My little brothers, like most guys I know, are crazy hard to shop for. This year, the gift budget being a little smaller than in years past, I decided to experiment and make some gifts for them.
So I went to Joann's in search of sports team fabric. I found their favorite football teams' logos printed on cotton, but I had to steel myself to buy the fabric. Ugh. It is without a doubt the worst quality cotton I have ever felt.
I love Parks and Rec.
Anyway, the fabric is super-stiff, even after washing, and printed totally off-grain. It actually made me kind of mad how much they charge for it. Thankfully I did not need much, and it was on sale.
My 26-year-old bro, who has the wherewithal to buy himself whatever he wants, likes to cook and recently got all excited about a deal on a set of Rubbermaid food containers from Amazon. I made him a pair of Dallas Cowboys potholders. I have to admit, I'd never really considered potholders a reasonable gift until a very thoughtful friend gave me a set from Sur La Table for my birthday. Besides matching my kitchen curtains and being completely adorable, they are the cushiest, least-burn-y potholder I've ever owned. And I've owned a lot of crappy potholders. So I decided to model my Cowboys potholders on those.
After doing a fair amount of research on the Internet on the best way to make potholders heat-resistant, I still distinctly had no idea what to do. So I picked up some Insul-Brite and batting at Joann's. I pinned the fabrics together and used them to grab on to my hot iron to test their heat resistance. One layer of Insul-Brite was not enough, so I used two for the main potholder (the part that will touch the hot pans) and two layers of batting for the pocket (though I could easily have used just one. I quilted the two layers and hand-finished the binding (only because with all the bulk, it would have been really hard to stitch evenly through all the layers). Also I accidentally did not put the hanging loops on the same corners of both potholders. I doubt he will notice that, though.
My youngest brother, who is 23 and about to get engaged, is getting a gag gift along with a meat injector (he also likes to cook). We all poke lighthearted fun of the fact that he likes to sleep with an eye mask. It's nothing froofy, just something that he got on a flight way back when airlines actually gave you stuff to make your flight comfortable (anyone remember those days?). I knew he would not appreciate potholders, nor really anything I could make him, so I decided to go funny. I used his favorite Steelers fabric and a scrap of cotton velveteen to make an eye mask (free pattern).
I left out the batting because I don't think it's necessary. I also shortened the fabric part of the strap because it was way too long, especially in this horrid stiff cotton.
I can't wait to give it to him. It is going to be hilarious.