Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Quilter's Christmas Shopping List Guide

It's that time of year and often times, if someone is not a quilter, they can be in a quandary trying to figure out something their quilty friend or loved one might like. This guide will give you a list of some of the items we have featured on our Facebook page over the past year or so. The price ranges vary, there is something for every budget here!  We have made it especially easy for you by including a link to the item, just click on the highlighted text. Hint: If you are a quilter...print this out and leave it laying about so that Santa will know what you the items of most interest to make sure your Santa won't skip a beat! 

This first item is a great stocking stuffer. Very small in size but mighty in ability. The Thread Cutterz. It comes in a couple variations. The one shown above is flat on one side with adhesive already applied, you just peel and stick it to the surface of your desires, which in my case was my Vintage Featherweight as shown below. It also comes on an adjustable ring so that you might have thread cutting ability at your fingertips at all times. Great for a hand quilter or for someone who loves to stitch. It has a razor sharp blade that is secured inside the protective housing so that your fingers and those of little ones will never meet the sharp edge but your thread will glide right through and quickly be dispatched. You can purchase them directly from the producer at and I know my friend Annalee Leonard at 
Daydream Quilts has them as well! Be sure to check out her notions section online!

Second on our list of goodies are just some basic staples that every quilter should have in their box of tricks. A good 6" x 1" ruler, some clear template plastic and a fine point sharpie marker. These items can be obtained at any Little Quilt Shop (LQS), at your local Joann Fabrics, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Office Depot...they are pretty common actually. These items will help your quilter to make templates for fussy cutting. Particularly desirable for someone who enjoys English Paper Piecing (EPP) Very inexpensive, and toss in some washable glue sticks and small scissors, some Aurifil Thread, some Needles, a Clover needle threader, a Clover dome needle storage case, Thread Heaven thread conditioner and and you will have a dream stocking for your quilter.

Template Plastic, 1" x 6" ruler, Sharpie Fine Point Marker

Washable Glue Sticks
Small Embroidery Scissors
Aurifil Thread
John James Easy Glide Milliner Needles size 11

Clover Desktop Needle Threader
Clover Dome Needle Case,Stores up to 10 pre threaded needles.
Thread Heaven thread conditioner, prevents tangling

Since we are visiting EPP, you might want to get a Fiskars punch. They come in lots of shapes, the hexagons are particularly fun to work with. Save your Christmas cards and when the holiday is over, punch them up and you are ready to sew! These are readily available from Joann Fabrics, both in their stores and online. (use their coupons for a deep discount) They are also available online at They come in several sizes. Pair this with a pretty 2.5" packet of fabric, a washable glue stick and your quilter is ready to make some magic happen! 

Let's talk about basic tools some more. If you have a new quilter that wants to get started, there are several starter packets out there. They will need a good rotary cutter, a basic rotary ruler and a mat. 
I like this one from Fiskars. It has a 6" x 24" ruler, an 18" x 24" cutting mat and a rotary cutter. It's a good starter set for a quilter. You can find smaller rulers and smaller cutting mats but if someone is actually going to make a quilt, they will appreciate the larger mat. There are other brands out there and lots of places to purchase these items, so if you find a good deal, go for it! And remember, check for coupons, Joann Fabrics often has deep discount coupons and you can save up to 60% on these items. That link will take you directly to their current coupons. If your quilter already has a mat and cutter, extra blades are always appreciated!

Another foundational tool for a new quilter is a seam guide ruler. You can get these from Bonnie Hunter. You simply drop your sewing machine needle in the corresponding hole to check your foot and make any changes you need to obtain your 1/4" seam allowance. Perfect seams make for perfect piecing.

Bonnie Hunter Sewing Machine Seam Guide
Square up rulers are another good addition. A square up ruler lets you square up your work as you go along, making sure things are the proper size and squared up will result in a more pleasing quilt. They come in a multitude of sizes from 2.5" on up. For the average quilter I would suggest 3 sizes that are most frequently used: 2.5", 6.5" and 12.5". They come larger than that but these would be the most frequently used sizes. You can often find them in packs that will save you money if you buy multiple sizes at the same time.

Square Up Rulers

If your quilter already has the basics, you can add to their quilting enjoyment by gifting some fun rulers. Here are a few of my favorites:

A June Taylor Quarter Cut mat makes short work out of cutting stacks and stacks of fabric. You lay your strip out, and drop your rotary cutter into the appropriate slot and before you know it you have just cut several hundred squares the size you need! Stack several strips side by side and on top of each other, watch this little video demo:

Another one of my favorite rulers is the this little video below for a demo. This ruler gives your quilter so many options for creativity. 

Flying Geese have never been so easy when you are using Eleanor Burn's Flying Geese rulers. She has them in every size and she even has a pack with several in it and a fussy cutting square as well. Watch this little demo video below to see how easy and perfect your flying geese can be!

For a creative finish on a quilt, the Quick Points Rulers are a lot of fun. You can do a lot more than just finish your quilt with them. 
Choose from Prairie Points, Scallops and more. This little demo 
video will show you how. You will want to get the corresponding pusher and a Frixion Erasable pen for a complete package. The Frixion Erasable pen is wonderful, you can just iron it away when you are finished. Comes in a multitude of colors.

Quick Points Ruler
Quick Points Pusher
Frixion Erasable Pen

Pins and clips are great stocking stuffers. There are 3 types of pins that I use most. Regular glass head pins, Fine point glass head pins and Flat head pins. When you are piecing, the fine point glass head pins are really great for accurate piecing. 

Glass Head Regular Pins

Glass Head Pins Extra Fine

Flat Head Pins

Proper lighting is essential to good quilting. Ikea makes a great task lamp that is super flexible, LED and great light portable light for your work area. Under $10. it's a great buy. I have used mine for years!
Ikea Jansjo LED work lamp

Does your quilter have a featherweight sewing machine? You will want to get a thread stand. This can be used with most vintage sewing machines being placed in the oiling hole at the top of the machine. Allows you to use large spools of thread that you normally would not be able to use on a vintage machine.

Featherweight Thread Stand from Nova Montgomery

To maintain your vintage machine, it's good to have a great oiler. This one is my favorite, you can get a precise drop of oil exactly where you want it. Great for longarm machines as well! 
Precision Machine Oiler

Specialty sewing machine feet are nice to receive as well. A good Quarter Inch foot with a guide is really great! Make sure you know what type of sewing machine you are buying for. Get the make and model and if you are not still unsure, take a photo of the area where the foot attaches and take it to your local sewing machine shop, they can help you select the appropriate foot. Other notions in this realm would be extra bobbins, bobbin storage cases, sewing machine needles. All are necessary in sewing and quilting and would be much appreciated.

1/4" Quilting Foot with Guide
Would your quilter love a vintage featherweight, beautifully restored? Well, who wouldn't? Right? The folks at Twice Nice Sewing Machine Restoration have machines fully restored, painted, decals, ready to go. Or you can send in your old featherweight, they will tune it up for you and can paint it any color you wish! And they don't just do featherweights! They have a variety of machines in stock, ready to go, from traditional black to a multitude of colors. Pricing is fair and the quality is good.

Does your quilter fancy a longarm? May I suggest that you look at the new Handi Quilter Amara. It is well built here in the USA, designed by quilters for quilters. This machine is their newest longarm, it is a step up from the Avante which I have. All the same features, a 20" bed. Plenty long enough for the home quilter. Stretch your arms out in front of you, you want to be able to control your machine if you like to free motion, it is rare that you would have your arms outstretched as you would lose control. You don't need a giant longarm unless you are planning to go into the business of longarm quilting for a living. Pricing is reasonable, financing is available. 

Here is their demo video: 

That is the top end of the present giving...let's get back down to earth here and talk about fabric! Every quilter will love fabric. You can choose to give a gift card for a little quilt shop your quilter frequents. There are tons of online options.  If you want to actually pick out fabric, you may want to select precuts as they offer the most variety in a bundle and pricing. Precuts come in a range of sizes, here are a couple guides that will help you. Generally, Mini charms will be your least expensive and half yard bundles will run you the most. Fabric in these precuts will generally contain the entire line for that designer in one or more colorways, already pre-coordinated for you so there is no color matching to do on your part.

Okay, Santa's helpers...I hope this has given you just a few ideas to get you started on your gift shopping. Lots of great deals to be had out there! Be creative, bundle your goodies in a second hand thrift store basket or bowl, lined with a fat quarter of pretty fabric, tie it all up with a ribbon. Make sure to include some chocolate! Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

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