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5 Tips for Giving Quilts as Gifts

Do quilts make good gifts? Kind of. Here's a quick video with 5 tips for giving quilts as gifts:

Five Quilted Gift Tips

As you can tell from this podcast I typically experience a lot of guilt during the holidays due to feeling like no matter how much I've done, it never feels like enough.

My goal this year is to accept the challenge of the holidays and to enjoy all that they bring. Even more important, my goal is to ENJOY every day of December and that is a pretty tall order.

Here are the five things I’m doing to help make this time of year easier:

1. Don't let your expectations get the best of you.

It's great to give quilts as gifts, but sometimes this is a gift that people don't understand, or simply don't realize how much time and effort went into creating it.

As you are working on a quilt you plan to give away, remind yourself that the process is supposed to be something you enjoy. Don't make it a slaughter fest to get the project finished on time. Many times that will add extra stress and pressure to the project that makes it much more difficult if the recipient doesn't give you the reaction we were hoping for.

I've given quilts as gifts and gotten every reaction from tears of gratitude to a negligent shrug. It happens. Try to stay soft with your emotions so you don't get your feelings hurt if you receive a lukewarm reaction.

2. Make smaller handmade gifts.

It's far easier to quilt a small panel and turn it into a zippered pouch than piece and quilt an entire quilt top for several people. Zippered pouches are lots of fun and you can fill them with different smaller presents to best suit the recipient.

Click here to find my tutorial on making zippered pouches.

By keeping the gift smaller and utilitarian you'll likely get a great reaction from the person you're giving the gift to.

3. Pre-make gifts.

When I am on a roll making zippered pouches or stitching out embroidery designs, I rarely have a specific person in mind for the project. Instead I make lots of pretty things and stash them on a special shelf in my closet that's dedicated for gift giving.

This makes it so much faster and easier to put together gifts for Christmas. I simply pull out my stash of homemade projects and pick the best things for the particular person. I don't think you need to have a particular person in mind as you are making a gift for them. It's just as meaningful even if you stitched that project months before.

4. Stockpile extra items to give.

I've subscribed to a quarterly beauty gift box to help me with this goal of enjoying the month of December a lot more than I have in years past. Every time the box arrives I pull out things I like best. Then the items like hand lotion and specialty things that don't quite suit me go in the box for gifts. This way even if I don't have a handmade gift, I still have something I can put together to make a special present.

5. It's okay to not make everything!

For gifts to teachers and bus drivers and other helpers in my son's life I usually just give gift cards. It just makes sense particularly for teachers who have their own goals for the holidays and also have their own kids to buy for.

I hope you enjoyed these tips and will share a few of your own! Please share your ideas for quilted gifts and tips for making this season less crazy and chaotic in the comments below.

Let's go quilt,

Leah day


Once in a while I will give a baby quilt to a new mom and the reactions are mixed. The last person said to me “oh look, its a home-made quilt”. It took me a long time before I could really like her. The second child got a gift from Target.

Celia Donnelly,

I’m a new quilter,so I want to learn all I can. A friend has started me on small projects.I meet once a week with ladies at a sr.center the ladies are wonderful have helped and made me welcome.


I totally get this discussion on giving quilts as gifts. I have a general rule. I will make a gift for you once, if you give me the reaction I would like, then you get multiple hand made gifts. If not, then I don’t waste my time making a gift for you. This makes me happier and it “rewards” the folks that love what I do. I also have started to make quilts to donate to others. I made 2 Quilts of Valor (so far) this year as well as 3 quilts for fund raisers for dog-related not for profits. I won’t stop making quilts, and most of my friends already have one or several quilts now. This means I can still make all sorts of stuff and the recipients at the not for profits are really appreciative.

Jane Tutton,

Non Quilters and PEOPLE who do not know about quilting are called MUGGLES … ( Harry Potter) as they have no clue about the magic of quilting.
Some MUGGLES are not quilt worthy… if they do not care for hand made gifts they get cash and a card. I am very selective of who I give quilts to…


Great point Mimi! I find giving a new razor and razor blades is always a big hit.

Leah Day,

Men can also use little pouches (as long as they are in appropriate materials). Could be filed with toiletries, a favorite snack – even lottery tickets.


Thank you for the Reality Check !!! I tend to frazzle myself into a corner come mid December. Thanks for giving me the tools and guideline for a saner gift giving experience!

Lesley Morris,

Great question RW – what is your podcast player? If you have iTunes or the Apple Podcast app, you should be able to search for the name and it will pop up so you can subscribe there. Let me know if it’s not there or if you’re using a different player and I’ll set it up!

Leah Day,

Thank you Shellie! I’m so glad you’re excited to read Mally the Maker! Thank you for your kind comments – you really made my day!

Leah Day,

How do I subscribe to your podcast, so it shiws up in my Podcast app automatically, etc.?
I haven’t found you in that search so I’m asking here…
Love your email newsletters, looking forward to podcasts downloading!


I can’t tell you how excited I am about the “Mally the Maker” book. Next to quilting, reading is one of my favorite things to do and I know I’m going to love this book. I’m excited for the preorder to start. I really look forward to watching your podcast every week and seeing what’s going on in your world. Thanks for all that you share :)


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