Whether you’re an experienced quilter or a beginning quilter, looking for inspiration or instruction, it never hurts to add to your knowledge bank.
The best quilting books can guide you through your quilting process, teach you different techniques, and just up your quilting game.
The list below includes many of the books on my own bookshelf as well as some recommendations from friends who have quilted longer than I have.
New quilters and advanced quilters alike can find these books useful and inspiring.
This collection of quilting books includes a range of quilting projects and styles from traditional to modern and unique. But the emphasis is definitely on more modern quilts as well as how to use up your fabric scraps in your quilting.
So how do you decide on the best quilt book for your skill level?
I’ve divided the list below of top quilting books into a few different sections so you can find exactly what you are looking for:
- Best Quilt Books for Scraps
- Best Quilt Books for Sampler Quilts and Blocks
- Best Quilt Books for Machine Quilting
- Best Modern Quilt Books
- Best Quilt Books for Beginners
- Best Quilting Books for Inspiration
I hope this list helps you find the perfect book for you – no matter where you are on your quilting journey.
The Best Quilting Books List!
Best Quilting Books for Modern Scrappy Quilters
This list is divided into sections to help you find what you are looking for - scroll down to find the section that suits you!
Best Quilting Books for Scraps
My first love will always be scrap quilts so of course I had to start this list of the best quilting books out there with some top picks for scrapbusting quilters.
Whether you are looking to use up tiny scraps, fabric strips or you are just committed to shopping your stash these picks should be right up your alley.
This book has 15 different quilt patterns for your scraps. It is a compilation of patterns from different quilt designers so there are a range of styles to choose from.
This book was so popular there is now a follow-up Scraps Inc Vol 2 with another 15 scrappy quilt patterns.
This is a lovely book with lots of simple quilt ideas using your scraps. It even starts off with a pattern for a color-coded patchwork scrap bins!
Use this book to make a dent in your scrap pile with some easy-to-piece quilts or use the techniques to create your own unique creation.
Author: Amanda Jean Nyberg
You know I’m all about using up all those scraps and reducing waste as much as possible.
If you are too or you want to be, this book is a great step to thinking like a scrap quilter!
This book includes tips on how to make scrap quilts including picking fabric combinations that work.
Author: Lissa Alexander
Best Improv Quilt Books
For me scrappy quilting is very closely related to improv quilting.
But whether you are having fun playing with your scraps or you just love improv techniques these books should provide you with some fresh ideas to get you inspired to make your own unique quilt creations!
This book has simple improv techniques and pretty pictures to set your creative juices going. I got it as a gift and had a nice afternoon flicking through it.
Take a look at the title of this one and take one guess as to why I bought it! The no rules and no rulers definitely appealed to me!
This book has some fun techniques but the thing I love most about it is that there is a focus on using your leftover blocks and other bits for new projects - no waste!
The Improv Handbook is a fresh approach for quilters who want something a little bit more outside the box, or pattern.
In this unique book, you’ll find frameworks for modern quilts that create a guide but not detailed information or instructions.
The aim is to increase your quilting confidence and creativity and get you on your way to creating one-of-a-kind quilts.
Author: Sherri Lynn Wood
Best Sampler Quilt & Quilt Block Books
The books in this section are all about building a quilt block by block and trying new things.
You can put together all the blocks in these books to make a big sampler quilt or mix and match to make something unique to you.
This unique book features real-life letters from The Farmer’s Wife magazine and commemorates the strength and hope of the farm women of the Great Depression.
Along with the letters, it includes in-depth instructions for a 99-block queen-size quilt inspired by the letters (it has construction instructions for smaller sizes too!).
I am currently working on my own scrappy Farmer's Wife Sample Quilt.
Note that in order to use the block templates you need access to a CD Drive as there is a CD that comes with this book.
Author: Laurie Aaron Hird
This is Tula Pink's City Sampler Quilt Book and includes templates and patterns for 100 Modern Quilt Blocks that you can mix and match or combine into a gorgeous sampler quilt.
I've seen a few of these samplers made in super bright colors and they are amazing!
Author: Tula Pink
This may be the oldest book on the list, but it’s still a favorite book amongst quilters due to its large collection of quilt blocks.
This ultimate guide contains almost 200 quilt patterns and an index of quilt block names and origins. You can make them modern by using solids or bright colors or using just a few blocks paired with negative space to make them really stand out.
Author: Judy Martin
Best Books for Machine Quilting Techniques and Ideas
These books focus on that final step in making a quilt - quilting together your quilt sandwich.
These books offer techniques and inspiration for machine quilting your fabulously pieced creations!
This book and the sequel Walk 2.0 (see below) is one of the most popular books for learning to quilt with your walking foot. This book has easy-to-follow instructions and lots of ideas for creative and modern walking foot quilting.
Walk even comes in a spiral-bound version to make it easier to refer to while you are at your machine.
Author: Jacquie Gering
I love this book! Christina Cameli is amazing at teaching how to add texture to your projects with free-motion quilting as well as learning new walking foot quilting designs.
Her instagram account is also worth a follow as she gives good quilting tips from time to time @afewscraps
Author: Christina Cameli
Walk 2.0 is the sequel to Walk, Jacquie Gering's first walking foot quilting book. In Walk 2.0 she shares more advanced walking foot quilting designs to take your quilting to a whole other level.
Author Jacquie Gering
I've heard through the grapevine that this book is great when you want to get the most out of your sewing machine when quilting.
It’s packed with techniques, tips, templates, and designs to try. Note - this isn't one I own myself but I have heard good things about it.
Author: Joanie Zeier Poole
This book is the brain child of famous quilting buddies Tula Pink (Fabric Designer) and Angela Walters (quilting expert).
Each chapter in this book pairs different shapes with different colors and provides you with everything you need to combine colors and quilting designs into the perfect quilt.
Authors: Tula Pink & Angela Walters
Best Modern Quilt Books
What is a modern quilt?
There are lots of definitions but something with negative space, non-traditional blocks or blocks made in solid color fabric are some of the hallmarks.
Any one of these books will help you get an even clearer idea of what a modern quilt is and help you make some great ones for yourself.
This book is one I received as a gift. I don't look at it as often as the title might lead you to believe but it has some interesting exercises and techniques to try if you are looking to start designing your own modern quilts.
Author: Elizabeth Betts
This modern quilt book is all about how to use negative space in modern quilts to make an impact.
I love quits with negative space and I want to make more of them - this book has quilt patterns to follow or you can use the examples in the book to come up with your own layouts.
Author: Trisch Price
This quilting book is a great resource for simple illustrations and easy-to-follow steps to create 30 beautiful quilts efficiently.
This book is for both the novice quilter and quilters looking for a refresher. Along with the patterns and instructions, it also includes helpful information focused on the history of quilting and how the craft is modernizing in today’s world.
Author: Wendy Chow
This book has 20 modern quilt patterns that are meant to be super quick to put together. I love leafing through this book but I haven't actually made any of the patterns.
It's a hard back book with lovely colour photos and templates - a great coffee table book as well a a great modern quilt book.
Author: Lynne Goldsworthy
Best Quilting Books for Beginners
This section is great for quilters who are just starting out or who want to refresh their knowledge.
These beginner’s book ideas are full of the quilting basics including simple patterns and clear instructions that will help you be well on your way to creating your first quilt.
Just remember all of the 'quilting rules' in these books are optional. Take what makes sense for you and don't stress about the rest!
Want to learn how to quilt but a bit overwhelmed?
This book was created by the author with the sole purpose of being a guide for people who want to learn the basics of quilting while skipping most of the technical jargon.
Designed in a very easy-to-follow method with a lot of images, it’s easy to follow along.
Author: Amy Ray
This comprehensive guide covers just about every aspect of quilting from binding to designing quilt blocks.
This book is great for someone that is just getting into quilting or someone that wants a book that encompasses the art of quilting. It is more about techniques and skills - it contains zero patterns.
Author: Better Homes and Gardens
I’ve heard this quilting book is one of the best and an invaluable resource for the absolute beginner. It teaches the basics of modern machine quilting with step-by-step detailed instructions and photographs.
Wondering if it’s the right quilting book for you? It covers everything from choosing fabric to sewing seams to completing a quilt top.
The book includes projects that start with easy quilts and gradually progress to more difficult patterns to help you succeed in mastering basic techniques and beyond.
Make your first quilt a success with help from internationally beloved teacher Alex Anderson. Includes instructions for 8 beautiful quilts.
This is another older book that I haven't read myself but I know is rated highly by Alex Anderson fans.
Author: Alex Anderson
This practical guide expertly guides beginner quilters through each and every step of the learning process to make an entire quilt their first time.
Author: Pat Sloan
Best Quilting Books for Inspiration
This lot of books includes titles that are more for inspiration.
While they may include some instructions and how-to info - even templates and patterns - the bulk of the book is focused on the history and art of quilting itself and inspiring you - great for when you don't know what to make next!
This book is a retrospective of famous quilter Victoria Findlay Wolfe's work. She is famous for creating 15 minutes of play - a quilting exercise that helps you to get more creative and develop your own unique quilts.
Victoria Findlay Wolfe marries traditional quilts with modern and improv techniques and aesthetics. Her work is scrappy, original, and bold.
This is a lovely hard-backed coffee table style book.
Author: Victoria Findlay Wolfe
The quilts in this book are great conversation starters.
Learn how to create 12 attention-grabbing quilts that are so enticing you’ll be using them as wall hangings.
Author: Ruth Ann Berry
Kaffe Fassett's Quilts are well known for being bright and inspiring just like his fabric collections. Although many of the shapes he uses are traditional his colorful quilts are definitely modern!
You can use this book to save time and frustration by using preselected and precut strips. The eight patterns in this book use 2.5” strips which are perfect when you want to create a quilt without the planning and prepping.
Author: Annie's Quilting
Do you have a quilt bucket list? This book contains 12 quilts – six different themes designed by each of the two authors and veteran quilters.
I've not read this one myself but it comes highly recommended by other quilters.
Authors: Corey Yoder & Sherri L. McConnell
- Put a post-it note or another marker with your cut project pieces or unfinished blocks with the name of the book the pattern came from…if you are the type to get sidetracked and return to half-finished projects months later this will save a lot of searching!
- If you get to the point where you have made all the projects from a quilt book you’ve bought and you want to swap it out for a new one you can always sell your old quilting books. The same places where I sell quilting fabric from my stash have lots of quilters buying and selling books.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. You really shouldn’t do this out of respect for the book’s author and the time and effort they put into their work.
You can lend one friend the book of course, or even multiple friends in turn but when you start making photocopies you should be asking yourself if it wouldn’t be of more benefit to the quilting community as a whole if you bought a few more copies of the book to share around.
The common practice is that you can make a working photocopy for yourself to make notes on the pattern for example, but you shouldn’t really be making multiple copies so that your friends don’t need to buy the book.
Usually, the author of the book will include information in the cutting instructions about any pre-cuts, like jelly rolls, layer cakes, or fat quarters that can be used to simplify the cutting process.
Many books are out there that are specific to a certain kind of pre-cut as well.
Have I Missed One?
There are so many great books out there with beautiful projects to make. No doubt I have missed some gems.
If you know of any other fab quilting books that should be on this list do let me know in the comments or send me an email!
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