In this case, the wonderful Ms. Nancy, an ASG neighborhood group leader, was concerned about all the people in Houston who are wilting in the 100 degree plus weather we have been having. She remembered back to when many of us made cool ties for the troops overseas, put the thoughts together and has come up with a project to make cool ties for people who need them here in Houston.
Hard as it is to believe, there are people here who do not own an air conditioner or even a fan to help keep them cool in this weather.
Nancy not only thought the thought but she went to the most recent Houston City Council meeting to present her idea. The council was so impressed that one of the members came up with the money to buy the special crystals to fill the ties and has arranged for her to meet up with the right agencies to get the ties distributed.
Cool ties are basically long tubes made out of cotton that are filled in the middle with those crystals that expand to hold water for long term watering of plants. In this case only a little tiny bit of this product is put into the fabric tube... like only a teaspoon or two. The tube, with the crystals, is then soaked in water and tied around your neck. For an even more wonderful feeling, after soaking, put the ties into the refrigerator and wear the tie chilled.
I am jumping on this band wagon as soon as I can as I have several I use when working outside. If we can make the ties someone else is going to fill them and the City will get them distributed. If you see a similar need in your community, or even for yourself, here are the instructions we will be using:
· Cut a 4 ½” x 45” rectangle from 100% cotton fabric. 42” fabric will do, also.
· Make a diagonal cut at each end.
· Mark center of your tube and leave a 4” opening to insert the crystals when the time comes to do so.
· Stitch a 1/2” seam on both sides of the 4” opening, stitching toward the pointed ends of the tie to close..
· Turn the tube right side out
· NO ironing is needed
· Measure 11 inches from either end of the tie and sew a straight seam across the tube to separate the “body” of the tube from the ends. Go over these seams a couple of times because they serve to keep the polymer crystals from seeping into the tie ends.
· It is now time to drop off your ties to a pick-up site to be announced.
· Another group will insert the polymer crystals and close the opening. (One to three teaspoons can inserted in the pocket BUT test first. If too much is used then the crystals become mush oozing out of the fabric.)
These instructions are slightly modified from the ASG Houston Chapter site here.
Recently I was lucky enough to buy several partial bolts of quilting cottons for $10.00 a bolt. I had origianlly thought that I would use them for charity quilts but I think this is a better project for at least one of them. I know I can get at least 100 ties from some of these partial bolts so I think I had better start cutting and sewing.
I hope Nancy is over-whelmed by the response of our membership and our friends.
Take a look at your community. Is there a need for this type of cooling help? If not for the larger community, how about giving them to the service people working outside in this heat? How about making them for friends and family? I know that one tie will help keep you cool while mowing the lawn or walking the dog. Don't give just one... giver several so there is always a wet/cool one available.
I'll keep you posted on how this project turns out for us. Let me know how it works out for you.
Have a cool day!