Saturday, March 5, 2016

My Saturday Share-The Microwave Heating Pad

On the left is a paper funnel tube made from a piece of printer paper and cellophane tape. The small end fits the channel and is wide enough that the rice does not clog the end.
I don't know anyone without an assortment of aches and pains. Our recent Lenten fish fry has reminded me with acute clarity. I have made so many of these that I lost count, years ago.

It is simple to make. I buy my hand towels at Costco but any quality terrycloth hand towel works well. I like those with a wide woven band on each end because they are easier to close after the rice has been filled into the channels.

 The towel is washed and dried. Then fold in half, short end to short end. Sew the sides, back-stitch the beginning and end of each seam, turn it right side out. Since there really is no right side I suppose, just turn it out.
 Sew channels from the middle out, these are about 2 1/2 inches apart. Stop at the band, this is about 1/2 inch up from the terry portion of the towel. Don't forget to back-stitch.

After the channels are sewn, fill with rice. I buy big bags of the cheapest store brand rice that I can find. I use an old flexible Tupperware bowl to pour the rice into a paper cone funnel. If you have a funnel with a wide enough mouth you won't need to make the paper tube. I fold a piece of printer paper and secure the ends with tape.

Now stitch the top closed. This is the trickiest part. Make sure there is no rice hanging around on your sewing path. Needles will break, ask me how I know this. Support the weight of your bag with your left hand as you sew. I start in the middle and sew to the outside seam and then repeat. Two solid rows of zig-zag stitches will hold it well.

  • Two minutes in the microwave will make a nice warm moist heat. The rice will emit heat for years. They smell a little funny the first few times but it dissipates quickly. If you find that bothersome a few lavender petals will help that. I don't bother anymore.
  • I make white towels but I have used colors in the past. One time, a lovely red towel for a Christmas gift. The color bled, it was not pretty. Therefore, I take no chances, I only use white. 
  • I also make covers by request. They are not needed but cute. 
My newest adaptation is not to sew the top two inches. This little flange is very convenient for holding onto when positioning the bag. If you wish, just sew it closed. 

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