Sewing Projects

Many of our campers spend very little time away from home and family. To make the transition to camp as easy as possible, each camper’s bed is made up with a handmade quilt and lap blanket, as well a beautiful stuffed turtle pillow. One child told us: “Whenever I squeeze my turtle at camp, I am squeezing my mom and dad!” Campers take their lap blankets and turtle pillows home with them as tangible memories of their time at camp.

If you enjoy sewing and would like to make the experience of The Painted Turtle even more magical, please consider creating turtle pillows or lap quilts for our extraordinary campers.

What sewing projects does The Painted Turtle need?

Click here to print and share this project flyer with your sewing groups!

Turtle Pillows for the campers (ages 7-17)

  • Turtle skins (aka UN-stuffed turtle pillows) are sewn to a pre-made pattern.  This ensures that all turtles are consistent in shape and size.
  • Leaving the faces blank is perfect, however we welcome embroidered faces and/or sewn on button eyes. We ask that you do not draw faces on the turtles with markers.
  • Download our Turtle Pillow Instructions – 2019

Quilts for the beds (ages 7-17)

  • The size of the quilt should be 60 inches wide by 80 inches long.
  • Please feel free to be creative! We need patchwork quilts to decorate every twin-sized bed in our cabins.
  • Please make sure these quilts are machine washable and are not too heavy or warm.

No-Sew Fleece Lap Blankets for the campers (ages 7-17)

  • The size of lap blankets should be 35 to 40 inches wide by 45 to 50 inches long.
  • Click here for a flyer with easy instructions on how to make cozy no-sew fleece lap blankets.
  • At this time we are not in need of crocheted or knitted afghans.

Please avoid using religious or holiday messages or symbols on blankets or pillows in order to create an inclusive environment for all our campers. Thank you for understanding.

For questions about these sewing projects or to have a turtle pillow pattern mailed to you, please email Donna Payne at

I want to thank all those wonderful people who take their time to make the pillows and quilts for each child!!! My son and daughter both treasure those from camp and they hold a special place with them on their beds. Their quilts always go with them to the hospital, a bit of camp fun memories for them and a reason to get better because camp is coming again. They both say a special prayer each night for the maker of their quilts and pillows that they will remain happy and healthy. I know words can’t express my gratitude for what The Painted Turtle means to our family!

Parent of two campers with Muscular Dystrophy