Free EBooks



Blog Archive List


Recap of Spring International Quilt Market/ Salt Lake City & Free Fabric!

19 May 2011

Update to this post! Fabric winner announced at the bottom of this entry. More giveaways coming Wednesday!


Despite consistently dreary, rainy days with highs in the lower 50s here in Sudbury, MA, the calendar does indeed say it's May, and that means time for Spring Quilt Market! This year it was held in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah, where the flowers were in full bloom.

While the sun shone outside, everybody was hustling and bustling on the show floor inside the convention center. And our very own Lindsey Murray (standing) attended her first-ever Quilt Market. (With her is Managing Editor Helen Gregory as she completes some last-minute proofing on her computer before walking the show floor.)

I have a real knee-collapsing weakness for Kokka fabrics. I love these totes I saw in their booth:

And check out their viewmaster fabric! I bought a yard of it at the Cincinnati show, but I can't bring myself to cut it up yet:

I finally got to meet Alissa Haight Carlton (on the left below), founding member of the Modern Quilt Guild who also made a gorgeous quilt we featured in Quilt Scene last year. She has a fabulous book coming out very soon with C &T called The Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee. You wont want to miss it!

I'm thrilled to share that Mary Fisher, fiber and mixed-media artist and world-renowned AIDS activist, at long last has her first two fabric lines out with Troy Fabrics.

 Based on her watercolor work, her fabrics are both vibrant and graphic, and available in a variety of color ways:

 Marcia Derse, also a fabric designer for Troy, has her fourth line of fabric out this spring. I gobble up every fat quarter I can find by her...

See what I mean?

Check out my brief interview with Marcia

All in all, I had a wonderful time at Quilt Market. I met a lot of new designers, got some great ideas for upcoming editorial, and even got to eat a lot of chocolate. (HandiQuilter, local to Salt Lake City, very generously hosted a reception fit for kings and they had not one, not two, but three chocolate fountains!)

Lastly, I came home from Salt Lake to a fat box of Moda Fabrics. I love this "Terrain" bundle by Kate Spain. Anybody want some?

OK, answer the following question in the comments area and I'll pick a winner on Monday. My question: My mom came out to visit with me in Salt Lake before Market so we could spend Mother's Day together. She's what you'd call a fun mom. Here we are at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame last fall during the QA TV taping in Cleveland:

We both have Big Birthdays this year, and hers is next month. She does a lot of painting and needlepoint, but she is thinking of getting back into quilting. Be still my heart! She doesn't have much in terms of supplies, however. I know the basic stash-building stuff to equip her with, but I'm curious what quilting tool(s) you'd get your mother on a Big Birthday to encourage her to take up art quilting.

Answer away!

****Blog update! Congratulations to DebraB@8! Please email Lindsey Murray ( with your shipping address. Thanks, and thanks to everyone for your fantastic gift suggestions!

Related Posts
+ Add a comment


Jamie Fingal wrote
on 19 May 2011 11:15 AM

A Martelli cutting mat and non-slip ruler, Havel's comfort rotary cutter, their 8" scissors and a big stack of fat quarters in bright vibrant colors.  A coupon for a quilting lesson from you, the daughter.  Mother/daughter birthday bonding!

goonybird wrote
on 19 May 2011 11:25 AM

A Twister and Lil Twister!

robinnn wrote
on 19 May 2011 11:37 AM

I'd get her a Go! Baby and selection of fun dies. :)

DebraB@8 wrote
on 19 May 2011 11:41 AM

Fabric paints and stamps or stencils, and some hand-dyed fabrics. Also some embellishments, such as beads, sari scraps, other fibers. And good quality scissors, both large for fabric cutting and small with pointed tips for thread.

pambiswas wrote
on 19 May 2011 11:43 AM

shiva art paint sticks, some dye pens, cheryl's hotfix crystal tool and crystal stash in all colors and sizes, a set of Quilt Art magazines including one of every issue.  That about does it!!!

lrond01 wrote
on 19 May 2011 11:47 AM

I would get her a sewing machine and a pair of good scissors (and a few threads!) I'm sure your mom has some fabric hidden away somewhere in the house that she can practice on.

carolecoxen wrote
on 19 May 2011 11:49 AM

Of course a good rotary cutter, mat, seam ripper, some fun threads and a magazine subscription to 'Quilting Arts' to keep her motivated and inspired!!!

on 19 May 2011 11:57 AM


jazzmomma wrote
on 19 May 2011 12:03 PM

I would give her a Bernina Sewing machine, rotary cutter, cutting mat, and lots of thread and batting.

LindaS@41 wrote
on 19 May 2011 12:13 PM

I agree with everything I've seen in the comments so far - also might consider a good supply of decent cotton batting (I'd recommend Quilters Dream) and, if she is wanting to be a hand quilter, a good hoop from Grace.

:) Linda

lecamry wrote
on 19 May 2011 12:14 PM

To get her started, I would give her a copy of Art+Quilt by Lyric Kinard, Art Quilts At Play by Jane Davila & Elin Waterston, and Creative Mixed Media by Sherrill Kahn.  Then, some PFD fabric and a gift certificate to the Interweave store, and she could play with all the techniques suggested in these books, many of which use common household items to make stunning quilts!  Happy Birthday to you both!

on 19 May 2011 12:15 PM

I would give her a nice and easy book on beginning Art Quilting. Invite her over to my home to go through my fabric stash as well as my notions stash to take what she wants and needs then help her out with her first Art Quilt.   She always needed a little push to try something new and different.  Thank you for the pictures and Quilt Market update!

Nancy B.

lecamry wrote
on 19 May 2011 12:17 PM

I would give her Art+Quilt by Lyric Kinard, Art Quilts at Play by Jane Davila & Elin Waterston, and Creative Mixed Media by Sherrill Kahn, along with some PFD fabric, a gift certificate to the Interweave store.  Then she could experiment with all the techniques in these books, many of which use common household items to create stunning quilts.  Happy Birthday to you both!

imzadilover wrote
on 19 May 2011 12:17 PM

This may seem overly simplistic, but I just discovered Sewline Glue sticks, and I love them! they are so versatile, and the skinny width of them makes it easy just to glue the edges of, say, reverse applique/stained glass, and since it dries clear, and washes out, and is easy to sew through, I'm really happy to have found it! I'm looking forward to finding out if their other products are just as awesome, and you could get her the little gift kit (aprox $40) which includes "one each of the following items: Fabric Mechanical Pencil White, Lead Refill Black, Water Soluble Glue Pen, Blue Eraser Stick, Fabric Mechanical Pencil Trio, and Sewline Pencil Box."

on 19 May 2011 12:19 PM

I would give her a nice and easy book on beginning Art Quilting. Invite her over to my home to go through my fabric stash as well as my notions stash to take what she wants and needs then help her out with her first Art Quilt.   She always needed a little push to try something new and different.  Thank you for the pictures and Quilt Market update!

Nancy B.

on 19 May 2011 12:19 PM

I would give her a nice and easy book on beginning Art Quilting. Invite her over to my home to go through my fabric stash as well as my notions stash to take what she wants and needs then help her out with her first Art Quilt.   She always needed a little push to try something new and different.  Thank you for the pictures and Quilt Market update!

Nancy B.

on 19 May 2011 12:19 PM

TJAPS - Handmade stamps - they would be so much fun!

on 19 May 2011 12:27 PM

Sorry about triple posting, some times my phone had a mind of its own!!!! Thanks again for posting updates, nice to see what I missed.

Kirsten72 wrote
on 19 May 2011 12:34 PM

I would get my mother all the issues of quilting arts (but yours probably has seen them already) then I would let her pick her favorite article or how to and buy the ingredients for the both of us to make together!

Happy upcoming birthday!

B.Smiling wrote
on 19 May 2011 1:13 PM

For any hand quilting, I'd say Aunt Becky's finger protector, which has directions for VERY SPEEDY quilting technique that is untraditional and saves your wrist and fingers simultaneously. Also, the lap quilting frame they offer is wonderful. :D HAPPY BIRTHDAY'S TO YOU BOTH!!! :D

KarenHelen wrote
on 19 May 2011 1:27 PM

I remember what I first purchased to start my quilting hobby now turned obsession. It was a rotary cutter and a large cutting mat and a ruler. Now I rarely use the ruler...but I definitely still use my cutter and mat.  Of course, any of the fabric mentioned in this blog would be nice too!

cathy tyler wrote
on 19 May 2011 1:27 PM

Happy Happy to you both!  I'd get her a fun pair of grippy garden gloves to use when machine quilting and two yards of Wonder Under!

Cathy Tyler

Lindy101 wrote
on 19 May 2011 1:49 PM

Besides the obvious QA & CPS magazine subscriptions? Forget the tools!  A mother/daughter trip to take a class @ Missenden Abbey would be MY idea of died and gone...You said it was a BIG birthday. :?}

on 19 May 2011 2:10 PM

shiva paint sticks,  screen print beginning set-up, textile paint, prepared fabric...and maybe a wonderful wide format printer that prints with pigment ink.  Then there are things like an assortment of brushes and other necessary tools for surface design.  Can't go wrong with DVD's from artists who have appeared on your show-or how about just all of the dvd's of all of your past shows and a promise to demonstrate in person!  That would be the best gift a mother could ever hope to have; time with her daughter.  Hugs and Happy BIrthday both of you

on 19 May 2011 3:49 PM

I would buy art quilting books to give her inspiration.

iloveart wrote
on 19 May 2011 4:07 PM

Knowing that she enjoys painting is a big help.  I'd get her 5 yards of PFD Kona and/or Pimatex fabric, rubber gloves, laminate apron, and plastic drop cloth.  Lutradur, TAP, Silicone Release Paper, and Wonder Under.  A variety of fabric paints and inks, sponge brushes, nylon bristle brushes, and painter's tape.  Aurifil thread and Dream Cotton Request batting.  Black pearl cotton and/or embroidery floss.  And don't forget good needles!  I guess that's a good start!

Thanks for the great pics from Quilt Market.  Looks like you had a great time!

reginabdunn wrote
on 19 May 2011 4:21 PM

A nice big cutting mat and a rotary cutter. A nice supply of freezer paper for making stencils and an exacto knife with blades.

on 19 May 2011 4:32 PM

A bolt of PFD Fabric to play with!

aluze wrote
on 19 May 2011 7:06 PM

A wire bound art pad with pencils and set of color pencils, used to doddle. Also  a camera, small in size so she can keep it in her purse, used to capture the WOW  that would make a neat quilt moments.

DebbieM66 wrote
on 19 May 2011 8:09 PM

I use my parent's address for most of my mail order. I get a call from my mother announcing book arrivals, usually with a comment that there's lot of interesting things in this book. I'm thinking that if she ever decides to retire, it's the books that will get her going.

jabotquilt wrote
on 19 May 2011 8:51 PM

Embellishments - ricrac, buttons, jewels, ribbon, crystals and the lot of what is out there.  Put it in a big sectioned craft box so it looks like a rainbow of embellishment candy when she opened it up.

quilties wrote
on 19 May 2011 8:52 PM

Paintsticks!!  And for sure some rubbing plates or stencils to go with them for quick and easy beautiful fabric she won't be able to resist playing with. They are my mom's favorite art quilt tools, that's how I know! :)

coollabtech1 wrote
on 19 May 2011 9:30 PM

I would give my mother a bendable bright light to attach to the sewing machine so she can see better while sewing. It works wonderfully for me..

Jody Johnson wrote
on 19 May 2011 10:41 PM

I'd get her a colour wheel and some inspirational books. My latest purchase is "The Art Quilt Connection" forward by Linda Seward.

on 19 May 2011 11:00 PM

A 12-inch roll of Mistyfuse and 2 large goddess sheets, a nice selection of Superior threads (Nature colors?), a couple pairs of Havel scissors, a Bernina 440.

Now that is a mega birthday prezzie.  A nice, fun quilting workshop with a cool instructor at a fun place.

Carol DK wrote
on 20 May 2011 12:01 AM

I would begin with a rotary cutter and large, large mat.

Vreni2 wrote
on 20 May 2011 12:27 AM

I probably get her a few inspiring books as well as some fabric to get her started. Of course a sewing machine and all the normal tools would be good too.

woodsew wrote
on 20 May 2011 1:31 AM

I would give her a new  pair of applique shears , a comfortable rotary cutter,  freezer paper, curved rulers,

to both of you a very Blessed Birthday Year

LindaB@117 wrote
on 20 May 2011 5:03 AM

I would get her a sketchbook, a 2H pencil, a fine line marker and a pan of watercolors... she can "play and decorate" her pages to her heart's desire - as if she were making her very own art quilt. Once she's done and happy with it, she can choose a page (or pages!) that really speaks to her and begin to translate it into her original art quilt!

~Linda B.

debdidit wrote
on 20 May 2011 5:41 AM

Now she wants a Felting Machine just like mine!! She wet felts, needle felts, but now loves mine, and we GOTTA HAVE EVERYTHING JUST ALIKE!! We are fun together...just like I bet you and your own Mom are!! HAVE FUN!

on 20 May 2011 6:19 AM

I would get my Mom a cuttung mat with a good cutting wheel.

Love the fabrics. But being the shopper I am I would probably bring her a

whole tote full of fabric, threads, a bolt of 805, a good iron  and toolsof the trade. Not just one thing. Who can stop at one.

on 20 May 2011 6:22 AM

Happy BIrthday to both of you.

ow could you just give her one thing. I would bring my mother a tote full of fun fabric, thread, good rotary cutters, embellishments, a good shears and a good iron.

granmabev4 wrote
on 20 May 2011 6:43 AM

I guess she already has a subscription to Quilting arts so a cutting matte, rotary cutter, some cool fabric, the Twelve  by Twelve book, fun threads, beads, buttons, trim and a weekend retreat for you both.

Bev Longford

Jeanelle@5 wrote
on 20 May 2011 8:45 AM

Immediately I would get her all the back copies of Quilting Arts and a subscribtion!

thefergusons wrote
on 20 May 2011 9:45 AM

I know it seems obvious but she'd have to have a good sewing machine and a good iron. Happy Birthday to both of you and just have fun together!

Best wishes from Africa and thanks for all the tips and freebies.

on 20 May 2011 10:23 AM

To everything listed above - add LOTS & LOTS of colored threads and needles to handle them!  H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y to you both ! ! ! !

pjmockit wrote
on 20 May 2011 10:57 AM

I would see to it that she had rotary cutting tools and supplies. I remember her sitting in front of the tv in the evening with a pair of scissors cutting out fabric shapes by hand.

LuAnnKessi wrote
on 20 May 2011 2:29 PM

Your Mommy needs a Bernina.

All things are possible when you own the BEST sewing machine on earth!

LuAnn in Oregon

whitney12 wrote
on 20 May 2011 8:37 PM

I actaully got my mom a subscription to Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine.  She's very creative with the paper and the scissors but not really into the cloth!  I am hoping this will change her mind...

barbaramary wrote
on 21 May 2011 5:07 AM

I'd get my mother a membership to AQA and  tickets for both of us  to Houston Quilt Festival, the best show for  inspiration

Mary Mc wrote
on 21 May 2011 5:40 AM

I'm from Cleveland hope you had a good time here. I would give your mom a subscription to your magazine, lots of pretty threads,esp soom metallic ones, zipper rolls, toile, water soluble interfacing,and fabric paints.

melasurej wrote
on 21 May 2011 5:53 AM

I would acquire a pretty basket (Longaberger?) and using my own favorite hand-dyed and embellished fabric (for inspiration, of course!) I would line it.  I would fill it with a rolled-up cutting mat, rotory cutter, and sewing supplies, such as scissors, quilting pins, seam ripper, etc.  I would add beatiful beads for embellishment, a variety of packets of dyes, a few favorite stamps and lengths of silk and muslin, folded origami style.  Top it off with some wonderful tea bags and a pretty teacup, with saucer.  And don't forget a couple candles in her favorite scents.  Then shrink-wrap the selection and tie with a big bow in her favorite colors.  And don't forget a pretty hand-made card!  While I know your Mom will enjoy whatever you give her, it's your personal touch that she'll treasure the most!

vandyscamp wrote
on 21 May 2011 5:58 AM

Get her a gift certificate to a large independent fabric store, like our Fabric Depot here in Portland, Oregon; round trip airline tickets for her and you to that location; and plans for a mother/daughter trip to pick out the fabrics for her special birthday memory quilt.

Tami15 wrote
on 21 May 2011 6:06 AM

A good rotary cutting mat and ergonomic (is that the right word?) cutter were the first things that came to my mind. But I would also want to add a gift certificate to a really great quilt shop (even though that's probably not really a tool :)).

anniedehgan wrote
on 21 May 2011 6:45 AM

A rotary cutter, a rotary circle cutter , a revolving mat, and a regular mat.

A good ruler with all the angle lines and lines down to 1/8th inches.  You didn't ask about supplies but if the above things were my gift, then I would also need a bundle of kimono remanants, some beads and some fancy threads to begin my

experimenting .

bkulpins wrote
on 21 May 2011 6:55 AM

I think a girls weekend together. Just the two of you working on a quilting project together. What could be a better gift then spending more time together doing the thing you love best with the one you love.

on 21 May 2011 7:05 AM


I would get your mom a cutting mat and rotary cutter,the regular and the wavy,good pair of scissors and some batiks in different colors,bright and muted,to start.If she has no sewing machine,then get her a good simple Bernnina,

also give her a coupon for a class her choice.Enjoy!

Tamar Drucker

on 21 May 2011 7:09 AM

Setacolor Soleil Sun printing kit from Dharma Trading Co., and a playdate with you, natch!--Eleanor Levie

quiltobs wrote
on 21 May 2011 7:28 AM

Goodness!  I read through and now have a new (and very long) shopping list.  Fun!  A retreat of whatever length your schedule can allow to share together.   It could be the two of you or whatever environment speaks to you.  Choose a specific technique to play with and then make a finished something with some of your product.  The gift part is your time, your sharing, and a launching point for a wonderful shared hobby.  Too much equipment and or supplies can be overwhelming to someone tiptoeing around the edge of a new process.

Tin wrote
on 21 May 2011 7:35 AM

I believe the most important tool is the sewing machine.  I didn't relize how much I struggled with my old machine until I replaced it.  I got the best that I could afford and everything about quilting is better.  I enjoy the time I spend at the machine (not as fustrated) and I'm more productive and gaining confidence.  Also, I would included an assortment of good needles and good thread.  Lucky Mom and happy birthday to both of you!

mcglen8 wrote
on 21 May 2011 7:50 AM

Cutting mat, rotary cutter and a gift certificate to her LQS

Carol Sorvig wrote
on 21 May 2011 7:54 AM

long handled tweezers (so helpful in picking up tiny threads and pulling up the bobbin thread when it is short); fabric roller (to pick up all threads and lint on fabric before sandwiching and quilting and then after quilting); a combined bag and large pin cushion that sits next to the sewing machine (to poke your pins in as you sew and then put all cut threads in the bag which sure helps to keep the floor cleaner). And lastly a lovely combination pack of fabrics in her favorite color

A wonderful birthday to both you and your mom

on 21 May 2011 7:57 AM

For a stimulating and fun birthday, I think you should put together a slide show of art quilts. Have your Mom pick out her favorites and those techniques she would be most interested in trying. Then I would schedule a trip to a show or retreat or class where you could take a class or classes to learn/review the techniques together. Since this is a brig birthday time, I would follow up with a weekend away that allows you to spend time exploring the newly learned and additional techniques without interference from every day life. At the end you would have memories and possibly new quilts to commemorate your big days.

wohlmandjjt wrote
on 21 May 2011 8:05 AM

The basics of course; cutting mat, ruler and a Martelli (ergonomical) rotary cutter. Books to inspire art, my favorite right now is Art Quilt Workbook by Jane Davila & Elin Waterston. Then a retreat for the 2 of you:).

MartiZ wrote
on 21 May 2011 8:08 AM

You just have to give her a stash of fabric!  Forget the tools!  Start her on that habit and she'll love you forever or your ears will be burning every time she adds to the stash.

debbycruises wrote
on 21 May 2011 8:15 AM

I would take her on a mini shop hop and give her gift certificates to each one we visit. That way when she sees what she likes or needs, she can buy it right then and there. I'd also sign up for a class with her for a project she is really excited about!  Oh, and lunch would be in there somewhere as well!

sharbigsky wrote
on 21 May 2011 8:22 AM

Give the lady a great sewing machine, a BIG gift certificate to her local quilt shop for classes, fabric and notions, and most of all give her your time and praise.  She will soon love this creative art form.

melonkelli wrote
on 21 May 2011 8:35 AM

A nice big cutting mat and rotary cutter, new shears and a cutting table.

mcandre wrote
on 21 May 2011 8:36 AM

how about an "inspiration book" you've created for her to get her going with some blank pages so she can add her own images.  plus a favorite quilting publication or class you've chosen for her=all wrapped up in a mini quilt of your creation!

MarilynMS wrote
on 21 May 2011 8:45 AM

I'm totally dependent on my GO! cutter and my Slice Fabrique now.  They are wonderful tools that cut with so much accuracy it almost makes it imposible to mess up....and the amount of time they save is amazing.

Marilyn in San Antonio, TX

rgathers wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:10 AM

Besides the basics like cutting mat, rotary cutters, etc... You should help her create a "space" in her home for quilting.  A nice table is always necessary where everything is handy...and a copy of a beautiful quilting book with lots of pictures with a notebook to create inspiration pages.  I don't have a book recommendation for art quilting off the top of my head, but I'm sure you do!  ;-)

jeangolden wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:13 AM

First, I would make her an art quilt depicting many of the countless things I have learned from HER over the years. I"d add to that 4 or 5 simple practice sandwiches, and show her how to "drop those feed dogs" and feel that freedom! A couple of simple prefused appliques. A variety of 4 or 5 threads to get started with! I don't think it's a brand name that inspires the will to quilt! I do think it is the responsibility of each and every artist to show, share, and inspire where ever we can to promote and prolong the life of our art form. Oh... and she'll try everything when she has become a full blown junkie! Then I'll show her the good stuff! Happy Birthday and wishes for many, many more!

Duane Wiley wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:15 AM

You are the best gift your Mom could have!  Spend special time with her doing the Art Quilts, plan a quilting weekend or retreat together and let her get the inspiration to really want to move ahead into quilting!  Then, all the suggestions that have been submitted will be on her wish list.

Susan Strong wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:21 AM

I think a great gift would be a retreat with some hands on instruction in some of the many different techniques used for art quilting.  It's one thing to have all the stuff, it's a completely different thing to feel comfortable using it.  Knowledge can be the best tool.  

Redrockslady wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:22 AM

Threads, yarns, and fusibles are the tools she could use.

sellison wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:25 AM

How about an inspiring book -- something along the lines of Lyric Kinard's "art + quilt."  Then I'd add a good pair of scissors, and some fusible [wonder-under, etc].

secrowe1 wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:39 AM

Although my mother is passed away your question got me thinking... And brought a smile to my face as I imagined getting my mother interested in art quilting. Definitely a comfortable rotary cutter and mat.  Of course a subscription to quilting arts so she could see what its all about. I'd encourage her to go thru the magazine and choose a technique that interests her. Focusing  on that I'd get her the supplies needed.  then I'd get together with her and play with that technique and see where it took her.  Happy Birthday to you & your Mom!

Miss Amy wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:45 AM

I have two favorite tools to suggest. I love my finger pin cushion - it makes removing the pins while sewing so much easier. The other item that I love, is the Fiskars 12 inch Fabric Strip Cutter. It is just like the one that I have for paper and works like a charm. I think that a sweet gift for her birthday (if you have the time) would be for you to design a small project/pattern with her in mind and make a kit with the fabric already cut for her.  It is so easy to jump into a project once the fabric is cut.  It might be just enough to get her back into quilting. Happy Birthday to both of you!


char.s wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:48 AM

I would give her a rotary cutter and the largest possible mat that fits in her workspace.  And, if money is no object, I'd take her shopping to pick out a sewing machine that suits her best.

on 21 May 2011 9:58 AM

My parents passed away when I was very young, so I am thinking instead of what I would give my granddaughter if she becomes interested in quilting.  Definitely a rotary mat and cutter, sewing machine, thread, and gift certificate for beginner lessons at a local shop.  I would love to teach her myself if she lived close.

suew001 wrote
on 21 May 2011 10:39 AM

I'd give her a coupon book of two hour time slots with me that she could redeem whenever she liked. That way she has both my time and full attention and access to all my supplies!

thimblequilt wrote
on 21 May 2011 10:52 AM

I know that my Mom would really like to spend some time with me doing just about anything together.  First I would make sure she has a good up-to-date sewing machine.  If she has that, I would take her to a retreat and buy her the supplies necessary for it.  I know she would love to meet other like-minded people and the hands on instructions from the leader and other participants would make her an instant addict.  Plus the added bonus of receiving new friends is the greatest gift of all!  And if she doesn't have the sewing machine I would get her that.

fredab7 wrote
on 21 May 2011 10:58 AM

What better then copies of Qilting Arts and Cloth, Paper, Scissors.  Just kidding because I am sure she sees them already.

I would say take her to a local quilt show where she may get inspired then first she needs a cutting mat, cutting tools, good pair of scissors, etc.

It will be nice for you both to be quilting at the same time.  You can help her along.



on 21 May 2011 11:28 AM

Even more time together such as a trip to the International Quilt Festival in Ireland.  Then I would slip in a Sizzix machine and Patsy Thompson's dies along with some varigated threads.  How fortunate you are to be able to share this time with your mom.  Happy Birthday to both of you!

bigredyek wrote
on 21 May 2011 11:42 AM

I think she would enjoy creating her own fabric with fabric dyes, stamps and paint sticks.

Charlotte Key

kaylanilee wrote
on 21 May 2011 12:20 PM

I would bless her with a bag of scraps! it is something that a new quilter needs but hasn't yet accumulated!

Kim Graham wrote
on 21 May 2011 12:35 PM

I'd get her some Angelina fibers, paintsticks and rubbing plates, some of Laura Murray's rubber stamp sets and stencil templates,  some hand dyed or other interesting fabrics, and some metallic threads.  That should be enough to entice anyone!

jph wrote
on 21 May 2011 1:05 PM

The best quilting tool is a digital camera to record textures, colors, lines, forms to provide inspiration for your designs.

Happy Birthday to you both!

Jill P

hehe24 wrote
on 21 May 2011 1:16 PM

Since I just started quilting, and am about the same age as your mother, I'd suggest you get her the things I got myself to start. Two excellent books on quilting, a fat quarter of wonderful art quilting fabric, enough batting for a lap or twin size quilt, and fabric for the back. And most importantly, I'd promise your services whenever needed to get her started so she doesn't have to fumble around on the web to find tutorials that are helpful. She would enjoy that the most of any gift you could get her, and it would make you feel good, too, even though you're terribly busy.

Happy birthday to both of you!

on 21 May 2011 1:41 PM

Tools are not the inspiration you are looking for, I feel.

I think one should focus on visual ideas like a quilting arts magazine subscription, post cards of great art quilts, posters of art quilts, small prints of photos or great artists to interpret in fabric like, Morris Louis or Matisse or Picaso to put around her work space. My favorite is Hundertwasser, all of his works inspire color and creativity in what ever your form of expression.

nstephen wrote
on 21 May 2011 2:03 PM

Since your mom has already done some quilting and you’re planning to provide her with basic equipment, I suggest that you “woo” her with inspiration! A copy of Art Quilt Workbook: Exercises & Techniques to Ignite Your Creativity (by Jane Davila and Elin Waterston) will get her creative juices flowing. Your mom is a painter and does needlepoint so she’s a natural for surface design adventures. Give her one of Jane Dunnewold design books, perhaps her classic Complex Cloth: A Comprehensive Guide to Surface Design, or her newer Art Cloth: A Guide to Surface Design for Fabric. Discover what techniques and media are especially enticing to her, and follow up with a lavish shopping spree on the Quilting Arts website. And don’t forget to give her a copy of your upcoming The Best of Quilting Arts: Your Ultimate Resource for Art Quilt Techniques and Inspiration. Before you know it, she’ll be hooked.

CBArtTeach wrote
on 21 May 2011 2:24 PM

To encourage your Mother to start quilting again, I would get ther the Shape Cut (slotted ruler) by June Tailor.  What a wonderful time-saver, besides being so very accurate!  I cut over 200 5 1/2 inch squares  in about an hour - not bad when you consider it was my first time using the tool!  Great for cutting strips for bias binding, too!

Lois Moran


PCMomwad wrote
on 21 May 2011 3:06 PM

I'd start with good quality basic tools, like a Clover seam ripper, a good pair of 5" scissors, an Olfa cutting mat and a Martelli rotary cutter, plus a variety of rulers.  A basket of trims and embellishments would be fun, too.

scheibach wrote
on 21 May 2011 3:13 PM

A good light to sit by her sewing machine or favorite chair when doing hand work! I'm around your mom's young age and it's all about the light.

DMc77 wrote
on 21 May 2011 3:23 PM

I would get my mom all the basics to honor her return to quilting.  After the basics of a cutting mat, different sized rotary cutters and the necessary rulers, I think your mom might enjoy the materials to combine her painting with quilting.  Fabric paints, stamps, and coordinating materials would give her everthing she needs.  Happy Bithday to you both!

knitsue22 wrote
on 21 May 2011 3:42 PM

Assuming she doesn't have any equipment, I would give her a cutting board, cutting wheel, and various sized templets and rulers.  I love my 12 1/2 square.

Sue P

GailP@8 wrote
on 21 May 2011 3:54 PM

a 1/4 inch foot and a walking foot for her machine

Kay West wrote
on 21 May 2011 4:08 PM

I would get her a gift card from a quilt shop, take her too lunch and spend the afternoon at the quilt shop picking out what she needs, It would be nice if a class was going on so she could feel the special feeling we all get. Have fun !!!!!!!

2rs wrote
on 21 May 2011 4:37 PM

I relate to a trip to Fabric Depot in Portland, OR - I always find something I didn't know I needed!

Actually, my immediate thought was a design wall if she has enough space - even a small one will do.

Great picture of u 2. I'll bet most people think you're sisters!

Happy Birthdays!

Jay19 wrote
on 21 May 2011 5:58 PM

Rotary Cutter!!!  Large cutting mat!!  Gift Certificate to her favorite quilt shop full of Yummy fabrics!!!!

profmom wrote
on 21 May 2011 6:00 PM

I would get her a good light, so she can see the wonderful project that she will create.   Then I would get her a good seam ripper.

stootle wrote
on 21 May 2011 6:30 PM

I would get my mother a pack of self-threading needles, some embroidery floss and a six pack of colorful fat quarters.  I would get her sewing machine serviced and buy her a pair ergonomic scissors and an ott lite with a magnifier.  All of this will help an 84 join the world of art quilting.

Happy Birthday to you and your Mom.

crowsystr wrote
on 21 May 2011 6:48 PM

I think a Bernina 830 or 820 with either rack or table, the fiskar applique scissors (they are wonderful), and a week for two at Asilomar with someone fun! (I would pick Mary Lou Weidman)

hiscreation2 wrote
on 21 May 2011 6:49 PM

Oh, first she has to have the machine and it needs to be one that is easy for a beginner to use and yet gives amazing results!  That will get her hooked.  I wouldn't want it to seem too overwhelming.  Then it would be good cutting tools, templates and a cutting table that is the proper height and can fold away.  After that, a trip to the fabric stores to Ooooh and Aaaahhhh over all the pretty stuff!

on 21 May 2011 7:31 PM

What wonderful sugestions so far! I'd love to spend a crafting (or shopping!) weekend with all of you! In addition to all the above, I'd print some treasured family photos and quotes on fabric, and add some fun coordinating fabric, thread, and embelishments.  

mommykvamme wrote
on 21 May 2011 7:41 PM

I'd get her an iron that doesn't turn off!  I got one recently at the Grocery Store in the clearance bin for $3.99.  It's wonderful to have a no frills steam iron that is ALWAYS HOT!

sweetannie2 wrote
on 21 May 2011 7:48 PM

The week before the "big" birthday, I would spend a day together in vintage/resale stores searching for items to incorporate into a "day before" art quilt - broken watches (signifying time) or jewelry, old bobbins, buttons ... anything with texture that makes you both smile.  The day before her bd, create something - it doesn't have to be elaborate or large & DATE it.  Whenever she looks at it, it will remind her of when "I was still in my 40's", for example :)  Faith.  

Jay19 wrote
on 21 May 2011 8:04 PM

Rotary Cutter!!!  Large cutting mat!!  Gift Certificate to her favorite quilt shop full of Yummy fabrics!!!!

mckee wrote
on 21 May 2011 8:17 PM

TIME TOGETHER! It's a great gift for both of you.

You won't always have that. Spend a weekend away from it all. Make the effort to take the time. If you're looking for a gift, a digital camera to record the time together is great, and is super for quilting, too. Use it all weekend to record quilting techniques and special moments.

sewz4fun wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:26 PM

I would give my mom a collection of vibrant hand dyed fabrics, some colorful variegated threads and some lumiere fabric paints with a variety of brushes and stamps.  And the best gift of all would be a special mother daughter play session to work on your projects together.

SusieCO wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:43 PM

How lucky you are to have a mom, and one that might be interested in this process.  I'd get her a trip for two to CREATE in Chicago, and you could help her choose the classes you'd attend with her.  CREATE in Costa Mesa has just been excellent!

judy@126 wrote
on 21 May 2011 9:49 PM

I would buy my mother a great pair of sissors, a mat, a rotary cutter, but I would make sure she had a good working sewing machine so she could sew without stress!

on 21 May 2011 9:49 PM

My mom, sister and I just recently had a "girl's weekend" at a city not far from where I live. We spent one evening making inchies and had a great time. So I'd suggest filling a backpack full of fun stuff to use and spending some time together making a little art quilt.

on 21 May 2011 10:04 PM

I would give her a rotary cutter and self healing matt.  Oh and I would also give her a bundle of fat quarters in her favourite color.

debbypatz wrote
on 22 May 2011 6:22 AM

I would get her a subscription to Quilting Arts magazine.  She can be inspired all year long and learn new techniques at the same time.

NancyV@13 wrote
on 22 May 2011 7:35 AM

A good ruler and fabric markers, along with good, sharp scissors.

Kathyw2010 wrote
on 22 May 2011 7:46 AM

I would give her a cutting mat and a couple of rotary cutters, and, of course, a couple of jelly rolls to get her started!!

wandaclacko wrote
on 22 May 2011 10:43 AM

I would sign us both up for an upscale quilting retreat where they offer massage, hot tubs, yummy meals, classes, and quality time with your fabric. Buy a basket of fabrics in her favorite colors, some books, the basic tools, and you're good to go! Hmmm....maybe one of those quilting cruises!

Kathy@178 wrote
on 22 May 2011 10:45 AM

A copy of The Quilting Arts Book, of course, and some spectacular threads.  Oh, and include a variety of good sewing machine needles so that stitching glitches don't hamper her enthusiasm.

KarenDH wrote
on 22 May 2011 11:03 AM

If it is something you could afford, a quilting get-a-way for the two of you to your favorite quilt designer.  You would get to spend time together and learn something new at the same time!  Time is the one thing we are always short of, so spending time together is the best for memories to look back on.  I know my mother passed away when I was in my early twentys, but the memories are still with me!  On that note, have a great birthday both of you!

:)  Karen H  

on 22 May 2011 11:04 AM

Take a quilt cruise together and ditto "iloveart's" suggestion of PFD fabric, dye equipment, embellishments, and both of you dig in and do.

on 22 May 2011 11:08 AM

Take a quilting cruise together and also use "iloveart's" suggestion of PFD fabric, dye equipment, and embellishments for you to continue creating together.  

on 22 May 2011 11:36 AM

Tickets to Quilt Festival in Houston!

on 22 May 2011 11:37 AM

I purchase two tickets to Quilt Festival in Houston!

on 22 May 2011 11:39 AM

I would purchase a subscription to Quilting Arts Magazine!

dfmrobinson wrote
on 22 May 2011 1:10 PM

A Janome !

Kathleen70 wrote
on 22 May 2011 1:23 PM

A dragonfly stencil and some lovely lumiere paints, dragonfly colors of course, including a translucent iridescent for the wings.

Linda Rosen wrote
on 22 May 2011 3:30 PM

A shopping trip together with YOU!

scutso wrote
on 22 May 2011 4:21 PM

An ipod/stereo with your best music to quilt by!

Wen5 wrote
on 22 May 2011 7:17 PM

I would give her a set of non-slip rulers and coupons for "free lessons" with her daughter, and, how about a mom/daughter mom and I would play!

bekkaleigh wrote
on 23 May 2011 3:09 AM

An assortment of needles for hand sewing and another assortment for machine sewing plus a reference guide for needles and a good storage case to keep them in, then add a variety of threads to go with them!

on 23 May 2011 9:35 AM

After seeing Marcia Derse's summer fabric line, a collection of fat quarters would inspire would entice any creative Mom to take up art quilting --- who can resist the tactile joy of fondling such beautiful fabric.  Oh and perhaps a similar stash for yourself with a personal quilt challenge for you and your Mom.... how much fun would it be to see what both of you come up with from the same fabric stash.  Happy Birthday and Happy Quilting!  

Mahlica wrote
on 23 May 2011 11:00 AM

I'd give my mother what I value most for my creativity. Time. Taking a few things off her to-do list will free her up to spend more time experimenting.

omri wrote
on 23 May 2011 12:17 PM

Tools for my mom: she does knitting, crochet, already so I'd get her needle felting equipment first, then some amazing yarns/fibres.  I'd also get her some wonderful fat quarters to add to the project.

on 23 May 2011 12:32 PM

I would give her a round or oval quilting hoop on a stand.  if she doesn't like that she can trade it in on a large quilting frame to go in her sewing studio.

TIPPYT wrote
on 23 May 2011 3:08 PM

A Rotary cutter and mat, and lots of fabulous thread and frilly yarn!!!