Holiday gift ideas abound
Much of my Christmas shopping is finished by now. With the first blast of winter cold this past week, I’d much rather stitch by the fire than jostle other folks in the checkout lines, then scramble to find my car in a parking lot sea of shimmering metal masses.
Thanks to an early holiday party and a Secret Sister who knows what fellow quilters need, I’ve already opened one of my best gifts this season.
It’s a battery operated, portable LED light you wear around your neck while doing needlework. It keeps your hands free, and you don’t have to position yourself close to a stationary lamp in a certain room.
The light also has a magnifier that can be attached for detail work.
The gadget is called the Beam and Read Plus Magnifier LED6 Light.
If you like to read in bed and don’t want to disturb a partner, a special filter reduces ambient light for that purpose. It retails for less than $30.
For some of my quilting projects, I also have a portable Ott-Lite task lamp. You can never have too much light.
If you’re still wondering what to give your favorite quilter or crafter, here are a few ideas:
1. Inn-Spire Plus by Innovative Craft Products is a stabilizer that can be molded with the heat from an iron. The possibilities are endless — ornaments, boxes, napkin rings, vases and pretty batik leaf-shaped bowls. Suggested retail price is $13 for a package measuring 18 inches by 45 inches.
Go to http://www.innovative-crafts.com for project ideas.
You can find the Natural Inspirations Leaf Bowl pattern at http://www.poorhousequiltdesign.com.
I have seen both in local shops.
2. Do you like those barn quilts but don’t have a barn? Classic Metal Co. makes “Barn Quilts for Your Home” in 1-foot and 2-foot sizes.
These laser-cut steel versions of classic block patterns can be displayed on the outside of your home, garage or shed, or they can decorate the inside of your house. Choose from Bear Paw, Blazing Star, Dutch Rose and others.
Visitors will have no doubt that “a quilter lives here.”
Online price starts at $29 for 1-foot size, $59 for 2-foot size (http://www.classicmetalcompany.com).
These also are available locally.
3. Here’s a double-sided adhesive that does not require an iron and adds structure to any project. Phoomph for Fabric by Coats and Clark bonds to cloth with pressure from your hands and fingers.
It’s available at http://www.coatsandclark.com/phoomph in eight colors of soft or stiff weight for $2.99 per 9-inch by 12-inch fabric bonding sheet.
4. Monogram buttons by Swirly Girls Design for Dill Buttons have nine holes in each for sewing whatever letters you desire. The buttons come in two shapes, three sizes and fresh, yummy colors. The 60mm sizes sell for $2.50 each.
They are an easy and fun way to make an alphabet quilt, spell names or wish friends a Merry Christmas.
Free projects are offered at http://www.swirlygirlsdesign.com.
5. The Diva Custom Cord Maker, by Fiber Goddess Connie James, is a small weaving tool that makes artistic-looking cords from seven or more fibers. Beads can be added to your fiber designs.
Flexible spools are used to make jewelry, purse handles and other decorative items.
Prices start at $17. Go to http://www.fibergoddess.net.
6. The Quick Ripper by J. Michelle Watts Designs looks like a beard trimmer, operates by battery and rips seams faster than you can imagine.
The tool is lightweight and reportedly works especially well for longarm quilters.
The price is $21.95 at http://www.jmichellewatts.com, where you also can watch a video demonstration.
I don’t know if Mrs. Claus is a quilter, but I’ll bet Santa can make some of these gift items appear under your tree this year.