Quilts Made Modern ($29.95; 160 pages, C&T Publishing, 2010)
Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle
Authors Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle of FunQuilts are two of my favorite contemporary quilt designers. What I love most about their work is the thoughtful approach they take to designing. And they articulate their theories of quilt design in the first 45 pages of the book. I find my self reading and re-reading it in order to take it all in. In a word, it’s brilliant! I can’t decide which of the 10 quilt projects I want to make first, but if you find yourself repeating a favorite color combo, don’t miss the page titled “Climbing Out of a Palette Rut.” It’s priceless advice.
Gone to Texas: Quilts From a Pioneer Woman’s Journal ($25.95; 96 pages, Kansas City Star Books, 2009)
Beautiful pictures are a given in many quilt books, but rare is the quilt book that is just as interesting even if all the pictures were covered. Author Betsy Chutchian has created just such a treasure in her book that weaves stories from her great-great-grandmother Lizzie Carpenter’s journal (1857 to 1882) throughout the 12 reproduction projects in the book. The quilts themselves are re-creations of Lizzie’s quilts as inspired by her journal, but it’s the excerpts from the journals themselves that make this a real page-turner. My favorite section is the 1868 memorandum of the work she accomplished in a year including garments made, quilts pieced and quilted, yarn carded an more. Fascinating, from start to finish!
Cut the Scraps! 7 Ways to Quilting Your Way Through Your Stash ($24.95; 202 pages, Taunton Press, 2011)
Who’s got a fabric stash? I do, I do! But how do I keep it from overtaking my sewing room? Author Joan Ford to the rescue with her step-by-step remedy for sorting, cutting, and organizing your fabrics into manageable, useable order. If you love scrappy quilts, this plan to keep fabric mayhem from overwhelming you may be just the ticket. Also included, 20 scrappy patterns to put your newly organized stash to good use.
Playful Patchwork ($19.99; 128 pages, Creative Publishing International, 2011)
I have a not-so-secret obsession with books authored by Japanese quilt designers. I love the graphic nature of the colorful photography. The playful, modern aesthetics of the images are crisp and clean. The step-by-step how-to photographs make it easy to follow along as you’re doing piecework, appliqué, or quilting. Author Suzuko Koseki mixes inspirational photo galleries, block designs, and a bevy of projects including a needle case, patchwork purse, sampler quilt, and more. It’s a book you’ll want to linger over again and again.
Threads: The Basics & Beyond ($27.95; 176 pages, Landauer Publishing, 2010)
Liz Kettle and Debbie Bates
Think thread is only for piecing seams or quilting together layers? Think again. The back cover describes this book as a journey of thread, stitch, and discovery…and that’s exactly what it is. Whether you’re infatuated with or intimidated by the myriad choices of threads available today, authors Liz Kettle and Debbie Bates guide you through not only how to choose the right thread for your projects, but also why, where, and when to use them. Best of all, as you’re learning their uses, you’ll be making a stitch-sample booklet that can be used as a reference for many, many creative projects to come.