Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Microwavable Hot Pad

Three weeks after having a baby I had some pain on my rib cage and was told to apply heat by my doctor. I didn't have any hot packs around, what could I do? I remembered that my grandmother used to use hot packs with dried beans in them that she would heat up in the microwave.  I could do this!  I decided to whip up something to give me some relief.  I knew there was a reason to keep extra prewashed fat quarters of fabric around the house!

The finished hot pack
All I needed to make this hot pad were a prewashed fat quarter of cotton fabric,  a 1 lb bag of dry beans, some thread and a sewing machine.  Let's go!

I used 16 oz of Great Norther Beans that my mom picked up for me.  (Seriously having grandparents around after birth is awesome).  With Rowdy sleeping, I didn't have a lot of time to make a really NICE pocket. I didn't even bother pressing the fabric.

I folded the fat quarter in half and cut it with scissors.  I didn't even take the time to get my rotary cutter out. (I think that writing this post while working on the project is the longest part!)

With the right sides facing, I stitched 1/4" inside the edge leaving a 2" opening to fill with beans.  I went back and reinforced the edge with a zigzag stitch.  (I used a width of 3 for zig zag on my machine)

I turned the pocket right side out and created a little paper funnel to help fill the bag with the dry beans.

With the size of the bean bag and the amount of beans I used, I could have easily used half the amount of fabric, or double the amount of beans.  However, this bigger pocket will allow me to spread the heat over a larger area if I choose.  If this ends up bothering me I can always reduce the size.

this is why it is awesome to have a stash of prewashed fabrics. I wish i had some flannel but this will do.  After the beans were inside, I stitched just around the edge of the whole pocket to close the hole and make it look pretty.

I heated the hot pad in my microwave for 1 min.  This gave me at LEAST 10 min of good heat and even longer of warmth.  The extra fabric is great.  I can tuck it under my bra to keep the hot bad securely at my lower ribs.  Cool!! (Well, hot!)

This hot pad also makes a good cool pack.  Once my pain had resolved itself I started keeping the bean bag in the freezer to help me with postpartum hot flashes.  It would have been great to make this out of flannel or some other snuggly fabric, but working with what I had in my stash this was a perfect solution to my problem.  Plus, I was able to make something while my newborn napped.  Win win win!

finished and started 2/4/16