Friday, August 14, 2020

5 Must-Have Quilting Books

Need inspiration for quilt designs on your next quilt? Or maybe your looking to expand on the quilt skills you've already mastered, or want to learn new ones. Then look no further than my top 5 Must-Have Quilting Books. 

5 must have quilting books as suggested by QuiltFabrication


The list includes timeless books on free motion quilting to quilting with rulers, for both domestic and longarm machines. This list has something for every level of quilter, from novice to experienced, with ideas for quilting common blocks, using templates and rulers, and border ideas. These books are not going out of style any time soon!

For a peek inside the book, click on the links - there's usually several pages available for viewing to get an idea of what's inside. And there's a giveaway - keep reading!

5 Must-Have Quilting Books

1. Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book by Amanda Murphy (affiliate link)

free motion quilting idea book by amanda murphy

This book is at the top of my must-have quilting books. Amanda has put together lots of designs for commonly pieced blocks: churn dash, courthouse steps, drunkard's path, eight-pointed star, log cabin, irish chain, sawtooth, pineapple, kaleidoscope, and wedding ring just to name a few. The designs take the guess work out of what to quilt, providing ideas for numerous shapes and blocks. Definitely a book every quilter should own.

2. Shape-by-Shape by Angela Walters (affiliate link)

shape by shape quilting book

Angela, a self-taught modern longarm quilter, put together a book full of quilting designs for numerous pieced shapes. Though an older book, I still consider it one of my go-to books for quilting ideas due to it's more modern, free form designs.

3. 501 Quilting Motifs from QuiltMaker magazine (affiliate link)

501 quilting motifs by quiltmaker magazine

This book is for the more traditional quilter who wants to place motifs in the blocks and borders of the quilt. Full of a variety of themed motifs, there's certainly one to fit any style of quilt. 

In fact, I recently used the Holly Wreath motif on my Reindeer Wreath quilt. I traced the motif onto paper and cut out several copies. Before starting the quilting, I laid them on the quilt to decide on placement,

then put tape on the backside to hold them down so I could easily stitch around them. A very easy process suitable for a domestic or longarm machine. See this quick video, Quilting with Templates, to see it done on a longarm.

4. Shape-by-Shape Collection 2 by Angela Walters (affiliate link)

shape by shape collection 2 quilting book

Shape by Shape Collection 2 expands on Angela's first book with even more designs for pieced shapes. Both books include background fills and border ideas, plus lots of tips for varying the designs to make them yours. 

5. Rulerwork Quilting by Amanda Murphy (affiliate link)

ruler work quilting idea book by amanda murphy

And just like Angela, Amanda's companion book full of ruler work designs gets my final vote into the 5 Must-Have Quilting Books. In this book, she covers multiple designs with straight or curving lines, adding creative fills to really bring out the quilting designs. Definitely a terrific resource for combining lines and free-motion fills.

And here they are, my 5 Must-Have Quilting Books. I hope they become yours too!

5 must have quilting books

But wait - there's more! In addition to these 5 Must-Haves, I have an additional list of 5 quilting books, in case those above aren't what you're looking for.

6. Step-by-Step Texture Quilting by Christina Cameli (affiliate link)

step by step texture quilting by christina cameli

If you love negative space, and the unlimited choices of texture for that space, then consider keeping this book close to your machine. Full of fantastic free-motion texture quilting, this book has so many designs, it's hard to choose. Last year, I quilted wood grain and fog onto Helen's Halloween quilt.

7. Next Steps in Machine Quilting by Natalia Bonner (affiliate link)

next steps in machine quilting by natalia bonner

This book encompasses the best of both worlds, especially for the domestic machine quilter. Quilting designs here include both free motion and straight lines, but quilted with a walking foot. Of course, these designs are also suitable for the longarm quilter too.

8. Straight Line Quilting Designs from numerous designers (affiliate link)

straight line quilting designs

This is another go-to quilting book, specifically with ruler use in mind. Use the designs as is, or get creative and quilt free-motion designs inside.

9. The Ultimate Guide to Rulerwork by Amanda Murphy (affiliate link)

the ultimate guide to rulerwork by amanda murphy

Another of Amanda's great books, this one takes ruler quilting to the next level. It's more than straight lines here - Amanda uses a variety of rulers with different cuts and curves in them to achieve completely custom looks. She gives tips on buying specialty rulers, and advice on planning out quilting designs. 

10. Walk, Jog, Run by Dara Tomasson (affiliate link)

walk jog run quilting book by Dara Tomasson

This is a new-comer to the quilting book lineup, and is perfect for the quilter just starting out with free-motion quilting. The book includes patterns for several quilted projects, and each one has 5 quilting design options to choose from.

To read a terrific review and see more project pictures from Walk, Jog, Run, check out the Best Kind of Exercise - The Quilting Workout blog post.

Giveaway time!

With all of these great resources, are you ready to jump into quilting your next quilt? How about a giveaway to get you started? C&T Publishing has generously donated a copy of Walk, Jog, Run to give away to one lucky reader. Contest is open now until August 31, 2020, to the continental US only. Sorry, no Hawaii, Alaska, or international entrants at this time.

The winner will be announced at the Sept 2 Midweek Makers.

Enter via the Rafflecopter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Follow on Bloglovin

My Favorite Patterns


  1. I love these books. I just ordered "Step by Step Texture." From the preview and your recommendation it looks like a winner - now I'm tempted with the others as well. Thanks.

  2. Great books review, so many to choose from!

  3. You've named a few of my favorite quilting resources, Susan!!

  4. Thank you for the new book ideas! I was looking for some new titles.

  5. I love your list! I guess I may have to get some quilting books to study!
    Am I late for the Raflecoptor? I can't click on anything or really even see anything for the drawing?

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