Quilted Gifts and Cookies on My Mind!

quilted gifts

This time of year is so fun and festive. Every December I pull out my list of family and friends and plan a little handmade gift. Let’s face it: handmade and homemade gifts are extra special.

quilted gifts

Susan Brubaker Knapp stitched felt succulents onto a wool dryer ball and popped inside a clay flower pot. What an adorable pincushion and a fun handmade gift! Photo by HornickRivlincom.

Sometimes the offerings are more elaborate than others, like the year I knit hats for my nieces and nephews. Now that took some planning! But my handmade gift-giving is usually a quick stitched project like a gift tag or pincushion…something that says “I care” but doesn’t take too long.

quilting gifts

That handmade tradition was passed down from my side of the family. The homemade cookies we share are a tradition started by my husband’s family and continued to this day.

Because quilters seem to love quilting almost as much as they love cooking and baking, I thought it would be fun to share a few favorite recipes for the holidays.

quilting gifts

Check out this incredible recipe for Espresso Gingerbread by Quilting Arts contributor Laurie Russman.

For those days when holiday to-do lists seem overwhelming, this one-bowl, one-spatula wonder will fill your kitchen with a marvelous holiday scent. (We are a family of coffee addicts, so I find all sorts of ways to sneak espresso into my baking. Since it’s baked in a square pan, quilters can have some fun dusting the top of the cake with powdered sugar in a nine-patch pattern.


  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ – 2 tsp. ginger, depending on your preference
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground clove
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup espresso
  • Nonstick spray
  • Confectioners’’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients with a whisk.
  3. Add the egg, canola oil, molasses, and espresso to the dry mixture.
  4. Stir with a spatula until combined, being careful not to over stir.
  5. Spray an 8” square nonstick baking pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  6. Cool completely in the pan, theN dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired.

So where do I find inspiration for quick holiday gifts? I downloaded the entire collection of Quilting Arts Gifts Magazine and can access it at any time. I love seeing the colorful projects by Quilting Arts regulars Candy Glendenning, Jane Davila, and Lynn Krawczyk. I love inspiration from embellished cards, stitched pins, and painted holiday coasters. And I love even more that so many of these amazing and talented artists also shared their holiday treats with our readers!

Vivika Hansen DeNegre
Editor, Quilting Arts Magazine

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