Iowa woman making fidget quilts to help others

(ABC 6 NEWS) – One Forest City woman is helping people get their hands moving with fidget quilts.

A fidget quilt has different items on it, such as fur or zippers, and can help people both young and old to keep their hands busy.

For many years, Sandy Wagner was a Level III Severe/Profound Special Education teacher and she found ways to help kids access toys.

"And different parts of their environment who couldn’t walk, couldn’t use their arms, couldn’t use their arms, couldn’t speak, so I had to be creative and they really put me through the paces to figure out ways to help them to learn," Sandy Wagner said.

Now Wagner is retired and is getting creative in a different way, through quilting.

She started creating fidget quilts a few years ago through her church, she puts about 15 to 18 hours into each quilt.

"I use three layers just like you would for a quilt, so it’s the backing the batting, and the front," Wagner said.

From there she binds the quilt and then gets into her stash of all kinds of things from snaps, beads, and keys.

"And then it is just a matter of being creative I like it to blend my craft eyes like it to all look nice when it’s done and not just something I’ve thrown together," Wagner said.

Wagner likes to make each quilt special whether that be through the fabric or the things on it.

Once she is finished with the quilt, it’s sent to its new owner.

Wagner’s fidget quilts are in local nursing homes but have also made their way to Montana, helping kids stay busy and adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

For example, she’s added belts to help remind someone how this works when they have it on and can practice with the quilt.

With each stitch in every quilt, Wagner said it is a gift of love.

"It is something that I love you know it keeps my brain working and fresh and I just always hope that they will meet the needs of the people we are creating them for and everyone is made with a prayer and I’m praying that it will help that person," Wagner said.

She is always looking for donations of items such as ribbon, old jewelry, shirt pockets, buckles, belts, and more.

If you have any you’d like to donate you can contact Wagner through the United Methodist Church in Forest City.