8 Quick and Easy Personalized Gifts To Make (And Finish!) This Weekend

There's no better way to make someone feel special than with a unique and personalized gift. But creating a one-of-a-kind handmade offering doesn't always have to be time-consuming! This weekend, pull out your craft supplies and channel your loved ones with one of our favorite quick and easily customizable projects:

Silhouettes on Canvas from Crafting a Meaningful Home by Meg Mateo Ilasco

Stationery Suite from Heather Ross Prints by Heather Ross

Empire-Inspired Plates by Julia Rothman for Past & Present by Amy Azzarito

Happy Birthday Pillow from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson

Biographical Bracelet from The Repurposed Library by Lisa Occhipinti

Customized Mugs from The BUST DIY Guide to Life by Laurie Henzel & Debbie Stoller

Printed Notebooks from Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin


Made-By Patch from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson

5 Quick and Easy Gifts to Knit (And Finish!) This Weekend

With early snow flurries and shop windows awash in red-and-green lights, it's hard to deny that the holidays are upon us. It may be the busiest time of the year, but if you're anything like us, you're probably figuring out how to make time to craft a few meaningful gifts. So now's the time to start planning! Have your list handy? Here are five knitted gift ideas you can whip up in no time:

Pom-Pom Flats from The Knitted Slipper Book by Katie Startzman


Sleep Shades from The Shape of Knitting by Lynne Barr


Filigree Gloves from Knitting New Mittens and Gloves by Robin Melanson


Flower Washcloths from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick


Seed-Stitch Bracelet from More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson

 Have you started working on any handmade gifts yet? Let us know in the comments!

Mother's Day Books & Giveaway!

 Photo by Ericka McConnell from Weekend Knitting

If you ask most moms what they want for Mother's Day, they will most likely request a day of ultimate relaxation. But if you ask moms who are crafters what they want for Mother's Day, chances are they will want something that involves both relaxation and crafting--a concept that we fully endorse!

Most of us at STC Craft come from a crafty lineage, and I'd say a healthy percentage of our authors first learned their amazing skills from their mothers. So when we started thinking about gifts to give our moms for Mother's Day, we got to wondering--if we had to pick one STC Craft book to give to our moms, which one would it be? We posed this question to several of our STC Craft authors and staff, and we loved hearing the stories about why each person thinks their mom would enjoy a particular book. But we don't want to stop there--we want to hear from you, too! Leave a comment telling us which STC Craft book you would pick for your mom and why, and if your name is picked, we'll send your mom a copy of the book you've chosen. To enter the giveaway, leave your comment before Friday, May 11 at noon EST.

Click here for full official rules.

Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow, authors of Tiny World Terrariums, say:

The BUST DIY Guide to Life! As regular sellers at the BUST Craftacular gift fairs in NYC, we're very familiar with their magazine and mission. We fully approve! And Katy's mom, being a very crafty lady with a love of DIY, would totally enjoy a book full of inspiring ideas for a day of handmade, homespun fun.


Gretchen Hirsch, author of the forthcoming Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, says:

I would definitely give my mom Denyse Schmidt's new book, Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration. My mother is an avid (and award-winning!) quilter, and I know she would love the gorgeous inspirational photographs and designs.


Liesl Gibson, author of Oliver + S, says:

My mom is a fantastic seamstress (both machine and hand stitching), and she’s sewn for me and my four sisters all our lives. Now that she’s retired and has a little more time to sew for herself (and for fun), I think she’ll enjoy Alabama Studio Sewing + Design and all of Natalie’s wonderful projects and techniques. I hope she’ll make something for herself and will find lots of inspiration from the book. Plus, my mom and Natalie share a similar quiet, thoughtful approach to life. I think they would get along really well if they met!


Melanie Falick says:

My first thought was to choose Alabama Studio Sewing + Design by Natalie Chanin for my mom because she's already made several pieces of clothing from Natalie's other books and I think this one would inspire her to try more techniques. But this is a selfish choice since she makes these clothes for me (making me feel incredibly lucky). So, on second thought, I'm going to choose Stitch Magic by Alison Reid. Maybe Mom will be inspired to use some of the beautiful fabric manipulation techniques in that book to sew pillows or curtains or a new bedspread for her house. I think she might like the cushion covers in the Pleating chapter for her living room or the bed throw in the Folded Shapes for her bedroom. When we're both making projects, we always have something interesting to talk about. 


STC Craft marketing manager Ellie Levine and STC Craft senior editor Liana Allday both picked Weekend Handmade.

Ellie says: The first weekend that feels like spring, you'll find my mom out in the garden, weeding, planting, and plotting new ways to make the backyard beautiful. When I visit my parents, the first thing I do is take a tour of her latest updates to the landscape, and I can always count on a beautiful flower arrangement on her kitchen table. My mom would adore Kelly Wilkinson's Weekend Handmade: the chapter called "Grow" presents projects inspired by gardens, fields and farmers' markets—three of my mom's favorite things. The Pressed Flower Luminaria, Botanical Note Cards, and irresistible Handmade Labels would all be perfect DIYs for us to create together on a sunny afternoon.

Liana says: My mom is a lifelong crafter, and she is constantly wandering between decoupage, embroidery, gardening, watercolor, and anything else that catches her fancy. For those reasons, I pick Weekend Handmade. Not only is Kelly Wilkinson's California aesthetic a perfect match for my mom's sunny Californian style, but just like my mom, the book wanders around from craft to craft in the most delightful way.

Knitters’ Favorite Valentine’s Day Gifts

Michelle Edwards' Valentines: Lelia, Meera, and Flory

What was the best gift you ever gave or received on Valentine’s Day?

Some of our authors share their personal favorites in a heartwarming roundup. Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Michelle Edwards, A Knitter’s Home Companion 

The best gift I have ever received was due on Valentine’s Day in 1987, but arrived two weeks later: a healthy, robust gift of boundless love, my oldest daughter, Meera. Swaddled in a blanket I made for her, we brought her home. She gave us such love, joy, and wonder that soon we had two more daughters, Flory and Lelia. Each girl is our very special Valentine. (The story of Meera’s beautiful blanket continues in the first essay in A Knitter’s Home Companion.) 

Betty Christiansen, Knitting for Peace

For Christmas of 1997, I decided to knit my boyfriend, Andrew, a sweater. He and I had been dating for just under a year, and we shared many things in common, including an appreciation of the handmade. I thought if there ever was a boyfriend worthy of a sweater, he was it. Blissfully unaware of the “sweater curse”—and a little less careful about gauge than I am now—I bought my yarn and cast on. The sweater, knit in a beautiful sea blue and a complicated cable pattern, turned out several sizes too big for him. Still, he loved it and wore it proudly.

My best Valentine’s Day gift came just a couple of months later: an engagement ring. I’ve since learned all about the sweater curse, of course, and I’m happy to report that there are exceptions to that “rule.” And despite the extensive yardage required by the sweater, there was enough yarn leftover for a baby cardigan and hat. All three of our kids have worn them.

Melanie Falick, Weekend Knitting

My best Valentine’s Day gift started out as a present for a new boyfriend. We had been together since our first date in July, so when Valentine’s Day approached I decided I would surprise him by secretly knitting him a scarf. He didn’t know I could knit and, in fact, I really wasn’t much of a knitter. I went to The Yarn Company on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and stood in awe in front of shelves stuffed with the most beautiful yarns I had ever seen. I chose a tweed yarn from Tahki, made my boyfriend a scarf, and became fascinated by knitting: the beautiful fibers and colors, the techniques, the traditions, the way I could use it as a way to learn about other cultures and, in particular, about women. Since that life-changing experience over twenty years ago, I have written knitting books, edited a knitting magazine, and become the publishing director of the craft-book program at Abrams Books. I also married the boyfriend for whom I made that scarf. I thought that making the scarf was a gift for him, but it ended up being an amazing gift to myself. 

What is it that makes a handmade gift so special? Watch this video and get inspired:

 What was your favorite Valentine’s Day gift? Share in the comments below!

The Gift of Handmade from Our Friends at Open Road

A Guest Post by Laura De Silva, Open Road Media

Christmas Eve is only two days away, and December 28th is the final night of Hanukkah this year. Did the holidays sneak up on you, too?

Right about now, many of us are frantically wrapping up our shopping and finishing those handmade gifts we’ve been leisurely approaching until this week. If you, like me, still have a long way to go on that item—whether it’s a scarf, a hat, or (Heaven forbid!) a sweater—you might be cursing yourself for biting off a little more than you can chew this year.

If you’re running out of steam, here’s a little inspiration to help you make it through that last mile of yarn. Watch STC Craft’s Melanie Falick, Joelle Hoverson, and Andrea Price speak about the specialness of giving handmade gifts. Give yourself the gift of a moment with this video, and get back in touch with the reasons why we go to all this trouble in the first place:

I hope watching this video inspires you to share why you make handmade gifts in the comments. (Personally, I give handmade gifts because I love seeing my loved ones wear them—even when the weather doesn’t call for it!)

Ready to jump back into your project now? Needles up . . .

Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays!


P.S. If you still need a gift for that friend who loves her Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony Reader, or Kobo Touch, you can always get her one of the ebooks from STC Craft | Melanie Falick Books! Watch below to learn how to gift an ebook—a great last-minute gift that doesn’t require any swatching).


Handmade Holidays Memories from Kelly Wilkinson, author of Weekend Handmade

A Guest Post by Kelly Wilkinson


For me, the telltale smell of Christmas isn’t gingerbread or eggnog--but the smell of a hot glue gun. 

We were one of those annoyingly Currier & Ives families who actually made our holiday gifts and invited people over to sing carols around the piano and, get this–-reenact the story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem. I kid you not. My dad always played the tax collector and sometimes doubled as the donkey.  I know, I know: I can practically HEAR your eyeballs rolling. You can’t get much more wholesome, which is probably why my sisters and I each cultivated a pretty healthy streak of snark.

Naturally, these traditions became unbearably embarrassing once we entered middle school and beyond. But now, there is nothing I love more than an old-fashioned sing-a-long, led by my insanely musical mother.  Another holiday tradition that I still cherish is crafting up homemade presents for my family. 

This year, my husband and I are travelling back to Virginia and the renovated barn I grew up in for the holidays. And while I’ll try to have all my presents made by the time we ship out, I’m sure that my down-to-the-wire personality means that you’ll find me in my Christmas pajamas, tucked into a cozy corner of the barn, soldering or sewing or wrapping. 
And in all truthfulness, there’s nowhere else I’d prefer to be. 

Above, left: Kelly expectantly hanging her stockings in 1979; above, right: The Wilkinsons, wishing you a Merry christmas sometime in the early 1980s.

Inspired to craft your own holiday presents? Check out Kelly's book Weekend Handmade for plenty of fresh, simple, and fun ideas.

A Handmade Holiday Recipe from Susan Waggoner, Author of Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas

A Guest Post by Susan Waggoner

My early Christmases were celebrated in Des Moines, Iowa, with my father’s family, a group to whom Yuletide was equal parts holiday and competitive crafting marathon. Today, my most vibrant memories of those years revolve around what was made rather than what was bought: red voile aprons with white poinsettias painted--freehand--by my grandmother; a host of miniature angels crafted by my mother hovering around an organ my father made, using his drafting pencils for pipes; wreaths of pinecones. It was exciting to be even on the fringes of such activity.

A few years later, when we relocated to Minnesota, my mother kept up the tradition on her own, gluing mercury glass beads to pine boughs on the steppes of suburbia. Our Christmas Eves were quieter, lit by tiny blue lights and the magical hush of a house surrounded by deep snow. In Minnesota, we followed my mother’s family tradition, and hand-crafting took the form of a Swedish smorgasbord, with tender meatballs in cream gravy, sweet Swedish rye bread with orange peel grated in for the occasion, a sweet-and-sour brown bean dish known as bruna bönor, and for dessertkringler, a delectable almond pastry whose very taste still summons up to me the essence of so many Christmases gone by.

Swedish Kringler

This is a surprising recipe in that it has no sugar other than the frosting, and the filling sounds about as appealing as wallpaper paste. Nevertheless, the end result is delicious. If I'm just making this for a few people, I make half the recipe. I don't try to do half of 3 eggs, I just pick the largest egg in the carton and it works fine. To keep the crust crisp, I store leftovers in a shoebox, or on a plate loosely tented with foil.


1 c flour

½ c butter

2 tbsp water


1 c water

½ c butter

1 c flour

3 eggs

1 tsp almond extract


1 c powdered sugar

1 tbsp milk or cream

1 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp almond extract

To make the crust:

Pulse ingredients in a food processor or cut with knives as you would pie dough to make a crumbly dough that will stick together if you press it.

Round up dough in two balls.

On a cookie sheet (a silicon mat on the cookie sheet is swell, as is baker’s parchment), pat into 2 long strips, about 4" x 12" each. This is kind of messy and sticky—I use the side of my hand to push it into shape. No problem if it looks rustic.

To make the filling:

Put water and butter in a saucepan. Heat to melt butter, then increase heat, bring to boil and remove from heat immediately. Add flour and stir until smooth. Beat in one egg at a time. Add extract and spread over crust.

Bake on 325 for about 40 minutes, until the edges of the crust turn golden brown.

To make the frosting:

Whip ingredients together. 

When cool, frost and garnish with slivered almonds or multicolored sprinkles or drained maraschino cherry halves.  Slice crosswise in strips about 1" wide.

For more traditional holiday recipes as well as vintage-inspired holiday decorations, check out Susan's book Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas.

The BUST Holiday Craftacular in NYC This Weekend!

We all know that handmade gifts are the way to make loved ones feel warm and fuzzy. Well, New York crafters, listen up: At this weekend's BUST Magazine Craftacular, at 82 Mercer St., you can not only shop 'til you drop for cute indie goods, but you can also create some DIY gifts of your own.

At The BUST DIY Guide to Life Lab there will be classes on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon on how to make friendship bracelets, bath bombs, terrariums, snow globes, and rad retro hairstyles. All projects are excerpted from The BUST DIY Guide to Lifeand authors/BUST magazine co-founders Debbie Stoller and Laurie Henzel will be on hand to sign copies of the book (which makes a great gift in and of itself). 

Here's the full schedule:

Pre-register online to reserve your space. Hope to see you this weekend!

Gertie at STC Craft: Feeling Thankful

Thanksgiving, more than any other holiday, is all about reflection for me. I was walking past Penn Station today, and it brought back a memory from exactly one year ago.

It was the day before Thanksgiving, and I had a half-day at work. I used to edit books for a big publishing company. While it was an interesting job, it gradually evolved into just a “day job” as my sewing blog took off and I wanted to devote all of my time to it. After I left work that Thanksgiving Eve, I had to get downtown for an appointment, but I had a couple hours to kill. I decided to walk to the Borders bookstore right by Penn Station to browse the craft section. When I got there, it became very clear that I had picked the wrong day to do that. 

“What kind of idiot decides to take a leisurely trip to Penn Station the day before Thanksgiving?” I wondered. Apparently, I was that idiot. As mobs of travelers rushed by me, yelling and jostling and ramming their suitcases into each other (and me), I had quite a dark moment. Sometimes I really hate New York, I thought.

Fast forward to today, the day before Thanksgiving. I no longer work at my day job. Many factors came together to make it possible for me to switch to a combination of sewing and craft-related freelance work. This afternoon I met with the illustrator for my book at the sewing studio where I teach. After we finished, I walked uptown to the Garment District to pick up a few supplies. Can you guess where I walked, readers? Right past Penn Station and the holiday travel hustle and bustle. Again, I was that idiot.

But this year, I barely noticed. Things felt calmer. Yes, people were yelling and smoking and taking up the whole sidewalk waiting for the Bolt Bus, but it didn’t occur to me to feel annoyed by all this. Perhaps I’m just having an unusually serene day, but it did really highlight the differences in my life between last year and this year.

Melanie and I were chatting on the phone earlier this morning, and she reminded me of a conversation we had when we traveled to Palm Springs together last January. She had recommended me to teach at Heather Ross’s weekend sewing workshop there, and Heather obligingly agreed, even though I was a very small name in her lineup of star-power teachers. As Melanie and I chatted the entire way out to California, she told me that she had a fantasy of me coming to work at STC Craft with her. I was incredibly flattered and agreed that was indeed a great fantasy.

Amazingly, it did happen. Not exactly the way we thought it would, but what in life ever does? Earlier this year, many people came together to support my big career move. Melanie gave me regular freelance work to make the transition easier, along with many words of wisdom as a friend.  My amazing husband, Jeff, continues to work at his “day job” so I don’t have to--and has been nothing less than supportive and optimistic. I have an amazing readership of passionate sewing enthusiasts who have made my blog what it is. A couple readers have even become my “interns,” working for me for free to help me juggle all the amazing things going on in my life.

To make a long story short, there’s a lot to be thankful for. I can’t believe the way my life has changed in the past year, and I’m grateful to all of you reading this for being a part of it.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Celebrating Mom

Mother’s Day has a way of sneaking up on all of us. One minute the calendar says April, and the next thing you know it’s May, with Mother’s Day firmly planted on the first Sunday of the month. This year, don’t let Mother’s Day catch you off-guard. If the mom you're celebrating is a crafter, we’ve got your gift-giving covered! Below are some simple ideas, whether she’s a sewist, a quilter, a knitter, or a paper-folding enthusiast. There’s something for everyone here.
For moms who like handmade décor:
Modern Paper Crafts The Repurposed Library Crafting a Meaningful Home
For moms who like a good read:
A Knitter's Home Companion Knitting for Peace Quilting for Peace
For moms who sew for little ones:
Oliver + S Little Things to Sew Wee Wonderfuls Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt
For moms who love beautiful stitching:
Stitch Magic Alabama Stitch Book Alabama Studio Style
For moms who are fans of Teva Durham:
Loop-d-Loop Lace Loop-d-Loop Loop-d-Loop Crochet
For moms who like to accessorize:
Knitted Socks East and West Knitting New Scarves Knitting New Mittens and Gloves
For moms who quilt with passion:
Kaffe Fassett's Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts Material Obsession Material Obsession 2

Liana's Valentine Treat Boxes

Last weekend I decided to make the Treat Boxes from Modern Paper Crafts: A 21st-Century Guide to Folding, Cutting, Scoring, Pleating, and Recycling by Margaret Van Sicklen. I bought some pretty "Valentine" papers from the stationery store down the street from our office and, with some trepidation because I thought it might be hard, I got started. After several basic folds, I only found myself stumped once--when I reached the step where the box pops up into its 3-D form. But after an "ah-ha" moment, the walls sprung into shape and the box bottom was done. Amazingly, the whole production only took about 5 minutes. After another 5 minutes, I had the box lid done, and then I quickly folded several more. Soon enough, I didn't even need to look at the instructions anymore! I was addicted. Boxes surrounded me. 

Modern Paper Crafts won't be on sale until April, but we'd love it if you would preorder. In the meantime, check out some sample pages here, and make some beautiful boxes of your own (click here for the instructions--our Valentine's Day gift to you).

One more thing: If you want to add a sweet Valentine treat, try the Soft Candy Caramels from another STC book, Baked Explorations. Melanie made a batch last fall and they're irresistible. Click here to download the recipe.

Happy Holidays Subway Hat

I recently made this  Subway Hat from Modern Top Down Knitting (out of one of my all-time favorite yarns, Worsted Hand Dyes from Blue Sky Alpacas). It's such a fun, quick project--and really warm with its fleece lining. Of course, as usual, I don't have a photo of me wearing it. But I do have this Christmas-y still-life shot. To me, in this photo, it looks like a red Christmas igloo with big flowery snowflakes.

Here's what the hat looks like on (in the photo from the book). So very chic (nothing like an igloo on your head).


Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

If you really want to express your holiday cheer with handknitted gifts but are noticing that you're low on time, check out these quick, beautiful projects from Joelle Hoverson's books Last-Minute Knitted Gifts and More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts.

Baby Bonnet, Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, page 53.


 Child's Rainbow Scarf, Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, page 57.


Pyramid Sachet, More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, page 22.


Seed-Stitch Bracelet, More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, page 25


Linen-Stitch Bookmark, More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, page 26.


Soft Baskets, More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, page 30.


Baby Bonnet, More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, page 39.


Big Lace Scarf, More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, page 41.


  Kerchief Scarf, Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, page 45.


  Kim's Hats, Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, page 61.


Spectrum Scraps, More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, page 122

STC Craft Gift Guide -- and Special Holiday Discount

Keep it simple this holiday season and choose a beautiful book for the passionate crafters on your gift list. Between now and December 23rd, take advantage of our special 20% discount on all STC Craft titles when you shop on our website. Plus, we're offering free shipping on orders over $50.00. Just enter handmade2010 at checkout. 

For knitters who love to start at the top: Kristina McGowan's Modern Top-Down Knitting and Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits.


For crafty nesters: Meg Mateo Ilasco's Crafting a Meaningful Home and Berroco Design Team's Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans.


For knitters who think they've seen it all: Lynne Barr's Knitting New Scarves and Reversible Knitting.


For stitchers who want to make a difference: Betty Christiansen's Knitting for Peace and Katherine Bell's Quilting for Peace.


For eco-fashionistas: Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Studio Style.


For knitters with a litter of wee ones: Melanie Falick's Knitting for Baby and Kristen Rengren's Vintage Baby Knits.


For anyone who loves cute: Hillary Lang's Wee Wonderfuls and Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt.


For weekend crafters: Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing and Melanie Falick's Weekend Knitting.


For knitters who are just getting started: Andrea Berman Price's Knitspeak and Melanie Falick's Knit: A Personal Handbook.
For knitters who want to burn through their stash: Leigh Radford's One More Skein, Véronik Avery’s Knitting 24/7, and Robin Melanson's Knitting New Mittens & Gloves.
For passionate quilters: Sarah Fielke and Kathy Doughty's Material Obsession and Material Obsession 2, and Kaffe Fassett's Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts.
And for procrastinators: Joelle Hoverson's Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, and Last-Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts.

For more ideas, click here. And remember to take advantage of our special 20-percent discount--just shop on our website between now and December 23, 2010, and type in handmade2010 at checkout.

Handmade Holidays 2010

Modern Top-Down Knitting

Material Obsession 2

To download any of these free patterns, simply click on the image.

More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans

Quilting for Peace

Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt

Crafting a Meaningful Home

Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans

Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt

Kaffe Fassett's Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts

Wee Wonderfuls

Knitting 24/7

Knitted Socks East & West

One More Skein

As the weather turns from cool to downright chilly, do you find yourself wanting to make handmade gifts for the holidays? We do! As a special gift for our readers, we've put together 14 free patterns that we hope will inspire you to pick up your needles or get out your glue gun and find a few hours to relax and craft. Some of these projects, like the Glasses Case or the Linen-Stitch Bookmarks, can be made in just an hour or two. Others, like the Mermaiden doll or the Mulberry Hat, might take a few more hours, but the end results will be irresistibly satisfying. And if you dream of making a quilt or afghan for a loved one but feel that time is not on your side, why not just work up a swatch or square as an IOU? It will give the recipient something to dream about (or nag you about) in the cold winter months that follow.

But wait! We're not done giving yet. Leave a message in the Comments section below telling us about the handmade gifts you're making this year. By doing so, you'll be entered to win a book from the STC Craft catalog click (here and here). On December 17, 2010, at noon (EST), we'll choose 3 people at random to receive the STC Craft book of his or her choice.

Whether you're a knitter, stitcher, or crafty dabbler, we hope you will find something here that gets you in a gift-giving mood. Simply click on any of the images above to download the instructions.

Happy Holidays!

Limit one (1) entry per person; be sure to enter your email address on the comment form. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington D.C. who are 18 or older as of date of entry. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59:59 AM ET on 12/17/10. Visit www.abramsbooks.com for full official rules. Void where prohibited.

As the weather turns from cool to downright chilly, do you find yourself wanting to make handmade gifts for the holidays? We do! As a special gift for our readers, we've put together 14 free patterns that we hope will inspire you to pick up your needles or get out your glue gun and find a few hours to relax and craft. Some of these projects, like the Glasses Case or the Linen-Stitch Bookmarks, can be made in just an hour or two. Others, like the Mermaiden doll or the Mulberry Hat, might take a few more hours, but the end results will be irresistibly satisfying. And if you dream of making a quilt or afghan for a loved one but feel that time is not on your side, why not just work up a swatch or square as an IOU? It will give the recipient something to dream about (or nag you about) in the cold winter months that follow.

But wait! We're not done giving yet. Leave a message in the Comments section below telling us about the handmade gifts you're making this year. By doing so, you'll be entered to win a book from the STC Craft catalog click (here and here). On December 17, 2010, at noon (EST), we'll choose 3 people at random to receive the STC Craft book of his or her choice.

Whether you're a knitter, stitcher, or crafty dabbler, we hope you will find something here that gets you in a gift-giving mood. Simply click on any of the images below to download the instructions.

Happy Holidays!

Gift Guide for Crafty Moms

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 9. If you haven't found the perfect gift yet, click here to see a brochure that includes all of our titles.  Or, check out this handy gift guide to some of our newest releases:


Eco-fashionista moms will find loads of inspiration in Natalie Chanin’s Alabama Studio Style.


Busy moms who love to knit will want to get their hands on Veronik Avery’s Knitting 24/7 and Leigh Radford's One More Skein!


Quilting moms will be mesmerized by the gorgeous designs in Kaffe Fasset’s Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts and Sarah Fielke and Kathy Doughty's Material Obsession!


Moms who like to be challenged by their knitting will certainly enjoy Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr and Knitted Socks East & West by Judy Sumner.


And moms who want to keep everyone warm will appreciate the beautiful afghans in Berroco’s Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans and the unique scarves in Lynne Barr's Knitting New Scarves.


Need more ideas? Try Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross, Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin, and Quilting for Peace by Katherine Bell, or one of the many more choices here.

2nd Annual STC Craft Handmade Holidays Giveaway

Last year's Handmade Holidays Giveaway was so much fun for us that we've been talking about hosting another one this year ever since. Here's the deal: Answer our questions below in the Comments section and automatically you will be entered to win the book of your choice; you will also be added to our e-mailing list (unless you tell us not to add you).

*What types of handmade gifts are you making this year?

*Are you trying any new crafts?

*What is the title of one STC Craft book that you'd like to receive as a gift this year?

On Wednesday, December 9, at about noon (EST), we'll pick five names in a random drawing from all eligible entries received and send them email notification. We will then send them the books they requested. To see all of our books, click here (and be sure to flip through all 6 pages). Thanks!

Limit one (1) entry per person; be sure to enter your email address on the comment form. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, DC, who are 18 or older as of date of entry. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59:59am on 12/9/09. Visit http://www.abramsbooks.com/weekend_knitting_rules.html for full official rules. Void where prohibited.

(Sparkly Kiss Cap by Leslie Scanlon from Handknit Holidays; photo by Susan Pittard.)