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Thread: Neck Cooler Pattern

  1. #1
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    http://www.west-point.org/family/support-our-troops/neck_cooler_directions.html


    Norah, Peggy, and I are making them and sending them to the Soldiers in the 120 degree heat. However, I tried the first one out that I made. I wanted to be sure that it wouldn't burst, that it had enough crystals to be comfortable, etc. etc. They work wonderfully. I wore it around my neck to mow the lawn in 90 heat, it kept me comfortable. I would suggest them for anyone living in extreme heat. Make them for family to match the quilt you're making them. Or make yourself one, they are worth their weight in gold to the men in the heat zones and to all us southern gals and guys! :wink:

    Sharon

  2. #2
    BarbC's Avatar
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    Those look great! Thanks for posting. Barb C

  3. #3
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    I think by now I have made thousands of these neck coolers, but I do it differently because my group and I found the following process much faster and no turning a skinny tube!

    I take 44" fabric and cut it into 4" strips. Then with wrong side down, I turn the long sides down about 1/2 inch and press. I then fold in half, wrong sides, together, and sew the short ends of the strip and cut off the excess. Turn the open tube, right sides out and press, matching turned under edges. Find the center (I fold to find it) and stick a pin in it and measure 4" away on both sides from the center and then again 8" away from the center on both side and stick a pin to mark location of pockets.

    At the sewing machine, I then create the pockets by sewing the five spots where my pins are located (remember, you are sewing on the right side of the fabric and folded long edge is tucked in). I always backstitch or double stitch for strenght because those little crystals can escape easily.

    Next, I start topstiching from one end to close the tube until I get to the first pocket. Then I carefully put the crystals in the pocket and continue to topstitch it shut, doing the rest of the strip the same way. I use a very, very short stitch length.

    We have also learned that a scant 1/4 tsp of crystals is best because it makes the neck cooler much more flexible when wet. A full 1/4 tsp really overfills the pocket almost to the point of bursting. We have been using "Moisture Plus" water crystals, found at WMart.

    Fabric should match as closely as possible to uniform colors so a small all over random print is best. I found a fabric at WMart that was ivory with tiny splashes of light brown and muted green that was perfect. I visited about 10 stores and purchased all I could find and have about 40 yards left out of about 100.

    When my son was in Iraq, the neck coolers were very popular and so was he because I sent about six dozen weekly. He is heading back there at the end of August, so I am frantically sewing again!

    If anyone wants to make neck coolers for soldiers, but does not know where to send them, you can contact me or go to www.anysoldier.com and read the requests from the soldiers in the Middle East. They don't need to request the neck coolers, just knowing they are in the hot desert is enough reason to send them.

    Sharon and others that make these neck coolers, may I thank you for your kindness and consideration of our troops. It's the little bits of comfort from home, such as neck coolers, that can make a world of difference to a deployed soldier.

    Diane
    dmackey00@comcast.net

  4. #4
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Hi Fellow Military Mom,
    It's hard to have them in danger, but every little stitch I take makes me closer to him.

    God Bless all our military and their families!

    Sharon

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Sharon, I just checked out the website to order the crystals, but would like some more info on fabric and where you mail them and what the shipping cost is to there. Thank You

  6. #6
    Super Member PurplePassion's Avatar
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    Sharon,
    I joined another group that has been making these and sending care packages. I have alot of white sheets, and was wondering if I could dye these tan or something and use them. What do you think? My daughter spent 4 years in various sandboxes , and I sent lot of care packages to her. I think this is a never ending need, even if our own family isn't over there.
    Elaine

  7. #7
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    I just realized that I wrote instructions for the neck coolers and made a couple of major errors! :oops:

    The following line is incorrect:
    Then with wrong side down, I turn the long sides down about 1/2 inch and press. I then fold in half, wrong sides, together, and sew the short ends of the strip and cut off the excess

    It should read, "then with WRONG SIDE UP, turn the long sides down about 1/2 inch and press. I then fold in half, RIGHT sides together, and sew the short ends of the strip and cut off the excess.'

    I'm sorry if I confused anyone.

    Diane
    son left for Iraq August 24th.
    :cry: :cry:

  8. #8
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Amma and Purple Passion,
    Sorry I didn't come back to answer your questions....call me insane, it's ok, I am! Just ask my kids and husband.

    They request, tan, camoflage tans/ browns, and no flowers, the gals might like them but the guys don't. lol lol Anytime I'm in one of the Walmarts or fabric shops I look for the cammo fabric and use my coupons so I can buy more. I'll keep making them and sending them even after the 3rd Brigade comes home, someone's else has sons and daughters there.

    I use a flat rate box, available at the PO on request and it goes for about $8.90. That's the best rate you can get.

    If you don't know a unit from one of your nearby bases to send them to, let me know and I'll get you the address. There are 500 soldiers in my son't brigade so you know even with it getting cooler now, they will need them over there again soon.

    Peace in our lifetime,
    Sharon

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