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Fat Quarter Make; Hand Warmers

This month’s project is a super simple one, but also absolutely perfect for the colder months. They only use small amounts of fabric, so a perfect scrap busting make. They also make adorable gifts – tie them up with a ribbon or sew up a drawstring bag (like the one in September’s magazine) and you’re good to go. 

I love heating these up and popping them in my pockets when I’m heading out for a wintery walk. I can also imagine they’d be perfect for school staff who have to do playground duty even on the coldest of days – so how about making them as end of term teacher gifts? 

You will need:

  • Fabric fat quarters (which are 100% cotton) – iron to get any creases/folds out
  • Sewing machine with a universal needle
  • 100% Cotton Thread – this is essential, as the item will be going in the microwave
  • Rotary cutter & cutting mat / Fabric scissors
  • Tape measure or ruler. I like using a quilting ruler. 
  • Pins
  • Uncooked rice (Alternatively you could use lentils or flaxseed)
  • Optional – dried lavender or essential oils 
  • Funnel (Or you can make your own using paper)

Remember to back stitch at the start and end each time you sew – this is essential to secure your stitches. 

I’ll be using a 1/2” seam allowance throughout, unless specified. 

The size you make your hand warmers is entirely personal preference – you can experiment to find your perfect fit!

  1. Cut 4 pieces of fabric, each measuring 5” square.
  1. Place a pair of fabric squares right sides together and pin around the outside, marking a gap for turning through (approximately 2” wide). Repeat for the other two pieces of fabric. 
  1. Sew around the outside of each square, remembering to leave the turning gaps.
  1. Snip across each corner, being careful not to snip through your stitching.
  1. Turn your project right sides out and poke the corners out carefully (Use a point turner or something like a chopstick). 
  1. Give your squares a quick press with an iron.
  1. If you are using essential oils, mix a few drops in with some uncooked rice in a bowl. 
  1. Using a funnel to help, fill each of the pouches approximately half full with rice.
  1. Use pins to close up the gap and keep the rice out of the way.
  1. Sew up the gap using your sewing machine, close to the edge of the square (You can hand stitch this if you prefer your stitches to be barely visible). 
  1. And you’re done! Simply heat the pouches for around 30 seconds in the microwave (This time may vary depending on the power of your microwave) and you’re good to go!

If giving these as gifts, it’s nice to write out a little tag with instructions and attach it with a pretty ribbon. 

As well as making fantastic hand warmers, these can also be popped in the freezer and used as a cold pack for relief from aches and pains. You could also make a larger version and sit it across your shoulders to help with neck/shoulder discomfort – great for people who sit hunched at a desk all day! 

If you get stuck on any aspects of the tutorial, please feel free to send me a message and I’ll help. 

Share your finished makes on instagram, using the hashtag #SewHayleyJaneFQ and tag me @sewn_on_the_tyne

See you next month,

Tamlyn xx