Five favorite quilting books

I began quilting in 2001 and immediately wanted to know more about what I was trying to do and the process of it all. I have always enjoyed reading (especially if there are pictures) and wanted to get my hands on all the knowledge I could. Here are some of the books that I was grateful to find about quilting, textiles, and color theory that helped me to become the quilter I am today.

#1 all-time favorite book – The Quilter’s Ultimate Visual Guide from A to Z by Ellen Pahl  ISBN-10: 0875969879

The Quilter's Ultimate Visual Guide

The Quilter's Ultimate Visual Guide

This book is wonderful because it really shows you with diagrams and illustrations exactly what all the quilting terms of the time mean and how to do things like trapunto, applique, etc. I found it to be invaluable the first couple of years that I was quilting. Nowadays, you can find this book available NEW for about $15 to $20. You will find it to be very worth it.


Book #2: From Fiber to Fabric: The Essential Guide to Quiltmaking Textiles and Batting by Harriet Hargrave  ISBN-10: 1571200258

From Fiber to Fabric

From Fiber to Fabric


This book is so valuable to me because it reveals exactly how threads, fabric, and batting are produced in textile mills. I think it is easier to work with something once you have a good understanding of how it is manufactured and its limitations.
Book #3: (Another great one by Harriet Hargrave) Heirloom Machine Quilting (I think it’s in it’s 4th edition now) ISBN-10: 1571202366
Heirloom Machine Quilting

Heirloom Machine Quilting

 I found this book to be very valuable to me because I found out early in my quilting forays that I was not very good and consistent with handwork, but I loved the feeling of sitting at my sewing machine and being very productive. It is very soothing. My husband even moved his computer building equipment in our dining room with our sewing machine so that we could work together.

Book #4: Color Play by Joen Wolfrom  ISBN-10: 157120105X
Color Play by Joen Wolfrom

Color Play by Joen Wolfrom


This book is the only one I would use to learn about color theory for quilts. I love the way Joen explains color in quilts so that anyone can understand the concepts she introduces. The book also includes some very inspiring quilts.
Book #5: Twentieth Century’s Best American Quilts: Celebrating 100 Years of the Art of Quiltmaking by Mary Leman Austin  ASIN: B000SXMKUC 
Twentieth Century's Best American Quilts

Twentieth Century's Best American Quilts


This is more of a special magazine publication than a book, however, it was quite extensive and full of beautiful full color images and inspiring quilts that have shaped quilting’s history as an art form. I used this for inspiration and dreaming – a very crucial element in every quilter’s library.
I hope you have enjoyed our journey through the 5 essential quilting books that formed my library (which now fills a steamer trunk – but we won’t think about that).
Please visit our store to look for more inspirational books for your quilting library at
Jennifer 🙂

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Posted on April 30, 2009, in fabric, quilts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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