With Christmas coming and folks looking for gifts ideas (or just us crafters, looking for something new for US, hehe) here is a list of my favorite quilting books for your consideration.

Put them on your own wish list or pick up a couple for a fellow crafter.

1. Favorite quilting book for learning about color:

Color from the Heart: Seven Great Ways to Make Quilts with Colors You Love

Difficulty level: beginner on up

I learned some of the most important lessons about color (in quilts and in any art form) from Gai Perry’s Color From the Heart.  The book consists of seven small quilting projects.  As you work through each one you apply the principles she is explaining.

It’s great fun and the best way to learn, in my opinion.

Two of my favorite little quilt projects ever were from this book (because of the colors, naturally.) 🙂

2. Favorite quilting book for learning about machine quilting


Guide To Machine Quilting

Difficulty level: Intermediate to Advanced

Diane Gaudynski’s Guide To Machine Quilting is incredibly helpful.  She has a whole system worked out which includes needle and thread sizes, how to bundle the quilt, starching the backing to make it slide easier, even propping up your left foot to the same height as the right!  Each of these steps makes the process just a bit easier, so if you implement all her suggestions you’ll have an excellent chance of success.

If you like you can check out the queen size quilt I machine quilted using this information. If you want to learn how to or just improve your machine quilting I highly recommend this book.

3. Favorite quilting book for memory projects

Hanky-Panky Crazy Quilts

Difficulty level: advanced beginner on up

This book walks you through the steps of making a wonderful little keepsake quilt using handkerchiefs.  I made one from my grandma’s hankies and while back and love it.  It was a fun way to use some special items and preserve memories.

4. Favorite quilting book for baby quilts & quick gifts


Sweet and Simple Baby Quilts

Difficulty Level: Beginner on up

This book delivers what it promises in the title, every quilt in there is both sweet and simple.  It is my go to book for any special occasion quilt (usually for babies.)

This Beatrix Potter baby quilt was from SASBQ, as is this Topsy Turvy Sailboats quilt. (These patterns are probably the most complicated in the book.) This Pink Lemonade quilt is one of the simpler, and yet still utterly adorable.

If you are regularly looking for interesting, but quick quilting projects to make, I think you’ll enjoy Sweet and Simple Baby Quilts.

These next three books are for those quilters in need of a challenge.  They are definitely NOT simple, but they are lots of fun!

5. Favorite quilting book for a challenge


Optical Illusions for Quilters

I took a workshop with Karen Coombs a while back and loved it.  It felt like I was back in art school, which, yes, was a wonderful feeling. 🙂

The experience was so inspiring that I bought her book and her diamond templates, plus stopped at the fabric store on my way home for a pile of batiks.  Then I proceeded to make this:

quilting-arts-ufo-challenge-submitted

Never did finish it, but ain’t it cool?

Looking to stretch your skills, or for something new, different and interesting?  Try making an optical illusion quilt.

6. Favorite quilting book for making miniature quilts


Easy Paper-Pieced Miniatures

Ok, I have to warn you that paper piecing is not for everybody.  I have very experienced quilty friends who cheerfully hate it with a passion, lol. However, if you like working with small, complex designs, want utter precision and have a fair amount of patience, you may enjoy the process.

I made the cover quilt with the houses… twice.  Thought I’d lose my mind, but it was a great accomplishment. 🙂

That being said, I consider this method the only way sane people make miniature quilts.  Just sayin’.

7. Favorite quilting book for a cool technique


Magic Stack-n-Whack Quilts

It’s been mentioned before, but I’m a sucker for a cool technique.  The general idea of this book is that you layer identical repeats of a fabric, then rotary cut them into stacks of identical diamonds.  When you put each stack of diamonds together, you get kaleidoscope stars, like this.

matt-sarahs-stack-n-whack-quilt-3

and this….

matt-sarahs-stack-n-whack-quilt-6

And here’s the whole quilt:

matt-sarahs-stack-n-whack-quilt-2

All those stars were made from eight repeats of the four corner blocks.  Cool, eh?

It’ll definitely make you look at your larger scale fabrics in a whole new way.

So, there you have it, my top favorite quilting books.  Some are simpler, some more challenging, but all are worth a try.

Happy creating!

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4 thoughts on “My Top 7 Favorite Quilting Books

  1. Okay, I see a couple of books that I need to add to my library. I still can’t believe you machine quilted that queen-sized quilt! And I LOVE your kaleidoscope stars quilt! Thanks for the recommendations.

    1. Yeah, I still kinda can’t believe I managed that queen-size quilt, either.

      Both quilts you mention were wedding gifts for daughters of a dear friend, and I very much wanted to keep both quilts for myself, lol.

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