Every year, I love pulling together a list of suggestions to make or give to your favorite Quilter. I’ve found some fun new projects to make for other quilting friends as well as new books, tools and other items perfect to give your favorite quilter! (Or for you to share with someone else I you’re their favorite quilter. 😉 ) This year I wanted to make sure I got the list out before all the Black Friday sales this weekend.
There are a few repeats from past years (because they’re always useful) but I’m excited that there are some new, unique and really fun gift ideas this year. I love thinking through the year what I want to add to this yearly post. ?) I’ve tried to include gifts in a wide variety of price ranges so that there’s something for everyone.
Important disclaimer: This post contains both affiliate links (meaning I receive a small portion of the proceeds, which helps support all of the free content year-round on this site) as well as 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, however, are things I’ve purchased with my own hard-earned cash because I loved and wanted them or are items that were gifts I received from friends.
Handmade Gift Ideas
As most of you know, as quilters yourselves, it’s a lot of fun to make a sweet little gift for other quilting friends. Here’s a variety of handmade gift ideas ranging from large and elaborate for that special someone to quick and simple that you can produce en masse.
Sewing Machine Cover (or Mat) Tutorials: here’s a few different ones ranging from basic patchwork to much more elaborate (clockwise from top):
Thread catchers and organizers are always so handy for keeping things neat and tidy around your sewing machine. Here are a few tutorials and patterns (starting at the top and going clockwise):
Needle books are SO cute and so fun to personalize. Here are a few tutorials (clockwise from the top):
Similar, but slightly different: Stationary Kit tutorial from Fabric Mutt
Always useful (not to mention a fun way to use up cute fabric scraps) is a handmade pincushion. Here are a few cute tutorials for unique pincushions (clockwise from the top):
(not pictured) Applique Wool pincushions are simple and quick to make
Mini 9-patch pincushions by Amanda Jean (who is always making inspiring pincushions – see a ton more pincushion inspiration here.)
(not pictured) I’m also totally smitten with Retro Mama’s Stuffed Apple this year!
Traditional Economy block pincushions here
I have dozens more pincushion ideas on this Pincushion Pinterest Board
Magnetic pin bowls are so handy to have in the sewing room. And there are some really cute options! You can buy ready-made Pleasant Home magnetic pinbowls here. Or here’s a tutorial to Make Your Own Magnetic Pinbowl. I found some cute little bowls designed by the Pioneer Woman for a great price in the dishes aisle at Walmart.
One of my favorite ever quilting-related gifts was a set of numbered marking pins. 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 useful gift for a quilting friend are these super handy mini design boards. I received some as a gift and I’ve LOVED them. They’re perfect of laying out quilt blocks, auditioning fabric, or just keeping your pieces in place until you’re ready to sew. Lori Holt has a tutorial to make your own (mine don’t have the decorative border, which is fine with me) or this video tutorial if you like the extra visuals or you can buy Lori’s Design Boards ready made here.
Another idea is to make (or buy) a full design wall. I LOVE and use my design wall every day. It has grommets and hangs next to my sewing table, but is easy to take down when needed. I have the Fons and Porter Design Wall which you can find at Joann’s or Amazon. This is also something you could make yourself. Suzy Quilts has a list of great ideas for making your own Design Wall.
Unique Gifts for Quilters and Sewing Lovers
For a special quilting friend, check out these Tiny Tin Sewing rooms, hand crafted by Sachiko Aldous. They are so adorable and they are all unique. She has a few stocked in her Etsy Shop right now. Be advised: they often sell out quickly, but she does regularly restock, so keep checking back. Last Christmas Old Mountain Crafts in North Carolina sent me some of their laser-cut wood decorations and I put them together as gifts for Quilting friends. (And kept a few for my own tree.)
Maker Valley has been making quilting-themed t-shirts for a couple of years now. They regularly have new sewing/quilting/knitting designs. Here are some of the latest. I’ve bought multiple Maker Valley t-shirts and I think they just get better all the time. My Makers Gonna Make shirt is so soft – it’s one of my favorites to wear.
Maker Valley is also designing and selling collectible enamel sewing-themed pins if you have have any pin-collector friends (or want to be one yourself!)
Another fun jewelry option are these darling sewing-themed necklaces and charms from Charmed Collections which they now carry in gold too! I’m a total sucker for everything makes, and they have a wide variety of other designs such as names, monograms, etc. available in rings and bracelets too.
These customized quilt labels have been a lifesaver to me – they’ve made me so much better at actually labeling my quilts! Modern Yardage has a HUGE variety to choose from – you can choose generic labels to fill-in yourself, or customized with your name. They’re perfect for stocking up on for yourself, or would be a much appreciated gift.
These Binding Babies are a fun new product from Shari of Doohikey Designs. They keep your prepared binding neat and ready to go before you add it to your quilt and they come in a variety of styles and colors. And you can get 15% off your order when $30 or more is spent in the shop with the code merryquiltmas. Good through December 25!
If you’re looking for something different and useful, this is a great gift – especially for folks who are creative with their hands – Mom’s Stuff Salve. I have been using it for a couple of years now – especially in the winter months. It’s a handmade concoction with 100% all-natural ingredients. It’s perfect for softening rough, calloused hands and feet, but it’s not greasy. A little goes a long way and the jars last a long time. I’ve bought multiple jars and given them as gifts.
Another one of my own personal favorite tools is The Quilter’s Planner. I have LOVED my 2017 version and can’t wait to get my hands on the 2018 planner! I use it to keep track of my everyday life and to-do lists, but I also love the pretty inspirational quotes and quilt designs. There are new upgrades to this year’s planner, including the Quilter’s Planner magazine with 14 quilt patterns, plus coloring pages and stickers designed by Alison Glass. You can see more photos and all that’s included in the Quilter’s Planner HERE. There is also a deluxe bundle here with a mini planner, perfect for carrying around in your purse.
There are always fun new quilting books coming out. Here are some of my favorites that came out in 2017. I’ve chosen a variety that would have broad appeal because they are both versatile and have a variety of styles and options included. They include:
Spelling Bee by Lori Holt. This book is so much fun. In addition to quilt blocks for letters and punctuation there are 16 other darling quilt blocks, each in two different sizes. You can read more about my thoughts on Spelling Bee here.
No Scrap Left Behind by Amanda Jean Nyberg is another top notch book. There are 16 gorgeous quilt patterns geared for using up your fabric scraps. I’ve already made one of the quilts and I want to make a bunch more. You can read more about No Scrap Left Behind here.
The Fussy Cut Sampler by Elisabeth Woo and Nichole Ramirez is adorable and a lot of fun. The book has 48 quilt blocks featuring a variety of styles and techniques and demonstrates how to show-off some of your favorite fabric motifs by fussy-cutting them in fresh, fun ways. This book has beautiful photos, great information, and inspiring content – a winning combination for a good quilt book.
Walk by Jacquie Gering. This book is full of a variety of really practical and useful tips and techniques for mastering machine quilting with your walking foot. As someone who is still pretty intimidated by free-motion quilting, I’m so excited to play with machine quilting using a walking foot! I’m already so inspired and feel confident trying new things out of my comfort zone!
(Not Pictured) A Piece of Cake by Peta Peace – this book has a beautiful variety of quilt patterns all focused on using pre-cut Layer Cakes (10″ x 10″ squares). You can read more about and see photos from A Piece of Cake here.
If you are looking for a book for beginners, definitely check out Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Make My First Quilt.
Notions and Sewing Supplies
Finally, you can never go wrong with traditional quilting notions. A few of my favorites include
Clover Fine Glasshead pins (I LOVE these)
Little House Glass Head pins are luxurious and come in a cute tin
black Elan dressmaker scissors (very affordable and stay sharp. I LOVE mine)
Olfa rotary cutter (I have 4 different kinds). My favorite is the Olfa Splash, but I also love the 60 mm extra large size for cutting lots of fabric layers at once as well as the 28 mm version for cutting applique pieces and around templates
Flatter Smoothing Spray (available on Amazon or from Mad About Patchwork in Canada)
Rotary Cutter replacement blades are always in demand (just make sure you buy the right size for the rotary cutter you’re using.) Or try the new Olfa Endurance Blades – I’ve got had one on my rotary cutter for a couple of months now and it’s still doing great!
Seam-fix seam rippers are a recent favorite. They’re fatter and easier to grip and the rubber gripper at the end grabs and removes excess thread quickly. They also come in mini versions (pictured) in sets of three, making them a great gift to buy in bulk for multiple friends.
A new pair of scissors is always a super handy gift, not to mention pretty, gift. (Speaking as a person who seems to have a lot of scissors.) Here are some of my favorite recomendations (L to R):
Heirloom Embroidery scissors are always a pretty gift. You can find all kind of shapes and sizes. (Psst: Westwood Acres has a few on a screaming deal while supplies last.)
Omnigrid mini needlecraft scissors. These scissors are super sharp for their size. I keep mine with my english paper piecing projects because they’re not only good thread snippers, but they’re sharp enough to cut fabric when needed and they’re small enough I can take them on an airplane.
This year I’m gifting myself a new, pretty pair of Gingher shears. They’ve been on my want list for a while now. I love the pretty ceramic handles in the designer series. If you can’t find them in your favorite shop, you can find a large variety on Amazon.
Vintage-inspired embroidery scissors from Warm Crochet. These are sharp little snips and look fancy too for a great price.
Olfa Precision Scissors – these are hands down, some of my favorite scissors. The blades are small and sharp – cutting fabric easily, perfect for cutting intricate work – but the handles are large and comfortable enough for real fingers to get a good grip. I use these constantly.
Other useful tools (that would make great stocking stuffers)include:
Aurifil Thread – my favorite is the 50 wt for piecing
A Hera marker– used for making a crease on fabric – perfect for marking quilting lines without having to use writing instruments
Another favorite seam ripper by Clover (can one really have too many seam rippers?)
and a new fun favorite – Lori Holt’s colorful cutting mats. This mini version would be a fun gift to give, or receive.
It would be fun to gift some of these notions in a cute jar like this one from The Polkadot Chair (which includes the cute free-printable Sewing tag.)
Other handy gadgets and gizmos include good lighting and irons. A couple of options for portable lighting include powerful and popular Ott Lights (left). They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and provide beautiful clear, white light. I got mine from Costco – they’re one of those things that makes an occasional appearance. The light on the right is from Ikea, which has LOTS of great portable light options for really reasonable prices.
Irons are always a great gift. I have loved my Oliso iron I received a few years ago and use it regularly, but they’re definitely on the pricier side.
If you are or know someone who sews at a lot of retreats or guild events, a travel iron is very handy. I bought this little Rowenta Travel Iron after seeing a bunch of others using it at a sewing retreat and I’ve loved it. In addition to being lightweight and portable, it’s sturdy and has held up well. Plus it has the steam option if you prefer sewing with steam.
Subscriptions: The gift that keeps on giving. Literally.
Subscription fabric clubs or gift boxes continue to become ever more popular. There are few different companies that offer subscription gift boxes such as Sew Sampler from Fat Quarter Shop (pictured above) which is a mystery box – each month is a fun new surprise with containing a variety of fabric, notions and quilt patterns.
Quilters Candy Box, Quilty Box, and Quilter’s Stash Box. Each company is slightly different – check them out to find the right fit for the person you’re giving too. It really is fun to look forward to a monthly surprise box full of goodies in your mailbox.
Another new digital subscription (and slightly more affordable) series is PatternDrop (read more about what it is here). You can give a subscription as a gift here. Use coupon code AMY2FREE for an additional 2 months off!
Monthly club bundles are also a fun surprise in the mail every month and a great way to gradually build a stash. Shops with subscription fabric clubs include: Westwood Acres, Pink Castle Fabrics, Fat Quarter Shop, and Duckadilly. Again, each shop has it’s own different specialties so you can find the right fit for you or your gift recipient.
Big Ticket Items:
If you’re looking for a great big-ticket item such as a sewing machine, I highly recommend Baby Lock as I have loved using mine. I am currently sewing with a Desiny II sewing and embroidery machine on loan from Baby Lock, which I LOVE. It is a fantastic machine with a lot great features like the laser light that makes piecing half-square triangles a breeze, great lighting, throat space, adjustable speed, multitudes of stitches, etc.
But I realize, that machine is not in everyone’s budget. If you’re looking for a good beginner sewing machine I highly recommend the Rachel. For mid-level upgrades, I recommend checking out the Jazz and Lyric.
Whatever make you get, I definitely suggest visiting your nearest local sewing machine dealers, rather buying one from a big box store. The local dealer will have a variety of levels of machines – from beginner to super-deluxe. They also usually offer free classes with a machine purchase so that you can learn how to use all the features on the machine. And if the machine you buy isn’t right, they are more likely to let you exchange. They’ll also take your machine later as a trade in when you’re ready for an upgrade.. They will also be much more helpful should you need any technical support or long-term maintenance.
Another big-ticket item might be a Sizzix Big Shot if you’re looking for a die-cutting machine. While both AccuQuilt and Sizzix are great products, I really love the variety of dies available from Sizzix. If you’re looking for a super-snazzy digital cutter, check out the amazing Cricut Maker. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one myself and learning how to harness it’s power in the coming months!
If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by the number of choices, or just running out of time, get a gift certificate! You can get a gift certificate from your favorite local quilt shop or any of the online shops listed on my sidebar. –>
(Never feel like a Gift Certificate is a cop out! Gift certificates are my favorite because I love the process of getting to use it just as much as receiving it in the first place. It’s like getting a present twice!)
A gift certificate could also be used to take a class at a local shop or an online video class on sites such as Craftsy.
I hope that gives you some fresh ideas for all the quilter’s on your list, during the holidays, or throughout the year! If you have any other great suggestions, feel free to add them in the comments.
If you’re looking for more, feel free to check out lists from years past here.