A Quilt Library

I’m slowly building my quilt library.

Okay, actually I’m building it relatively quickly, since I cannot resist any book about quilts, quiltmaking, or quilters throughout history. I particularly like finding books on quilting at used bookstores. You’ll come across a gem pretty often in a city as big as Chicago. The good thing is that there aren’t that many at any one place. Me, I’d like to think that this is because people keep their quilting books and use them — I certainly do!

Three of my very favorites are:

You have this book, right? It’s amazing. If you see an old quilt, a new quilt, have an idea of a quilt in mind, go to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and start flipping through the index or the pages and pages of drawings of blocks. I use this book all the time when I want to get inspired for a new project. The names of the blocks are so wonderful and they all inspire stories. “Hard Times” and “Attic Stair” and “Crimson Rambler” are just… Gorgeous.

The drawings are a little wobbly sometimes, but it adds to the charm for me. This is a must if you even think for a second you want to design your own quilt.

Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts was one of the first books I got several years ago that made me stop and say, “Hey, now wait a minute. I like those colors. I like those colors a lot.” Schmidt got me thinking about design and modern lines in quilts. I’ll be honest — I haven’t made a quilt or a project from this book, but it remains an important one for me; the layout, the art direction, the tone all spoke to me and still do. Denyse, I hope to meet you at some point and thank you for it!

Like I wasn’t going to include this one…

The Quilter’s Complete Guide by (ahem) Marianne Fons and Liz Porter is the industry’s best quilting book, period. Yes, I’m biased. But millions of quilters would agree with me. The pictures could probably use a little updating…maybe. But maybe not! The instructions are clear, the text is exhaustive, the projects are classic. My mom and Liz built their careers around great quilting instruction. I can only hope to help continue that legacy with Quilty — good teaching must come first.

What are your favorite quilting books? I’d love to know so I can go out and hunt them all down to add to my growing library…

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6 comments

1 Teresa { 02.17.11 at 3:37 pm }

I have more quilt books than I really can ever use. I’m a book junkie. Picking favorites would be hard. Barbara’s book is good, but I love Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns

One book you might find useful with a Modern take is Elizabeth Hartman’s, The Practical Guide to Patchwork.

For Applique I like Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins (Piece O’ Cake Designs) and their The New Applique Sampler. Though if you like a more freeform approach you may enjoy their Applique Outside the Lines.

Those are just a couple of the books I’d recommend for a new quilter.

2 Denise { 02.18.11 at 6:59 pm }

Have Barbara Brackman’s and the Complete Guide and absolutely love both. I’m not a modern girl, more on the traditional side. Love the handwork (quilting & applique), but do piece by machine.

My favorite applique go to is Elly Sienkiewicz. If you’re lucky enough to find some of the old stuff (check out mom’s book stash – LOL) there’s a wealth of info on appliqueing there.

Also have enjoyed Quilting Makes the Quilt and some similar others. These really expand your vision as to what you can do with your creation.

Most important thing in quilting is remember to have fun!

Good Luck!!!

3 Tracy { 02.24.11 at 11:00 am }

I love the book “Borders, The basics and beyond” by Jill Reber. Not only does it give awesome border techniques, but has dozens of patchwork blocks included.

4 Patti Criss { 03.01.11 at 6:13 am }

I, like you, cannot pass up a good quilting book or pattern. I buy ALL of the quilting magazines and I love Elizabeth Hartman’s “Practical Guide to Patchwork”. (yes, I own it ,too).
New, young quilters need not despair over the prices of these books and magazines because there are more free quilt and quilt block patterns on the internet than one person could ever make.
Keep up the good work and enjoy quilting!

5 Beth Trestrail { 03.15.11 at 1:33 am }

I’m the very definition of a quilt rookie, and am enjoying your shows quite a bit. You’re doing a great job for folks like me, who have sewing skills but no real quilting experience. I’ll be buying more quilting books in the future, but the book I’ve been most inspired by, so far, is called “Simple Strategies for Block-Swap Quilts” by Lynn Roddy Brown (2009, Martingae & Company, publishers).

The reason I started with this one is that I’m one of those people with tons of scraps and no idea how to make them work together. This book has give me many good ideas. Now I need to get a basic “how to” guide. So far I’ve been relying on web resources — and your shows, which are very informative. Keep up the good work!

6 Kelly Green { 07.28.12 at 5:45 am }

I love the book “Material Obsession: Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots” by Sarah Fielke and Kathy Doughty. They have a great eye for color and I love how they use traditional quilt blocks but interpret them in a modern way.

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