut strips of sheeting 9” deep and a little wider than the Velcro strips. Make a small hem along the long edges. Sew a strip of the rough Velcro 2” from one long edge. Fold with the Velcro inside and stitch the short ends. Turn right side out and sew across at intervals to make pockets roughly 4-6” wide. Cut sheeting, or offcuts, into rectangles 8” x 3.5”, fold widthways and stitch the two sides to make a bag. Turn right side out. Spoon in enough sand to nearly fill it. Turn the top over and hand stitch to close. Put a sandbag into each pocket and sew across the top of the pockets. Use the Velcro to attach the filled pockets to the inside of the quilt.
A video showing a similar method of making the quilts is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndwjSkVfV1g