By Melissa Wynn

During the holidays handmade gifts are far more heartfelt than a bath kit or necktie from a big box store. No one knows this better than the talented seamstress types that craft beautiful quilts from every type of cloth imaginable. Many of us still have one handmade by our grandmother, be it a crocheted afghan or a heavy quilt made from old blue jeans.

Do you have a quilter on your holiday shopping list? Sewing machines, patterns, needles and even classes make great gifts for sewing enthusiasts as well as those that have a desire to learn. Pins, patterns and some machines can be found in a few big box stores but the place to get the best service and products is in the specialty sewing and crafting stores found across Northern California like Eversew machine dealer Quilt Corral in Willows. Many including Sew Smart in Los Molinos even offer apparell, clocks and other unique gifts and gadgets for crafters of all genres.

If you are a quilter you know how much your friends and family love a hand sewn gift that you made. Whether you go all quilt crazy (pun intended) or stitch together new pillow shams to match the quilt you gave last year; your gift will go from your hands to their hearts.

Embroidery is another craft great for holiday gifting and Quilt-N-Thyme in Corning and The Sewing Room in Redding carry the notions to create your next masterpiece. Try your hand at monogramming or go all out and create a needlepoint work of art that will hang in your loved one’s home for decades. Blue Iris Quilt Shop in Palo Cedro is famous for their brights and batiks, so shop around for your favorite colors, textures and brands.

Knit and crochet enthusiasts that  fill the holidays with warming hats and sweaters would love quality yarns like those found at Stitch By Stitch in Red Bluff along with a large assortment of fabrics with a modern flair. Join one of their many events to stay inspired.

Many sewing and class groups like to take shopping trips together and shop owners from around NorCal all know and support each other. They come together several times a year for the beloved quilt shows and shop hops take them across Norcal, sharing ideas and the latest in modern crafting trends. You are sure to find the staff from Sew Smart in Los Molinos and the many other fine shops in Redding when you join in the fun.

Sewing classes are an excellent gift for the lady that would love to learn but would never spend the money on a class for herself. Cathy’s Vac & Sew partners with Honeyrun Quilters in Chico offering classes on small projects, garments and more. All listed shops offer classes including Sew Simple in Redding and Blue Iris offers classes beginner to advanced. Ask around to find the right one for your craft of choice. From Accuquilt signature dealer Quilt Corral to Country Pines Quilt in Susanville, drop in and learn to make heirlooms that will be passed down for generations. They are “sew” sentimental.