Fidget Quilts and Single Fidgets Construction

A fidget quilt is a small quilt (similar to a large placemat) with a variety of textures and movable parts to provide stimulation and reduce anxiety for fidgeting hands.  A single fidget is a smaller item (similar to a pot holder) with one activity.

Each year, the guild members make many fidgets, but the Long Term Care facilities in town are constantly asking us for more fidgets because they are so popular! We had a very successful Fidget Quilting Bee in 2022/2023 and there will be another one in 2023/2024. Watch the Quill and Facebook page for details!

A fidget quilt is meant to sit on a lap or a wheelchair tray, so think about this when deciding on what size you will make. Common sizes could be 18” square, 16” x 24” or 12” x 18”. The size doesn’t matter as long as the finished fidget quilt has a few different sections.

The different sections include Texture, Trims, Noise, Movement, Velcro, Zippers and Doodads. Here are some examples of the types of fidget blocks to make:

Texture: Any fabric that feels different. Fur and soft fabrics like fleece are a favourite, and we try to make ½ the fidget quilt top out of a soft fabric.
Trims: Provide texture and movement. Can be applied flat on fabric or to emphasize something like a pocket. Pockets and belt loops from garments can be used.
Noise: Clicks can be made by sandwiching a metal lid between two pieces of fabric. Canning or spaghetti sauce lids work well because they “click” when pressed in the middle. Insert ribbon or elastic and attach securely on both ends.  Crinkle plastic (chip bag, cereal box liner, etc.) either flat or in a tube also works well for noise. We recommend not having more than one noise making element per fidget quilt because too much noise can be over stimulating.
Movement: Items that can be pulled or moved such as elastic, hair ties, or beads on ribbon.
Velcro: Pulls, flaps with something hidden underneath, or an object that can come on and off with elastic or ribbon. Ensure that the loop (soft) side of the Velcro is on the piece that will be handled the most.
Zippers: A zipper “to nowhere” with a contrasting piece of fabric underneath, or a small zippered bag. Make sure to attach something like a  button or extra piece of ribbon to the pull to make opening the zipper easier.
Doodads: This could be a small stuffed toy, a thread spool, a loyalty card with a hole punched in it, etc. These items can be attached with ribbon or elastic.

Once the top is finished, the Fidget Quilt can be finished like any other quilt with batting and a backing. The backing can be any fabric, but not something that is going to be slippery and slide off a lap. It can be finished with a binding, or more simply finished with the pillowcase method of sewing the layers right sides together and leaving an opening to turn it right side out. Close the hole by top stitching around the edge.

Somewhere along the edge, put a loop so the Fidget Quilt can be secured so it is less likely to fall on the floor.

All Fidget Quilts need a Guild label, which will be available at all in-person Guild meetings and events.

Note: Know your recipient. Generally, we don’t recommend any item that might be harmful to put in your mouth, or that won’t survive being washed. Specifically, don’t include any wooden objects, possibly sharp metal or anything that looks like candy.

Also, ensure that all elements of a fidget are securely fastened.


There is a link to a great new site with LOTS of ideas – here is a link to one of them.

Single Fidget Quilt Ideas

A single fidget is much smaller than a fidget quilt and has only one or two activities. Any of the ideas for a fidget quilt could be used to make a single fidget, but marble mazes and taggy blankets are very popular. Single Fidgets do not need a Guild label.

These are about 7” in size and contain elements that the maker knew would be safe for the recipient.

Marble Maze: A marble maze can be made from any fabric, an orphan block or polar fleece. Fleece is easy to work with and doesn’t need a finished edge because it won’t fray. A maze can be 6.5” to 8” and any shape, such as a square, circle or heart. Stitch a few lines in the middle of the shape to make the actual maze, but remember to keep it simple and with enough room between rows to allow a marble or bead to move freely. If you feel that the bead or marble is too small, you can put in more than one. Please connect a loop of ribbon to the edge of the marble maze so it can be attached to a wheelchair or walker.

NEW** This year we are starting a 100 Marble Maze Marble Mazes Challenge. They will be collected at all in-person Guild meetings or events and kits will also be available. A big thank you to our Fabricland for their generous donation of fleece for the marble mazes.

Taggy Blanket: This is a smaller item with a noise element and ribbon loops. It can be made scrappy or with flannel or fleece with crinkly plastic and/or batting inside. Stitch the ribbons to one side and then sew the two sides with right sides together and the batting and/or plastic. Leave an opening to turn right sides out. Topstitch around the edge to seal it closed. Use a larger stitch to make a simple quilted pattern, like an X, star or a heart in the center of the taggy to hold the middle in place.

Other Fidget Ideas

Crocheted muffs

Click here for a Twiddlemuff pattern

Fidget Sleeves