Thursday, February 3, 2011


Warm Up Bags

Ok... so far very little sewing accomplished yet. The snow storm has come and went and I sure am happy that I recently made these warm up bags. They are the perfect thing to warm up your bed, or soothe aches and pains after shoveling snow for hours. After burning two store purchased ones in the microwave last week - I decided to make my own. Anyone who can operate a sewing machine can make these ... it was super easy and quick to make! I filled mine with rice (my friend Janet's idea), but you can fill them with beans if you like. I am happy to report that I haven't burned either yet!

Here are some basic  E-How instructions on how to make your own Warm Up Bags:

Microwave Heating Pad Directions

  • No pattern is necessary, simply cut two pieces of cloth in the size/shape you wish your bag to be. Make sure to leave a seam allowance for yourself (about 1/2″).
Some prefer regular square shape bags, others prefer tubes or more rectangular shapes. Experiment, whip up a few different sizes and shapes to try. These are really easy to make as well as cheap!

Filler Options

  • Uncooked rice
  • Wheat
  • Feed corn
  • Buckwheat hulls
  • Barley
  • Oatmeal
  • Beans
  • Flax seed
  • Cherry pits
Fabric Options
  • Cotton: (plain, prints, flannels, denims)
  • Alternate ideas: old socks (sew or knot end closed), washcloths, old towels
You can also choose to make cozy, removable & washable outer pouches. This is especially nice to do when giving as gifts.
  • Fabric Ideas: use old towels, fleece, velour knits, pretty fabric prints and flannels (don’t microwave anything other than cotton fabrics). The softer & fluffier & better!

Instructions for Making the Heating Pad

  • Cut and sew the fabric for the heating pads the size and shape you want (usually a large washcloth size works well).
  • Leave an inch or two open on one side so that you can fill bag with your choice of filler. Fill the bag about 1/2 to 3/4 full, more or less as you prefer. Don’t fill too full though, you want the bag to mold itself around your body when you apply it.
  • Once bag is filled, sew opening closed either by hand or machine (making sure filler is contained at the opposite side of bag).
If wanting a removable cover, just sew a “pillowcase” idea with your soft, plushy fabric by making it a little larger than your heating pad and leaving an open end (make sure to finish off ends by sewing a hem). Or you can add a strip of velcro to close it. Make sure to never microwave this cover unless it’s content is full cotton. Remove cover to wash as needed.

Directions For Use

Place in microwave and heat for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on size of bag. Do not leave unattended “just in case” the filler smokes or starts on fire. As a precaution, you can set a cup of water inside the microwave while heating the bag to add moisture or spritzing bag lightly with water before heating. 

Monday, January 31, 2011


Ok... so I woke up this morning and thought...."what have I done?!" Did I really blog that I would create or quilt something every day and share it with the world!? I must have been swept away in the moment last night - because things are looking a little clearer today.  I mean the goal here is not to write a book and see my blog in a movie - it's to put a little more "happy" in my life.'

Lets face it, being a mom is a full time job - and that is still going to be my number one priority - even while I try to find myself.  The name of the blog is "Sew Bee Happy", not "Sew Bee Crazy". I'm quite positive that adding the pressure of mandatory quilting and blogging every day is not going to help me find clarity... in fact it most likely will drive me and everyone around me insane.

So... lets try this again...
My goal is still to follow my passion: to create and quilt. Maybe some days I will create a lot, maybe some days a little... and hey... perhaps there might be days that I want to take a creative break. That's ok!!

Let's consider this blog a 37th birthday gift to myself -  a reminder to add a little more "happy" to my life by creating when I can and as often as I like. I hope that you will still follow me this year - while a creatively try to "find myself" through quilting... in hopes in having clarity at 38. I sure hope I will....

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Me in PEI

Its been about two months since my trip to PEI. I went to "take a break," "find myself," "breath". You see... ever since September when the kids went back to school, I've been searching for the next thing to occupy my time. For the last 8 years - my kids have been my everything. Sure I have enjoyed "date nights" with Chad (my hubby), shopping, fewer family trips than I have liked, moving and re-decorating 5 homes. Ok so maybe I didn't enjoy moving 5 times... but it did take up my time. 

Now my youngest is in grade 1 and going to school all day. My time is open. As my hubby says, "you can do anything you want now." Really? Can I? I'm so lucky - how many people would love to say that they can do "anything" they want. Oh come on... lets get real - I can't do "anything" I want but yes, I'm pretty lucky to have a supportive family to let me explore what I want.

So what do I want? That's the tough part. I know that I don't want to be a buyer, my "before kids" job. I want something flexible that allows me to be there for my kids and family - without turning into a career crazed women (that's what I used to be before my kids). I want balance. I want happiness, I want to contribute and add happiness to our family.

Have you ever been at this point?  You decide to stay at home with your kids because you want to enjoy every moment, don't want a rushed life and give your everything to your family. Then comes the day your youngest is in grade 1 and you think ... "now what?"

I've been thinking about "now what?" I've been told to follow my passion, to do what I love. But what is that? I've been thinking about my happiest "me" moments. I keep coming back to PEI - sewing, creating....quilting!!!! 

Your thinking? What happened in PEI? Well.... my dear friend Janet... an expert quilter and quilt shop owner, encouraged me to work on my unfinished quilting project - my daughters memory quilt! Not only did I  get to work on a project that has been dear to my heart since Ella was born... I rediscovered my passion. Working on Ella's "memory quilt" was magical.  PEI is my aha moment - "I like quilting, fabric, creating....aha!!!!!!"

I am a new quilter... finding my way to it in 2008 (will tell you that story later). After my first class at "The Quilters Garden Patch" (a sweet quilt shop in in Oakville, Ontario), I was quickly swept away in the quilters secret society of fat quarters & patterns. Starting a project before another was finished - because I was so excited about a new pattern or line of fabrics. Sadly I only have one "complete" quilt and several "half-done".

I've given myself a birthday mission - to blog about my journey in the quilt world; while trying to figure out "what next?" Since my passion is creating, fabric, quilting... I'm going to do what the experts suggest and spend my 37th year on earth following my artistic side - in hopes to find clarity at the end.  I hope you will follow, while I share my ups and downs while creating daily. Thats right!!!! I have decided that I am going to work on my quilting or other creative projects daily. Somedays just a little - other days, lots... but I promise to create something every day!!! Starting February 19th, 2011 I will create and blog  every day.... and maybe on my 38th birthday things might be a little clearer.

PS.  Thank you Janet for encouraging me to quilt and write!