Sunday, April 11, 2010

Corn Bag Tutorial

Have you ever seen or owned one of these corn filled bags? They are so nice in many ways.
*Comfort sore muscles
*put under the covers before getting into bed to warm your feet
*keep in the freezer to use as an ice pack
*keep in your lap at work to warm your hands
*a friend of mine uses them for her 90yr old mother - she needs to check her blood often and the warmth helps to make her veins more visable to get this done.
And many other ways I'm sure.

Supplies
1 fat quarter
3/8 yard muslin
4 - 6 cups Feed Corn
You can find Feed Corn at a Stock Shop - where you buy horse food etc. I've heard some people find it at Walmart - but I've never seen it there.

First you need to freeze your Feed Corn over night before using - that way it will kill any Critters (or eggs) that might be living in there. I've never seen any - but you just never know.

Cut from Fabric (fat quarter)
Cut fat quarter in half.

You will have two pieces that are 9 x 22 inches (approx)
From that cut the following
1 piece 13 x 9 inches
2 pieces 8 x 9 inches
Set these aside for now

From Muslin
Cut two pieces 13 x 10 inches

Lay together and sew around 3 sides with 1/4 inch seam.

Then - to strengthen these seams - fold and press 2 times. Using your 1/4 stitch line as a guide.
Sew these pressed sides down. Do this on the two sides first - then do the bottom.
It will look something like this.
Now fill this Muslin bag with 4 - 6 cups of Feed Corn. Depends on how full you want it.
Now you will need to close the bag - it can be difficult getting it under the needle since it's full of corn. Here is a little trick. 
 
I stand it up and put a few pins across to help hold the corn away from opening so I can stitch closed.
When stitching, you will do the same thing you did for the other 3 sides.

Stitch one row - then double fold - press - and stitch. It will look something like this...

Now set this aside and grab your 8 x 9 inch fabric pieces.

On one 9 inch end of both 8 x 9 inch pieces, fold and press approx 1/4 inch under.
Now stitch these ends to finish them.
Grab the 13 x 9 inch piece and lay right side up.
Now place your 8 x 9 inch pieces and lay them on top of 13 x 9 inch piece with right sides together.
The finished ends will overlap by approx 1 inch or so. This is intentional.

Next stitch all the way around all 4 sides using 1/4 inch seam. Back stitch as you go over the over lapped section. This will add strength.

(pretend the one in the picture is actually stitched - sorry)

Next - I like to finish the edges to prevent fraying. You can do this by using a zig zag stitch or something similar.  
Now turn right side out - and put your corn bag inside.

Heating Instructions
Microwave for 2 - 3 minutes depending on how warm you want it.

You can start with 2 minutes and work up from there. Do NOT over heat because you can scorch the corn and then it's ruined. And you know what burnt corn smells like.. Yuck!

Also, keep in mind that the corn initially has moisture in it. So the first 5 or so times that you use it - it will feel slightly damp when it comes out of the microwave and it will have a slight smell. But trust me - both the smell and the moisture go away after a few uses.

And I know a few people who really like the smell - I'm not a fan. But my love for the warm corn bag out weighs my dislike for the smell.

If you have questions - please let me know. And - as always - if you make one, I'd love to hear what you think.
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17 comments:

Valerie said...

Oh I love this. I could surely use this after I get off of that tractor. I am running behind on the postage stamp quilt but I am going to catch up. I promise!

Tozz said...

I have not heard of corn being used but here in Australia we use Wheat and also rice :) They are good for the sore muscles :)

Grethe said...

OMG (just learned the abr. for that on!) your blog is exploding with interresting this and that, not only Q-things!! One of these days I am going to bake "Grandma`s Apple Pie"
And I am looking forward to FSI:-)

Sherri said...

I recently made one of these, but as Tozz said, I used rice. I also used a lot less filling so that it is floppy and will conform to whatever you put it on. A short line sewed up the middle prevents it all falling to one side so easily.
Mine doesn't have a removable cover though, it's just denim recycled from a pant leg. Maybe I will try that next time, it's a good idea.

I also tried "Grandma's Apple Pie", and it turned out so pretty. Of course, I did something wrong ( missed the whole "peel the apples" part). Oh well, it's still good. I think the crust could use sugar in it though.

Crystal Hendrix said...

I like it! Have you seen the ones that have rice instead? Do you know if the corn is better?

Sandy said...

I've made these with rice, the rice is real good for drapping over a shoulder or around a knee..

Where did you get your tape that says"Handmade by Heidi"?

suedio said...

Like Tozz, I've made these with wheat and also some lavender in some. Like the corn, you do need to be careful not to overheat the wheat!!

Thanks for sharing.

Regards, Sue

Sue said...

I'm going to try a corn one. I've only ever used wheat before. If you make the cover in fleece and cut it to a teddy bear shape it's a great soother for kids too.

Julia said...

great idea. I've seen these with rice, but not corn!

Bobbi said...

we use our bags you made all the time!!! on a really hot summer day, it cools you down fast to put it on your neck. living in the desert its a girls best friend :)

the boys use them for the usual childhood injuries too. our fav use is definitely the cold from the freezer.

Jamie said...

Thanks for the great tutorial Heidi! I've made a couple in the past with rice and a towel, but I like the idea of the removable cover! Thanks!

Mary said...

I have one of these made with corn and one made with rice. I really love using them. The smell of the corn one bothers me when it is heated. If you have allergies, I recommend rice as less smelly. They are great in the winter time to toss in the bed where your feet go and warm that area up before geting in :-)

Corn Warmerz said...

Glad to see your tutorial about how simple these bags are to make. I am also from the desert with bitter winter nights and miserable summer heat. These bags are lifesavers!

www.cornwarmerz.com
Microwavable heating pads and neck wraps

CountryGirl said...

You can add dried lavender to mask the smell or any favorite herb...

That Leini Girl said...

Heidi,

I am starting a small quilt-making business with my husband and we need to order some sew-on labels.

Where do you get your labels that you sew onto all your projects?

Thank you for your time.

my_free_speech@yahoo.ca

Sandy NW Indiana said...

Hi Heidi, I have been making these "corn" bags for a few years. I did not see in any of the posts that you can also put the bags in the freezer. When I give the bags I tell people to keep them in the freezer. They are great for cold compresses too. Also I always tell people to keep them away from anywhere a mouse would go. I live on a farm and I learned the hard way. I made about 15 bags and stacked them on the top shelf in a closet. The mice got to them and I did not have one bag that didn't have a mouse hole in it and I was finding little mice corn storage piles for months in hidden places. Love your Blog, can't wait to try the Best chocolate cake ever! Thanks Sandy NW Indiana

DonaleeK said...

Love this idea!