Sew Karen-ly Created...

If you have arrived here via a link (such as to a tutorial) click on "Sew Karen-ly Created" to return to the latest blog post. I invite you to my website to see a gallery of quilts and patterns available for purchase. Shown here is "To Be Where You Belong", presented to Sir Paul McCartney on his visit to Nova Scotia in 2009.
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Friday, 28 November 2014

Filling the Santa Sack

Yesterday the reindeer picked up the parcel to deliver to the boys. (Those icy, snow-covered roads were no deterrent to Santa's magical flying creatures!)
The bags were filled with an assortment of tasty/useful/useless items including these rice bag hand warmers.  This idea came to me last Saturday while waiting in the cold for our Christmas parade - wish I'd had some then!  To make the hand warmers, I cut 2 pairs of 3-1/2" squares of cotton...
 ...and filled them with 1/4 cup of long grain white rice. 15-20 seconds in the microwave is all it takes to make these toasty hot.

The Avery site has lots of label templates and I chose some festive ones to jazz up the presentation.  
To accompany these, I also stitched full-sized rice bags from a scrap of flannelette from the stash.  I cut the fabric into 8-1/2" x 11" rectangles.
To make them all the same but different- so they could tell them apart- I stitched their initial on each. To do this, I enlarged Curl font  in WORD to size 200 and traced the letters onto the fabric.  With a piece of tear-away stabilizer under the fabric, the letters were free motion stitched using cotton thread.  It only took a few minutes to do each one.
They were filled with 4-1/2 cups of rice each. Not fancy by any means, but quick and easy - and very useful.  There are full directions for patchwork rice bags here if you'd like to try one.
The bags also contained microwave popcorn, silly putty, fruit snacks,toiletries, gold-fish crackers, cans of silly string and, of course, chocolate.
I found these perfect print-ready tags online, and used a "Saint Nicholas" font to add their names, and a few details about that naughty or nice business.
The pattern for the Santa Bags may be found  here and the tags are at  Brooklyn Limestone.
The parcel also went with an advent calendar, containers of Christmas baking, and adorable Baby Bel cheeses with Christmas motifs. It arrived around suppertime and to say the boys had fun is an understatement;  a text message and a dozen or so happy emails is testament to that. Exams start next week and hopefully there will be a cookie or two left to nibble on during late nights of studying. In the end, it wouldn't matter what was sent because ultimately those bags were simply filled with love and a reminder of home -whether it be Amherst, Inverness or Ottawa- and family...which is what Christmas is all about.


  1. Wonderful ideas, Karen. I am just putting the finishing touches on a package for my military son. He'll returning home for Christmas but he's sounding a little homesick so hopefully the package will help.

  2. What fun those boys had.......they aren't so big really, are they? Still little boys at heart.

  3. Lucky boys!
    How do I get on your Christmas list, Karen? :)

  4. Excellent stocking stuffers, Karen! Great ideas -- every item a gem. Jeanne Kaye S

  5. Thanks for the link to the tag, I think I will add them to a parcel heading east, soon.

  6. What a great preamble to exam week, a bit of food fun and love. It is a winning combination. I'm sure these boys feel somewhat lighthearted after receiving their parcels