There’s no getting around the fact that gift-giving season is almost upon us!
I don’t know about you, but since I spend so much of my time sewing, dyeing and working with surface design, I always love getting gifts that are creative and sewing or surface-design related. And I particularly love it if they’re also fun, new and interesting.
So if you’re stuck for ideas to put on your Santa Shopping List, then browse below where I’m sharing some of my personal favorite creative sewing and surface-design related products. There’s something to suit every kind of budget.
Creative Machines and Accessories
Good sewing always starts with a good sewing machine, and at the moment you can’t go past this Brother sewing machine for value. I used to have a Brother sewing machine many years ago (I currently use Janome) and it was a sad day when it died, however this model is currently one of Amazon’s best-sellers with over 7,000 rave reviews and a deeply discounted price. If I didn’t already have a back-up sewing machine, I know I’d be all over this one.
Find it here on Amazon.
A carry case for your sewing machine also makes a great gift and I use one of these Tutto cases which has wheels, an extended handle, a metal frame, and lots of room for your sewing machine plus accessories. It has lots of pockets and straps, and when you get tired of pulling it around you can sit on it. I don’t know if they actually recommend using it as a seat, probably not, but it works for me. I’ve had my case for about 10 years or so and I’ve dragged it all over the country in and out of airports, through snow and rain, and it still holds up well. Highly recommended. It comes in various sizes so you can pick the one that’s big enough to fit your sewing machine. The one I have fits my Janome MC6600P which is a quilting machine with extended bed space – there’s lots of room. Find it here on Amazon.com.
I have to include the Cameo Silhouette on the list because it is so! much! fun! I use this machine to cut all my stencils and fabric appliques and what used to take me sometimes hours, now takes only minutes. Although there is a bit of a learning curve, once you get the hang of things it’s super easy and fun. You should also consider getting some extra cutting blades both standard blades and fabric blades. These blades are the same except the fabric blade has a blue casing which makes it easy to identify so you can keep it special for use with fabric. Find it here on Amazon.
Creative book recommendations from my library
Books always make a great gift and these are some of my favorites. They includes lots of creative techniques, ideas and inspiration.
Creative Surface Design
There is nothing more fun than playing with surface design techniques. Fabric painting and dyeing, stenciling, making marks, creating surface texture and design are fun and creative.
The Creative Cloth eBook Bundle is a collection of four of my top selling eBooks and includes techniques, tutorials and projects for my favorite surface design and embellishment techniques:
– Exploring Decorative Machine Stitches
– Exploring Fabric Paper
– Exploring Handmade Beads
– Repurposing Dryer Sheets
You can find the eBook Bundle here in my online store.
Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Paint is one of my favorite paints. This type of paint is transparent, and very runny and free-flowing similar to dye. It’s perfect for all types of fabric painting particularly where you want a water-color effect or you want the colors to blend into each other the way dye does. Also great for silk painting, airbrushing, tie-dying or simplified batik techniques, and can be applied using a brush or sponge. Find it here on Amazon.com.
If you’re wanting to add a touch of sparkle to your fabrics, you can’t go past Jacquard Lumiere paint which is a metallic paint that can be used not just on fabric, but on other surfaces as well. It can be applied using a brush or airbrush, and used with stamps and stencils. It’s my favorite metallic paint. Find it here on Amazon.com.
Shiva Paintstiks are self healing oil paint sticks that can be used to color fabric in many different ways and are particularly useful for making rubbings and for stenciling. They can be made permanent on fabric by heat-setting. Available in matte and iridescent
Although Photoshop CS is the industry standard for photo editing, it can be quite complicated to learn. Photoshop Elements however is way easier and way cheaper and offers more features than you’ll every need to use. I create all my digital art using Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. The current version – Photoshop Elements 14 – can be downloaded directly from the Adobe website here, or you can find it here on Amazon.com.
EQ7 is a design program that is primarily used by quilters, but it also has lots of additional features that may not be quite so well known which makes it a great program for designing in general. I use this program for designing not just quilts but other types of sewing projects as well, and it has really good tools for working with images and photos that can be printed and used in your projects. The program is quite intuitive and the only downside is that sometimes it’s difficult to tear yourself away from it! You can find EQ7 here on the Electric Quilt website or here on Amazon.com for Windows and here for Mac.
Creative Shopping – Gift Cards
Gift cards may not be very creative in themselves, but you sure can have fun doing some creative shopping with them.
With an Amazon Gift Card you can shop the largest online store in the world! My personal favorite.
If you love to make gifts for others, here are a few free eBooks that you can download that contain all sorts of sewing and quilting projects that you can give as gifts.
Or take a Craftsy class or two and learn how to make something special