Even though spring is starting to spring, the nights and mornings here in West Michigan can still be quite chilly.
One of the most useful sewing projects I know is the corn heating pads my mother in law used to make for us!
Every Christmas, we could count on them to be in our Christmas stockings. But these last couple of years, my mother in law has been spending her winters in Arizona. (She is so lucky!) So it has now fallen on me to make the corn heating pads we love so much!
I made a few at Christmas time and thought I would share this project with you!
They are so easy to whip up and make the most useful gifts. The natural corn inside can be purchased at a local feed store or pet store and the fabric requirements are minimal.
Start the annual Newmyer tradition to put them in stockings or add them to any gift as a bonus!
I usually make mine 7" x 9", but this year I also made mini ones to stuff in my coat pockets as hand warmers.
I used Art Gallery Fabrics in Woodlandia Charcoal (the dark green print with the deer) and also India Ink Six (the pink paisley print). Aren't they pretty?
And the uses are endless. Use them as pocket warmers for the kids when they wait at the bus stop. Throw them in under the sheets to keep your feet warm on cold nights. Soothe aching muscles. Just be pre-warned once your friends and family get these, they will be wanting more of them!
Note: I've included some important safety notes at the end. Please read them and always use caution and common sense when heating or using your corn heating bags.
Without further ado, here is what you need.
For the 7 x 9 size (shown in green fabric above):
Two pieces of 6.5" x 8.5" quilting cotton or heavy weight muslin.
Two pieces of 7" x 9" flannel (I recommend Art Gallery Fabrics flannel because it's not only pretty--it is luxuriously smooth)
1.25 cups of dried corn (I purchased my 10# bag for $6.59 at my local pet store. You will find it small animal section as it is used for feeding rabbits and such).
For the 4"x5" Pocket Warmer Size (shown in pink fabric above):
Two pieces of 3.5" x 4.5" quilting cotton or heavy weight muslin.
Two pieces of 4" x 5" flannel
0.25 cups of dried corn
Making Your Corn Bag (both sizes)
Step 1: Sew the inner bag
Place the two pieces of quilting cotton, right sides together. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew all around three sides of the bag beginning and ending with a backstitch. Leave the top open for filling the bag with the corn. Turn the bag right side out so you can fill it (seams should be inside the bag).
Step 2: Fill the corn bag
Using about 1.5 cups of corn, carefully fill the corn bag. I like to fill them about 3/4 of the way full. Do NOT overfill as it will become difficult to sew the opening closed.
Note: The natural corn can sometimes have little sticks or debris. You may need to sort out the extra debris you don't want/need in the bag. It should only contain the kernels.
Step 3: Sew the opening shut
Carefully fold in the opening and sew along the top to seal in the corn. I like to do two rows of stitching and I always backstitch at the beginning and end. Set your corn bag aside.
Step 5: Sew the flannel cover
Create a hem on the short side of the flannel by folding over the edge 1/2" and then folding over again to enclose the raw edge. Top stitch along the edge using a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat with the second piece of flannel.
Next, place the flannel pieces right side together and sew along the sides and bottom, backstitching at the beginning and end. Turn the cover inside out and push out corners neatly. Feel free to snip the corners if you want neater corners. Just be sure not to cut into the stitches you made.
Insert the corn bag into the flannel cover and you are all done!
Heating the Corn Bag:
Microwave times will vary, but do not heat longer than one minute at a time. Overheating the corn bag can make it too hot to use safely. Also, overheating will lead to the corn popping and a terrible popcorn smell (ask me how I know! lol).
If you hear any popping, stop the microwave immediately and let it cool down before using.
I recommend heating only the inner bag and then placing it in the flannel cover prior to using.
1. Do not overheat the bag.
2. I never recommend putting the warmed bag directly on delicate skin. Always use the flannel cover and use caution around sensitive or broken skin.
3. Never leave a corn bag unattended with a small child as it does contain small pieces inside that could create a choking hazard.
I would love to know if you make one (or three!) Make sure to tag me on Instagram @midlife_quilter so I can share your makes in my stories!
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