breast cancer awareness gifts to sew
Breast Cancer Awareness,  Gift Ideas

Breast Cancer Awareness – Gifts for Patients & Survivors

pink ribbon embroidery design closeup

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is Here!

Celebrate a survivor or show your support of a patient with five gifts to sew or quilt.


This zipper pouch blank is actually meant for jewelry, but anything is easily stored inside. Fill it with sewing supplies to tote to classes. Fill it with treats for treatment day, such as tissues, hand sanitizer, mints or candies, ear buds, hand lotion and Chapstick.

The small compartments inside are also perfect for corralling sewing supplies to classes or from one station to another in your sewing room.

embroidered jewelry case with sewing suppliesThe zipper goes around the entire top, making it easy to embroider using the “hoop-less embroidery” method.

Hoop Sulky Sticky + in the hoop.

stabilizer in hoop

Score the paper within the inner hoop ring using a pin.

scoring stabilizer with pin

Tear the paper backing away to reveal the adhesive.

peeling away paper backing of stabilizer

Place the jewelry case lid on the sticky surface of the hooped stabilizer.

jewelry case lid in hoop

Place the hoop onto the machine, and then embroider the design.

jewelry case lid in hoop under presser foot

Choose a pink ribbon design, monogram or message of hope to embroider on the pouch top.

jewelry case embroidery

The designs from our Pink Palette for Machine Embroidery would be perfect on this pink pouch! The palette comes with 10 spools of pink shades of Sulky Rayon thread, and 5 “Beat Cancer” embroidery designs are free with purchase.


A cardigan is a nice gift to give to a patient (or care giver), to provide relief from chilly rooms. The open front of a cardigan allows for easy access to ports and IVs, too.

Add embroidery to a pre-made cardigan to embellish an otherwise boring basic. This tutorial showcases Sulky Filaine™ thread, which contributes more furry texture to a lofty cardigan sweater.

sweater embroidery on caridigan

Choose open, line-art style designs for a cardigan sweater, so the thread can fit within the sweater loops as opposed to pushing them aside or filling too much surface area and creating a “bulletproof” design. A topper, such as Sulky Solvy®, is essential for sweater embroidery, to ensure the thread sits nicely atop the fabric surface.

If using a T-shirt or Jersey knit cardigan, embroider with Sulky Poly Deco™ or Rayon thread. Sulky 30 wt. Cotton is also a nice choice, providing the design can accommodate thicker thread. Stabilize with a fusible cut-away stabilizer, such as Soft ‘n Sheer Extra™, to provide continual support through washings and wearings.


Another way to support a patient is by making a lap quilt to cozy up to during treatments. This small quilt includes solid squares that are perfect for machine embroidery. Choose the pink ribbon design featured above, or embroider messages of hope inside each square.

finished breast cancer quilt

This quilt was adapted from our FREE Botanical Blues Quilt pattern, available on our Free Project page. The fabric colors were swapped, and machine embroidery was swapped for the handwork.

Hand embroidery, however, is also a great option for the squares, and kids can also contribute by first signing their name, and then learning how to follow the lines with needle and thread. Grandmas, moms aunts and friends will love looking at the little signatures!

Our 12 wt. Cotton Pink Ribbon Sampler includes 6 spools of thread that’s perfect for handwork. Included are some Blendables®, too, that change color every 2 1/2″ to 5″. These are great for fill stitches, such as satin stitches or long-and-short stitches. (10% of proceeds on this thread go straight to the National Breast Cancer Foundation!)

Need a hand embroidery primer? Look to our Hand Embroidery for Kids video series. (These lessons are great for beginners of any age!)


A message of hope, strength and support is great, especially if it does double-duty as wall art. Create a quilted postcard in the hoop of your embroidery machine, and either satin stitch the perimeter or bind it like a mini quilt to be cherished long after treatment ends.

hand lettered quilted postcards

Learn how these come together in our FREE webinar with Karlee Porter. And grab the kit to have all you need to create a bunch of postcards for friends.


free hat pattern

A hat seems an appropriate gift for any cancer patient. Try using a lightweight fleece, or even a knit fabric, to create hats in different weights, depending on the season and weather.

Our free Fleece Hat Pattern comes in kid and adult size, and you can make them quickly. Create a few and gift them to cancer centers; hats are usually always welcomed donations.


Stay safe, be diligent, stay healthy and get yourself checked! And to all those in treatment currently, FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!


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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!


  • Margaret Chambers

    Very nice ideas for support items to make and embroider for breast cancer patients and survivors. Please do not forget all the other cancer patients and survivors out there. Maybe you could show a listing of the colors associated with other specific types of cancers to help us make appropriate items for them also. Thank you so much for your thoughtful ideas and the great Sulky products available for us to use.

  • Virginia Jones

    I am now a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June and had a mastectomy in July. I am now cancer free but will have follow up visits every 3 months as a precaution. I am so grateful for God’s healing hand, for wonderful surgeons and for insurance that makes it possible to get the care required to survive.survives

  • Becky Leitl

    I’m a survivor, too. Couple surgeries, 6 months of chemo, 30-36 rounds of radiation, and 5 yrs. of follow-up cancer fighting drugs. Yeah! I’m still here quite a few years later (diagnosed with breast cancer in 10/2002). I love your company and others that make pretty things available to us to make to give to other patients and survivors. Back when I was a patient they gave us warm turbans and cute little pillows for under our arms after surgies. Now, lots of us make quilts for our local breast cancer treatment centers. It is such a rewarding effort for everyone invoived. Please keep up the good works.