Give thanks: 11 sewing projects to make Thanksgiving special

Halloween is here! We wish you a happy and safe one.

After all the little ghosts and goblins have gobbled up their goodies, it’s time to start thinking about the next holiday on the way—Thanksgiving! Are people coming to your home, or are you going to theirs? Sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes? Pumpkin pie or apple pie? Green beans or brussels sprouts? And where is that recipe for grandma’s stuffing?

There’s a lot of Thanksgiving prep ahead, and the food we prepare makes the annual gathering special. Memories are baked right in! Things we sew for the gathering can turn into traditions too. Below we’ve rounded up a few ideas for the kitchen, the table, and more—for your home or for your host’s!


“Give Thanks” is the theme of the holiday—so much so that three different Martingale authors designed projects to share the sentiment! Whether you love embroidery, wool appliqué, or a little of both, you can choose to make one or all of these wall-worthy pieces:

Give Thanks framed embroidery
Give Thanks framed embroidery by Kathy Schmitz, from
Stitches from the Harvest

Greet family and friends with warmth and welcome by staging this framed stitchery near your home’s entrance. The simple message will inspire fellowship, while the beautiful scene will inspire oohs and aahs.

Give Thanks wool wall hanging
Give Thanks wool wall hanging by Maggie Bonanomi, from
Pure & Simple

This Give Thanks wall hanging can be part of your decor all through the fall. And Maggie’s wool-appliqué letters are so fun to stitch! Learn her easy technique in this video.

Give Thanks Penny Rug
Give Thanks Penny Rug by Bonnie Sullivan, from
All for Fall

A cornucopia that’s overflowing with autumn’s bounty will remind everyone of all they have to be thankful for—and fusible appliqué makes the scene quite simple to sew.

Gathered Blessings Quilted Basket
Gathered Blessings Quilted Basket by Kim Diehl,
from Simple Harvest

Fill this pretty basket to the brim with autumn goodies of your choice and display it on any flat surface you’ve got! Another idea: provide pen and paper and ask each guest to write what they’re thankful for; then toss the papers into the basket. During dinner, pass the basket around and have each person read a message.

Thanksgiving table runners
Table runners from
All in a Row Again (clockwise from top left: Tricolor Stars by Lisa Bongean, Stars and Geese by Betsy Chutchian, and Autumn Wind by Kathy Schmitz)

Elevate your Thanksgiving table with color, texture, and pop! Any of these runners will easily steal center stage (no offense to aunt Della’s green-bean casserole, of course).

Basket Liner
Basket Liner by Natalie Barnes, from
Kitchen Stitches

You worked hard to bake that homemade bread—make sure it stays toasty warm! Keep it covered with this clever bread-basket liner that you can use for Thanksgiving and all year long.


Great Rewards Kitchen Towels
Great Rewards Kitchen Towels by Kathy Schmitz, from
Stitches from the Harvest

Traveling for Thanksgiving? Arrive at your destination with a gift for the host and hostess—won’t they be pleasantly surprised! Purchased tea towels are the key to these quick projects. Simply embroider the squirrel and bird motifs in brownwork, wrap, and you’ll be ready to give as well as receive.

Sassy, Happy Pot Holders
Sassy, Happy Pot Holders by Kim Niedzwiecki, from
Kitchen Stitches

Pot holders are a perfectly-timed Thanksgiving hostess gift. They can be put to use right away! Stitch up a pair of these cute and scrappy pot holders, which include a built-in safety feature—Insul-Bright batting, which protects busy hands from high heat.

Wine Glass Charms
Wine Glass Charms by Jackie White, from
Kitchen Stitches

These rickrack charms make it easy to serve your guests their drinks without worrying about a mix-up. Sew a set in no time and give your host a long-lasting gift—you’re guaranteed another invite!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Thanksgiving sewing roundup—and that you’ll find a little time for sewing fun as you count down to the big feast this year!

What kinds of sewn items have become a part of your Thanksgiving traditions? Tell us in the comments!

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