From a $2 Stocking Stuffer to a several thousand dollar gift of a lifetime, this list has something for everyone! (Don’t worry- almost everything is under $100!)
- Quilter’s Select Rulers: These rulers have a translucent backing that grips the fabric as you cut and the lines are thin while still being easy to read
- Classic Curves Ruler: Perfect for Quarter-circle curves and full circles!
- Add-a-Quarter Plus Ruler: The ideal tool for foundation paper piecing. Get the “plus” version to make the folding part of the FPP process even easier.
- Add-an-Eighth Plus Ruler: Great for a dedicated foundation paper piecer to do small scale projects or grade seam allowances
- Add-Three-Eighths Ruler: I use this for inserting pieced “slivers” into my piecing, but I think it is originally intended for doing foundation paper piecing with flannel
- Machine Quilting Rulers: These are thicker than cutting rulers and are used on longarm machines or sit-down machines equipped with a ruler work presser foot. Here’s the longarm ruler I use the most. You do need to know which machine you are buying for to know which version to purchase.
- Gingher Shears: I like the spring loaded ones!
- Kai Scissors and Holder: These snips fit into a holder that goes around the neck to carry with you around your sewing space
- Tula Pink Rotary Cutter: The shape looks similar to my favorite rotary cutter that is no longer produced. A friend has this one and loves it.
- Olfa Rotary Cutter: I have two of these with different color handles. This way I can have one for cutting paper and won’t mix it up with the one I use for fabric
- Martelli Rotary Cutter: The handle angle is supposed to make for better ergonomics. I have just ordered one to try out!
- Seam Ripper: Seam rippers get dull, so a new seam ripper is a great annual gift! My go-to is this Clover seam ripper, but there are some stunning hand turned versions that you can replace the blade on periodically
Pinning and Such
- Fish Museum and Circus: Whimsical Ceramic pin cushions. She sells out quickly, so join her newsletter to find out when listings are added!
- Storts Market: Fabulous repurposing of found vessels into gorgeous pin cushions! She also sells out quickly, so watch her Instagram account to find out about upcoming listings.
- Magnetic Pin Cushion: You can’t beat a magnetic pin cushion for the ease of dropping pins onto while you sew
- Glass Headed Pins: The heads of the pins are easy to grab, and they won’t melt if they get too close to an iron
- Magic Pins: These are even easier to grab ahold of than the glass headed pins and also heat resistant
- Clover Clips: I use these for binding, bag construction, and foundation paper piecing
- Kwik Klips: Save your hands while speeding up the pin basting process
- Safety Pins: I buy in large quantities so I don’t run out at an inopportune moment
- Roxanne’s Quilter’s Choice Pencils: Between the white and silver pencils, you can mark almost any fabric
- Duo Fabric Markers: These are great for an easy to see line on all but the darkest fabrics. I use this a lot for marking dot to dot quilting. The eraser pen takes the marks out immediately
- Hera Marker: Mark your quilting with creases instead of color
- Full Line Stencils: A huge number of design options. My favorites are the grids because I can use the basic lines to mark an area, but fill in those lines with a variety of free motion or ruler quilting designs.
- Chalk Pounce: Use with the full line stencils. I have the barely blue and white. With those two colors, you can mark almost any fabric
- Chalk wheel: Great for marking single lines
- Wool Pressing Mat: I recommend at least a 13″ square, but this is a case where bigger is better
- Wool Pressing Bar: Awesome for pressing seams open, and doubles as a clapper to hold seams flat while they cool
- Clapper: A wooden bar that you use to hold down a seam after it is pressed. This allows the crease to set as the fabric cools, resulting in a very flat seam. This works particularly well in conjunction with a wool pressing mat.
- Tailor’s Ham: Particularly useful for garment and bag construction, this tool emulates many three-dimensional curves to help give your projects shape during the pressing process
- Industrial Iron: If you have a spot to set up as a semi-permanent pressing area, an industrial iron gives you great heat and amazing steam
- Oliso Mini Project Iron: This is a perfect iron to keep next to your sewing machine. I love to use this one while doing some foundation paper piecing
- Best Press or Flatter: These starch alternatives are phenomenal for taming curves, treating fabrics for appliqué, or other times you are using small pieces or fussy fabrics. I purchase this by the gallon!
- Spray Mister Bottle: A great gift to pair with Best Press or Flatter. The fine mist prevents wet spots and makes your starch alternative last longer.
- Daylight or Ott Lamp: Good lighting is key to successful sewing!
- Daylight Wafer Light Box: This Lightbox was designed with foundation paper piecing in mind, but it has so many other sewing related uses!
- Strip light: Add this light to your sewing machine for an extra boost of light.
Other Sewing Tools
- Bobbins: I have yet to meet a quilter that says they have too many bobbins. Just make sure you know the machine you are buying for!
- Sew Fine: This is my all time favorite thread gloss, and I don’t want to hand sew without it
- Stiletto: Use this to guide fabric right up to the presser foot as you stitch without putting your fingers at risk!
- That Purple Thang: You can use this in a similar manner to a stiletto, but it is also useful for other tasks. My favorite use it to push out corners in bags and other 3-D sewing
- A bolt of a favorite solid fabric: A bolt of white, black, or dark blue fabric works well for a lot of people, but a more bold choice may be appropriate for a lot of quilters. Having a bolt of a favorite color is a luxury!
- Fat Quarter bundles are particularly great for quilters who like improv or scrappy aesthetics, enjoy experimenting with color, or have fun with mini quilt creation. (There are color focused bundles of Painter’s Palette Solids in my shop!)
- Backing Fabric: Wide back fabric is a luxury when it comes time to finish a quilt. I suggest a 3 yard cut, and you can often purchase this size pre-cut!
- Thread: Aurifil is my top pick, and you can find spools or boxes at many local quilt shops. Aurifil now also offers an online shop for select items!
- Batting: Having a roll of batting means you have a lot less waste and never having to wait until you have batting in hand to baste a quilt. I suggest asking a local quilt shop if they can do a special order for you!
Quilt Related Books
- Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman: As far as I’m concerned this is the ultimate reference for traditional quilt blocks!
- Bisa Butler Exhibit Catalog: From the stunning exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute
- Quilt National ’21: The Best of Contemporary Quilts: The exhibit catalog from Quilt National
- This Long Thread: Women of Color on Craft, Community, and Connection: Jen Hewitt’s new book!
- Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories: This book goes with the exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston
Quilting Magazines and other Publications
- Curated Quilts: Each issue is themed with a mostly Modern aesthetic
- Quilt Folk: Issues are almost always themed by location, so a locally focused issue may be available if you don’t want to for a subscription
- Make Modern: This digital magazine is packed with articles and projects
- Quilting Arts: Check this one out for art and modern quilting articles, techniques, and projects
- AQ: This magazine comes as a membership benefit to the American Quilter’s Society, and includes photos of the prize winning quilts from each of their shows. If the quilter in your life enters or attends shows, this also comes with a discount on contest entries as well as show admission and class discounts.
- The Quilter’s Planner: A planner with a quilting twist! Plan your quilting (and non-quilting) projects and have a handy quilting reference right at your finger tips.
- Local Quilt Shop: Always a solid choice!
- Etsy: Buy patterns from independent designers, supplies for an upcoming project, or a unique finished item for their sewing space
- Longarm Quilting Services: Find out if your quilter’s longarm quilter offers gift cards or certificates!
- Sewing Machine: For a first machine, an older, all metal, pre-owned machine may be the best choice. If you want to go with a new machine, try to buy from a small, local shop instead of a big box store so the recipient can get help from a real human being. Many shops even include an intro class with new machines. For a major machine upgrade, make sure the recipient is involved in selecting a machine that will fit their needs.
- Longarm Machine: This is an amazing gift, and one that should definitely involve recipient participation. The feel of a machine is critical, so the new owner needs to be heavily involved with the selection.
- Classes: Virtual or in person, local or at an event
- Quilting Retreat: Join an existing retreat, go with your guild, or gather a group of friends for a retreat of your own!
- Vacation to a Quilt Show: Some options in the US include QuiltCon in Phoenix; American Quilter’s Society shows in Daytona Beach, Branson, Paducah, Grand Rapids, or Des Moines; International Quilt Festival in Houston.
- Museum Trip: Visit one of the many quilt museums throughout the US, or plan a major car trip to visit a bunch of them!
- Quilt Cruise: Choose one with a teacher you have always wanted to work with, or select a destination you find fascinating!