5 Favorite Quilting Books for your Bookshelf

Here at 24 Blocks we like to provide you with guidance when hunting for quilting information. So we scoured the bookstores for the highest-rated, most well-loved books on quilting. Here are 5 of the standouts for you, with the information provided by their publishers. If you’d like to read more reviews or purchase the books, follow the links included in the descriptions. Enjoy!

1. Red and Green: An Appliqué Tradition 51Y886T6VQL._SS500_

Today’s quilters can learn about the origins of these historical designs, then stitch their own dramatic works of art with directions for 24 beautiful block patterns and one magnificent quilt. Author Jeana Kimball is a well-known teacher and lecturer, sharing her two favorite quilt topics–applique and the stories of pioneer quiltmakers and their quilts–with her national and international audiences. Jeana is also the author of Loving Stitches: A Guide to Fine Hand Quilting.


And to think I almost didn’t pick up this book. Although I appreciate applique, I didn’t used to be a huge fan of doing it myself. I had always appreciated the instant gratification of rotary-cut strip-pieced quilts. Kimball’s “Red and Green: An Applique Tradition” has helped change that. […] Even if you aren’t a fan of making applique quilts, “R&G” is interesting reading, and it might entice you to try a project.”

See more/purchase here.

2. Heirloom Machine Quilting: A Comprehensive Guide to Hand-Quilting Effects Using Your Sewing Machine 103935344

A brand-new edition of the machine quilting classic! Includes everything you need to know about machine quilting. Harriet started quilting seriously in 1974, working alongside her mom. Her early quilting career included producing baby quilts for craft shows and teaching adult education classes. In 1981, harriet opened her quilt shop, Harriet’s Treadle Arts. Her specialties at the time were free-motion embroidery, machine arts, and machine quilting. In 1982, Harriet attended one of Mary Ellen Hopkins’s seminars. Mary Ellen’s streamlined techniques and innovative design ideas led harriet to a new way of thinking, which caused her to give up the machine arts and to teach only quilting. Today, she is world renowned for being a true “mover and shaker” in the quilt world. In the late 1990s, she was voted one of the “88 Leaders of the Quilt World.” Harriet created and inspired a whole new generation of machine quilters with her bestselling book Heirloom Machine Quilting, which has enjoyed 22 continuous years in print.


“If you think you can’t machine quilt on your home machine and achieve beautiful results, think again! Not only is it possible, but it is much easier than you could ever imagine! If you only add one book to your library on machine quilting, this should be the one.”

“The 4th edition could be considered a completely new book. If you have an earlier edition of this book, the 4th edition is worth purchasing without a doubt.”

“This book has become my quilting bible.”

See more/purchase here.

3. The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker, 12 Quilt Projects 6a00e54ed037198833014e8b863434970d-450wi

Discover the wonderful world of quilting or brush-up your technique with this practical guide to the basics. Try a fresh, relaxed approach to making quilts with this brilliant ‘dip-in, dip-out-of’ book that features a bright aesthetic and clear, simple instructions to guide beginners and intermediates alike through the entire process of creating fun and useful quilts that they’ll be proud to call their own. “The Practical Guide to Patchwork” features 12 fantastic projects that allow quilters to experiment with different styles – from scrappy and vintage to modern and playful. Each project also comes with an alternate colour scheme to show how swapping out fabrics can dramatically change the look of a quilt.


“I happened upon Elizabeth Hartman’s first book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork, through my work and was beyond thrilled with it. This book is perfect for folks who are interested in quilting, but who have a hard time finding books that appeal to contemporary tastes (I’m in my 30s and most quilting books seem to be designed for an older (or traditional) aesthetic–I don’t mean that in a negative way, it’s just that people in their 20s/30s/40s often have different tastes than those in their 50s/60s/70s).”

4. Quilting Makes the Quilt 51RYZ4G57GL._SL500_AA300_

Rear cover notes: “…Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to ‘tryon’ quilting designs? Well, now you can! Lee Cleland, one of Australia’s most popular quilting instructors, shows you how in this authoritative guide to selecting the perfect qulting pattern for your quilt….Lee’s unique approach to choosing a quilting pattern is perfect if you have trouble visualizing how different designs might look on your qult top. You’ll see 12 traditional quilt patterns, each pieced five times using the same fabrics and then quilted using five different designs….You’re minutes away from taking your first stitch with these pullout patterns for 11 of the more unusual quilting designs….Detailed instructions for making your quilting designs fit your quilt top are at your fingertips, along with information on how to assemble your quilt, prepare it for quilting and finish it….All the information you need to make each of the 12 beautiful quilts is right here! Many of these traditional designs are rotary cut and speed pieced; a few require templates. All of these quilts are perfect for beginning quilters.”


“What is truly unique about Lee Cleland’s book is that she photographs a quilt and shows you how it looks with different quilting patterns. She does this with twelve quilts and it makes you truly consider how you will quilt your design. Truly the quilting is itself a design element and after studying this book–you will never make the beginner’s mistake of considering the quilting pattern an afterthought. The color photos in this book are clear and well thought out. There is a pull out quilting paper in the back of the book to practice some of Lee’s patterns.”

“This book is the only one I’ve found that does a really good job of showing how the quilting can change the appearance of a quilt, by showing the exact same piecing with different quilt patterns. The photography is excellent and the subject fascinating. I don’t mind at all that machine quilting was emphasized…”

“This book shows 12 quilts, each one done 6 times!”

Learn more/purchase here.

5. Traditional Quilts Today’s Techniques 5164B6V6XDL._SL500_AA300_

Share the secrets of award-winning quilter Debra Wagner as she shows you how to design and create beautiful quilts of your very own. And you can do it all on your sewing machine! Includes patterns, step-by-step instructions, and hundreds of illustrations and photos to assure your success.


“This book is a marvel. If you’re a quilter who always wanted to try machine applique, this book is a must. Easy reading instructions that give immediate, perfect results. It’s a winner. I carry it to work with me just to be able to read through it when I have a few minutes free time. I wish I had found it years ago. Debra Wagner is a precious find. I will certainly be ordering her other books.”

“In machine-technique workshops, Ricky Tims refers to this book as his “Bible.” Crammed with great techniques, and many are EASIER ways to do things that look NICER than what you’ve been taught to do. From the cover it looks like a book about applique, but it caused a big reduction in my cursing about binding and finishing.”

“Debra starts a chapter on binding with the sentence “I adore piped bindings”. Thanks to the well-written instructions & great illustrations, I do too! She covers more than piping – making it easy to try some of the other techniques that can change an ordinary quilt into a WOW quilt. This book is definitely a MUST-HAVE for me.”

Learn more/purchase here.

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