a gift guide for quilters (and a few tool recommendations)

The holidays are fast approaching, and gift guides are popping up all over the place. I've loved the gift guides for quilters that Amy from Diary of a Quilter has published over the past few years, so I wanted to put together my own list of go-to sewing tools and favorite quilting-themed gifts. I'd also love to know what tools and gifts are on your holiday list this year, so be sure to share them in the comments below. 

The Kwik Klip is a basting tool that helps you easily close safety pins when pin basting your quilting projects. This tool has definitely sped up my basting process, and reduced the soreness in my fingers caused by closing hundreds of safety pins in an afternoon!

I use my hera marker all the time to mark quilting lines in my quilt tops. I've had mixed results with marking chalk and pens washing out of my projects, so I enjoy having the peace of mind knowing that this tool will only leave a temporary crease in my quilt top, and not a colored line.

Pincushions are a must, and my favorite are the beautiful crocheted linen ones by Namolio.

I've been using a felt-backed vinyl tablecloth as a design wall for the past few years and I love it. I simply tack it to the wall with flat-head thumbtacks, and it holds my WIPs without a problem. It's also super easy to take down whenever we move.

Patchwork key fobs, with tiny flying geese, are perfect for both quilters and non-quilters alike!

A quilt block rubber stamp is just too cute to pass up.

The classic Olfa 45 mm straight-handle rotary cutter works for both left-handed and right-handed quilters (and ambidextrous folks like myself!), which makes it so useful.

Wonder Clips are handy for so many things, including binding quilts and holding together projects layers that are too thick for pins.

I've loved having a quilt block letterpress calendar by Lineville Letterpress on my desk this past year, and this year's colorful version is equally stunning.

Cotton thread from Connecting Threads is my favorite to work with, and the large spools are a great price.

A sewing machine is a definitely at the higher end of the gift-giving spectrum, but I have two recommendations in case you're feeling extra generous: the Janome Jem Gold (perfect for first-time sewers and those looking for a lightweight back-up/travel machine) and the Juki TL-2010Q (an investment for sure, but a workhorse of a machine).

Happy shopping!


modern sampler quilt along: block C link-up

The Modern Sampler Quilt Along is an informal and virtual quilt along where we make a block from Yoshiko Jinzenji's Modern Sampler Quilt pattern each month. You can follow the hashtag #modernsamplerquiltalong on Instagram to get a peek at everyone's blocks, fabrics, and progress, as we work our way through the pattern together. On the last Tuesday of each month, we gather here to share the blocks we've made; this month we worked on Block C from the pattern.

Welcome to our third link-up for the Modern Sampler Quilt Along! This month's block was a bit of a departure from previous months' blocks---there were curves!

Block C features a cup and saucer, and I opted to construct and sew my cup using needle-turn appliqué. I cut out templates of the shapes (adding in a seam allowance), which I used to cut my fabric. I then basted my fabric shapes to the background and hand stitched the edges, turning them under as I went.

How did you piece Block C? And which block has been your favorite so far? I'd love to know!

If you've never tried needle-turn appliqué before, Carolyn Friedlander's book, Savor Each Stitch, is a great resource to get you started.

1. Click the "Add your link" button below, and link to a blog post or Instagram photo of your Block C. In the "Link Title" field, enter your blog name or Instagram handle.

2. If you're linking to a blog post, please link back to this post somewhere in your post. If you're linking to an Instagram photo, be sure to tag your photo with the hashtag #modernsamplerquiltalong.


amish hourglass baby quilt

After making this mini Amish hourglass quilt, I was itching to make another, larger, one---so I did!

This version features a combination of an American Made Brand navy solid and scraps of solid white, and slightly larger hourglasses. I really love the simple and graphic look of this particular design, and I enjoyed revisiting it (and I foresee more in my future!).

The back is a Dear Stella ikat print from my stash, and the quilt is bound with a navy-and-light blue Cotton and Steel plus-sign print, which I picked up on a recent visit to Quilted Threads, a local quilt shop.

This quilt will be available for sale at The Maker's Waypost, a curated shop in Whitinsville, MA, which opens next Saturday!


oversized log cabin baby quilt

Lately, I've been playing around with the log cabin block, experimenting with scale, color placement, and improvisational piecing. This quilt is the first result of my efforts: an oversized log cabin baby quilt. I selected a simple color palette of navy, cream, and peach for the quilt, using American-made solids for the top.

Wanting to maintain the quilt's simplicity, I quilted it with a grid, using cream thread.

The back, a super soft Nani Iro double gauze, is my favorite part. It's so soft and squishy! For the binding, I used Bonnie Christine fabric left over from my circles and triangles wall quilt.

This quilt will be available at The Maker's Waypost, a new shop in Whitinsville, MA, which opens Saturday, November 28. The shop will be carrying a number of my one-of-a-kind quilts and patchwork pillows, so be sure to stop by if you're in the neighborhood!