Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Heated Rice Bag Tutorial + Bonus Wrapped Corner Tutorial!

Ugh! Just when things were finally warming up; we hit another cold snap. On the bright side, it's the perfect time to share a tutorial for my most appreciated sewing project-- the rice bag. Out of all the things I make (from knit hats to cake) these little rice bags are favorites. I get requests for them through the cold weather, and I (gasp!) actually see them being used from time to time. Those of ya'll who sew will know how exciting that is!

I know there are lots of tutorials for similar items in all different sizes all over the net. This are simply how I make mine. Cold, these are basically sacks filled with plain white uncooked rice. When you warm them up in the microwave, they become toasty warm little nuggets of heaven.

I make mine extra large so they stay nice and heated through most of the night. Want to make one for yourself? Here's the skinny on how to get them done quick and cute.

Take two rectangles (mine are 9x13) place them right sides together and sew around 3 sides.


 If you are like me, when you turn it out, your corners will be dog eared like this, even if you take the time to poke it out with a bobby pin.

 If you want to get fancy, you can wrap your corners. To do this, sew down the short side, and then iron that seam allowance up toward the bag.



 Now go back through and sew the two long sides-- right over that seam you ironed up.

 This time when you turn it out you will have perfect gorgeous wrapped corners. I'll be honest, I only take the time to do this when I'm making a bunch of bags at once, since it requires getting up and going to the iron.

 Now, take your perfect little sacks and fill them up with plain, uncooked white rice. I use about 4 cups in each of mine.
 Tuck the raw edges of the bag inwards, and sew straight across to close the bag. I normally topstitch a few lines of stitching to make sure no little grains of rice escape. I do the same on both short sides just to make sure they match.

 And done! These sound like a lot of work, but really I could crank out all these in just a few hours.
To use one of these, just microwave for a few minutes. Please, please, please use common sense and caution when using these. Microwave for just a minute at a time, and shake the bag to make sure there are no hot spots before using.

Tips and Tricks:


  • I like to make mine assembly line style, so when I sit down to make them, I normally make 4-5 at a time. I 'chain piece' all the seams so I don't have to stop as often.
  • I also pick up the huge bags of the cheapest rice I can find at the store to make them as inexpensively as possible. 
  • In a pinch? Use fat quarters to totally eliminate any cutting at all. Just fold them in half hamburger style and go to town! 

These would make great gifts for anyone for anytime, but they are my favorite gift to give as 'get well' gifts. Put one of these in a basket with muffins, and I think they make a better gift then roses. So tell me-- what is the weather like where you are this time of year?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Introducing our new sponsor, Raspberry creek!

I'm so happy to introduce a brand new sponsor to MIH-- Raspberry Creek Fabrics! Raspberry Creek is an awesome online shop with a great selection of all kinds of fabrics ranging from quilting cottons to knit apparel fabric.



I love that they have a great selection of basics at a good price. We can't get enough pink polka dots around here.

 My favorite thing in their shop right now is their flannel blanket kits. I always worry about color matching when buying online, especially when buying from different fabric manufacturers. But most manufacturers of cute quilting fabrics don't often produce flannel to match their fabric. Diana (Raspberry Creek's owner) takes all the guesswork out of purchasing with these sweet bundles that are already perfectly matched.I love these sweet blue and pink whales!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Organizing!

It's that time of year again-- spring cleaning. I always joke that my husband hates this time of year because football is over, and I'm just waiting to fill his weekends with more and more projects.

In case you missed it-- I rounded up 5 awesome and easy organizing projects projects that can be done by beginner sewists at I heart last week. The best part is that there is no help from husbands required!





Head on over to I Heart Organizing to get the list!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Easily store those tiny latex rubberbands!

Every so often I have an idea that makes me feel like a genius! I'm sure you all know the feeling :) 

a simple storage solution for hair ties and rubber bands!
 We use these tiny latex bands in my daughter's hair all the time. We spring for the expensive ones since they seem to pull less and stay in hair longer. We used to store them in loose in a space maker, and they would get dumped out on at least a bi weekly basis. I would find them everywhere all the time, except when I actually needed one to finish of a pony tail.
a simple storage solution for hair ties and rubber bands!
 I finally had this brainwave over the weekend! Safety pins!
a simple storage solution for hair ties and rubber bands!
 I just sorted and strung them on the biggest safety pins I could find. The best part is that neither kid can open them yet, so the bands (and my sanity) are safe from my kids. Pink, of course, had it's own safety pin.

a simple storage solution for hair ties and rubber bands!

For sets of rubber bands (these are approximately 250) you can use these large skirt/kilt pins from dritz.
a simple storage solution for hair ties and rubber bands!
 And you can corral those larger, regular sized rubber bands on larger knitting stitch holders. These come in all sorts of sizes-- I'm not quite sure where I got this glittery one. Be warned that these are easy enough for my kids to open; but the ends are not sharp.


a simple storage solution for hair ties and rubber bands!

And if you really want to make sure your kids can't get into them-- try diaper pins. I have a hard time opening them myself!
a simple storage solution for hair ties and rubber bands!

I hope you all find this useful! It's such a simple trick that makes me feel on top of the world each time I do my girl's hair.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring...

Sometimes I think spring is the most beautiful season of all. The wonder and beauty of clean, fresh and new life surrounds us all.

 and then sometimes I get brought back to my senses.
This is Amaani after a few hours hard at work on her 'mud farm' yesterday. I hope you all have a wonderful (and messy) weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Learning To Love Pink and a DIY Ballet Skirt

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll know that Amaani loves pink. You've also probably figured out that I'm not a big fan. The truth is I'm not remotely interested in anything girly, and I'm honestly surprised to find that my daughter is quite the opposite.
Sometimes the first step in nurturing your child's talents is fully embracing them for who they are... pink and all.




My daughter has been asking to go to ballet class for the last few months, but I've been hesitant. Visions of buns and strict dance teachers and drama and pink frills (literally) danced in my head. As a compromise  I finally decided to put both kids 'creative dance.' We got to our first class a bit early, and a I realized the class before ours was beginning ballet. No less than a dozen tiny toddlers in leotards and frilly skirts walked by us as we waited. Amaani looked at me and asked "Mama, where's my skirt?"

A few hours later I got an inquiry about doing a post for Disney's newest Tinker Bell movie-- The Pirate Fairy-  and one of the themes was "nurturing your children's talents." It made me think... I always thought that my little girl would be nerdy and bookish like me, that we'd spend our time building with legos and perfecting our marble runs. She does all that and more... so shouldn't I embrace her pink? After she went to bed, I got to sewing. And when she woke up the next morning, she had a pink tutu waiting for her.

DIY Tutu sikrt-- perfect for fairies, ballerinas, and princesses.

The skirt is a simple circle skirt made from 4 layers instead of one. The best circle skirt tutorial on the web is this one from Dana of Made, so if you run in to trouble, you can check that one out as well.

I used about 2 yards of tulle, and elastic the size of my daughters waist. I created a pattern using Dana's tutorial above, and cut out 4 "donuts" out of the tulle.

Sometimes the first step in nurturing your child's talents is fully embracing them for who they are... pink and all.
 Then I pin basted the 4 layers together and treated them as one piece of fabric.
Sometimes the first step in nurturing your child's talents is fully embracing them for who they are... pink and all.


Then just slap some elastic around the waist and omit the hem. It was finished in less than an hour.

After I showed it to her we did our hair...
Sometimes the first step in nurturing your child's talents is fully embracing them for who they are... pink and all.

Sometimes the first step in nurturing your child's talents is fully embracing them for who they are... pink and all.
and danced...
Sometimes the first step in nurturing your child's talents is fully embracing them for who they are... pink and all.
 and danced...
Sometimes the first step in nurturing your child's talents is fully embracing them for who they are... pink and all.
and danced!
Sometimes the first step in nurturing your child's talents is fully embracing them for who they are... pink and all.

You can learn more about The Pirate Fairy on the Disney Fairies Facebook Page! You can also own it on Blu-ray and DVD on April 1st (order here). Maybe it will inspire you too :)

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