Sewn by Hand (Lark Crafts, 2011) by Susan Wasinger collection allows stitchers to be eco-friendly and mobile. With 20 items ranging from fashionable pillows and patched jeans to useful pincushions, sewers will produce gorgeous results even as they experience the simple joys of traditional stitching. This project can be used frozen or warm to treat aches, owies, and more.
Life is full of hard knocks, but these adorable thermal packs are made to soothe. Sized to fit the biggest bumps right down to the smallest scuff, they are the perfect gift for kids – both young and old.
These little hot/cold packs can be thrown into the freezer for an hour or two to become a soothing alternative to the traditional hard, plastic-y ice pack. They can also be heated up in the microwave to loosen tight muscles or slowly warm chilly fingers in the winter. Though the pieces are small and easy-to-sew on the go, filling the thermal pack with rice is best done at home.
- Small scraps of linen or cotton
- Contrasting pattern or colored linen, cotton or flannel for backing
- Heavyweight thread or embroidery floss
- Uncooked rice grains
- Dried lavender or rosemary (optional)
- Standard sewing basket
For The Fronts: linen, medium-weight cotton in tiny, kid-friendly prints
For The Backing: linen, brushed cotton, flannel in stripes or solid
Size: Makes three bags: 4 1/4 x 9 inches, 3 1/4 x 6 1/4 inches, 3 x 4 1/4 inches
- To make the large pack, cut a piece of printed linen and a piece of backing fabric 4 3/4 x 9 ½ inches. For the medium, 3 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches, and for the small, 3 1/2 x 5 inches.
- With right sides together, sew a line of tight backstitches about 1/4 inch from the edge around the perimeter. Leave a space open about 2 inches long, for turning and filling the pack. Clip the corners at a 45-degree angle.
- Turn the pack right side out through the open seam. Poke (from the inside) or pick (from the outside) the corners to make a nice, crisp rectangle. Spoon uncooked rice grains into the pack. Mix in lavender if you wish to add a pleasant and soothing scent. Fill until the pack feels full and there are no empty areas, but be careful not to overfill. You want the pack to conform to the body part it is going to soothe. Once filled, pin the seam opening closed.
- Use a slipstitch to close the opening. Repeat to make all three packs.
- Use heavyweight or embroidery thread to sew a line of decorative topstitching around the perimeter of each bag. The stitching should be about 1/8 inch (or a tad more) away from the edge. This stitching will also reinforce the seam to keep any rice from escaping.
- If you would like, add a center X stitch in the medium and large packs. These add a cute finish to the packs and also keep the rice from shifting too much and makes it a little firmer (another reason not to overfill the pack in step 3). Leave the smallest one without an X; it is the perfect size and density for a hot compress to soothe a tiny ear’s ache.
Ice Is Nice, Heat Is Sweet
For aches and sprains, cool is the way to go. The cooling effect of these packs is a bit gentler than an awkward bag filled with ice, and feels nicer next to the skin. They’ll need about 4 hours in the freezer to get cold. The littlest one is great for cooling down the sting of mosquito bites.
For cramps, earaches, or chill blains, heat is the best medicine. Just place the packs on a plate or towel in the microwave and heat for a few seconds. Since microwaves vary in power, start with increments of 10 seconds and keep checking until the pack is comfortably toasty.
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Reprinted with Permission from Sewn by Hand by Susan Wasinger and Published by Lark Crafts.