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Favorite Quilt Books

by | Jan 27, 2016

classicquiltbooksLike many quilters, I have an insane stack of quilt books and also a good chunk on related topics like needlework, embroidery, and mixed media art. I find that some books stay with me for years and I can constantly come back to them and learn something else. Other books I get tired of, or I literally outgrow them.

In the last few years my collection has gotten so huge that I needed to pair it down a bit. I plowed through my enormous stash, donated a bunch to charity, and put the rest nicely back in my shelf.

However, I thought it would be fun to share with you a list of my favorite quilt books of all time. These are books that I read over and over again for color inspiration, style inspiration, or technique.  ( I have never actually made a quilt from a book pattern…but that could change)


Click on their book title to find their page on Amazon. Several of these titles are out of print, but many are still easy to find used.

  • Gwen Marston, Liberated Quiltmaking, AQS, 1996

This is a classic and it was one of the first quilt books I ever bought. It is also one of the only early quilt book purchases that I have kept and that I still paw through regularly. Its just brilliant.

These antique little quilts are so inspiring. Some are meticulous and sweet, others really sends a forecast about the modern quilting movement that would arise 100 years after these quilts were made.

This was Kaffe’s first book. This was before his books were supporting a huge fabric line (granted it it excellent fabric) so the quilts have a much more diverse flavor than in his later books.

I LOVE this book. I must have read it 200 times. Brilliant.

I am speechless. I can’t believe this book is out of print. I look at her incredible body of work outside of the box and I desperately wish I had the chance to learn from her directly.

Another gem from Yoshiko Jinzenji. This is a must have for anybody interested in modern quilting. It is brilliant. The book is out of print, unfortunately, but I got my copy used on Amazon.

All of Kathy’s books are lovely. She is becoming THE master of too-much-ness and pattern on pattern in quilts. If she were a fashion brand, she would be Prada, or maybe MiuMiu. Constant source of inspiration. Kathy calls all quilters to be bold and brave.

I got this book a few years ago and since then I have had a rather strong hankering to make a very complicated log cabin quilt. Beautiful in that meticulous Japanese way.

What can I say?  If you like working with low-value fabrics and admire the Japanese Taupe movement, this book simply has to be in your quilt library. Gorgeous.

Not every quilter has to have this, but if you like houses you should. And this master of hand work also shows you how to design your own house blocks from actual houses you see around you.

I love this book. Elizabeth guides you through the design process of making successful art quilts. I am not particularly working within that category myself, but her advise is very good and applicable to all quilting styles.

Another of Elizabeth Bartons books. She is really asking us to grow up and dig deeper in our work in order to become better artists. I have tried so many new and scary things because of this book. Great for the quilter who wants to grow and develop as an artist.


What are your favorite quilt books of all time?

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