Is there someone on your gift list who is a quilter or sewer? Here are some gift ideas for them!
1. A pair of quality scissors. This item is a valued piece of equipment. If your Gift Recipient (GR) is a beginner get them a pair. If your GR has been quilting for awhile chances are they already own good scissors. Find a scissor sharpening service in their area and get a gift certificate. If your GR embroiders, does needlework there are smaller choices as well. I have small scissors at all my work stations.
Needles. We always need sewing machine needles- they should be changed every eight hours of sewing. We all have a variety of sizes; the two most common for quilters are size 75/11 & 90/14. Get needles that are for quilting.
Pins. A good quality glass head quilting pin is best. They have a more slender shaft and the glass head is unfazed by iron heat. They are a little more expensive but worth it.
Rotary Blades. We use a tool called a rotary cutter. They use a round blade that gets dull. Always having refill blades available is wonderful! Take note- there are three sizes- find out what size rotary cutter your GR owns.
Marking Tools. Markers that erase with water or air (I prefer water) and chalk are two commonly used ones.
Rulers. If your GR is a beginner here’s a list of basic rulers they will use:
12-1/2” or 15-1/2” square
1/4” ruler get the longest one possible~will usually be a set of two or three~buy a brand that has the ruled markings down the long edge. The name “quarter-inch” ruler is confusing- the ruler is 1/2″ wide, just wanted you to know. The purpose is to mark 1/4″ lines when we do certain things.
Cutting Mat. A beginner GF needs one- it’s the essential cutting trio of the mat, rotary cutter and rulers. If their work are will accommodate get a 24”x36” self-healing mat. If your GR is seasoned and you can look at threir mat it might be old and ratty- time for a new one…
Wonder Clips (brand name) or binder clips (generic name). These little guys are kind of pricey but a great help when doing binding. For sewers or crafters using these clips instead of pins is a faster more helpful choice. A cute container to hold all those clips is an idea too- but get one that’s bigger than the supply you buy because I assure you- more will be purchased! I like the clip size that is 3/8”x 1”.
Stiletto. No, not the shoe style. This is a tool that helps us to hold things in close proximity to the needle, as we sew. Your quilt shop will know what it is.
Gadgets. For a lot of us it’s all about the tools! If you find yourself browsing around a quilting store if you see something interesting, fun or whimsical get it! Why not?
3. A Journal / Notebook / Sketch Pad. I have all three floating around my studio, all hold different notes / projects / creative thoughts. Half the fun giving a gift like this is finding a cover that fits the GR. Book stores, stationary stores, fabric stores are sources.
4. Iron. We need a quality iron. Features we look for are a lot of steam holes (mine has 400, the norm is 100), a longer cord and a longer auto shut-off time. For me a self clean feature is good too. There are good lower priced irons and there are good higher priced irons. Do your research. If your GR goes to retreats or sew-along’s they probably take a small iron with them. See if they could use a new iron or wool pressing pad.
5. Quilt Batting. This is the middle layer in the quilt and use quilters use a lot of it! Cotton and polyester batting are the most common. It comes in big rolls, by the yard and in pre-sized packages. Buying a package in any size is fine- if we don’t use the entire piece we’ll cut it up. And we take our leftover pieces and sew them together to reuse all of it! We tend to use our supplies efficiently!
6. Thread. This is important. Thread weight makes a difference. Some brands of thread produce more lint than others (not a good thing). Personally I like Aurifil for piecing. It’s a quality Italian made 100% cotton thread. My local quilt store has Aurifil. Superior Thread Company is another good source for thread. Neutral colors are fine.
If your GR embroiders that’s a whole different world. I do not embroider so I cannot offer suggestions but I do know the thread selection for machine and hand embroidery is amazing. Consult your quilt or embroidery store.
7. A good light. This is another item that is essential. The newer LED lights are nice. Ott Light brand is a natural-spectrum light. Whether you get a floor, table, stick-on, etc more light is always appreciated. I have a stick-on light that’s on my sewing machine. I’m going to get a strip light to attach to the head of my longarm. And I have a floor lamp with a flexible head.
8. Quilting / Sewing book. There are a ton of books out there that address specific crafts, projects, instruction, history and culture. I have a fiction story that is a quilt plot with a pattern to make a quilt- how fun is that. The ideas are endless and surely there’s something in this category that suits your GR.
9. Furniture. If you know your GR has been eyeing a piece of furniture for their work area get them a gift card for that store to help.
10. A gift card from a Fabric / Quilting store. Sometimes I think that giving a gift card is a lazy way out but for us quilters / sewers, getting a gift card from a fabric store or quilt shop is the cat’s meow! We can purchase exactly what we want and think of you as we happily leave the store! Don’t hesitate to make this choice.
11. Treat your GF to a quilt class or retreat. Getting together for a structured class and learn new things, or just do something you like. The social aspect is fun and even experienced quilters learn new things.
Now if you’re looking at this list with your jaw gaping open, hand to chin, push your mouth shut, stand tall, roll your shoulders, and head to your local fabric store or quilt shop. Your questions about anything on this list can be answered by the knowledgeable staff you’ll find there. You got this handled! And even better-the quilter is your life will love you for the gift!!!