Free Stuff Friday – Sew gifts for friends and family

Screen Shot 2014 02 07 at 9.27.57 AM Free Stuff Friday   Sew gifts for friends and familyIf you are ever at a loss as to what to make for friends and family, the book Sew Gifts: 25 Handmade Gift Ideas From Top Designers will give you all the inspiration you need. Packed with all sorts of sew-y goodness that anyone would be thrilled to receive. There are 25 projects all presented with a modern, fresh twist.

Answer the question below to be entered to win today’s giveaway.

What was the most memorable gift you made for a friend or family member. Or what was the most disastrous gift you made or possibly received.  Do give all the gory details on that one, please!

Plus, I  must announce the winners from last weeks FREE Stuff Friday plus, the Meet the Designer post featuring Jennifer Beeman!

For FREE Stuff Friday the winner is Debra J! She won the Amy Butler journal!

And for the Meet the Designer post the winner is Sandi G! And, she won the Mona Luna pattern, fabric and Scissor Buddy!

I will be in touch with you two ladies shortly so that you can send me your mailing addresses.

Happy Sewing!


 Free Stuff Friday   Sew gifts for friends and family

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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161 Responses to Free Stuff Friday – Sew gifts for friends and family

  1. Linda Rock says:

    I think the best one was the last one I gave. I used a large red tablecloth and embroidered a snowman family “tree” for my brother and his wife. What made it even more special was the fact that there was a child given up for adoption many, many years ago and they had since reconnected. I included that family as well. My sister in law was very touched.

  2. Sandi Sibona says:

    I have a best and a worst. I felt that I had to include them both because the projects are related to the same event.
    Most memorable – I made a patchwork wedding photo album for my sister’s wedding gift. I pieced together lace from our great-grandmother’s veil, fabric from our grandmother’s dress, fabric from our mother’s dress and buttons from my wedding dress. She was so touched that she cried for nearly an hour.
    Most disastrous – I was making a baby quilt for my soon to be born son. I had a candle lit on the shelf near my work table. I got up to go potty and the cat knocked the candle off the shelf and set the room on fire. Most of the room burned. The water from the fire hoses caused a lot of damage, including the hope chest which contained the wedding clothes of my Great-Grandmother, Grandmother, Mother, and myself. We all made it out alright, including that dang ‘ol cat.
    I used the salvageable parts of the wedding clothes to make the album for my sister.

  3. Jess says:

    I enjoy making blankets for baby showers. They are all memorable to me, setting the right on the parents faces at receiving a home made gift. I try to embroidery it with something personal as well.

  4. Marymartha Rose says:

    I guess the most memorial gift I have made is a baby bonnet for a friends baby who died.

  5. Sherry Houser says:

    I made a wedding quilt for my youngest son. Was my greatest challenge to make but was my greatest reward when finished. I also made a large photo memory quilt for my mom’s 75th birthday. It hangs on her wall in her bedroom proudly displayed for others to see because she was so proud of it.

  6. Lynn Hedlund says:

    It’s so hard to come up with just one…however it seems that all my sewn/crafted gifts to my family members are super special. From the sock monkeys for one DIL to the hospital gown for my other DIL (to have my second GRAND<–in a print w/pregnancy phrases, too funny!), to the blankets my GRANDS "have" to have. They're all SO SPECIAL
    I think handmade gifts are actually 3 gifts in one. You give someone something they can use or want and you give of your time making it and the love you put in it. That makes they all SUPER SPECIAL and why I can't just pick one

  7. Sandra balisky says:

    I made quilted rag alphabet letters for my baby when I found out I was pregnant :-)

  8. mattie hampton says:

    When I first started to sew a lot for my children I made a dress (long with under skirt with gathering up around bottom and a rose at each high area) this was to be worn at the junior and senior banquet meal, it had a sweetheart top, well she is about 4’11″ tall and weights about 85lbs, very hard to fit, the dress just over shadowed her as all you could see was dress. well it sorta fit looked humhum and bless her heart she wore it anyway because I had put so much work into it . I have become very good at sewing as I now have my own sewing shop and do proms and wedding etc.

  9. Angela Anthony says:

    Most memorable gift I made was a ‘family’ quilt for my parents. I typed up directions, cut fabric into blocks, and mailed them to all my siblings. Each sibling was to ‘decorate’ the block as a representation of themselves, and I also made a block for myself. A deadline was given so I could assemble and complete the quilt as a Christmas gift. The center block is a wedding photo of my parents and on either side is a photo of each set of grandparents. Despite my siblings not following directions and it taking 2 years to complete, the gift was a completer surprise and a ‘hit.’ Both my parents cried when seeing it and marvel over it still.

  10. Polly says:

    My Mother loved birds and when Alzheimer’s decreased her desire to go outside I made her a cloth book filled with embroidered birds & their names. I also added my picture printed on fabric hoping it would help her remember me.

  11. Jan Perry says:

    I love to sew EVERYTHING! If you are receiving a gift from me, you can bet part or all of it is sewn. My favorite has to be the quilts i made for my son’s Kindergarten teachers. I had the teacher’s assistant helping me with the teachers quilt on days she was out and secretly working on hers. When i delivered them the last day of school, she looked at me and cried. When i asked what was wrong, she told me that secretly she was jealous because (as a quilter herself) she wanted one too! WAHOO! I have stayed close to them since then and see that the quilts get lots of use are very loved.

  12. Jenny Sari says:

    I think my best make was a supprise gift I made my mum, it was a sheep related lunch bag, with the ’123 play with me’ fabric, she loves it so much and uses it every day, with all the pockets and little hanging sheep. I guess my fabric letters to my baby daughter where the worst idea ive made to date, started well with a floral print M, but the E was in a lower case and just looked horrid, needless to say, i stopped there and never finished her name off (really needed to be in felt not fabric) heheheeh but she loves them regardless :-)

  13. Terri says:

    I made a 12 gore spaghetti-strap tafetta gown for my little sister for her prom…at the last minute…. and used iron on hem tape for the huge hem…. you can imagine how that worked out… plus, I didn’t take the extra time to double/triple stitch the straps… thankfully that was not the disaster it could have been! She loved the dress anyway and had a fabulous prom… and looked so beautiful.. lesson learned, no shortcuts!

  14. Jane Meier says:

    Many years ago I made a family friend a tiered square dance skirt, each layer trimmed differently. My little featherweight machine was back in my dorm room at college, so I sewed the seams, trims, ruffles and all on the old White treadle machine. I made that machine go so fast my friend’s husband commented that I didn’t need an electric machine.

  15. Nicole says:

    The most memorable gift I have made was the blanket I made my niece. It started as a slipcover for her playpen mattress, and once she outgrew it we added some batting and sewed up the open side. She now uses it as her everyday blankie.

  16. Sandy says:

    Before I quilted, I made a three block wallhanging for my sister-in-law representing her family’s move from Oklahoma and Arkansas with a house in the center. I think she was truly touched. That project sparked my love for quilting!

  17. Donna Ehle says:

    The most memorable gift was to my mother. I machine embroidered a fall scarecrow wall hanging for her. When she was diagnosed with colon cancer and returned home from hospice she went into comma. She was out of state and I was advised it would not be long before she would pass, so I asked my sister who was with her to take that wall hanging and as I spoke to my mother my sister would take her hand and fingers and trace them across the stitching. The feel across her fingers and my spoken words would let my mother know it was me there for her. It was the hardest time in my life, but we were so close in the sewing room bouncing ideas off each other, I knew she knew it was me. Love you Mom!

  18. JANET MALONE says:


  19. Rachel B. Provencher says:

    My Most Memorable Quilt ~ 1992. When my husband and I had been married 24 years, (now 48), I decided to make him a “Storm at Sea” quilt, to honor his Navy time, and love of the ocean. I had decided to hand piece the quilt (so many triangles) and on our 25th Anniversry, I presented him with the quilt. Of course I immediately took it back, and for our 26th Anniversary, I handed him the completely hand quilted Beauty. I still hand quilt but have never hand pieced another quilt.

  20. Debra mann says:

    I’m still new to quilting and have many projects I plan on making. One of them is going to be a quilt from scarfs and shirts to remember my sweet Momma who passed away from breast cancer 3 years ago. She would be so proud because she tried to get me to sew years ago and I am just now learning how. You don’t realize how important it is until your Mom is gone. Sorry this was so long. Thank you.

  21. Marilyn Sanchez-Bonilla says:

    I am new to sewing and tried to make a blouse from one of McCalls patterns. The fabric was gorgeous and I believe I did a good job at the project. That was, until I tried it on. I hated it, it was not flattering at all and I looked like a balloon. I guess the fabric choice was not right and it does not help that I am flat-chested :-) . It got sent to the thrift store where I hope it found a good home.

  22. Phyllis Shafer says:

    I made a memory quilt for a student to give to her mother of pictures of her mothers childhood and her mothers parents. When given to her mother as a Christmas present, tears flowed. Glad to help make memories.

  23. Kelli says:

    I made my sister an Alaskan themed wall hanging for the wall going up stairs. By the time I was done it was the size of a door. Thank goodness it was going in a large area. It turned out perfect for the area. My sister loves it & everyone who has seen it, wants it.

  24. joe helen grimes says:

    Most memorable was the three quilts I finished from blocks and quilt tops we found in our sister’s sewing room after she pasted away. None of my sisters suspected what I was doing and were greatly surprised to get a treasure from our deceased sister.

  25. Sue L says:

    I made a sherpa backed pink suede coat for my 7 year old grandaughter. It had lots of seams that were sewn with wrong sides together so the sherpa showed on the outside of the coat. It was proudly worn for most of 2 winters and she got lots of compliments She still has it somewhere in her closet.

  26. Brittany Rambo says:

    I tried to make some Aladdin-y type shorts. I was new to sewing and thought I was smarter than I was and didn’t pay close enough attention to the tutorial. Long story short, I made the worst butt-less chap tie shorts. They were hideous and completely beyond saving. It was awful! My friends and I still laugh about them!

  27. Elan Schneider says:

    I made a t-shirt quilt (first quilt) for my son, using t-shirts from Jr HS thru Iraq. I wanted to put a sashing (I learned a few terms while doing the construction) in between but thought 1 inch sashing was way too small so I went for 2 1/2 inch sashing. This quilt went from a large twin to king immediately. My son liked it so much that he will not allow it to be used until they get rid of their cats. The cats were starting to tear it up.

    I was asked by a church friend to construct a wedding dress for their daughter. They were making the bridesmaids dresses and didn’t want the stress of the brides dress. They had chosen the fabric, an ivory bridal satin and a heavily embrodierd organza as the overlay for the top. The design they wanted was not complicated but she had some restrictions; sweet heart neckline (40′s style) and elbow length sleeves. She planned to wear her cuddle dudes (modern day long johns) underneath her dress. She loved the dress when it was done and she wanted real buttons so I gave her a crochet hook to get in and out of it.

  28. Donna N. says:

    I think each quilt I’ve made for my grandchildren are special. I’m working on #6 now.

  29. Joella says:

    For my parents 60th wedding anniversary, I surprised them with a picture quilt wall hanging I had made with pictures printed on fabric and titled “Precious Memories”. It included their baby pictures, wedding picture, pictures of them with daughters, their home and other memorable pictures.

  30. Tammy says:

    I made a pillow out of a nurse uniform with bible verses and pockets on it. I gave it to a friend who is a Christain Nurse that works with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patients as a “Thank you” gift. Thank you for the opportunity! :)

  31. Lori says:

    I made a vest for my brand new baby nephew. So intrucate, knitted, cashmere, took forever. I made the armpit holes too small for chubby baby arms. Fail.

  32. Julie Partridge says:

    Have just made my friend for her birthday a personalised apron in a lilac/mauve check, with her name embroidered on the pocket, with a contrasting flower on the other. She has just changed her theme colour in her kitchen & this will match nicely. She was pleased with her gift.

  33. Lynda Atwood says:

    I made a king sized quilt for our bed. It was all my favorite colors. It turned out great. I was one of my first quilt projects.

  34. Barbara says:

    The most memorable gifts I made were robes for my children when they were small.
    My daughters was a deep purple trimmed with white eyelet with ducks on it her blankey was called ducky

  35. Donna says:

    My very first thing I made….. I made a baby quilt for my friends 1st grand daughter !!!!! and she loved it <3

  36. I recently made a wonderful quilted tote bag for a friend of mine for Christmas, tiny little squares of blues and purples with a deep blue/dragonfly rayon lining. It was beautiful and I actually thought about keeping it :) !

  37. Jae Avenoso says:

    I’ve many gifts over the years and my most favorite had to be the frilly dress and matching doll dress I made for my 8 year old niece. I enjoyed every stitch knowing she would love dressing her “my twin” doll to match her.

  38. Faith K says:

    The most memorable thing I ever made was a prom dress for my daughter that I started the night before the prom, since we changed the fabric idea, and went to the fabric store before it closed at 9 pm. I sewed all night, and the next day, but it was ready and she wore it to the prom and loved it.

  39. Dawna says:

    The most memorable gift I guess that I sewed was my youngest daughter’s wedding dress. The most stressfull thing I sewed was the same dress. I can’t recall any disasters

  40. Susan Dugan says:

    Every Christmas my mom and I used to hand stitch sequins on a kitchen towel (or felt kit) that was the following year’s calendar. It took ages to stitch on all those sequins and seed beads, so we started in the summer! We both loved them for the love that went into each one. She still had every one I made for her when she passed away. It has been many years, but I still have one of the calendars she made. It’s all dusty and faded, but I still love it.

  41. Cheryl says:

    The most memorable gift I ever made was 3 little girl’s flower dresses for the daughter of a very special friend’s wedding… They were so cute all alike, just little cuties walking down the aisle a flutter of yellow chiffon. My friend ask me if I would make the dresses for the wedding and so I did, but when Amy tried to pay, I told her that was my gift to her for the wedding… She was like the daughter I never had… her face and tears of joy and thankfulness were priceless… and so was the hug I got… She was a beautiful bride and the flower girls were precious.

  42. Sherry Kelly says:

    My most memorable gift I made was for my Dad. He loves sailing so I made him a quilt with tall ships, curtains and pillow shams to match. He loves it and still has it on his bed!

    The least favorite gift I made were dog coats. Made them to the pattern and they were huge! They could have fit a medium size dog instead of a small dog!!

  43. Pam Pike says:

    The most memorable gifts I’ve made have been memorial pillows for my family. I made quilted pillows for my 5 siblings, 4 of my fathers grandchildren and my Mother this past Christmas using fabric strips from my fathers clothing. He passed away suddenly a year and a half ago. In addition to these pillows I’ve also made Christmas stockings, and baby items using fabrics from other deceased loved ones. I love the thought of having something they wore close to us everyday. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  44. JoAnn L. says:

    Many of the quilts I have made for my family. Some of which I designed. The most challenging was a wedding wall quilt for a nephew that had “Faith, Hope, and Love” in English AND Chinese, along with their names.

  45. Melissa Quinn says:

    I just made a gorgeous circle felt wreath for my grandma. Its very tough to buy a gift for an 85 year old, especially when a lot of other people are buying too. So I figured she would appreciate it I made her something. Not only did it come out great but she loved it.

  46. Marlene says:

    I made house slipper socks to go with pj’s I made for my grandsons. One pair turned out great, the other pair was made of a fabric that didn’t have enough stretch and he couldn’t get them on his feet!

  47. Sheila Albright says:

    The first gift I made was for my mother back in middle school. It was a gold colored apron with pockets across the front. Even though Mom has passed, she still kept the apron hanging in her kitchen and used the pockets to hold plastic bags, clothes pins, tape and scissors to keep them handy.

  48. Bonnie Hensley says:

    The most memorable gift I’ve made was a flannel shirt I made for my grandfather for Christmas when I was about 12. He wore that shirt every day for several days, and my Grandmother had to sneak it away to wash it! Made me feel so good. (we won’t talk about how long ago that was; let’s just say you only needed a dime for a pay phone)

  49. Kristy says:

    My most memorable gift sewn for family was my first quilt, an I-Spy for my kids. Still very much loved! :) Thanks for the chance!

  50. Jeanette B. says:

    I made a wedding dress for my future daughter-in-law. We bonded while
    shopping for fabric , lining and underlining. The biggest challenge was the fact that
    she lived four hours away, and was not there for fittings. I had to rely on her
    measurements and a dress form. Luckily, the dress turned out beautifully. To my
    dismay, though, she chose to wear navy tennis shoes with the off-white dress.