When you are eager to learn quilting and don’t know where to start, a quilting book is the best way to guide you. For this purpose, you have to first select a perfect quilting book matching your level of experience.
Whether to choose as a reference book or to complete your collection of quilting books, sorting out the best quilting book is a tricky process.
So, in this article, we will be giving you a vivid review of some top quilting books in the market and ease your way of selecting the best one. Our similar articles about sewing books is found here.
Basics of Quilting Books
If you are a self-taught quilter, A quilting book is a great replacement for your quilting classes and teachers. If you are an intermediate quilter, you need a quilting book providing you with some new techniques and projects to help you to step a level up.
A quilting book is also must for an advanced quilter, to increase his knowledge and complete his quilting library. So, for every level of quilters, a quilting book is very important.
Some of these books will provide inspiration and easy instruction for beginners. Some will make quilting fun with some stunning projects and methods. Some books will teach quilting with a story of a person’s life or the history of quilting.
So, you need an ideal quilting book as a reference if you are a member of the quilting world.
Best Quilting Books
Picking out the right quilting book for your level and experience is not an easy task. We have assembled some top quilting books both for new quilters and advanced quilters. Let’s have a brief review of these quilting books.
1. Better Homes and Gardens: Complete Guide to Quilting
If you are looking for a veritable encyclopedia of quilting, “Better Homes and Gardens: Complete Guide to Quilting” can be a perfect choice for you.
The book has many chapters and they are Tools, Notions, & Supplies, Fabric & Color, Planning Pieced Blocks, Planning the Quilt Top (with blank charts for planning), Cutting, Hand Piecing, Machine Piecing, Hand & Machine Applique, Assembling the Quilt Top, Batting & Backing, Hand & Machine Quilting, Binding & Finishing, Specialty Techniques, Glossary and Index.
Each chapter contains its own table of contents, and there are different color side-of-page labels that make the chapters easy to find just by flipping through the pages.
You will find instructions to use a rotary cutter and cutting mat. It contains interesting color charts, pictures of many basic blocks, tools needed and graph sheets for designing.
There is a handy notes section for you at the end of each section so that you can write down anything you want. Also, there is an informative glossary of frequently used quilt making terms and techniques in the back of the book.
This book provides clear, concise and practical instructions of hand quilting and machine quilting including color photos both for right-handed and left-handed quilters.
But this quilting book focuses mainly on old-fashioned quilting. It lacks photos of finished quilts. Beginners may find it quite advanced to understand. Also, the book will not give you block bases with real measurements to create those in different sizes.
2. Four Centuries of Quilts
The book which will show you the history and documentation of quilting is, “Four Centuries of Quilts”. This book is unique and classic for its authority, proper use of museum materials and design.
It is organized in a chronological manner and highlights the splendor and craft of quilts including more than 300 nice color photos and details. There are full-page images dominating the book and small images for details.
There are also line drawings across the photos making easy to see the quilting design. You may find the informed commentary very helpful.
The world-renowned collection of the book covers quilt made by diverse religious and cultural groups over 400 years across continents from the Mediterranean, England, France, America, and Polynesia. It starts with India, where bed quilting began and ends with the work of African-American quiltmakers.
These epic collections of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation between two ends of the book trace the evaluation of quilting styles and trends as they are related to the economic, social, and political issues of that time.
There are examples from 18th– to 20th-century America, many made by Amish and African-American quilters which reflect the multicultural nature of American society and include boldly colored and patterned worsteds and brilliant pieced and appliqued works of arts.
The limitation of the book is it neglects quilts from the cultures south and west of the original English colonies’ borders. Also, it may seem more like a coffee table book than one with some patterns.
3. The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt
If you love to make quilts of different designs and love a good story then “The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt” is an ideal option for you.
This book features real-life letters from The Farmer’s Wife magazine. This commemorates the strength and hope of the farm women of the great depression. It provides 99-block queen-size sampler quilt which is inspired by these letters and uses reproduction of 1930s fabrics.
For each of the blocks, there are instructions for template piecing, and rotary cutting where applicable. So, you can piece the blocks based on your preferred technique.
The blocks in this book finish mainly at six inches. If any quilter is interested in blocks from that era of the 1930s, this is the perfect book for them. An interesting fact is all of the dozens of blocks are named for women instead of their traditional names.
Foundation paper piecing patterns, templates, measurements, instructions are on the CD-ROM attached with the book.
You will find the historical stories of women who went through depression and how they fared as farmer’s wives which is really fascinating to go along with each of the blocks.
Some drawbacks are some instructions may seem incorrect such as it may suggest you to buy more yards of fabrics where you will be needing less. Quilt squares are very complicated and confusing. So, this book is not perfect for beginners.
You will find most of the instructions on a CD, not in the book. If you don’t have a computer with a CD drive, then this book is not that useful to you.
4. Quiltmaker’s 1,000 Blocks: A Collection of Quilt Blocks
You will find hundreds of blocks from today’s top designers in “Quiltmaker’s 1,000 Blocks: A Collection of Quilt Blocks” from the last ten years.
These 12 inches blocks are gathered up from Quiltmaker Magazine, which is regarded as the place to find blocks that range from innovative to traditional, whimsical to sophisticated, classic to unique.
This quilting guide covers every block-making approach including applique, foundation-pieced, mixed techniques and pieced. It also includes settings and yardages for turning your blocks into beautiful quilts, quilt-making techniques for easy reference and a bonus CD of PDF templates.
The included pictures are inspirational and the book is organized with colored tabs on the side of the pages which makes searching easy. There are a number of layouts and measurements at the back of the book to help you piece together various sizes of quilts like a baby, twin, queen, king sized.
There are some flipsides too. The previously released books have poor editing. There are many printing errors and it may seem instructions are wrong for many blocks as they don’t match up with directions. So, look for a newly released copy.
The index is not good because you have to search for the designer name not block name. There is a lack of detailed description and some pictures don’t match the patterns. These may cause waste of fabrics and time.
5. The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt
The magazine “The Farmer’s Wife” threw a question to the readers in 1922, that is if they had a daughter of marriageable age, would they in light of their experience had her marry a farmer?
The best answers are gathered up in “The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt” along with some traditional quilt blocks they inspired.
This book covers 111 six-inch quilt blocks, with assembly diagrams for piecing the blocks and template cutting directions. It gives you complete instructions to make your sampler quilt in any size like a lap, twin, queen or king.
A CD is attached with the book which is easy to print and has full-sized 106 templates for all blocks and printable quilt construction diagram.
Beside quilting projects, this book includes 42 poignant and interesting letters from the 1922 farmer’s wife which give a real insight when they were exploding with innovation and farming was seen as a drudge of a choice.
But if you are looking forward to foundation piecing your quilt, this book is not for you. Blocks are not historical they are common blocks. There is a lack of instructions of how to construct a quilt block.
There are no measurements in the book, all of them are on CD, so it will not be useful if you don’t have computers having disk drives. You have to print a huge number of templates. Patterns are not in color and the blocks are difficult to make for beginner quilters.
6. Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage
If you want to make a whole quilt in one time then “Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage” will fulfill your expectations.
Nine stunning quilted projects like a pillow, miniature, or table runner versions of larger quilts are included for you in this book. Each project is followed by easy to follow instructions with photos and diagrams. These projects are elegant and simple both in fabrics choices and design.
There are measurements and instructions for 51 different vintage blocks and all of them are of nearly the same size. So, you can mix and match the block as you desire. If you deal with only one block at a time, the hand or free motion quilting designs provided by this book will seem possible to do.
The writer shared three optional methods for joining the blocks. These methods include a new technique that makes the quilt reversible. You can use your pieces of leftover fabrics following these techniques.
There are also insight and helpful advice on the sections of tools and supplies, working with the quilt batting and choosing the proper fabrics.
So, no matter how much busy you are, you can set attainable goals of projects and practice quilting patchwork blocks in small and manageable pieces.
Some cons are Very the instructions and diagrams are not given in a very ease level, so this is difficult to follow for new quilters. The 51 blocks are not named in front of the book, so you have to look for any particular block in the block section which may be annoying.
Best Quilting Books Buying Guide
Some important points to consider before buying a quilting book are discussed below
A title of any book is like a mirror of the whole book. It will help you to find out what type of book you are looking for.
Type of the book
The book may be an instruction type or inspiration type. Also, it can be a history type or biography type. So, select according to your interest and level.
Some quilting books target the new readers to inspire them and instruct them in an easy way. Some focus on different classy projects, blocks, patterns, and methods to enhance the knowledge of the reader. So, carefully consider this fact and select which book targets you as a reader.
Select the book which is written in a language easy to understand for you.
Some books may include their detailed instructions and templates in an attached CD with the book. If you do not have computers having disk drives, this may create a problem. Also, you may have to print out many pages. So, consider if the book is offering any CD.
Pictures make the instructions easy to follow and the project tempting to the reader to do. So, select a book which uses many color pictures with instructions.
Numbers of projects, blocks, and methods
If you are an experienced quilter, you may be looking for some stunning projects, blocks and methods to increase your knowledge and skill. So, carefully consider these.
It may be annoying to search for a certain block or project again and again in the whole book. So, look if the book has any proper index.
Select a quilting book which will fulfill your expectations with an optimal price.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Some common questions may be roaming in your mind. We will try to answer them below
What is QAYG type books?
These books will help you to quilt as you go. This is a fun technique that allows you to finish the whole quilting project at a time.
What is foundation paper piecing?
It is a method of patchwork using templates which is useful for piecing unusual shapes and achieving clean lines.
Quilting is fascinating and a thing of pride if you learn properly. If you have a hobby of quilting or quilting is your profession, you need the best quilting book to follow.
Read over the quick reviews of our recommended quilting books and pick out the perfect one which will increase your creativity of quilting.