Here are my completed bags (the cotton fabric depicts surfers on the big, blue ocean waves, that's for warm thoughts with a warm bag for cold nights :) ):
As soon as I finished the two bags (one will be in a Chinese Auction basket with directions for use, of course--ya never know if people will want to wash the inner rice bag :O . ), I heated one up right away and my youngest wouldn't let go of it. DD#2 came home and told me I'd have to make one for each of them or they'd all be fighting over it on cold, winter nights. So more are in the works to keep at home. Monogrammed, of course, so I know which child did not put theirs away.
Anyway, yesterday I searched the Internet for an easier rice warmer project and found this wonderful link:http://www.diamondthreadworks.com/microwave_heating_bags.htm
It includes detailed info for better fillers (corn feed), photos to create an easy rice warmer cover, and cute example pics. Although the rice warmer cover in the photos is serged, I'll adapt it for a conventional machine. IMO, this project will be perfect for my project lineup.
Currently, my goals, objectives, and sewing concepts are set for the first 3-week series. It is actually 4 weeks, with the 4th week being more of a Stitch and Bitch, troubleshooting, makeup class--whatever one would call it. My 3 projects planned are a pillowcase, rice bag warmer, and receiving blanket. Those projects will emphasize straight and zigzag seams, seam allowances, seam finishing, pivoting, clipping corners, intro to reading a pattern, among other concepts. My concern is that some of the students will have no need for something like a receiving blanket, however in that case I would encourage them to donate it to a worthwhile organization or someone in need. I will emphasize early on that one has to learn how to crawl before they begin to run.
This may make me sound like a hard ass, but if they don't want to learn basic, fundamental sewing concepts, I don't want them as students. Go elsewhere. I'm doing this for their enjoyment and my own enjoyment. In as little as three months they could be sewing garments if they are dedicated, hard workers. Therefore, no bitching allowed. Don't like my lesson plan structure? Don't let the door smack your backside on the way out.
Currently, I'm gathering my thoughts and ideas for the second 3-week series and the sewing concepts that need to be covered and appropriate projects to achieve the goals and objectives. I'm so anal about that with my teaching background.
Now I have to go work on my photo paper transfers for the fleece memory quilt I'm making for the Chinese Auction basket. Last night, DD#2 was listening to me tell her about it. Her response? "That's SO cool!" Let's hope it is and my brainiac plans don't turn into a sewing disaster. It's not like that has never happened before LOL ;) .