Janet Wyckoff of Hopewell donated 18 Fidget Quilts to Hunterdon Medical Center’s Nurses Improving Care of Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) Program. Fidget Quilts are small square quilts that are completely sewn by machine. They are about 24 inches by 24 inches and are made of 6-inch squares. Fidget Quilts are meant for use by patients to distract, stimulate, play with and experience different sensations. They may incorporate such things as buttons, pockets, zippers, any textured fabric, and many familiar objects found in the home. The possibilities are endless with so many options of sewing notions and trims. Fidget quilts are made to be used, not hung on a wall or put on a shelf or because they are beautiful.
Janet says that she has had one positive experience after another at Hunterdon Medical Center, and these strong feelings have led her to donate these beautiful works of art to the NICHE Program. “It is a win-win situation. The quilts provide tactile and visual stimulation to patients with Alzheimer’s and furthermore, the process of planning and making the quilts is therapeutic for me so I don’t have time to think about my own battle with breast cancer,” explained Janet.
Fabrics, batting and trims have come from many locations; rummage sales, samples, and generous friends. She has made 70 Fidget Quilts thus far and other quilters have made another 30. These have been donated to local nursing homes, hospitals and to individuals who benefit from stimulation and something to occupy restless hands.
Janet also makes quilts for the national organization, Quilts for Kids, and tries to make at least one quilt every month to donate. She belongs to a group in Pennington that has donated almost 2,000 quilts to the organization. Quilters believe that any child who has undergone trauma, physical or psychological, deserves a quilt to comfort them.
Janet has vowed to make Fidget Quilts and comfort quilts until she runs out of material (probably never) and until there is not a single cancer cell left in her body. She says she will probably still be quilting long after that!