Over the past two years, one of my most popular posts of the year are my Gift Ideas for Quilters and Sewists. I love writing this post and have a bunch of fun new recommendations this year for your favorite quilter. (Or for yourself, if you’re someone else’s favorite quilter – just point them in the direction of this post. 😉 )
I’ve tried to include gifts in a wide variety of price ranges – from something for that super-special someone, to small gifts for a bunch of quilting buddies. (This post contains both affiliate links and recommendations of items that I have been given to sample by vendors. All opinions are my own, however, and only my genuine favorites make this list. Many of the items on this list are things I’ve purchased with my own cold, hard cash because I loved and wanted them!)
First of all, notions – or those super handy gizmos and gadgets that make the sewing or quilting process easier.
A new favorite this year are Pleasant Home’s magnetic pinbowls. They are quite simply the best at holding those pins in place. And they’re super cute to boot. I have one for my pins and one for my binding clips. They are available in lots of colors. Grab one early because they do sell out fast. (Post Edit: They are sold out for this season.)
Also available from Pleasant Home are their Ruler Pals – a nifty, colorful way to keep your quilting rulers handy, but organized. (They will be in stock again starting Friday, November 27.)
Cutting mats area a necessity when it comes to quilting and this year Olfa has come out with a foldable version (in two different sizes) of their top-of-the line cutting mats. The Olfa Folding Mat 12″ x 17″ and 17″ x 24 folding Mat. I have and love both. They’re so much easier to take with you when you’re quilting on the go plus they have a nice gripping backing that prevents them from sliding.
Other favorite cutting mats include a rotating cutting mat which is so handy for squaring up blocks. Also a mini cutting mat and rotary cutter comes in SO handy. I love it for quick trimming next to my machine – especially when I’m paper-piecing. It would be a great, affordable gift for guild friends, etc. I also love my foldable Omnigrid cutting and pressing station.
One of my favorite ever quilting-related gifts was a set of numbered marking pins – I have one set that is numbers and one that is letters of the alphabet. I use mine ALL the time for marking rows and keeping in order rows that need to be sewn together. Mine were made by Nancy and she has a tutorial for making these quilt row markers here. If time is not on your side, you can also buy a set of Marilee’s Numbered Pins.
Another simple and easy gift is a little pin cushion made from a small rice bowl like the one in the photo.
Some of my other simple favorite notions include:
- Clover Flower Head Pins,
- Wonderclips (that come in a wide variety of options)
- Clover Fine Glasshead pins (I LOVE these)
- black Elan dressmaker scissors (very affordable and stay sharp. I LOVE mine)
- Olfa rotary cutter (I have 4 different kinds)
- Flatter Smoothing Spray (available on Amazon or from Mad About Patchwork in Canada)
- Olfa 5″ scissors (hands down, my favorite small scissors)
- Clover Seam Ripper
Most of these notions are found, not only at big box sewing-supply stores like JoAnn’s, but also at craft stores like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. You can use those weekly coupons to get some great deals on quilting supplies, extra rotary cutter blades, etc. At the same time don’t forget to support your local quilt shop! You can’t replace the expertise and customer service only found in local shops.
Thread is always a great gift because it’s always a necessity. Pretty thread collection gift boxes are available from Connecting Threads. A little pricier, but my favorite, is Aurifil 50 wt thread. Christa Quilts and the Fat Quarter Shop have a great selection.
I love to sew with a cone of thread (my favorite is Aurifil 50wt cones in any neutral color) because they last forever and are economical in the long run. Those cones work best with a thread stand. I love my simple heavy-weight Cone and Spool Stand to do the job.
Design Wall: I love my Design Wall. It’s so handy for laying out projects. Connecting Threads has an easy hang design wall with grommets like mine. (During their Black Friday sale they are only $10!)There are lots of tutorials for making your own. My friend made one for her mom last Christmas and she loved it! Here are a couple of design wall tutorials from Ellison Lane, Oh Fransson, and Craft Buds.
Also falling in the handy gizmo category is an Ottlite. These lights put off beautiful white light, making it so much easier to see clearly. I bought a desk size lamp at Costco a few weeks ago. They also come in floor size models and are available at online and in most craft stores.
These are some of my favorite books of 2015:
- Vanessa Christenson’s Simply Color Series – these are such pretty, hard cover books. Each talks about color theory and choosing a color palette and includes about 10 different projects in each book. Lots of inspiration. (You can see more and read my review here.)
- Anna Graham’s Handmade Style – a large variety of pretty sewing projects ranging from quilts to bags, pouches, and clothing.
- Sweet Tweets by Erin Cox – a darling book of little bird-themed applique projects
- Patchwork City by Elizabeth Hartman – a large, creative collection of modern patchwork quilt blocks
- For Keeps by Amy Gibson – an inspiring book about making quilts with meaning, including 10 patchwork quilt patterns
- Improve Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood – beautiful book that will inspire you to improv piece with your fabric scraps
- Machine Quilting with Style by Christa Watson – a great resource for anyone who would like to start quilting with their home sewing machines.
Probably my favorite quilting book that I bought for myself this year is Red and White Quilts; Infinite Variety. This is not a pattern book but a heavy-duty art/’coffee table’ book, if you will. It documents the red and white quilt collection of Joanna Rose that was displayed in New York in 2011 by the American Folk Art Museum. I’m still sad I didn’t get to see that display in person, but this book is the next best thing.
This is not a book of patterns, but contains so much quilt inspiration! Photos of over 650 quilts made over three centuries. I can not begin to tell you how much I love this book.
Fabric: What quilter doesn’t love fabric?! In addition to buying yardage or pre-cuts (precuts would be a great gift!) some online shops such as Westwood Acres, Pink Castle Fabrics, or Duckadilly offer monthly subscription clubs where they send you a new bundle of fabrics each month. A great way to gradually build a stash.
Subscription gift boxes are a really fun gift that keeps on giving. You can check out a variety of places that are doing it such as Sew Sampler from Fat Quarter Shop, Stash Builder Box, and Quilty Box. Each company is slightly different – check them out to find the right one for the person you’re giving too. Such a great idea! Bloombox from Bloomerie Fabrics occasionally has one-time gift boxes available.
Gift certificates are another great option – any of the shops with a button on my right sidebar or your local quilt shop will gladly sell you one! (Personally, I love getting gift certificates because it’s like getting a present twice – when your get the gift certificate and when you get to use the gift certificate!)
A gift certificate could also be used to take a class. Classes are often available at local shops or there are many video online classes on sites such as Craftsy.
One of my favorite recent gifts was a set of customized quilt labels from Modern Yardage. Having a label ready to go has made labeling my quilts SO much easier and automatic. They have a great variety of styles and prints available and you can order them blank or customized with a quilter’s name. Modern Yardage also sells customizable juvenile prints with your personalized names inserted.
Sewing and Quilting themed t-shirts have been so popular this year. I love the Sewing collection from Maker Valley T-shirts. I have each of these. So clever and stylish all at the same time. And there’s a bunch of brand new ones. (Including a really funny Cool Mom shirt just in time for Mother’s Day.)
I also love my Quilting Steps Tote from Stately Type. For only $19 it’s an inexpensive gift. Looks good and functional = always a winning combination.
And let’s not forget Handmade Gifts. Those always mean a lot – and they’re especially loved by other creators because they know and appreciate the actual work that went into making them! Here are a few suggestions:
A pressing table is a super-useful gift that is relatively inexpensive and not very difficult to make at all.
Another pretty idea from Amy Sinibaldi is this adorable Mason Jar pincusion sewing kit. So sweet!
Melissa from the Polkadot Chair has another version of the Mason Jar sewing kit + a free printable swing label.
If you’re looking for ideas for handmade gifts in general, I’ve also created a Pinboard on Pinterest with links to lots of great handmade gift ideas! Also, be sure to check out Sew Mama Sew’s Handmade Holidays posts all through the month of December with great list of handmade made gifts in a variety of categories – something for everyone on your list!
So there you go! Hopefully that will get you started. For more ideas visit last year’s post. If you have other ideas of gifts that would be great for sewists and quilters, feel free to leave them in the comments!