JoAnn’s Blanket

My friend JoAnn has MS and is now bound to her motorized wheelchair. She’s out and about on her own a lot – zipping over to the Games Centre nearby to use the gym, off for coffee round the corner with friends.

When the temperature is low, it’s cold on her legs. So she needs a warm blanket. But the bulk of the blanket makes it difficult to carry her stuff with her – she asked if I would add zippered pockets to the inside of the blanket so she can hook the blanket In place and have what she wants to take with her securely on her lap.

Inside of JoAnn’s Wheelchair Blanket

Not a problem – I cut a wide strip from some PUL fabric I’d bought to make a raincoat for myself (it’s not going to get used for that, I can tell). I decided on the PUL because it’s waterproof and it will keep what JoAnn’s carrying with her dry.

I made self-contained pockets – PUL front and back with raw side edges covered by bias tape. I used a heavy weight (#5) zipper with larger pulls because JoAnn’s hands have lost dexterity. There’s a top compartment large enough for a magazine, a small pocket on top of that for money, and a lower pocket for other stuff – Kleenex, etc.

JoAnn gave me the measurements she wanted and I worked to her specifications. I attached the pocket pouch to the inside of the blanket at the centre so it sits squarely on her lap. To each side I added some colourful webbing tape to hold carabiner clips which she hooks to ties on the sides of her wheelchair.

The blanket was too long – it would have become caught in the front wheels, so I cut off 18″ from the bottom and bound it with a batik fabric using a standard quilt binding technique.

JoAnn is now ready for the next cold day.

If you know someone in a wheelchair, this might be a useful gift for her/him. Just an idea….

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