If you’ve been quilting for any length of time, you probably have an extensive library of quilt books. In fact, quilt books are the only books I buy, as I refer to them again and again or reread them over and over. But what if you’re new to quilting, and therefore you were not exposed to quilt books newly released back in that other century? Or you may be like me, a quilter for 20+ years who still can’t part with some quilt books of yesteryear. A repetitive theme you’ll see in my blog, is my constant strive to be a minimalist. Every couple of years, I go through all the books I own, and I donate a few to the local library. However, there area some quilt books which have stood the test of time in MY library. I’ve shared these titles with you below. I am always looking for great quilt book recommendations, and I have provided some great recommendations for you, too. They are in no particular order. Although they are dated by now, their projects and stories still appeal to me and I am confident they will for you, too!

01

This most adorable itty-bitty book would be the perfect gift for your quilt friend! It has pages that fold out to display the larger quilt, and beautiful quotes about quilts. Antique American quilts are featured.

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02

Written by Talula’s grandaughter, who discovered Talula’s memoirs long after her death, this is a captivating account of love, loss, poverty and quilting in the South post Civil War era. The book has pictures of her family, her quilts, and of her writings and drawings. Highly recommended if you enjoy reading about history, and specifically history of the South and/or history of quilts.

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03

Not quilter’s library is complete without a Kaffe Fassett book. This is old-school Kaffe with co-author Liza Prior Lucy. Typical of Kaffe and Liza’s books, lots of patterns included with fabric resources. Beautiful photographs of color inspiration included as well as discussions about influences from all over the world.

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04

Whether you are an active crazy quilter, or just a fan, this is a great resource! For the crazy quilt enthusiast, lots of “how-tos” with clear sketches and diagrams are included. For the “maybe someday” crazy quilter, this book is a great inspiration with colorful photos categorizing types of crazy quilts. A beautiful resource!

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05

There is a rich history of quilting in Australia, and this book is a great history lesson. If you like reading about quilt history in other cultures, you will love this book…

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06

This would make an interesting coffee table book. It’s quick to flip through, with a myriad of quotations and snippets from diaries and journals of pioneering American women. This book is unique in that the photographs are not only of quilts, but of quilting and sewing memorabilia, and illustrations and photographs of early American women and girls. This little book would make a great gift for a quilter!

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07

This is a meticulously researched and documented book about quilters deep in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee. These were the real scrap quilters, the ones who didn’t have a choice but to make scrappy quilts, which are photographed throughout. For those with a deep appreciation for the past, this book will satisfy that curiosity.

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08

Don’t let the dated colors on the cover fool you! If you have an interest in three-dimensional flowers on your quilts, this is a fantastic resource. The diagrams and directions are excellent. I’ve seen the author in her booth at quilt shows for years and she has great resources.

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09

If ever you need inspiration for quilting designs, this is the book. This continues to be a book I frequently refer to for ideas for quilting my quilts. I cannot imagine how much work she put into creating this book. She made five of each quilt, and quilted each one differently to show the effects of quilting choices on quilts. This book continues to be relevant.

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10

Crazy with Cotton is an excellent resource for beginner and seasoned quilters interested in crazy quilts. This book helps to envision how to make crazy quits with fun fabrics, and not the silky, frilly, Victorian lace, etc. that is associated with traditional crazy quilts. Pictured are many projects with “crazy” ways to frame fun cotton fabrics.

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11

I admit, I’m biased. Born and raised in North Carolina, I had to read it. It did not disappoint. It chronicles the state’s history as it relates to the textile industry, quilting and quilt makers. A dense read including photos, buy it if you enjoy reading about quilt history related to specific regions.

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12

Grace chronicles her life beginning in 1885 with a childhood in a sod house in Nebraska. A pioneer woman, she writes her autobiographical account of the struggles she faced living such a harsh life. She carved as much time into her days and nights as she could making quilts. If you like reading about pioneer life in America, this book’s for you!

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13

If you enjoy reading about women quilters of the past, then Ida Melugin has a story for you. Photographs of her quilts are included. Her personal tales of life on the prarie will captivate and inspire you.

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14

If you follow my blog,  you know I am a huge fan of vintage linens, and their use in quilts. This book not only covers the use of vintage fabrics in quilts, but also other types of projects, such as pillows, window coverings, stockings, etc. With lots of beautiful pictures of these flea market fabrics, this book is also fun to look through even if you don’t want to make anything!

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15

No quilt book about the Smithsonian collection could ever disappoint! This one is no exception. Ms. Dietrich not only shows outstanding quilts in their collection, but also patterns inspired by these quilts!

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16

The quilts in this book feature those made before 1850, with exquisite chintz fabrics of this time imported from England and France.This is an excellent read for those especially interested in textiles, with top notch photos to boot!

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17

Exquisite folk art quilts from the Smithsonian collection fill this book. Information about the techniques and types of materials used in these quilts is included in this read. Over 60 quilts are presented from the 300+ collection. Detailed photos make for a beautiful afternoon on the back porch with this book.

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