07 June 2010

Hot Piping

*I have an updated/additional tutorial here.*

Little kids are always getting scrapes and cuts.  I'm not sure if it's their closer proximity to the ground, that they're always moving, or they're still learning how to use their legs [most likely a combination of all of the above].  No matter--they're always getting hurt.  Once upon a time, I would ration the band-aids like it was WWII.  Show me blood.  Show me dripping blood.  That sort of thing.  But I've learned along this road of motherhood a few things.  One of which is that the whole world will go around easier if there is free access to band-aids.  Cut?  Have a band-aid.  Scrape?  Have a band-aid.  Bruise?  Have a band-aid.  Itch?  Have a band-aid.  Psychological or not, kids like band-aids. 


But what about a middle-of-the-night ear ache?  You get the acetaminophen going, but what to ease the immediate discomfort?  What about those general aches and pains?  The other night Divine woke up with an ear ache.  We did the ear drops and the acetaminophen.  She settled down for about 15 minutes until the ear drops wore off and the acetaminophen hadn't kicked in yet.  More ear drops.  In pain a few minutes later.  I filled a drawstring bag with rice, stuck it in the microwave for less than a minute, she put it on her ear and was sound asleep moments later.  So, what did I do?  Made two for each of them!  In the colder months they can keep them in their coat pockets, just the right size.  Of course you can make these any size you want, larger for warming your feet or a leg ache.  Around here we like petite.

Supplies:
Fabric and ribbon scraps
Bias
Cording
Thread
Rice

1  Cut your bags the size desired [2 sides for each bag].  For mine, I use a 3" X 5" index card and just rounded the corners.  Use cotton or linen, as natural fibers breathe the best.  I also cut an extra 2 sides of muslin to line them and give them more stability and weight. 

I love piping.  I could do a whole post on it.  Maybe another time.  To make your own piping, iron your bias flat and fold it over your cord [you can use any size cord that you want--for this project I used a very small size].

You want to stitch RIGHT next to the cord.  You can use a zipper foot, or if you have a foot with grooves the size of your cord use that, as it also guides it.

2  Pin your cord in place, but also keep the cord pushed up against the center crease with your fingernail right before it goes under the foot.

3  Pin the freshly made piping around perimeter, overlapping ends, and curving them toward the raw edge.  The raw edge of the piping will line up with the raw edge of the right side of the fabric.  Don't forget to put the muslin on the wrong side.  Fold ribbon piece in half and pin in place.  Stitch, following the stitching of the piping.
4  This is what the next layering will look like with the muslin as the bread of the sandwich and the patterned fabric in the center.
5  Turn sandwich over and pin, leaving a 2" opening.  Follow the previous stitching exactly.
6  To reduce bulk in corners, clip triangles.  Turn right side out.

A frequent scene as I sew:  a scissor social!

7  Fill bags with rice.  My choice:  Jasmine.  Exotic, fragrant scent.  Hand stitch opening shut.




You can, of course, omit the piping, which I did on one bag. It comes together much more quickly, but I really like the look of the baby piping.

Rice bags + band-aids = World Peace  [at least less crying]

47 comments:

  1. Love this tutorial, but was laughing hard about the band-aids! My kids have free rein access to the band-aids also - which can sometimes be a bad thing when I need one! :)

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  2. Thank you so much for showing me how to use piping! I love the look, and now I feel confident enough to try it--wonderful! :o)
    Cheers,
    natalie

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  3. Those bags are too cute. I didn't know heated rice bags cure ear aches. Great job.

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  4. You know, I'm really impressed with the tutorial and everything (especially with the DIY piping), but I have to say that the organization of your medicine cabinet and your rice storage is what *really* impressed me. :D Ha!

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  5. fabulous! as usual :-)

    you know - bandaids really DO help heal all manner of 'wounds'. Because the child thinks the bandaid makes any boo-boo feel better, once the bandaid is applied, stress levels decrease & a less-stressed body heals more quickly than a stressed one ;-)

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  6. that is unbelievably cool.

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  7. We have these at our house too! We call em the "boo-boo" packs. I used to use rice but recently switched to dried feed corn. Then you can put em in the freezer or microwave. The cold ones are good for scrapes and bruises and bumps, that kind of thing, and no dripping like with ice! I love your idea of the piping, I might have to add some the next round!

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  8. So true about the band-aids! Be careful where the girls leave those rice socks when you leave town. I had one (made from a sock) that I used for my aching back every night during the last trimester of my first pregnancy. I kept it under the bed...and left it there while we went out of town for two weeks. It attracted a mouse which made a feast of my poor rice sock. Heating the rice so frequently made for a very strong aroma emanating from that sock.

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  9. Brilliant x infinity billion! LOVE THESE!
    What's even better is where you store them and how you hang them! LOVE THAT TOO!
    Okay. I'll stop YELLING IN CAPS now.
    It's just that...I really like this post.

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  10. Rice packs are great! I have one each for my kids instead of Hot Water Bottles for bed. So much quicker, easier and safer.

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  11. Those are just too adorable! Who knew an itty bitty rice pack could be so cute?

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  12. Such a great idea... and I love the teeny piping!

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  13. beautiful!
    And funny...i was just thinking about a bias tape tutorial today! I love that our minds are in a similar place.
    Lovely as always katy.

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  14. Katy, I was also going to suggest putting some in your freezer as someone else mentioned. I always have them in my freezer as I suffer from terrible migraines and use them as a cold compress on my eyes for that and then can throw them in the microwave straight from the freezer if needed. Just last night I gave one to Annie (6) because she was too hot and couldn't sleep...they are MIRACLE workers! My poor mom also lives with her frozen rice bags on her poor crippled bones now. She really couldn't live without them. Since she has no rotator cuffs left in her shoulders she can't have surgery and she is always in pain, the rice bags are her only relief...I think she has a whole freezer full just so she can rotate! I have a testimony to what a wonderful thing these truly are! Now, if only I could come to one of your sewing soiree's you could help me with piping so mine could be cute! Come back to UT for a visit? (Sorry for the novel)

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  15. i really love this. we make these at our house too. we've always called them "rice bags" (creative, no?). we just make big ones though.. it never occurred to me to make sweet little child sized ones. we also put spices and essential oils in ours and we either heat them up or pop them in the freezer :) most people prefer them warm, i like mine chilled.

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  16. love this idea! We have a few bigger ones, but these are great for little people!

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  17. I am just amazed to see how organized you are. Love this idea!

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  18. so cute! I was just recommended your blog and love it! love your gorgeous girls too

    off to add you to my favourites!
    Corrie:)

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  19. Love it! So cute too! and your right about the piping..just as that finished touch to them. And to use the jasmine rice..brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  20. Wow, I can't stop reading you! The projects are amazing, specially the lacy skirt, what a magical piece!
    congratulations!

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  21. I use hulled corn instead of rice. It's just as inexpensive, and available at your local feed store (I buy it at the local Southern States store). I microwave a corn bag for about 6 and 1/2 minutes, and it stays warm almost all night long, which is great, since I have cold feet all winter, and it's hard to fall asleep when you feel like you're getting frost bite! Rice gets cold within about half an hour, and then the bed is too cold again. Depending on how cold your feet get, you might want to use corn instead of rice.

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  22. I've been using rice bags for years. In fact one Christmas I made them for exchange gifts for everyone in my quilt group. I always keep mine in the freezer as I, too, get migraines and they are a wonder for the pain. Mine are not so fancy with the piping but I will have to try that also. They are easy to warm in the microwave when we need a warm pack. Oh, I'm also using the chicken feed now. It seems to stay warm longer when necessary.

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  23. Monogram them! If you have an embroidery machine you can personalize your fabric before you sew them together. Or even hand embroider them-cute as gifts!

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  24. So, where do you get the scents to put into the rice, and how much do you use?

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  25. Lex6819-That is a great tip! Thank you!
    Dixie-The rice is Jasmine rice, and has a natural scent, but you could add an essential oil like lavender found at any natural food store, just a couple of drops would do it.

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  26. One of THE best tutorials I've seen!! So clear, so concise, so witty, and your pictures are AMAZING!!! So sharp and clear.
    Thank you, gonna makea load of these as extra pressies for Christmas!
    Miss P
    xxx

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  27. How long do these bags last? How do you keep them from drying out too much and the rice from burning?

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  28. Alex-I've never had an issue of burning the rice. You are just warming it until it holds the heat. You can always unpick a small opening and change out your filling if you want to freshen it up and sew it back together.

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  29. I love everything you write on your blog. Thank you, to a great mommy. You are fabulous

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  30. Hi! I've been making my own version of rice packs for years for myself, family, and friends. I tend to make longer ones that can be wrapped around the neck, draped over shoulders, or wrapped around the lower back. I also use jasmine rice because I like the smell, and have used essential oils or scented oils at times. But I get my favorite scents by adding whole cloves and broken up cinnamon sticks. If you choose to use rice, just make sure it isn't the instant kind. It must be raw rice. I have heard that buckwheat and corn feed can be used instead of rice but haven't tried those yet but have heard they hold heat longer. One modification I've made over time is to use cotton or muslin to make the wrap itself, and then I make a case that it slips into and closes at the open end with velcro. I have even embroidered lovely designs on the cases. The reason for the case is so you can pull the case off and wash them as needed without ruining the wrap and making soggy rice. I also recommend pre-washing all of the fabric you plan to use before cutting and sewing to eliminate future shrinkage. I love the small ones and how you hang them inside the medicine cabinet. I also like the suggestion given about making them small to put in pockets to keep your hands warm. I have arthritis in my hands and this sounds like a lovely way to warm my hands without having to buy those disposable hand warmers that cannot be recycled. Thanks so much for such a good idea and for such a well done tutorial. You totally rock!

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  31. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. The design is so clean and fun to look at. I made a pair of these as part one of my Christmas gifts and put pictures of them up with my other handmade reveals in the last few days. Have a look!
    http://harmlesscolor.blogspot.com/2011/01/2010-handmade-christmas-gifts-ii_15.html

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  32. Very nice. i like it, thanks for sharing...

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  33. i just found your blog, and seriuosly, you are so blessed to have such an amazing way to do things! hehe one day i would like to be like you! hehehe By the way you have a beautiful family!

    God bless you!

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  34. very nice! I made a big one for my back/shoulders from an old pj top with the sleeves cut out and the sides opened. It just lies across my shoulders and is wonderful when I get home from work. I used flax seed, but I've read that the best to use is cherry pits. Since we have SO MANY cherry trees, I plan to try that, as soon as they're ripe again (yah...in another 6 months!). thanks for sharing. I like the one gal's idea of making a sleeve for the actual bag of rice/flax seed/whatever so it can be washed.

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  35. Never thought to use these for the kids, but I have made these for baby animals and smaller pets. I use to work for a place that saved animals neglected in the wild, and an electric heatpad never helped, so we did up the rice bags and placed under one layer of a blanket in their boxes or habitats. Thank you for sharing, going to make some up for my little girl...
    Christina in Vermont

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  36. I would like to know how to make rice fragrant scent Please.
    Thank you.

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  37. Happysewlady--just add a couple of drops of fragrance, such as lavender oil to your rice.

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  38. I've been meaning to make one of these for ages. It's funny, right this minute I have an ear ache, and wish I had gotten off my butt earlier and made one. Also, my scissors love to have parties when I'm sewing too!

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  39. I made one to day it's great I live in Tasmania Australia we are in summer but still grts cold in the evenings thanks

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  40. Great idea made one today live in tassie Australia it's summer but still gets cold in the evenings

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  41. Great idea have made all different sizes

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  42. Great all my friends love them

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  43. I use field corn in mine. i also have made them for years. My grandkids who are now teens don't go to bed without one in the winter.
    Once I accidentally washed one with my sheets. I just put it in the sun, hung it on the clothes line. After a couple days it was dry. And with lots of moisture in the heat.

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  44. I love this idea! My daughter,now 40, still thinks a cold wet washcloth heals everything. I will have to make her a few of these. Have a wonderful day!

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