If you tend to wait until the last minute to get things done (or if life is just so busy that’s where things often end up!) today’s quick gift ideas are for you. These gifts are fast, fun and special.

We want to wish our U.S. readers a very Happy Thanksgiving today. We hope it’s a day full of good food, laughter and togetherness. We are thankful for you!

Today’s Guest Curator: Allegory from A Thousand Needles

Growing up in Kentucky near Hancock’s of Paducah meant that Allegory Lanham was exposed to quilting at a very young age. She ignored it for years, choosing instead to focus on garment sewing. The desire to sew something flat for once hit her in college and she hasn’t looked back since. She now teaches sewing and quilting classes in Atlanta and tries to manage her epic to-do list at A Thousand Needles. Allegory writes that she’s “always armed with a Nintendo DS and a glue stick,” and she loves gummi bears, fabric and sewing!

Make It


Journal Covers
Rachel’s Journal Covers at Stitched in Color are designed to fit composition books. Allegory adds, “Covered journals always feel incredibly special to me. I love places to make lists or sketches or jot down ideas… These also work as great last minute gifts for children when packaged with a box of crayons or colored pencils.”


Lined Drawstring Bag
These Lined Drawstring Bags from Jeni at In Color Order only use a little fabric and are so useful. Allegory writes, “This tutorial (and the additional pattern with alternate sizes) is my absolute go-to last minute gift every year. The bags are quick but handing over something handmade always makes a bigger impact than a store-bought bag. I like to fill the smaller ones with handmade lotions and soaps from a local boutique for a quick gift with impact.”


Whole Cloth Quilt
Our Whole Cloth Quilt from Gretchen of Eight Thousand Pounds Over the Sea for Sew Mama Sew is a quick and easy way to feature fabric you love in a cozy quilt.


Open Wide Zippered Pouch
Anna’s Open Wide Zippered Pouch design at Noodlehead makes it easy to see what’s inside. Allegory adds, “I don’t think you can go wrong with pouches as gifts. They’re useful for traveling, purse organization, make-up bags, etc. Depending on the recipient they can be filled with a variety of things to match that person’s taste.”


Quick Key Clip with Clip-On Pouch
Lisa Lam of U-Handbag, author of The Bag Making Bible and A Bag for All Reasons, shared this handy Quick Key Clip with Clip-On Pouch here at Sew Mama Sew this year.


Modern Appliqué Tea Towels
New Modern Appliqué Tea Towels would be a welcome addition to any kitchen. This tutorial is from Julie of Kip & Fig for The Daily Stitch. Allegory writes that these are… “perfect for a hostess gift or a last minute teacher appreciation. My favorite part about this type of gift is that the possibilities for customization are almost endless.”

Related tutorials you might enjoy: “Beginner” sewing projects, Accessories, Christmas tutorials

Mix It


Skinny Funfetti Cake Batter Dip
Steph says this Skinny Funfetti Cake Batter Dip recipe at Six Sisters’ Stuff is perfect if you love the cake batter more than the actual cake! (And how cool is that?… A collaborative blog from six sisters!)

Print It


Mitten Bookmark
Mollie does it again with this sweet Mitten Bookmark at Wild Olive. Mollie has so many fantastic printables on her site!

Win It

Comment on today’s post for a chance to win one of these prizes!
Tip: If you’re hoping to win a prize that notes “US Winners Only,” include your state in your name (i.e. Beth in WA) so we can confirm residence and avoid any disappointment on your end. Shipping range is determined by the generous companies and artisans that donate Handmade Holidays prizes.

Mollie Makes Crochet: 20+ Cute Projects for the Home Plus Handy Tips and Tricks
(US Winners Only)

Publisher: Interweave

Crochet is big fashion news, and is becoming more and more popular among young crafters. This adorable new book from the team behind Mollie Makes is all one needs to learn how to crochet. Aimed at complete beginners, it’s also perfect for those who have completed their first projects and are looking to move on. A selection of more than 20 contemporary projects from an international range of crochet experts offers a variety of projects. Some are quick and easy, others are more time and labor-intensive but well worth the effort. A section at the back of the book clearly explains the basics of crochet with step-by-step illustrations. The book includes ideas for using crocheted pieces around the home: as accessories in themselves and to embellish existing items as trims and more. Projects include blankets and afghans; cushions; kitchen items such as placemats, crochet-trimmed napkins, potholders, and coasters; and toys and gifts.

Pretty in Patchwork: Doll Quilts: 24 Little Quilts to Piece, Stitch, and Love
(International Shipping)

Author: Cathy Gaubert
Publisher: Lark Crafts

Welcome to Pretty in Patchwork, a fresh new series that explores the sweet spot where sewing and quilting come together. Doll quilts are the perfect little package to start the fun: they’re pretty, miniature, and a wonderful canvas for experimentation and skill building. Twenty top online designers, led by Cathy Gaubert, contribute an adorable array of patterns that use appliqué, piecing, embroidery, and more. A brief basics section, photos of vintage doll quilts, and instructions for adorable extras (like matching doll’s clothes), round out this appealing volume.

Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays: 30+ Seasonal Patchwork Projects to Piece, Stitch, and Love
(International Shipping)

Author: John Q. Adams
Publisher: Lark Crafts

Happy patchwork holiday! Celebrate the season with the second in our Pretty in Patchwork series. It’s a very merry collection of absolutely adorable projects from the popular “Quilt Dad” blogger and friends, including pieced polar bear and penguin pillows, a too-cute pillowcase and matching hedgehog stuffy, stockings, ornaments, tree skirts and more. Of course, there are assorted quilts of all sizes, too. With a robust basics section, color step-by-step illustrations, and color variations throughout, Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays will help you deck your halls in style!

Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids: 20 Designs That are Fun and Unique- Just Like Your Kid!
(US + Canada Winners Only)

Author: Ruriko Yamada
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

Today’s DIY generation loves to outfit their kids in stylish homemade clothes, and kids love clothes that feel good. Designer Ruriko Yamada draws from her own experiences as a mom to create designs and sewing patterns that are fun to wear, easy to make and infused with covetable Japanese style. Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids features easy-to-follow diagrams, Japanese sewing patterns in English and simple instructions on how to make twenty super-comfy pieces for both boys and girls. Yamada provides four sizes of westernized patterns, each of which can easily be adjusted to fit children from three to nine years old. Simple lines give kids room to move, and the classic styles look good on any frame. Sewing for children has never been easier. With Happy Homemade, you’ll whip up a fantastic, money-saving wardrobe in practically no time at all!

Marisa’s Big Book of Pop Out Boxes: 30 Boxes to Pop & Fold, Collect or Give
(US Winners Only)

Author: Marisa Anne
Publisher: C&T Publishing / FunStitch Studio

These collections of pop out boxes from three well-known fabric designers will have kids designing their very own boxes in no time. The boxes feature fun, current designs and are easy to assemble, providing hours of fun for kids and their friends. As educational as they are entertaining, each collection comes with instructions that walk kids through the pros’ design processes, then prompt them to design their own patterns on the boxes featuring blank sides.

Don’t miss our Handmade Holidays photo pool, and check out our 2012 Handmade Holidays list for more fabulous ideas. Here are our 2013 themes:

November 27: Gifts Kids Can Make
November 26: One Gift for All
November 25: Fast Christmas Decorations
November 24: Toys for Kids
November 23: Ornaments
November 22: Deck the Halls
November 21: Stockings + Tree Skirts
November 20: Gifts for College Kids
November 19: Gifts for Men
November 18: Gifts for People Who Sew
November 17: Accessories
November 16: Gifts for Grandparents
November 15: Holiday Fun
November 14: Repurposed/Upcycled Gifts
November 13: Gifts for Book Lovers
November 12: Gifts for Girlfriends
November 11: Gifts for Boys
November 10: Eco-Friendly Gifts
November 9: Advent Calendars
November 8: Gifts for Make-Believe
November 7: Gifts for Travelers
November 6: Gifts for Geeks
November 5: Gifts for Babies + Toddlers
November 4: Holiday Party Clothes + Accessories
November 3: Gifts for Cooks
November 2: Gifts for Gadget Lovers
November 1: Gifts for Tweens

We respect the copyright of all crafters. All photos are used with permission from the artist.