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Gifts for Your Quilting Family and Friends

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You don't have to be a quilter to choose fun and useful gifts for your quilting family and friends. There are gifts that nearly every quilter loves to receive -- even if they're duplications of items that are already in the sewing room.

What are your quilter's favorite colors? Does your quilter ever mention a certain brand or type of fabric? How about tools and equipment? Do a little snooping in the sewing room and listen to your quilter's conversations about favorites.

1. Portable Truecolor OttLite Lamp

Portable OttLite Lamp
Image Courtesy OttLite
Ott-Lite's are tops with quilters, and this version simulates natural light, perfect when it's time to match fabrics (and see clearly, of course). The lamp's energy efficient tube lasts up to 10,000 hours. The lamp folds up for storage and has an automatic on/off component. The link takes you to a nice assortment of OttLites.

2. AccuQuilt Go Baby Fabric Cutter

AccuQuilt Go Baby Fabric Cutter
Photo Courtesy AccuQuilt
Weighing just eight pounds, the AccuQuilt Go Baby fabric cutter will cut through up to six layers of fabric (4 - 6 layers is common for quilting fabrics, less for flannel and denim). It's compatible with more than 60% of the company's GO! dyes. This cutter is not as versatile as company's larger models. Be sure to verify which shapes are included with any cutter you purchase.

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Compare prices of other AccuQuilt cutters and accessories.

3. Fat Quarters of Fabric

© Janet Wickell
Quilters love fat quarters, quarter yard cuts of fabric that measure 18" x 22" instead of the 9" x 44" of a standard quarter yard of fabric. The larger chunk of fabric gives quilters a lot more options for using them in their quilts.

Local quilt shops nearly always have pre-cut fat quarters for sale, so pay attention to your quilter's favorite colors and head to the shop. If you aren't a quilter ask staff for help with your selections. You'll probably find that staff and customers will jump in to help you find something that's just right.

Once you have them, fold the fat quarters into stars.

4. Mary Ellen's Linen Water Mist

mary ellen's best press
Photo © Janet Wickell
I haven't tried all scents of these products, but can tell you first hand that the Best Press Lavender Fields is excellent. The spray doesn't leave a sticky, icky residue on your fabrics and it smells wonderful. I can't wait to try the linen closet spray, and the other pressing scents sound heavenly.

5. Moda Jelly Rolls

Moda Jelly Roll
Photo © Janet Wickell
Moda comes up with some great ideas -- like their jelly rolls. Each roll is wound with 2-1/2" wide strips of selvage-to-selvage fabric strips, perfect for many popular quilting patterns. Moda even creates patterns for use with its jelly rolls (which will also work with your swapped noodle fabrics).

Each roll is themed, and some quilt shops offer a Jelly Roll of the Month program to keep you in the loop. These strips (sometimes called noodles) are also a good way to preview new fabric lines before buying longer yardages, but don't wait too long or the jelly rolls and bolts will all be gone.

6. Bundles of Hand Dyed Fat Quarters

hand dyed fabrics
Photo © Janet Wickell
I found this pretty bundle of hand dyed fat quarters at the City Quilter in New York, NY. There are ten coordinating fabrics in this group, but you'll find that CQ has lots of other choices (different sizes of bundles, way more colors, different fabrics -- including wools). The shop has an online catalog, but give them a call for items like this.

7. Electric Quilt 6

Electric Quilt
The newest Quilt Design software from Electric Quilt. Version 6 is a powerful helper for quilt design. Use the built-in designs to create a quick quilt, change the pre-designed versions as much as you like, or start from scratch with a clean palette. Designing your quilt in EQ6 gives you an excellent view of the finished product -- no more surprises after all of your fabric is cut.
Related Video
Hand Quilting Techniques
Quilting Quick Tip: Make an 8-1/2" Square Template
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