Monday, November 15, 2010

Warm Heart Rice Bag

Today I have a really fun tutorial for a project that would make a lovely gift.  
A "Warm Heart" therapeutic rice bag!  
Everyone has aches and pains now and then - they can heat this colorful rice bag in the microwave 
and melt their tension away.  
This is also a great project to use up some scraps.
Here's what you'll need:
Several scraps of fabric
1 piece of muslin-type fabric 13"x8"
1 piece of fabric for the back (I used cozy flannel) 13"x8"
1 bag of rice
whole cloves, cinnamon
sewing machine
yard stick
water soluble pen

Step 1:  Cut out all of your fabric.
the back and front rectangles,
cut out two hearts the same size,
then several strips of fabric of varying widths -
such as 1/2", 1", 1 1/2", 2"

Step 2:  Make the heart applique.  Place the two hearts right sides together and pin.

Sew around the entire heart using a 3/8" seam.  Do NOT leave an opening.
Clip the fabric to the seam (but not through the seam) around the curves of the heart.

Step 3:  Lift up the back of the heart and make a slit in it ( be SURE not to catch the front side).  Enlarge the hole so that you can flip the heart right sides out.

Flip it, use a pencil to push out all the edges, then press it well.

Step 4: Moving along to the top.  Cut the top rectangle into 4 equal rectangles.  You are going to strip-piece these four rectangles.  Here's how you do that.
Lay one strip, right side up on the rectangle, lining up the edges.

Lay the second strip, right side down on top of the first strip, lining up their edge (the one closest to you).

Sew a 1/4" seam along that edge.

Open the top strip, so it is right side up, and press well.

Repeat that process with the next strip:

Press.  Then trim off the excess until your rectangle is nice and neat.

Great!  One block is done.

Repeat this process with the other three blocks.  I made two of mine horizontal and two vertical.

Step 5:  Lay the bottom left rectangle, right side down, on the top left rectangle.
Sew these together, using a 3/8" seam.  Press the seam open.

Repeat with the other two rectangles.

Step 6:  Lay these two right sides together and sew the center seam.  Press seams.

Step 7:  Pin the heart in the center of the top.

Step 8:  The most "invisible" way to attach this is using a slip-stitch.  If you are nervous about that, you can always blanket or zig-zag stitch it on your machine.  I will explain it the best that I can, but if you are still confused you can go here for a video tutorial.
Starting under the fabric, bring the needle up through the top and the heart.

Pull the needle and thread through.  Now, with the thread "on top", work the needle under the heart a little bit.  Push it through the fabric top, then back up - barely catching the edge of the heart.

Step 9:  Once you have the heart attached, lay the top right sides together with the back
and pin around 3 sides - leaving one end open.

Stitch around those sides, flip it and then press.

Step 10:  Mix the rice (not cooked) with whole cloves and cinnamon.

Pour it into the bag - I used almost an entire 32 oz bag.  Work the rice to the closed end of the bag.
Turn the raw edges of the open end in and press.  Top-stitch it closed.

That's it! 


  1. Oh,it is beautiful! What a wonderful gift idea, that design could also be adapted for a throw pillow. I think your projects are just getting better and better!

  2. Great job on this tutorial--great pics, great instructions, and a fabulous end result!

  3. It's so beautiful! One of my favorite rice bags ever. Just gorgeous! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

  4. so beautiful! this is so perfect for me to stumble upon right now i have recently found so many small pieces of fabric/scraps. great gift idea :)

  5. Very well-done tutorial and beautiful end result. Love the colors too!

  6. I love all the ideas you put on here, they are SUPER! Just cannot get enough! I posted some things I've made for the contest under asmusacres... I would LOVE to have one of those CUTE ruffle joy skirts! I just bought Allie the playdate pattern for christmas (she is getting a sewing machine) All those ruffles= FUN Cuteness!
    Happy Holidays Girl!

  7. Hi again!
    I just added a photo of my attempt at your Starbucks Mocha in your Microwave recipe! It turned out quite delicious ;) The drink was gone before I even finished uploading the photo!!

  8. Very cool! Looks easy but I bet that means it will be hard for me..

    Send gifts to pakistan from usa

  9. Thanks for the tutorial. I left off the heart and made one in reds, greys and blacks for my dad for father's day. He tore a muscle in his shoulder and this will help him be comfortable


Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

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