As we get closer to Christmas, you may be thinking about what you would like to receive or give at this time. To help you out, I am recommending the top 10 sewing books I have enjoyed using and owning in the past few years. They are not all brand new, some have been around for a few years, but to me, that means they have earned their stripes on my shelf. I have focused on patchwork, quilting and bag making books and left dressmaking books aside for another post. This morning spent a really enjoyable few hours selecting my favourite books to recommend to you. So here goes… (in no particular order)
1. Quiltopedia by Laura Jane Taylor (Apple) – I picked this one as it is a great beginners book. It is presented beautifully and has lots of useful information written in an accessible format. The book is split into initial information and teaching sections and goes on to provide the reader with lots of small projects to practice on. It is a really nice book to have around and, even for those who are more experienced, the projects are fun, easy and very enjoyable.
2. Modern Designs for Classic Quilts by Kelly Biscopink and Andrea Johnson (KP) – This a good starter book for modern quilts. It contains patterns for twelve quilts which are all designed with traditional patchwork blocks. The patterns are made more modern by how the block used and the fabrics selected. All the quilts are simple and appealing and the patterns are well written with lots of pictures.
3. Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen (Interweave) – I have become a big fan of both these quilters. This was the first modern quilting book I bought. It led me to follow both ladies on social media and buy other books they have written. Not only is it another lovely book to own, it is beautifully presented and equally as informative. It is probably the next step on from the books above and one I have returned to many times over the years.
4. The Modern Medallion Workbook by Janice Zeller Ryan and Beth Vassalo (stash books) – I bought this book to provide me with inspiration for a project I had been thinking about (and am still thinking about). It is a compilation of eleven projects by eleven different quilt designers. Towards the end of the book, it also provides guidance on designing your own medallion quilt. There is a lot of information contained within it and if you think you may like to try out medallion designs then it is a great buy or gift😊
5. Modern Quilt Bible by Elizabeth Betts (David & Charles) – This book is soooooooo good!! It is full of design ideas, explanations of techniques and lots of inspiration for your own quilts. Containing lots of projects for the reader to undertake, it is one of my most favourite books. This one and Quilting Modern (above) are the two I would take to a Desert Island.🌴
6. Paper Pieced Modern by Amy Garro (stash books) – This very compelling book has thirteen quilting projects in it which are visually very striking. All the projects are foundation pieced and all the pattern templates are included in the book. I haven’t made any of these quilts yet, but the book sits at the top of my ‘to-do-when-I-have -time’ pile.
7. Super Cute Paper Piecing by Charise Randell (Martingale) – This book is worth its weight in gold. It contains ten different mini-projects, each with a different small foundation pieced block. The ten different blocks are gorgeous and very quick to complete. Once you have made the blocks, they can be used in any of the projects in the book or I have used them repeatedly in some of my own pouches and bags as gifts for friends. Maybe this one should come to the Desert Island too. 🤔
8. Applique Mastery by Philippa Naylor (Dragon Threads) – I bought this book because it is inspirational and it contains lots of applique ideas I would like to do when I have more time. If you have more time than me, and are fond of applique and like a ‘folk art’ look, then the designs in this book will be perfect for you. The book takes you through a twelve stage process in making the quilt. It contains lots of valuable technique information as well as pattern and designs guidance.
9. Walk by Jacquie Gering (Lucky Spool) – Walking foot quilting is often seen as beginners step to quilting. I don’t agree with this. Walking foot quilting can be extraordinary in its own right. In this book, Jacquie provides great design inspiration for walking foot quilting along with some great small tips that changed my own walking foot quilting up a gear. There is now a sequel to this book – but start with this one and you won’t be disappointed.
10. The Better Bag Maker by Nicole Mallalieu (stash books) – This is a smashing book for a beginner or even a ‘further on’ bag maker. It contains piles of useful information covering the core skills and techniques used in bag making as well as ten very different bag making projects for you to try. I have made a number of the bags from this book and they have become well-loved items in my household. Moreover, this book is a great bagmaking reference book for the long term.
There you go – those are my top 10 sewing books. I hope you have found something that interests you in the books above. When possible I try and buy my books from my local bookstore in Marlow in Buckinghamshire. I’d highly recommend the Marlow Book Shop to anyone local.