Sunday, November 17, 2019

Holiday Gift Guide for Quilters

Now is about the time I start figuring out holiday presents for family and friends, and pulling together my wish list. If you or someone you love is a quilter, I have some ideas (affiliate links included)....

Without thread, nothing is getting sewn together. That makes it a list topper here. I have a whole lot of Aurilove, so I'm recommending the Necessities Large Aurifil House Collection Thread Box for piecing. You really can't go wrong with Aurifil in any color of 50 wt.

Pressing is a major determiner in block flatness, so having a really nice iron makes all the difference. I treated myself to an Oliso a few years ago, and haven't looked back. I love that it pops up so there's no need to prop it up on its hindquarters between each and every block unit. No more scorched ironing board covers! Now there's an Oliso mini iron that even includes steam. The cord wraps neatly around its attachable trivet, and it can hang up when not in use. It's prefect for compact sewing areas and workshops. I did need to prime the pump for the steam feature. So on the first use, compress the steam buttons several times to get the water through the system. Oliso is running some specials so be watching...

Black Friday deals all running from 11/29 - 12/02 at midnightGet 40% off Vacuum sealers and SmartHubs with code: BLACKFRIDAY40! 
Get 30% off TG1100 irons (gray and orchid) with code: BLACKFRIDAY30! 
Get 20% off everything else with code: BLACKFRIDAY20! 

Cyber Monday deals all running from 12/02-03 at midnight 
Get 35% off Vacuum sealers and SmartHubs with code: CYBER35!
Get 25% off TG1100 irons with code: CYBER25!
Get 10% off everything else with code: CYBER10!

OLFA tools are Fat Quarter Shop's notions of the month and are priced 30% off in November. Hurry, because supplies are being depleted quickly with this sweet of a deal. I recommend the new navy mats (the bigger, the better) and a Splash 45 mm. For bonus points, throw in an Endurance Blade replacement.

Speaking of tools, you can even outfit your quilter while feeling quite handy. Harbor Freight gives you some great excuses to make cross-applications. Pick up a 4" Magnetic Parts Holder, and call it a pin dish.

Refer to the 20" Rolling Tool Bag as a sewing machine travel case.

Speaking of travel, I always take the Omnigrid Quilter's Travel Case. One of these outfitted with the essentials would make you a jolly right elf. Add the Ultimate Sewing Notions Kit along with a rotary cutter and some snips.

To up a quilter's Half Square Triangle game, the 6.5" Bloc_Loc and a rotating mat are key. They are a nice addition that makes life oh so much easier.


All quilts need batting. I'm a fan of The Warm Co. and their moderatly priced, quality products.

This one is a bit of a giveaway, but a nice machine is a real game-changer. When I started quilting, I thought more stitches must mean a better machine. Later on in my quilt life, I realized that what matters more is a beautiful straight-stitch, speed, an easy to acquire 1/4", and throat space to get a bigger quilt through. A knee lift, an automatic thread cutter, an automatic needle threader, and a large extension table are gravy. The Juki TL 2010Q is a favorite straight-forward quilting machine price under $1,000.

Janome makes a very reliable machine too.

Personally, I'm a Bernina girl. The 530 is a nice pick.

For those who want to edge into long-arm territory, Sewing Machines Plus has a November special (currently over 50% off) on the HQ Sweet 16 that includes the table overlay and Truestitch Regulator. They also carry full-fledged long-arm models.

If your quilter is all set with a great machine, the next step is furniture. Arrow makes a nice selection of choices including the Aussie II, which extends to 31.5 square feet of sewing space or can pack down into an inconspicuous cabinet.

As an educator, I'm all about the gift of learning. Consider wrapping up a year's membership to a local guild, or a subscription to a learning platform such as Creativebug or Bluprint.
Quilt shops tend to have awesome sells at the onset of the new year, so a quilter can stock up their stash if they are at the ready with a giftcard to their favorite quilt shop. Set them up for success in 2020, while letting them pick up whatever specific materials and notions they've been longing for. I'm on the look-out for a Fat Quarter Shop special on gift cards just before Christmas hits.

For the aspiring quilt designer, or really anyone who like to reverse-engineer or customize quilts, EQ8 is the go-to software. You can scan in fabric, draw up designs, calculate fabric requirements, print templates, and a multitude of other amazing functions. All my designs go to EQ8, where I make images I can pull apart in Inkscape to write my patterns. I really couldn't do what I do without EQ.

Those are my big ideas for now, but I'll update if I hear of more specials or come up with other great ideas.

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1 comment:

  1. Afton, Thank you for this gift guide list. It's perfect! Serves as a great reminder that my quilting friends may not be using these tools or need replacement. Also for myself to perhaps treat me to something new.