Rice Bag

Has your family discovered the 101 uses of rice bags?
Here are a few of what our family uses them for:

-bumps and bruises (we keep a few small ones in the freezer)
-sore muscles (you can heat up the rice bags in the microwave or the oven on a cookie sheet at 200 degrees)
-small rice bags can be warmed up and thrown in coat pockets before you head out the door on those super cold days
-large flat rice bags can be placed under casserole dishes to help the food stay warm/cold
-toys (they are great for practicing throwing into a bucket, stacking into a tower, or using as doll pillows)
-segmented rice bags (like the one I am making today) can be placed across the lap of fidgety children to help them focus on schoolwork
-placed in drafty areas (like in front of the door) help keep your toes toasty
-warmed up and placed in bed a few minutes before you head to bed is a great way to avoid climbing into bed with all those cold sheets

Normally, when I make these bags, I just sew two squares/rectangles together leaving a small gap to fill with rice.  Super simple.
However, the larger the rice bag, the harder it is to keep the rice evenly distributed.

As I was packing my hospital bag and preparing for the arrival of baby #2, I decided I needed to whip up a segmented rice bag to take with me.

It starts of the same way as any other rice bag.  I cut a long rectangle 7 inches by 42 inches of flannel.  I sewed a zig-zag stitch on both 7 inch sides of my fabric so there would be no fraying at the end.  

Next, I folded it in half, and sewed up the two long sides and then clipped the corners and turned it right side out.  

Now it is time for the rice.  I used a 1/2 cup of rice per section to make sure they were all about the same size.

After I poured in my rice, I realized I was going to need to some type of temporary barrier to keep the rice in place and out of my sewing machine.  I pinned a few needles across the top of the rice as the close to the rice as possible.  Then of course sewed a dividing line down the rice bag, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end.

If you are working on a flat surface gravity will be working against you, so hang the rice bag from the edge of the table to make sure all the rice stays in place.

Pour the rice, hang the bag the edge of the table, pin in place, sew it up, and repeat until you are close to the edge.

The last section I filled with about 1/4 cup of rice, pinned and then sewed along the edge.  

All finished, and packed in my hospital bag ready for labor.  What do you use rice bags for?

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