You came, you saw, you quilted. And now it’s time to reveal your favorite books from 2012! Find out which books made the cut, and get behind-the-scenes stories about the hottest, hippest, must-have quilt books of the year.
The story behind the bestseller: Love of quilting collides with love of crayons. The result? Soft, shaded, watercolor-like washes of color like you’ve never seen in a quilt before.
Why you made it a bestseller: Terrie’s melt-n-blend technique is full of good ol’ childlike FUN. Color gorgeous flowers, fruits, birds, and more—with melty crayons!—until you get the look you want. Use easy fusible appliqué to finish. Who knew crayons could be suitable for framing?
"Pinwheel Flowers I," "Orchids," and "Garden Royalty"
The story behind the bestseller: One of the world’s most celebrated quilting magazines wants to share with the world how easy making a beautiful, distinctive quilt can be. Martingale wants to help with the admirable mission. A beautiful new partnership is born!
Why you made it a bestseller: Ask a quilter if she finds easy quilts objectionable, and she’ll look at you funny. Along with a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, quilters require a stash of super-simple quilt patterns—designs that are guaranteed to dazzle the eye once the binding’s bound. This diverse collection fills that fundamental quilting need.
The story behind the bestseller: Fashion designer-turned-quilter finds a new favorite activity: fabric shopping. Her passion for large-scale and novelty prints inspires her to find new ways to use them in quilts. After ideas, ideas, and more ideas, a book is the logical next step.
Why you made it a bestseller: Yell "Not me!" if you don’t have a large-scale or novelty-print stash awaiting the perfect quilt design. (Hear the crickets?) Sara’s quilts incorporate a lot of fabulous prints and showcase them in style. Large blocks and strip piecing make these designs both easy enough to make as a first quilt and quick enough to whip up over a weekend.
The story behind the bestseller:Quiltmaker Magazine issues a call to designers everywhere to share their best 12″ block designs. Designers listen. After eight volumes of the "100 Blocks" magazine series, 200 of the designs are compiled into book form. A guaranteed long life for hundreds of beautiful blocks.
Why you made it a bestseller: Block collections add an amazing amount of "oomph!" to your quiltmaking toolbox, and this one comes with a bonus CD for easy stitching. And with so many big names side by side—Vicki Bellino, Kim Brackett, Linda Lum DeBono, Deanne Eisenman, Joanna Figueroa, Nancy Mahoney, and Pat Wys (to name just seven out of nearly 200)—the book serves as a stand-in for your own quilting bee.
The story behind the bestseller: Kathy Brown is a good Southern girl by day. By night, she’s a go-hog-wild quiltmaking rule breaker. One night, on another quilting bender, Kathy combined 2½" Jelly-Roll strips with the Creative Grids® Double-Strip Ruler. She designed 30 quilts in 90 minutes. She attributes the experience to divine intervention. We call her technique a delightful revelation!
Why you made it a bestseller: Strip sets are magical. And when Kathy cast a whole new creative spell on cutting and piecing strip sets, she became the Harry Houdini of quilting. Who doesn’t want a ticket to that show?
"Chinese Jump Rope," "Merry-Go-Round," and "The Twist"
The story behind the bestseller: It’s likely you know about the pattern company-slash-quilt shop Country Threads. A sequel to this design team’s bestseller Country Threads Goes to Charm School just had to be written—their customers demanded it! What started out as a small charm-square quilt challenge in their famed Iowa quilt shop quickly became a hugely popular monthly feature. Now you don’t have to go to Iowa to enjoy the country! (But if you do, don’t miss their amazing shop.)
Why you made it a bestseller: You yearned to be back in class, of course! Quilters can be stellar students—especially when lessons involve stitching small, quick-to-finish quilts that are as delightful to look at as they are to create. These simple 5″ charm-square projects are incredibly versatile, and they’re small enough that you can machine-quilt them yourself. (Thinking Christmas gifts? Yep, they’re totally doable by the holidays.
"Leave Your Napkin on the Chair if You’re Coming Back to the Table," "Order Coffee Every 60 Minutes in a Coffee Shop," and "Take the Last Piece of Pie After It’s Been Offered to Everyone"
A quilter’s review of Back to Charm School: "This is the best quilt book I have ever purchased…if you only buy one book, this is it." –Mary
The story behind the bestseller: Vicki Bellino was introduced to English paper piecing (EPP) just four years ago, while traveling. Before her 12-hour road trip was over, she’d basted more than 100 large diamonds—and she hasn’t stopped since.
Why you made it a bestseller: EPP has been a time-honored technique for decades and beyond, but until recently it was thought to be only for quilters who had oodles of free hours and plenty of patience. But Vicki approaches traditional EPP in a modern way. Combining the portable, scrappy benefits of classic EPP with machine piecing and appliqué, you get the best of both worlds. Instead of trying to manage Grandmother’s Flower Garden as a vast expanse of countryside, Vicki’s created a manageable little plot for you to tend in your own backyard.
"Dresdens Defined," "Dresdens on the Vine," and "Cabin Flowers"
The story behind the bestseller: Carol Hopkins, a quilter since 1980, got her start as a designer by happy accident. You see, Carol’s sister asked her to make doll quilts for her daughters. A fan of antique quilts, Carol made them with 1930s fabrics and showed them at a guild meeting. Then she was asked to teach a class on how to make them. Then she was asked for a pattern. The rest—perfectly in tune with Carol’s quilting style—is history.
Why you made it a bestseller: One way to capture a piece of the past is to, quite literally, piece it. The way Carol transforms reproduction scraps into small, beautiful quilts inspires us to step back in time with her.
"Mary Smith’s Dishrag," "Minnie’s Moustache," and "Alexander’s Bean Pot"
A quilter’s review of Civil War Legacies: "These 15 patterns are great for using up your fabric scraps…they work up quickly and are a great way to try out a new block or technique. By the time you’ve finished several of these projects, you’ll be a ¼"-seam ace!" –Kim
The story behind the bestseller: The number 501 says it all—but where did a whopping 501 quilting motifs come from, anyway? What many don’t know about this instant classic is that it 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, tennis shoes, and peace symbols, this book’s got your quilting covered. For life.
Why you made it a bestseller: You know an incredible value when you see one! Sometimes choosing what to quilt is as challenging as the task of quilting itself. But with nine different categories (all indexed and cross-referenced by size and style) plus more than a thousand arrangements that feature the motifs, you know you’ll never draw a blank again.
The story behind the bestseller: Kim Diehl’s on a roll—a roll that started as soon as she began collecting scraps. She’s published seven bestselling books in just nine years. What’s the secret to Kim’s extraordinary success? She knows what all quilters know: there’s nothing more heartwarming than a quilt made straight from your scrap basket.
Why you made it a bestseller: Kim makes scrappy patchwork and appliqué look so easy. And with her simple approach, it is! Her guidelines for achieving that "make do" feel—combined with her ingenious invisible machine-appliqué technique—allow quilters at any skill level to join the fun.
"Saltbox Sampler," "Short and Sweet," and "Fresh Cut Flowers"
See more from Simple Charm (paperback, $28.99, eBook $19.99).
Congratulations to all the authors who worked so hard to create 2012’s bestselling books! And just you wait: the 2013 lineup is stocked with many, many new stitching surprises. Be sure to sign up for emails so you won’t miss a single new release.
What’s been your favorite quilt book from 2012, and how did it inspire you? Tell us your story in the comments!
I absolutely loved QUILTMAKER magazine with the directions, illustrated pattern, and quilting designs for each quilt, until it came out with the pull out pages. I don’t like pullout pages. I have over 200 hard cover quilt books, and a vast collection of QUILT, QUILTMAKER, QUILTERS NEWSLETTER, AND MACALL’S magazines. Picture if you will, QNL being only 5 typewritten pages of directions with no illustrations. All my magazines are stored in plastic 56 quart clearview containers in numerical order. When I got my magazine, on a post-it-note, I listed the pattern name and what type of design it was: HST, rectangles, squares, etc. and attached it to the top of the page for easy access. These were my favorites patterns to use when I wanted to create something different. A roach coach was placed in every box to keep the roaches away. The roaches can buy their own magazines to chew on.
SSI does not afford me the finances to purchase any more books so I must leave it up to my own knowledge to look at a pattern like the Pinwheel quilt on the cover of The Fast and Fun First Quilts book and be able to make it, after determining my own block size. Since I’ve been into a HST mode for quite a while, and with using the newest methods, it will be easy to make this quilt.
I really have enjoyed the new Edyta Sitar book I just bought.
There has been no time to make any of the quilts but I am looking
forward to doing just that.
—Diane Wright on December 6, 2012
I have taken theclass from the book, "Creative Quilts from Your Crayon Box". It was fun and I went home with three blocks to make into quilts. The author is a good teacher and very willing to share with her students. I would take the class again, in a heart beat.
Jan, Terrie Linn Kygar came in to our office to do a class for Martingale employees and we totally agree! She is a wonderful teacher! Thanks for your comment.
~Cornelia from Martingale
—Jan Stewart on December 6, 2012
I have the Civil War book and I love it. There are so many possibilities in it. I am glad that it made it onto your top ten list. It is a great book and I am sure that it will continue to be a favourite.
—Mhairi on December 6, 2012
Great picks for your top 10 quilting books. I purchased #1,#3,#4,& #5 earlier in 2012 already. Now only if I had the time to create and deplete my stash!
—Karen Ruetz on December 6, 2012
He mirado de cerca cada uno de estos libros y realmente es difícil elegir uno solo. Cualquiera de ellos quedaría bien en mi biblioteca. Espero que este próximo año pueda aumentar mi número de libros.
I’ve watched closely each of these books and it is really difficult to choose one only. Any of them would be good in my library. I hope that this next year might increase my number of books.