Best books about quilts: your top ten of 2013

From-your-top-quilt-book-of-2013!Right: Do you know what book this quilt detail comes from? That book is our #1 bestselling book of 2013! (Hint: it’s perfect for your scrap basket.)

This year you came, you saw, you quilted. And now on this last day of the year, it’s time to reveal your favorite quilt books of 2013! Find out below which books made the cut, along with praises from fans of each book via reviews. Which do you own—and which are gotta-get-its? Click on any cover to save a book to your wish list at

And now…on to this year’s best, as chosen by you!

A Cut Above: Turn Charm Squares, Strips, and More into Beautiful Patchwork#10: A Cut Above: Turn Charm Squares, Strips, and More into Beautiful Patchwork by Gerri Robinson

Why it’s a winner: Floating in a sea of precuts? Popular designer Gerri Robinson will toss you a lifesaver. Her timeless quilts feature 2½" and 5″ charm squares, Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, fat eighths, and fat quarters. Choose a pack from your stack; then hang a “Gone Quilting” sign on your sewing-room door.

Praise from quilters via

• “This is a wonderful book on how to use some of your precuts—as well as any stash on hand.”

• “I have lots of scraps and this book has great ideas on how to use them up.”

• “Gerri has beautiful solutions for using up the ‘waste’ blocks that quilters get when making quilts…you get two beautiful quilted projects for the price and work of one! Brilliant!”

Scrap Quilts Fit for a Queen#9: Scrap Quilts Fit for a Queen: Or a King, Twin, or Lap! by Sally Schneider

Why it’s a winner: Sally’s legendary in scrap-quilting circles, and she’s come up with a smart solution for a common quilting problem. Four of them, actually: lap, twin, queen, and king. No math, multiple size options, and simply stunning scrap quilts…did we mention no math? Just choose your size and start sewing!

Praise from quilters via

• “…shows off Schneider’s wonderful color sense and her ability to create a perfectly balanced layout…traditional blocks become extraordinary in her hands.”

• “I love that I can start cutting and sewing without having to do a lot of calculations.”

• “Sally Schneider’s idea of ‘scrappy’ is just what I was looking for.”

Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe#8: Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

Why it’s a winner: Pair simple modern quilt designs with the internet’s best modern quilt blogs and what do you get? A fresh, innovative—and at times downright daring—approach to quiltmaking. In this breakout bestseller, 18 popular bloggers share what modern quiltmaking means to them.

Praise from quilters via

• “…a great introduction to modern quilts, if you aren’t sure what the movement is all about. It is here to stay!”

• “I bought this book for a couple of patterns that looked like fun. Well, it turned out that there are a LOT of patterns to try. What a fun reference.”

• “Reviews of this new book have been everywhere recently, and they are spot on… wonderful advice and patterns.”

501 Quilting Motifs#7: 501 Quilting Motifs: Designs for Hand or Machine Quilting

Why it’s a winner: Coming in at #2 on last year’s top-ten list, this book contains more than 25 years worth of quilting motifs from Quiltmaker magazine. From traditional motifs like feathers, flowers, and vines to far-out designs like dolphins, ice-cream cones, and peace symbols, this book has both hand and machine quilting covered. For life.

Praise from quilters via

• “If you do any of your own quilting, by long-arm machine, on your sewing machine, or by hand, this book is a must have.”

• “Diagrams show how to use each motif in borders, on corners, to make four-sided blocks…it’s good to see how they come together when you may be having a senior moment.”

• “The book is a heavy-duty spiral bound, and the covers fold back flat for easy tracing or copying…whether quilting by hand or by machine, there is something for every quilt here.”

Big-Print Patchwork#6: Big-Print Patchwork: Quilt Patterns for Large-Scale Prints by Sandy Turner

Why it’s a winner: Pictorial prints + traditional blocks = beautiful quilts that easily adapt to the fabrics you couldn’t resist at the quilt shop. Remember that stashed fabric with the mega-huge flowers…the exotic animal images…the [fill in the blank] extra-large motif? You just had to have it. Here’s your opportunity to use it.

Praise from quilters via

• “…a celebration of large-scale prints and how to combine them with other fabrics to enhance rather than hide the theme fabric.”

• “I love large-print fabrics and this book helps me USE those fabrics to advantage.”

• “This is the most useful book I’ve found for making quilts out of pictorial fabrics…worth every cent!”

Seamingly Scrappy#5: Seamingly Scrappy: Get the Look You Love with Fat Quarters and Precuts by Rebecca Silbaugh

Why it’s a winner: Get simple, scrap-happy patterns for precuts—part traditional, part modern, all delightful—from an American Patchwork & Quilting designer and Moda Bake Shop alum. If your precut-purchase party has gotten out of hand, this book will help you make room for an afterparty.

Praise from quilters via

• “This is a great book for using up that stash that has been sitting around.”

• “I was amazed at Rebecca’s design abilities with simple shapes.”

• “Not only are the quilts unique and inspiring; the tips, stories, and extensions are sew good.”

'Tis the Autumn Season#4: ’Tis the Autumn Season: Fall Quilts and Decorating Projects by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks

Why it’s a winner: The authors of the bestseller ’Tis the Season return to celebrate another season with their one-of-a-kind, urban-country flair. Chunky appliqué, wool, and fat rickrack set this design pair’s quilts apart—and autumn is the perfect time to enjoy them.

Praise from quilters via

• “…a delicious combination of patchwork and appliqué in the country-style tradition.”

• “The photographs alone are worth the price of this book.”

• “There isn’t one pattern in this book that disappoints. I want to, and plan to, make them all.”

The Blue and the Gray#3: The Blue and the Gray: Quilt Patterns using Civil War Fabrics by Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene

Why it’s a winner: When two quilting icons started a Civil War Reproduction Club in their legendary Iowa quilt shop, a whole nation of quilters wanted to join the club too. If you’ve stashed Civil War fabrics—or if you’d like to—the latest from Country Threads is a shining salute to the era.

Praise from quilters via

• “Great photos, wonderful color combinations, very inspiring.”

• “Each quilt is a ‘keeper’ so I can foresee my stash finally shrinking a bit!”

• “May be my all-time favorite pattern book.”

101 Fabulous Small Quilts#2: 101 Fabulous Small Quilts

Why it’s a winner: One-hundred and one quilt patterns. What more is there to say? Tons of variety, scores of techniques, and oodles of small-quilt sizes—doll quilts, table toppers, wall quilts, and runners—not to mention an average price of only 30 cents per pattern.

Praise from quilters via

• “…the BEST quilting book I have purchased in a long time. Don’t wait for someone else to get it for you—just buy it! It is worth every penny and then some!”

• “This is one of my favorite books! Such a huge selection of small quilts that you can make as is, or extend rows to make larger.”

• “If you’re looking for a book jam-packed with small quilt ideas, from easy to more advanced, this is it.”

Scrap-Basket Beauties#1: Scrap-Basket Beauties: Quilting with Scraps, Strips, and Jelly Rolls by Kim Brackett

Why it’s a winner: Quilters can’t seem to get enough of this prolific designer, and Kim is happy to quilt on. Whether you use Jelly Rolls, leftover scraps, or yardage from your stash, Kim’s scrappy, strip-pieced quilts are fun to make and show off. Get your game face on—people will think these quilts took much more time to create than they actually did. Milk it for all it’s worth!

Praise from quilters via

• “The patterns are gorgeous…I find the quilts easy to piece, but they look so complicated when they’re done.”

• “A fantastic book jam-packed with quilts to bust your stash.”

• “Even though the publishing industry has quite a few books that utilize precuts, Brackett’s imagination keeps me coming back to her books.”

Congratulations to all of these Martingale authors on their “top ten” talents!

What’s your favorite quilt book of 2013? Share your pick in the comments!

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