i'm worn out. first day on the hill, lots of deep powder, and my legs are very tired. unfortunately, visibility was terrible and we didn't even make it for a full day. powder loses some appeal when you can't even really see it, let alone anything else farther than about 50 ft. hard to have fun when you're worried about hitting things and other people, and can't really see the slope of the snow either. but it was still a fun first day out with a couple girl friends, and i feel like i got my exercise for the day.
so i promised yesterday that i had a little last minute gift idea to share. the comfort pad, microwaveable heat pack, whatever you want to call it. this is not a tutorial really, as a quick google search will give you several others to choose from. i was inspired by parikha's post, although i skipped the awesome gathered top she did as the ones i made are for men. but i will tell you how i made mine, in brief form anyway.
i made a rectangular pouch, roughly 14" by 7", by cutting white quilting cotton twice that length, folding it in half, and sewing it securely closed while leaving an opening of a few inches at one end. i then turned it right side out and pressed it flat. i filled my packs with flax seed, roughly 900g each (they might be a little too full). there are many options for fill, but i thought flax was a suitable and cheap option. i also managed to spill it several times - i recommend a funnel to do this properly! i then top-stitched the opening closed (make extra sure you sew securely - i obviously did not the first time and had a little flax seed leak, again!). this is your main pack.
i then made a washable cover for the packs that can be removed easily. in this case i chose some soft chambray that i had on hand, and added a few patterned stripes inserted in the middle to liven it up (again, without getting too "crazy" for the boys) . i cut these the long way again, and made them a few inches longer than the original rectangles, so that i could fold over and stitch the ends neatly. i then folded the rectangle so that the patterned stripes would be positioned on the front and the ends at the back would overlap while leaving an opening (right sides facing in). through the sewing machine again along the long edges to finish the pack (you can see one inside out in the above pic), then turned right side out and pressed again. i then slipped the white cotton pack inside the cover, and voila, finished heat pack.
again, these instructions are probably not particularly clear, so please let me know if you have any questions, or check out parikha's tutorial above. i think these are great idea for a quick gift (i made two in about an hour) that will be appreciated by most people - who can't use something warm to soothe the aches and sore muscles once in a while?