Off-screen Reading to Satisfy Almost Every Quilter

by Lori Rhode
May 10, 2019


Even with the immediacy of the internet and the ability to watch dozens of YouTube options on how to do the latest, greatest, quilting technique or trend, there are hundreds of sources of inspiration to be found off-screen such as in the GAAQG library, from which members can browse and borrow books.

As a newbie quilter, I had few quilting books on my shelf. Like our speaker in January, Heather Jones, who uses basic block patterns to create large scale block modern quilts, my jumping-off points for my first quilt making were basic quilt block pattern books.

Two examples of these in the guild library are “Modern Quilt Blocks: 99 from Your Favorite Designers” by Suzanne Woods and “200 Quilt Blocks from Quilt Makers Magazine.”  Our guild library also includes a classic Jinny Beyer book, “The Quilter’s Album of Blocks & Borders:  More than 750 Geometric Designs,” which the teacher of my first quilting class used.  This is an oldie, but goodie with patterns that continue to call my name.

One aspect of quilting which has taken time to master is the use of color. My early quilts don’t have that “pop” that makes some of the best quilts memorable. The only color book on my home book shelf has rarely been opened. However, a recent addition to the guild’s library is “Color Play” by Joen Wolfrom, which is highly recommended. The photographs in the book are gorgeous.

Like all quilters discover…..scraps seem to multiply like rabbits. The library has several books with methods and patterns to use them up. One in the collection that recently caught my attention is “Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles,” by Margaret Rolfe. Use the word “scrap” as the search tag and check out how many more guild books deal with scraps.

Traditional quilting has been my first love, but the expanse of possibilities in art quilting have been calling. The library has a few good quilt design exercise books, but a recent addition is “Mixed Media Master Class: 50 Surface Design Techniques,” by Sherrill Kahn.  The creative possibilities are boundless.

Another quilting skill I am practicing is improvisational piecing. Here too, the library has two new books, “Improv Patchwork: Dynamic Quilts Made with Line & Shape,” by Maria Shell, and “Artful Improv,” by Cindy Grisdela. This subject is also covered in older library books by Gwen Marston and an Improv Piecing book edited by Sarah Sacks Dunn.

In the past few years, several free motion machine quilting books are new additions, including four by Angela Walters. Practicing your machine quilting skills on Safe House tops a great method of learning.

Books can be browsed quickly for nuggets of great information, without falling down your computer or tablet screen’s rabbit-hole of watching yet another 10 minute tutorial to glean a bit of useful advice.  If you need tips on how to use “Library Thing,” we’ve recently posted tutorials on both the public and Members Only Library pages (you have to be logged in as an active member to borrow books via the online request form).

My home library has fair number of books, but not the selection of the guild’s library. Check it out!

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This post was written by Mary Beth Donovan

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