When your sewing machine is Santa’s workshop, stitching quick and easy patterns makes the elf work run smoothly—and with elf-appropriate cheer. So in this post we’re sharing 12 ideas for gifts you can sew in just one day or less. Whether you’ve got time to spare or next to no time at all, you’ll find plenty of inspiring patterns just perfect for when you want to make a gift by hand but make it quickly.
The patterns below are not only speedy to sew, they’re also quick and easy to get. You’ll find them at ShopMartingale.com for only $4.99 or less. Simply download, print, and start stitching your way to a completed Christmas gift list.
Twelve Days of Quick Handmade-Gift Ideas
1. Stitched-in-a-Flash Quilt
With any of these three quilt gifts, you could easily start in the morning and have your quilt finished and bound by the end of the day. The quilted wall hangings shown above left and center are supersized blocks. Simply choose a giant-sized block, sew one, and you’re done! Just as easy is Tammy Kelly’s "Wings of a Dragonfly" pattern, shown above right, which combines two simple blocks to make a stunning but quick-to-assemble quilt.
Once you’ve got your quilt top finished, look here for quick ways to quilt it. Or consider skipping the quilting and/or binding altogether. Instead, try framing a few quilt blocks Gerri Robinson–style. Search your UFO pile for any unused blocks or half-finished rows. Wouldn’t they be pretty in a frame?
2. Secret-Recipe Apron
Grab a few scraps, start stitching after lunch, and you’ll have a finished apron in time for celebratory afternoon tea. For an especially meaningful gift, consider matching your apron fabrics to a favorite family recipe. Then tuck the recipe into the apron’s pocket. Pair ’30s prints with Great-Grandma’s famous cinnamon-bread recipe, or find a funky ’70s print to go with Aunt Georgene’s Jell-O salad instructions. If your recipient is a crafter rather than a cook, consider sliding a few art supplies into the pockets of your handmade apron, as shown above right.
3. Dinner Party Grocery Bag
For a gift that’s quick to make and sure to be welcomed by the recipient, sew a reusable tote bag perfect for groceries, beach gear, picnics, and more.
4. Evening Essentials Wristlet
When a big bag is too much to carry—and too time-consuming to sew—the wristlet comes to the rescue. It’s perfect for fancy evenings out or anytime you want to travel light.
5. Knit-Not Scarf
This year, give style for Christmas by sewing a fast and easy fabric scarf. Try cotton for crispness, flannel for warmth, or velvet for shine. You can even experiment with fancy trim on the ends for a bit of jaunty swing.
6. Lovely Lavender Sachets
Super easy and perfect for using up small scraps, extra buttons, and odd bits of lace, sachets make lovely gifts. Just fill them with dried lavender and let the recipient enjoy the fragrance of summer flowers year ’round.
7. Cheery Potholder and Oven Mitt
Show your favorite cook how much you appreciate her efforts by presenting her with festive potholders. Do Grandma and the grandchildren enjoy baking together? Matching potholders and oven mitts might make their kitchen adventures that much more fun.
8. Colorful Pocketed Place Mats
Brighten the table of someone on your gift list by sewing easy pocketed place mats. For bonus points, whip up matching napkins!
9. Scene-Stealing Pincushions
For a sewing friend, elevate pin storage beyond the practical. Who knew pincushions could be so lovely (and so quick to make)?
10. Zippered Travel Pouch
Speedy for the sewist and invaluable for the traveler, small zippered bags can hold makeup, toiletries, or jewelry. Pump up the fun by choosing contrasting but complementary prints for the exterior and lining.
11. Ruffled Needle Case
No idea what kind of yarn to buy the knitter in your life? Give her a place to store her needles instead by stitching a quick storage case, complete with textural ruffled edge.
12. Quick-Sew Table Runner
The workhorses of quick-change decor, table runners stitch up just as swiftly as they transform a room. Stick with simple piecing, as in the striking blue and brown runner at right, or add a splash of quick fusible appliqué, as in the runners at left. Either way, you’d have any of these stunners finished in a jiffy.
Do you have a go-to pattern for speedy sewn gifts? If so, share your secret in the comments!