Easier Said Than Done

That quote would be in reference to me trying to make a rice bag for the first time.

One of my friends asked me to make her a rice bag. Her old one was thread bare and the insides had turned to powder. I decided to make her one as a Christmas gift. I figured that a rice bag would not take alot of time to make nor be that difficult.  The first step was to call Mom for a little bit of instructions. Mom said, “Sew the towel together, fill  and lay level with rice, divided with a yard stick, sew your seams.” This all sounded simple enough, but, oh boy, was I wrong! 


img_3626I bought a couple of towels at Walmart and sewed them together. Next, I filled the towel bag with rice and leveled it out on my cutting table. I then divided the rice in the bag with a sawing motion of the yard stick and lifted the bag at the crease. The rice ran to the far end of each side of the bag. So far so good. With that I went to the sewing machine and that is when the troubles began. When I laid the bag down to sew the seam, the rice of course ran back to the center seam. I pushed it out of the way as I sewed but had a hard time keeping every thing straight so ended up with a crooked seam. I thought about unpicking this seam but decided this was my first try and so did not unpick it. I went back to the cutting table, leveled the rice out in the bag and used the yard stick again to make the next seam. This seam was even harder to sew because the rice was even closer to the seam, and once again I sewed a very crooked seam. I kept going this way and fighting the rice until the second to the last seam where there was no longer any room to move the rice out of the way. That is went the needle breaking started. I broke 3 needles on that seam. Dry rice is pretty hard and when the needle would hit it they just snapped in two. On the last seam, I broke 2 more needles and called it quits. Actually, I threw the rice bag on the floor and started to yell at it. I decided I was not supposed to make a rice bag even if it sounded so easy, and even if the neighbor kid had made several as a school project. 


img_0574After I calmed down and I looked at the rice bag on the floor, I decided I would not be beaten by a silly rice bag. My first problem was that I had too much rice in the bag. My second problem was that I needed a better way to control the rice during sewing. So, with that I grabbed another towel and went to work. This time I started by sewing vertical columns in the towel. Then through trial and error I found that 1/3 cup of rice in each column filled a 4″ square nicely. After adding 1/3 cup to each column, I returned to the sewing machine and sewed a seam across the columns. This worked so much better. I had solved my two problems. I was dealing with less rice at a time, giving me more control over the rice. After sewing the seam, I filled each remaining column with another 1/3 cup of rice and then sewed a seam across the columns again. I continued this until the top  column. And thus had completed a nice evenly sewed rice bag. So, I guess my friend will get a rice bag for Christmas this year after all! Which is a good thing ’cause I think the only thing Santa was bringing her was Coal!


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