Thursday, February 18, 2010

Minky Muscle Madness! (A Mauby's Tutorial)

Whenever my back aches I'm notorious for pulling out the heating pad and living on it. However, with a toddler running around and exploring EVERYTHING, I've found that trying to use a heating pad does not really work anymore.

So, I use a rice pack. If you've never used one and have no idea what I'm talking about, let me explain. A rice pack (also made with flax or sometimes certain types of husks), is material with rice in it that you can put in the microwave to heat up and then use it on your body just like a heating pad.

I really like to use flax for my packs because it can be frozen or micro-waved and it has a luxurious soft feel to it when you put it against yourself. It almost melds to your sore spots. However, rice works more effectively for heating purposes because it holds in the heat longer.

Typically you will see these items made up with just cottons. A lot are done in quilters cottons and some are done in knits to give you softer and stretchier qualities.

My FAVORITE pack though is when I do it up with Minky. Minky is sooo soft and wonderful. Everyone likes to make baby and kid stuff out of minky. But I will admit it, for myself (and anyone else who is shier than myself), Minky is AMAZING and I'm truly jealous that I don't have jackets, blankets, and pretty much EVERY piece of my wardrobe made out of Minky.

So here is my back heater. Minky side first! This Minky is a plush by Michael Miller Fabrics. It is luxuriously soft and the back side is a great knit and not slippery like a lot of other minky brands.

The coordinating front on this piece is Lime Star Paisley from Amy Butler's Lotus Collection.

Do you want to make your own Hot/Cold pack for your back? Read on for my step by step tutorial! :)

You will Need:

  • 1 - 17" x 21" Rectangle of Minky
  • 1 - 17" x 21" Rectangle of Cotton (quilters weight)
  • 2 - 17"x 21" Rectangles of Muslin or similar weight cotton material
  • 6 cups of Jasmine or other non-scorching long-grain dry rice. Do NOT use microwaveble or quick rice. (you can use 12 cups of flax seed in place of the rice. substitute whole flax seed where rice is called for in the tutorial.)
  • Measuring Tool
  • Air-erasable marking tool

Step 1. Place your minky rectangle and cotton rectangle directly on top of each other right sides facing:

Step 2. Take your two pieces of muslin.

Place your minky and fabric rectangles on top of one of the muslin pieces and line up all the edges:

Place the second piece of muslin on top of your minky and cotton rectangles. Make sure all 4 pieces of cloth are ligned up.

Step 3. Set Serger to overcast an edge. I like to use the 4-thread safety stitch on mine. I also don't usually pin items while using the serger because the serger keeps everything pressed together tightly.

However, If you are using a regular sewing machine, I recommend using an overcast stitch and pinning all layers together.

Sew/Serge along three edges stopping 1" before your open edge (This will help prevent bulky seams at the edges):

These pictures here are just to show off my new serger's safety stitch. ;) I LOVE my new machine!!!

Step 4. Open up the pieces so that your hand is in between the minky and cotton print piece (your two fabrics that you want to be the exterior when finished). Then turn Rectangle right side out.

Step 5. Using an air erasable marking tool, draw a line down the center along the lengthwise part of the rectangle:

Step 6. Using same air erasable marking tool, mark a parallel line 1.5" from the open edge of the rectangle.

Fold the fabric into the hole at this line and press.

Pin the opening closed at the center line you drew in step 5. This will keep your pieces lined up better.

Step 7. Edge stitch all along the three closed sides of the rectangle. Then starting at the closed side stitch along the center line you drew in step 5 all the way to the opening.

Now you have two semi-closed over flaps on the open end.

Step 8. Draw a line 5.5" from the closed shorter end of the rectangle. Draw a second line 5.5" from that line.
Step 9. Open one of the flaps and carefully pour in 1 cup of rice. Keeping the sac with the opening upright, pour 1 cup of rice down the other side.

Step 10. This gets a little tricky so make sure you are careful. Normally you would sew so that the shorter part of your item is on the inside of the sewing machine. However, you will do just the opposite in this case. Keeping the open side of the rectangle on the inside of your machine (to the right of your presser foot), shake all the rice down so that it sets at the very bottom of the "bag" and then sew along the line closest to the closed side.

This is one filled rectangle.

Step 11. Repeat steps 9 & 10. Sewing along the next line instead of the line closest to the closed end.

Step 12. Repeat step 9 & 10 again. Edge stitching along the open end instead of any lines, making sure to meet up the side seams so all edges are sealed.

And that's it! Microwave for 4 minutes on regular setting and apply as needed. Enjoy.

Want one but don't want to make it yourself? Enter the giveaway contest!


Alicia said...

Great tutorial! I have one I made with cotton. I love the minky fabric idea. So luxurious:)

Jen P said...

Great tutorial! Easy to follow, I can't wait to make one!

Blush and Bashful Boutique said...

Very clear and easy instructions. Thanks for sharing.

Megan Hampton Photography said...

That looks so SOFT! I definitely need one of these...even if it means sewing ; )

brookiellen said...

it looks great Aub, love the fabrics you chose!

Becoming a Bunch said...

Fantastic tutorial!! I have made corn pillows but I am definitely going to try this one too!

Samantha said...

Wow, I'm one of those people who won't use something beneficial if it's not cute, so this is right up my alley!

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