Thursday, May 09, 2013

How To: Heating Pad Out of Fat Quarter Quilting Square

After I told a few people I was making neck heating pads, people started giving me ideas on other items I could make, one of my favorite was a skirt type pad where you could wear it when you were having cramps. Not out on the town, just while you were at home, warming the lower back and the tummy. Maybe I'll make one of those next time.

I like this basic rectangular pad because you can use it lots of different ways, shoulders, back, stomach, legs, etc. And interesting side benefit, it is weighted because of the rice. Why is this good? Not completely sure but on two different occasions this week I heard of weighted blankets of some sort calming dogs and people. Here is some information on weighted blankets and why they are calming.

So...back to THIS heating is made out of a fat quarter quilting square. You can get these at any fabric and sometimes craft stores, they come in great patterns and are inexpensive. (I personally like to look in the sale/clearance and pick up random prints and then hoard them at home, I have an entire collection and never intend to make a quilt.)

Tip: You could use two prints, cut them in half and have one print on each side, make two, one for you and one for a friend.

How to make heating pad from fat quarter: 

  1. Fat quarters are typically 18 x 22 though mine for some reason was 18 x 21.(Perhaps that is why it was on sale?!)  I folded my fat quarter along the long side. 
  2. Sew 1/2" seam allowance down both 9 1/2 inch sides (short sides). 
  3. Turn right side out, press. 
  4. Fold raw edge in 1/2" seam allowance, iron flat. You end up with a big rectangle that appears finished but one side is really just folded in, this is where you are going to add the rice. 
  5. Measure and pin where you want to sew your lines for the rice pockets. Because I ended up with 20" I made my pockets 2 1/2" wide. I just pinned and then held a ruler to guide the line. See photo. 
  6. Sew a top stitch on the fold side, then it will match the other side at the end. (Because you will need to sew up the holes made by the stitched lines.) 
  7. Mix rice and lavender. I used 4 cups of rice, one heaping cup of lavender. Approximately 1/2 cup goes in each of the pockets. 
  8. Use a funnel, or make one like I did. I just cut a plastic bottle, works great and is free! 
  9. Insert funnel into pocket and scoop up about 1/2 cup on rice/lavender mix and let it fill the pocket. Use pins to seal the end. Go to next pocket. 
  10. When all the pockets are full, if you have left over mix, unpin some and add it in, evening out the pockets. 
  11. Sew up the seam where the openings were. Done! Warm in microwave and enjoy! 

Fat quarter folded in half long side, right side in.

Pin where you want to sew lines.

I used a ruler as a guide me keep the lines straight.

Finished lines. 
Finished lines.

Top stitching on folded side.

Lavender I got from Amazon

Rice/lavender mix

Free funnel! Easy, just cut the bottom part of the bottle off, instant funnel.

Once a pocket is full, pin it closed.

Pockets all pinned, ready to sew!

Made It! Lavender and Rice Heating Pad

Rice and Lavender Heating Pad 

I found this heating pad on Pinterest and loved the idea of a large pad that went around the shoulders and down the back. So often I only see neck warmers. I decided to make some for my mom and sister-in-law for Mother's Day. These are really easy to make and make great gifts. In an effort to reduce/recycle I used some fabric I already owned, bought lavender from Amazon and rice from Sprouts in the bulk area. I didn't know this until I started researching it but enriched rice is actually rice they stripped the nutrient out of and then enriched it with nutrient. That is the short answer to what it is, the important part is the process makes the rice shelf life much longer, making it perfect for these warmers. Click here to find the post from Craft Endeavor to see the instructions.

Rice from Sprouts, cheap! Which is good because you need a lot, about 9-10 cups!

Second Heating Pad

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

How to Organize Craft Projects in Evernote

I recently joined a knitting group and have been re-inspired to get crafty. I didn't mean to do this but in trying to decide what to make and what yarn I had I ended up becoming really organized with the help of Evernote.

As an overall effort to organize my life, I've been slowly scanning in my craft patterns to Evernote and adding tags like knit, crochet, sewing, etc. for easy retrieval. The knitting group had several suggested patterns online so I used the Evernote web clipper to add each pattern to my "Comfy_Crafter" notebook in Evernote. I reviewed the patterns and found a simple dishcloth pattern to work on during the group time, now to find the yarn.

I pulled out all my yarn and organized it by bulk size and found some perfect yarn to use for my project during the group. I'm still working on finding a way to use Evernote to keep track of my yarn.

After I finished the dishcloth I pulled up the note with the original pattern in Evernote, using the photo option, I added a photo of the finished product. Now I can reference back in Evernote and see what patterns I have actually completed and see what the finished piece is suppose to look like. (Sometimes patterns don't come with a picture so it is nice to have your own finished product to use as a guide in case you want to do it again or share it with family or friends.)

Tip: Tag the note as completed to make searching for patterns easier. 

Here is a copy of the note with the instructions in a pdf and the image of the finished project. This would also work if the pattern instructions were typed right into the note.  Click here to see the note, if you have Evernote you can save the note directly to one of your own notebooks. (The web version of the note shows the pdf of the instructions as a paperclip clickable link. In the desktop version it shows the actual pdf like the image below.)

Tip: If you end up with two notes, one with the instructions and one with the photo, you can merge them in the desktop version of Evernote. 

Here is another example using youtube. I watched a video on how to make knitted flowers and saved the video in Evernote for easy reference. Then I added a photo of some of my own finished flowers. To add the video I emailed the video tomy  Evernote email address through youtube. (Each Evernote account comes with an email address,, where you can email yourself content and it goes directly into notes.)

How to Organize Craft Projects in Evernote 

  1. Add craft pattern to Evernote. (Add a PDF, take a photo of the pattern instructions, type it directly into a note, add a video.)
  2. Note what supplies you used; yarn type, needle size, etc. 
  3. Add comments, notes, changes, modifications, tips as you work on the pattern.
  4. Take a photo of the finished product. (You can also take photos along the way and create your own how to guide.) 
  5. Tag the note with what it is; knitting, crochet, stamp, sewing, etc. 

Tip: If you find patterns online, you can easily save them using the Evernote webclipper, it saves webpages and online pdfs directly to notes. Super easy! 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Slap Bracelets Keep Wrapping Paper Together

I posted this on my other blog, should have really gone here. Slap bracelets find a new use as wrapping paper holders. Click here for full post.