Friday, 10 January 2014

A Warm Hug

Every Monday night (during the school term) I go to a lovely sewing group held at my local quilt shop.  I really enjoy seeing the dear gaggle of ladies there and going there weekly helps me cope with Mondays!

One of our sewing group members is required to have some surgery at the end of this month.  It's not a nice one (are any operations?) but I'm guessing it's a necessary evil in this case.

I've done a bit of research on what helps with recovery and it turns out that a small amount of heat applied to the incision wound will help ease the pain in the localised area ... two heat bags coming right up!

There are plenty of ways to skin this cat (eeeww!).  I chose the option of having the outside cover removable, much like an envelope close cushion, so that it can be washed.  Hygiene is important, especially when you're on the mend :)

So here's a quickie on how I did it:

I used some natural cotton calico (the clothes pattern drafting kind) for the inner bag and picked up two fat quarters from my local quilt shop.  The orange had no selvage on it, but the blue one did ..

I cut the following for 1 heat bag:

2 @ 12" x 6"

2 @ 6" x 4"

2 @ 8" x 6"
1 @ 6" x 4"

To avoid confusion: there are two calico pieces there (one under the other)
I started by sewing the two calico pieces together (I've used a 1/4" seam for all sewing except for top stitching), leaving about a 2-3" gap for the purpose of filling.  Clipped the corners and turned it right-side-out.

I then ironed it flat and top stitched all the way around (not the opening) to give the bag a bit more strength.

Time to fill!

I used about a pint of uncooked rice (some people use wheat)

and I found that a funnel made out of baking paper and a 'little helper' made the job of filling the bag a lot easier!

Thank you Miss 3 xx
So with the bag filled to just over half

It was time to sew the opening closed.  I went over the opening twice so make sure it was nice and strong.

Time for the pretty covers!

To make these I sewed:

One orange 6" x 4" piece to one blue 8" x 6" piece to make the front.

The other orange 6" x 4" to the blue 6" x 4" piece to make half of the envelope back

Two sets shown here
I ironed the seams flat so that they wouldn't feel bulky again the skin

I finished off the back pieces of the envelope back by folding the edge back 1/4" twice then top stitching.

Piece on right is the 6" x 8" piece used as the other half of the back envelope close

So now you have the front panel and two pieces for the back envelope close.  Lay the front panel right side up then lay the sewn orange and blue panel over it (right-side-down) ensuring your orange/blue seams line up.

I've misaligned the fabric top and bottom so you can see the fabric placement better
Then place the blue back panel (right-side-down) on top of the orange/blue back panel

Again, I've misaligned the fabric top and bottom so you can see the fabric placement better
Pin and sew all the way around (I added a tag to mine as I sewed around).  Turn right-side-out, push out your corners and the cover is done!

Fill with the calico bag

and we're done!

I truly hope that these little hugs serve their purpose and help make her post-op recovery just a little bit more comfortable.

Consider these babies Sew Given!

Linking up with



  1. That's such a lovely idea - and gorgeous fabrics too! Very stylish heat bags!

  2. Happy New Year Serena! Fabulous heat packs. What a lovely thought! Wishing your friend a quick recovery. Fab tutorial too! Have a great weekend! Marie x

  3. These are fabulous, Serena! I love that the covers are removable and that you gave a tutorial. I'm sure your friend will appreciate them. I'm definitely pinning this for future reference! Thanks for linking up to TGIFF!

  4. What a sweet and thoughtful gift not to mention pretty!! I love the removable cover and thanks for great instructions on how to make it!

  5. What a great idea to make the covers washable! I don't know if I've seen that before. Thanks for taking the time to do a tutorial. These are such a thoughtful and special gift for your friend, I'm sure they'll be very helpful in her recovery. Gorgeous fabrics too!!

  6. These look great - pretty and practical. Clever you! I'm sure they'll help with the healing process - with best wishes to your friend for a speedy recovery after her surgery.

  7. These are so cute! I've made a couple of these in the past and have loved them. They are also great for that time of the month too! Also sore muscles or cold feet in the winter.

  8. I love the tags you added; did you make them yourself or are they purchased? Thanks again for the wonderful tutorial



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