Sunday, January 30, 2011

Finished Project Week #4 - Always Making Things More Complicated

Finished Project Week #4
Make Something for the Man (and for me as well).

So, in theory, I could have posted this on Tuesday as I was finished with the ankle warmer for Mr.HowDoYouDo that evening. But I cannot seem to make anything easy on my self.

Here is the bag I made for Mr.HDYD:

It is a cotton fabric with a muslin lining. I even managed to do some decorative but manly stitching. It is filled with dried corn and is heated in the microwave. This is a pretty big bag (11x13), so I heat it for 4 to 5 minutes.

I was inspired to make the handle by Katy over at No Big Dill. What a brilliant idea. I always make the bag a little too hot to handle!

It was a hit and has been used several time this week already, it even helped when he slipped on the ice and hurt his back on Friday. Ouch!

Like I said, I could have been done early but no, I decided that I would test out a pile of fabrics:

and test out several different fillers

to see what worked best.

All of the fabrics (cotton, silky polyester, flannel, minky) did fine in the microwave. I was worried about the minky, but it had no problems.

Here is how I tested the filler: I made 6 inch square bags with different types of filler that I had read about other people using. (I only used one layer of muslin for the test bags, but I really recommend using a thicker fabric or two layers of a thin fabric to prevent burning your skin.)

I put them all in the freezer over night and rated how well they stayed cold (good, better, best). I then put them in the microwave for one minute one at a time and timed how long before they cooled down.

Here are the results:

Rice: Best at cold . Stayed hot for 20+ minutes
Barley: Best at cold. Stayed hot for 25+ minutes
Lentils: Better at cold. Stayed hot for 20+ minutes
Wheat: Better at cold. Stayed hot for 25+ minutes
Flax Seeds: Better at cold. Stayed hot for 15+ minutes
Dried Peas: Better at cold. Stayed hot for 25+ minutes
Dried Corn: Good at cold. Stayed hot for 30+ minutes
Polenta (ground): Good at cold. Stayed hot for 20+ minutes
Buckwheat: Good at cold. Stayed hot for 15+ minutes

Yes, I am a little crazy, I know. But now you don't have to do this!

Armed with this knowledge I decided to make a therapy bag for myself. It is made with minky and flannel fabric and filled with wheat and dried lavender, I also added some lavender oil. (Note to anyone using essential oils: A LITTLE BIT GOES A  VERY LONG WAY.)

And because I can never resist embellishments, I decided to try a reverse applique for the first time. It turned out pretty well, if I do say myself. The Princess P saw it and has asked me to do this on all of her clothes now.

I also made a sleep/relax mask out of silky fabric and minky. It is filled with buckwheat and a very, very little eucalyptus oil. This one will go in the freezer.

I am going to try and make covers for all the little bags so they can be used in the freezer and for heat therapy bags for all the girls. Lily Bear is not being very cooperative with the sleeping tonight so I will see if I can get it done.

If you have any questions on therapy bags, let me know, I am pretty much and expert by default now.


  1. Heather, thank you for testing all those combinations and thank you for sharing your results, too! Saved the rest of us a whole lotta guesswork!

  2. Your blog is fun and I will follow to keep up with your challenge ... thanks for coming by mine... it is fun to read what others are doing... I did reply to you but I think you are on 'no reply' so I guess it won't get to you...

  3. What thorough research you did! I wonder why the corn didn't pop. I think I'm going to try using rice. And some bright Kaffe prints with muslin lining. And a handle. Thanks for the idea.

  4. The corn doesn't "pop" unless you use pop corn. I used whole dried corn that you would grind into corn meal. You can also find whole dried corn at feed stores. Hope this helps.

  5. Wow, your bags are all way to cute! I just have a couple plain Jane bags that were made with rice. They still work great though.

  6. Oh my gosh.. these are SO much prettier than the ones I've made. I love them! Now I want to make more!


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