Gifts for Quilters 2014

Since it’s “that time of year” I thought I’d update my list of Favorite Gifts for Sewists and Quilters. I’ve added a few new things this year. One day I want to have the powers of Oprah to just hand out free samples of each to one and all, but alas, I’m not there quite yet. Maybe one day.

Gift Ideas for Sewers and Quilters

I’ve been a quilter for sometime now and I worked in a local quilt shop for about 7 years. I always loved helping quilters and/or their bewildered deer-in-the-headlights loved ones pick out gifts at Christmas. So I thought it would be fun to create a list of gifts perfect for quilters. This doesn’t just apply to the holiday season, but could be a good resource year round, or a subtle link to send to those you love who need suggestions for just the right gift for you. (winkwink)

I have included items in all different price ranges in case you’re looking for that one great thing for someone special, or a nifty little gift for everyone in your quilting guild. (Some of these links are affiliate links.)

Handmade gifts: It’s hard to beat a handmade gift. These are just a few little suggestions of handmade gifts – some simple, some more complex -for quilting friends. A cute zipper pouch is always useful to anyone. There are lots of great zipper pouch tutorials. One of my favorites is Anna from Noodlehead’s open-wide zipper pouch tutorial.

I also love Anna’s Divided Basket pattern – I’ve made a few this year. It takes a little more effort but the results are so great, and the more you make, the faster they come together. I LOVE mine – it helps me feel so much more organized to have a place to keep all my supplies together.

A friend recently sent me some of these awesome numbered labeling pins. I LOVE THEM for keeping track of quilt rows, pieces, etc. and they make an inexpensive but VERY useful gift. There is a tutorial for making these quilt row markers here. Another simple and easy gift is a little pin cushion made from a small rice bowl.

And if you want uber-easy, these magnetic pin dishes are so simple and fast to make and customize – and are so useful. I used little rice bowls from Pearl River Mart  for my pincushion and this magnetic bowl. Any Asian restaurant supply store would have an inexpensive variety.

Or a personalized magnetic pin case is also really simple and useful. I love mine so that I don’t have to worry about dumping my pins when I’m sewing on the road.

One of these pin holders with a bunch of new pins (because don’t we all need new pins once in a while) would be a really sweet gift for a quilting friend. If you’re looking for some quality glass-head pins, Westwood Acres has some really nice ones.


Another adorable handmade gift is NanaCompany’s Needle Book tutorial. My sweet friend Calli made this Union Jack version for me a couple of years ago. I love it so much.

This adorable Travel Sewing Case makes an awesome gift for a fellow-quilter. Sometimes Crafter has a link to the original pattern as well as a tutorial for some cute add-ons. (Image used with permission from Sometimes Crafter.)

Pressing (Ironing) Table – this is a relatively inexpensive and easy item to make from a TV tray and they are SO handy to have right next to your sewing machine. I use mine all the time. I rarely even get out my big ironing board. Oh Fransson has a great pressing table tutorial.

Notions are another great choice and make a great gift because you can find them in a variety of sizes and prices. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

My two favorite cutting tools are the Olfa Splash Rotary Cutterand the OLFA 5-Inch Scissors. I love the Splash because it’s relatively inexpensive, sturdy, and it’s SO easy to change the blade. If you don’t have a good rotary cutter PLEASE give yourself the greatest gift and get one. (My favorite are the Olfa’s.) You will thank me and wonder why you waited so long. (It comes in Purple now too!)

I received my 5″ Olfa scissors at the Sewing Summit one year and have LOVED them. I keep them by my machine, but I also take them with me on the road because they are small and portable, but super sharp and great for cutting fabric.

If you really want to give a nice gift, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Gingher scissors. There’s a reason why they’re the cream of the crop. Small embroidery scissors are another simple, useful gift. You can find a large variety to choose from by searching Etsy.

Seam Ripper. Who can’t use another one of those? I have multiple seam rippers located strategically throughout the house. My personal favorite is the Clover Seam Ripper.

One of my very favorite tools is the Omnigrid Portable Cutting & Pressing Station. This is half cutting mat, half ironing board, that conveniently folds in half and is easily portable, using the carrying handles. I take this with me when ever I go sewing someplace away from home because I can have a convenient place to both cut and press without having to leave my machine. I often use it at home for the same reason.

Another cutting mat that has been on my list for sometime that I finally got this year is the Fiskars Rotating Cutting Mat. (Omnigrid has one too.) This little mat is so useful for quickly squaring up blocks. It’s one of those things I’ve lived without just fine for a long time, but I sure do appreciate how helpful it is now that I have it.

Clover Wonder Clips aka Binding Clips. I had heard about these puppies for a long time and finally got some last year. They have come in handy so many times! And my family walks with much less trepidation and fear of a random pin in the carpet after I have bound a quilt. The one thing that held me back originally was the price, but I found them for a GREAT deal on amazon here.

This is called a Wooden Iron. I saw these for the first time last fall at a sewing conference. It’s a tool for quick pressing simple seams without having to get up and use an iron. I don’t have one yet, but they looked so cool – it’s definitely on my wish list.

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. There are lots of tutorials for making your own. Here are a couple of design wall tutorials from Ellison Lane, Oh Fransson, and Craft Buds.

Thread: some great thread options include Connecting Threads gift boxes or Aurifil Threads collections from Christa Quilts.

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.

Fabric. Who can resist fabric? Precuts or Fat Quarter Bundles are a great option, but for me part of the fun of getting new fabric, is picking it out myself. I recommend Gift Certificates to fabric shops. Pretty much all of the online shops on my side bar (under Sponsors) or your local quilt shop will happily sell you or your loved one a gift certificate. Keep in mind – giving a gift certificate is not a cop out – it’s like giving a present twice. First when they receive it. Second when they use it to pick something they love!

Another fun thing for someone who is just getting started would be a membership in a monthly club from online shops such as Pink Castle Fabrics, Westwood Acres,or Duckadilly, where they send you a new bundle of fabrics each month. Perfect for stash building!


Another monthly club is from a company called Quilty Box. This is a monthly box that arrives at the door with a different collection of supplies including fabric, patterns, notions, etc each month. Shipping is free in the US. If you subscribe before May 11, 2015 you can get 25% off your first box.

A gift certificate could also be used to take a class, either at a local quilt shop, or online. You can Gift Any Craftsy Class by buying a gift certificate and then let the recipient choose the class that interests them most.

One of my favorite recent gifts was a set of customized quilt labels from Modern Yardage. I’ve always been terrible about labeling my quilts. Now I will actually do it!

Books: There are a myriad of amazing quilting books right now. I really like a versatile book that has multiple good projects to choose from as well as appealing to a variety of styles. Here are a couple of my favorites from the past year.

Quilitng the new classics

Quilting the New Classics: Patterns for traditional and modern quilts as well as write-ups about the history of different classic quilts and photos of a variety of them. A great variety of patterns  and styles – something for all tastes and just a really pretty book.

Pattern book with 15 scrap quilt patterns

Scraps, Inc. This book has 15 patterns for using up fabric scrap and there are SO many good ones. A great bang for the buck.

Simply Color: Red: A Crayon Box for Quilters is part of a new series by Vanessa Christenson of three books available now – Red, Orange, and Yellow that are pretty a fun. Perfect for gift giving.

I also hear Fabulously Fast Quilts is pretty good. 😉

One of my favorite books, and one that is perfect for gifting because it has so many possibilities, is still 500 Quilt Blocks by Lynne Goldsworthy and Kerry Green.

This book is full of inspiration. I bought mine last year and it is still on my bedside table because I love to read it just for the fun of it. I’ve since gifted it to some of my favorite quilty friends, including my mom. I think it’s the perfect gift because it appeals and crosses over to many tastes and styles – whether they’re new or experienced, traditional or modern. It’s pretty like a coffee-table book, but a more compact gift-size.

If you’re looking for storage options, I know a lot of quilters who love this Raskog portable storage cart from Ikea. It also comes in beige and black.

Ice Block Tee

Quilting-themed t-shirts. I love the selection at Patchwork Threads. Modern, graphic and really good looking. (This is on my Christmas list this year.) Keep in mind that sizes are unisex when ordering.

Stately Type Sewing T-shirt

New for Spring 2015 are these sewing-themed t-shirts from Stately Type. Some really clever shirts! One of these in on my list too!

Featherweight Sewing Machine Charm Necklace

Charmed Collections has a bunch of cute sewing-themed jewelry charms – perfect for a sewing-loving friend! I bought one of these for myself this year and have loved it.

Many of the things on the list are things I’ve bought or received myself so they get my authentic stamp of approval – no one asked me or paid me to put any of these things on this list.

Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments if you have other ideas of gifts perfect for quilters.

Happy Gifting!

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  • Reply
    December 6, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Hi, thank you for creating this list. There are some useful products I had not heard about and might be emailing some ideas to family members for some last minute shopping.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2014 at 5:42 am

    Thank you, Amy, there are some nice ideas I found in your list … 😉

  • Reply
    Southern Gal
    December 6, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Great list! I should just direct my family to this post for gift ideas.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Great list for quilters~both new and experienced. I gifted myself with the Fiskars rotating cutting mat but am having trouble keeping the two parts together. What did you do to make it work?

  • Reply
    December 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I felt obligated to buy something from Olfa when I won their birthday package. Since I already own their rotary cutter I chose the 12.5 inch square opaque ruler. I LOVE IT!!! I really does "stick" to fabric and you can really see through it! It's the only addition I'd make to your list!

    • Reply
      amy smart
      December 7, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Great thought! Those Olfa rulers are amazing. I have a 6 1/2'' one and it doesn't slide at all! I'm going to officially add it to the list!

  • Reply
    Patch the Giraffe
    December 6, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Love all of these ideas, it's like you read my mind!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2014 at 1:21 am

    yup! A design wall is on my wish list. I bought a Fons and Porter one, and I need to get some insulation board to wrap it around.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2014 at 1:24 am

    Amy, is the Splash cutter &quot;ergonomic&quot; ? how does it feel in your hand? Easy to grip?<br />I have tendonitis in both hands from a production sewing job. Lots of cutting hurts my wrists and I have a hard time gripping things. I have a straight &quot;classic&quot; Olfa cutter, but I&#39;m wondering if the Splash or the &quot;ergonomic&quot; version would be helpful.

    • Reply
      December 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      I also have tendonitis, and can tell you that the Splash did not help at all with my wrist pain. I took a chance in a Martinelli Ergo 2000 last winter and it made a huge difference in my ability to cut without excessive pain. The different cutting angle took a little getting used to but now I can&#39;t imagine using a normal cutter.

    • Reply
      amy smart
      December 7, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      Thanks for your reply, Melissa and for the great suggestion!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2014 at 5:17 am

    Fantastic list, Amy! Some I have and love and some I would love to have! I have a non-quilt related question- where did you get that wonderful pink cup? It looks just like a set my grandmother had and I would love to get some pink cups just like that!

    • Reply
      amy smart
      December 7, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      I got it at a vintage consignment shop that was going out of business. I love it! I&#39;m sure it&#39;s like the kind your grandma had. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 7, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Those numbered pins are genius! I want to make some for myself asap. Thanks for a great ideas list 🙂

  • Reply
    ✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾
    December 7, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Great list! I gave your book and a fat quarter bundle to my sister and a friend this year. We are going to do fabric mutt&#39;s sew through your library qal in January together with a pattern from your book!<br /><br />I have two of the patchwork threads t shirts myself, and have given them as gifts. But now I need a bigger size since I&#39;m 20 weeks pregnant and my original was a small:)

  • Reply
    Judy S in New Hampshire
    December 7, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Thanks for all the great ideas. I can see several of those items in my near future! I have another item for your list. The Soft Touch Thread Pick by Clover (available at JoAnn&#39;s on-line or Connecting Threads). Great for tucking threads after machine quilting. So much easier than using a needle!

  • Reply
    Teresa Palmer
    December 7, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Want it all!!! I just forwarded the entire email to my husband and wrote, hint, hint. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 7, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Nice list! I actually have a of these couple items. I do wish I had a bookend like the one you show in the second picture though 😉

  • Reply
    Kim Domingue
    December 7, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    While I loved my Ginghers and used them for many years, as I got older and began to have more trouble with my hands, I found they were making my hands hurt more and more quickly. I bought a pair of Fiskars pinking shears, loved them, much easier on my hands! I&#39;ve bought just about one of every style of sewing scissor they make and happily recommend them to everyone! They make sharp, clean

  • Reply
    December 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Thank you for these great ideas. I&#39;m so excited to make the pins! Can&#39;t wait to get started. Happy holidays to all.

  • Reply
    Sarah Craig
    December 8, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Great list, Amy! On the subject of scissors, I have to recommend Kai scissors – they are wonderful! Light like Fiskars, but sharper than Ginghers. And a whole lot less expensive than Ginghers, too – worth every penny! You can find them on Amazon…..

  • Reply
    December 10, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Thanks for all these wish list suggestions! I found your blog while browsing on Amazon (instead of attacking my pre-Christmas to-do list!). Will be adding &#39;Fabulously Fast Quilts&#39; to my Amazon wish list and your blog to my favourites! Have a great run-up to Christmas.<br />Allison UK

  • Reply
    Ashley Calder
    December 13, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Thank you so much for this great gift guide!! It is helpful for gifting to others, but also a great resource for beginner quilters like me. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mother's Day Gifts for Sewers - Diary of a Quilter - a quilt blog
    April 24, 2015 at 1:59 am

    […] you’re looking for other fun gift ideas for Sewers and Quilters, I’ve updated the list of my favorite things with a few fun new ones. There’s a variety […]

  • Reply
    Cindy Brown
    October 24, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Hello Amy!
    What a wonderful find! I was looking for a cute table runner for fall and, voilá, yours was perfect! In fact it was so perfect, I made one for each of my three daughters!! Of course, I also made one for myself!!
    I was hoping I could see your tutorial on the diaper burp cloths, but I can’t seem to get it to open…
    Any suggestions?
    I love your modern fresh patterns and colors- they are so pleasing and beautiful!
    Thanks for such neat ideas!
    Cindy B

  • Reply
    Gifts for Quilters 2015 - Diary of a Quilter - a quilt blog
    April 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    […] 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 […]

  • Reply
    November 4, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I’m so glad I found this page! It’s exactly what I needed to find, it has perfect gift ideas for a quilter. I’m officially excited for Christmas shopping!

  • Reply
    50+ Gifts to Buy or Make for Quilters
    November 30, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    […] If you’re still trying to find the right gift – especially for more ideas of gifts you can make yourself – check out these posts from past years here and here. […]

  • Reply
    Dana Ashbee
    December 13, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Thank you for all the helpful ideas! I will be filling a quilters stocking with lots of wonderful things this year

  • Reply
    Sylvia Gant
    September 4, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    current link for pressing table project

    • Reply
      September 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      Thank you so much! I’ve updated the link.

  • Reply
    Rachel Frampton
    December 9, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    My sister loves quilting, and that is why I’m thinking of buying a Sterling Silver thimble that she may use for her sewing activities. Well, you are also right that it would be a great idea to give her a cute zipper pouch where she may place her tools. I’ll keep in mind to look for a magnetic pin dish as well.

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