Wednesday, January 14, 2015

inspiration strikes

Last night I had a thought. That thought turned into action and in no time I had the little card table out and about again after a long hiatus. Hello there, iron! Long time. 

It went like this: as I was icing various bits and pieces with a frozen Gatorade bottle, I sat and wondered how I would be able to more easily ice my neck. That thought led me to remembering the wonderful little wraps the ladies at the nail salon put around everyone's necks while they work. They are lovely tubes of fabric all warm and cozy. Light bulb -- I've heard of those being used cold, too. Bingo. 

I had some time left to wait for some things to dry in the dryer, so I decided to putter around with the sewing machine and make one. I started out looking at my stash of cottons, but got to wondering if flannel would be a nice alternative. After sifting through my scrap bucket I came up with this lovely piece left over from Dave's laptop case. It was about 18" square, which seemed long enough to use. I cut the piece down to 18" x 9" and ironed it before folding it lengthwise. 

Starting on a short side at the fold I sewed along a full short side, the long side, and about an inch of the second short side using a straight stitch. After that, I followed it up with a zig zag stitch in the seam allowance to stabilize it a bit more given that there will be bits of rice pushing their way along the seams. I used a 1/2" seam on the long side and the edge of the presser foot, maybe 3/8", as the guide on the short sides just to try to make it as long as possible. 

Once my tube was turned inside out and pressed again I wandered into the kitchen to find some rice. We have one of those big 20 lb bags hanging around so it was easy to just grab a funnel and start pouring. 

And pouring. And pouring. I actually filled it up a bit too much at first so ended up dumping some back out. You want enough rice in there to wrap around your neck without all the rice ending up at the ends and none in the middle, but not so much that the tube isn't flexible and wrapping becomes difficult. I used about 1.5 lb of rice when all was said and done. 

All nice and filled, I took the tube back to the sewing machine and stitched the end closed with the same two lines of stitching as the other sides only this time I did the zig zag centered on the straight stitching because after folding in, it seemed like I had very little fabric to work with. Just doing whatever works. 

When I took the fabric and threw it in the microwave, Dave sat up and wondered "what ARE you doing, wife?" So I grinned and threw the wrap around his neck when it came out and told him "well this one's for you!" He proceeded to walk around sporting his new neck wrap and a happy grin, understanding that this contraption gave free, warm neck hugs. 

Of course this meant I had to make one more. I found some gray polka dot flannel and did the same thing over, except this time my fabric was about 21" long. (This would be a great use for a set of fat quarters.) So after a short bout of sewing, I've got a happy little pair!

To warm them, I just put them in the microwave for 1 minute on "express cook" which I imagine is "high". I haven't tried it cold yet, but I think you can just stick them in the freezer for a bit to cool them down. I'll be trying that in the next few days. 

I'll close with today's chuckle, an outtake that every cat owner will nod at and understand: 

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