Migraine relief duo – neck pillow and eye mask

neck roll and eye mask

Why is it the simplest things are easy to put off?

I suffer from migraines quite a bit – it has been known for me to have them for two solid weeks every month! Thankfully they are not lasting as long recently, but while I lay in the dark I imagine how nice it would be to have a cool eye mask and neck roll, I have been thinking about this for months. I had a particularly painful migraine last Saturday night that left me fuzzy enough to sit down and make these with some fabric scraps early on a bright Sunday morning.



1-neck roll pattern

  • The neck roll is made with three pieces of fabric; the width is determined by how long you want your neck roll to be I did mine 18 inches.
  • The two end pieces create the circle, the depth will determine how thick the neck roll is, I made mine 6 inches so that made it 3inches thick.  (you have to double up, if you want yours to be 4 inches round then make this 8 inches deep.)
  • The end pieces to be the 3 inches (the depth measurement) plus seam allowances 1/2 inch and a channel for the cord 1/2 inch making a total of 4 inches wide.


2-neck roll pattern  2

Stitch the fabric strips together like the illustration above. I created a fold/ pleat on the right side, where the  main fabric and the end pieces  came together; so that this would give the ends a bit of structure once the cords are pulled in – see below. It also makes the ends look more defined and helps to keep the shape.



Stitch all along the bottom edge – using a short stitch length – it needs to be strong to hold the rice or wheat in place.


Once the long edge is stitched, thread some cord through the ends and gather together tightly and stitch closed at one end, you can place a button on the end if you wish.


I used a metal covered button because this wheat bag will be staying in the fridge not going in the microwave to heat up; Microwaves don’t tend to like metal so if you are making this as a hot wheat bag, best avoid buttons -some plastic ones melt. (I did set fire to a wheat bag once its has made me a bit cautious ever since!)

04-DSC03705I made an inner lining for the bolster using calico – once again keeping the stitches short and strong, (don’t want the little barley escaping). A funnel is a great tool to use – it keeps the wheat under control when you fill the pillows. I stitch all around leaving a small gap for the end of the funnel to fit through, then top stitch to close.  Pull the other edge together using the cord and stitch in place.

I packed the neck pillow quite hard  using nearly three bags of wheat, (you can use rice or peas) but as they are only 55p each bag, it is not too expensive.

The neck pillow needs to be very supportive: when I have a migraine I lay on my back and put the neck pillow into the curve at the back of my head, so that I can lift my chin – it eases the tension in my neck and shoulders; which seems to be, where the migraine pain is worse.  The eye mask also soothes my forehead where the throbbing seems to radiate, as well as blocking out the light which really hurts my eyes. Storing these in the fridge means that they are cold which I believe reduces the blood flow around these areas – some suggest that migraines are caused by increased blood flow to the head so this makes sense to me. I am not a medical person but the coolness definitely eases the pain enough for me to sleep.

The eye pillow is simply two rectangles sewn together, I double top stitch another seam around the edge just to prevent escaping wheat!  I don’t fill this quite so much as it can feel quite heavy on the eyes.  I decided against a seam along the centre – it allows the wheat to move about a little.


This project did not take long to make – they are stored in a plastic bag in the fridge!

Hopefully, now I am prepared, I won’t have to use them for a while!


ttfn x






Ribbon Weave – Wheat Comforter

I love paper mania packs, they are so gorgeous! Beautifully co-ordinated buttons and ribbons, just wish they did more fabrics.
When I saw this pack I thought it would be ideal for ribbon weaving because you need not just even sized ribbons but a nice collection of tones and colours. I love the tiny buttons that are part of the set, usually used in scrapbooking, but perfect scale for smaller projects like this.
 You simply lay the ribbons out on a cork tile, or a cork noticeboard is ok, I first lay the lengthwise ribbons, in this case a plain white velvet, then the cross ribbons go between, alternating between front and back until you have a weave.
To make the fabric and the ribbons sit well, I back them with a little bondaweb, just to keep them in shape.
You can then treat the ribbon weave as one piece of fabric.
These lovely what bags are so comforting, you can make all different shapes long sausage shapes to go round an aching neck, I have even made a eye mask for a lady who had fallen and bruised her eyes. You can also put these in the freezer to keep you cool for bruising or headaches.
I made this one square to fit the ribbon weave, it is called revers appliqué because you cut the fabric to create a hole where the under fabric is exposed. In this instance I cut two pieces of wool – the top layer was a larger heart, followed by a middle layer that was just a little smaller, finally the ribbon weave. The buttons make a pretty edge round the heart. I backed it with the remaining teal velvet I was given at a WI meeting two or three years ago.
I use these little paper mania packs in many other projects including my Christmas Tree Cushion published in sewing world.