Friday, December 19, 2008

Aromatic Heating Wraps

These are fun to make and even better to have around.

Cut one 3" x 21" strip for the strap handle and one 7 1/2" WOF strip for the sack (WOF- Width of fabric. @ 42") Trim the selvedge edges.

Iron the strap fabric down the length in half and iron again 3/8" along each edge to fold this fabric into a long slender strap.

Here is a close-up of what it should look like.

Now take the strap over to the machine and sew a seam line down the length @ 3/8" from the edge to close up the strap. EASY!

Now for the sack. Turn the fabric right sides together and pin a few pins to hold it in place. Here you see I am making two bags at the same time

Sew 1/4" seam allowance on both long sides of the sack. Leave the top open. Turn the bag right-sides out and smooth it flat or give it a quick press with your iron.

Mark and sew two "channel" lines evenly spaced @ 2 1/4" apart from each other, leaving @ 3" for closing at the open (short) side. This leaves us room to to tuck the straps in later. Here is where the rice will go.

Have fun filling those channels now. Mix up about three cups of long-grain rice and any aromatic herb. I used tea leaves from Ceylon and really like the aroma. Try lavendar flowers. The fragrance is just heavenly. You can use a large spoon or a funnel if you have one. Please remember to leave @ 2-3" of space at the top of each channel. So in effect you will have an empty space of @ 5" before the last step. This is important so that the rice can flow freely within the channels and distribute the heat. Also it makes the bag more flexible for wrapping around the body.

Ok. Tuck the upper open end inside the bag, @ 3/4" worth of fabric should be tucked easily.

Take the strap and pin each end to the tucked in edges and secure with pins. CAREFULLY bring this filled sack to the machine and sew up the opening with two lines of thread, for extra security. I wrote CAREFULLY because I have managed to spill rice all over the carpet and sewing machine by being reckless.

Well that's it. If you intend to give these away, please write a tag explaining that it should NEVER be heated in the microwave longer than 2 minutes. Remove using the strap handle and test it to see how hot it gets before draping it across your neck. It shouldn't ever be too hot to handle. OBVIOUSLY don't get it wet. It is raw rice, after all. I really like mine. It is so soothing to tight or cold muscles after a workout. Toss it between the sheets before you go to bed and luxuriate in the warmth. Wonderful in the winter months.

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