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?

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.
  • Download our Turtle Pillow Instructions (pdf).

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.

Afghans or Lap Quilts for the campers (ages 7-17)

  • The size of the afghans and lap quilts should be 35 to 40 inches wide by 45 to 50 inches long.
  • The afghans can be knitted or crocheted.

For questions about these sewing projects or to have a turtle pillow pattern mailed to you, please email Jackie Ramirez at jackier@thepaintedturtle.org.

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