28 of the Best Quilting Books for Modern Scrappy Quilters

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The best quilting books can guide you through your quilting process, teach you different techniques, and just up your quilting game.

Whether you’re an experienced or beginning quilter, looking for inspiration or instruction, it never hurts to add to your knowledge bank.

best quilt books

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.

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 books below into a few different sections so you can find exactly what you are looking for:

  • Best for Scraps
  • Best for Sampler Quilts and Blocks
  • Best for Machine Quilting
  • Best Modern
  • Best for Beginners
  • Best 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 with some top picks for scrapbusting quilters.

Whether you are looking to use up tiny scraps or fabric strips or you are just committed to shopping your stash, these picks should be right up your alley.

Best Improv Quilt Books

For me, scrappy quilting is very closely related to improv quilting.

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 inspire you to make your own unique quilt creations!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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!

Top Tips

  • 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

Can I photocopy a pattern from a book and give it to my quilting friends?

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.

Can I use pre-cuts for patterns I find in quilt books?

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?

best quilting books
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

There are so many great books out there with beautiful projects to make. I have undoubtedly missed some gems.

Quilting magazines are also great places to find patterns and are often a lot cheaper than books too.

If you know of any other fabulous quilting books that should be on this list, please let me know in the comments or send me an email!

Happy Quilting!