Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Knee Deep in Quilt Books

As part of my ongoing struggle to take back my house and organize my life, I started sorting through my quilting books. About two months ago, I moved my quilting bookcase/giant ironing board from my former sewing room (now home office) across the garden to my quilt studio above the garage. I have A LOT of quilting books.
Now I have a great big ironing board/bookcase in my studio. Unfortunately, the quilt books haven't made it across the lawn yet, so I am starting to fill up all those nice little cubbies with other things.
Here is my bookcase in its new home. I love this bookcase! It has
wheels on the bottom and it holds my giant ironing board surface on top.
When I first emptied the bookcase, I originally thought that I would try to go through the stacks and re-read one or two quilt books a day, but I realized that might take a while! So today I did a quick dump and sort. So far there is a pile of books on machine quilting for Joannie and another pile for my coworker Anna who is a new quilter and will probably appreciate some basic books on technique.

I can see my quilt studio from my home office window.
Yes, I have a lot of quilting books, but I've been quilting for at least 20 years. When I first started quilting, it was hard to find quilting books, so I bought whatever was available.  As my skills have grown, my tastes have changed. Today there are so many more books and patterns available, plus a vast array of information on the Internet. So I'm weeding out older titles, plus books on techniques that I've tried and not really liked (hand applique, french ribbon, paper piecing).

Here is my "keep" pile so far. Only two boxes, but I'm not finished. I hope that Mike will carry these over to the studio for me. I also need some more boxes. My "donate" pile has about 40 books in it so far. Unfortunately, I am at the point where the whole mess looks worse before it gets better, so I'm taking a break.
Elvis is a very good boy who stays out of my way when I clean!

Part of the "keep" pile

Keep! This was one of the first quilt books I ever bought. Remember
when Diana McClun and Laura Nownes had a television series?

Keep or Donate?
Remember when this series was popular? I used to be able to pick these
titles in my local book store before I started frequenting quilt shops.

Here are two of my handsome helpers, Larry and Elvis
It is fun to look through all my books and get more ideas! Some of my favorite authors are Eleanor Burns, Kaffe Fassett, Terri Atkinson, Kim Diehl, Heather Mulder Peterson, and Bonnie Hunter. Lately I've become intrigued by the Modern Quilting movement and am also buying a lot of scrap quilting books in hopes of making a dent in my stash.

Who are some of your favorite quilting authors?

What was the first quilting book you ever bought?

How many quilting books do you have?

Want to come over and help?

Have a great day!

Pugs and kisses,


  1. I love quilting books! Especially ones with different histories. I love the "vintage" type patterns the best, so I like those kind of books.

  2. I have more quilting magazines (probably close to 100) than books (maybe around 15?) and SO many patterns and tutorials printed from the internet (too many to count). I'll come help you organize your books, if you'll come help me organize mine!

    1. Sounds like a deal! Want to start at my house?

  3. I tend to buy books that have simple striking quilts in them - usually modern, by folks like Elizabeth Hartman and Amanda Jean Nyberg. I also have more than my fair share of magazines, but tend to change in taste as I see more quilts. I only buy a magazine if I find three or more things in it that I just have to make, and if three of that same magazine in a row end up in my house, I subscribe. So far, Quilty is the only one to make that cut!

    My favorite quilting book, though, is one my daughter gave me before I really started quilting. It's called "Quilting For Peace" and really got me started on the charity quilting kick! Most of the quilts I make these days go to our church quilt ministry, which has made and given away more than 450 quilts in the past three years!

    1. I've never read Quilty, I'll have to check it out. I love your blog and enjoy reading about all the wonderful quilts that your group puts together. I do give most of my projects away. Just finished a fleece blanket for my friend's Dad, who just loved it.

  4. The old book I used to refer to alot was Template-Free Quiltmaking by Trudie Hughes. It was when rotary cutting was new. It had a good section on the formula to cut half square and quarter square triangles.

    The other one is Log Cabin Quilts by Bonnie Leman and Judy Martin. It was written before rotary cutting but the pictures are still helpful when laying out a log cabin quilt.