My favorite book: picks from a patchwork fanatic

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If you’ve read my coworkers “fave” posts, you’ll quickly note a theme. We can’t possibly pick just one favorite. No way, no how. The only requirement for a book to be on my favorites list is that I’m stitching something from it or I have the page marked because I’m going to start a project soon. If only there were more hours in the day!

I narrowed it down to…NINE recent favorites. Here they are in no particular order.


Scrap-Basket Strips and Squares 9. Scrap-Basket Strips and Squares by Kim Brackett

Wildflowers—this quilt is hanging in our lobby and it calls to me every single day. My version is already cut out and waiting to be pieced. I bravely cut into a ton of my precuts to give it a super-scrappy look. It’s such a happy quilt!
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Wildflowers quilt by Kim Brackett
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Test blocks in progress
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Piles of pieces cut and waiting for Wildflowers piecing


Stitches from the Garden8. Stitches from the Garden by Kathy Schmitz

I simply LOVE this book. The projects are precious and beautiful and are calling out to be stitched. It can almost double as a coffee-table book because Kathy’s sketches and watercolors make it extra special. I’ve already started the Garden Arbor pincushion; it’s half stitched. The moment the pincushion is done I’ll be starting on the sweet Blackbird Notion Nest. Who doesn’t need a beautiful little sewing kit??!!
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Garden Arbor pincushion and Blackbird Notion Nest


I have 22 (count ’em!) finished quilt tops waiting to be quilted. I promised myself that this is the year I’ll stop quilting by check and quilt them myself. These three books will help me reach my goal. Each is wonderful on its own, but as a team, they are going to help me break through my goal!

180 Doodle Quilting Designs7. 180 Doodle Quilting Designs

I’ve already used this book to machine quilt a child’s I Spy quilt for a friend. I used the Coils design set by Christa Watson on the border, and it was super quick and easy! The trace, doodle, and quilt sequence worked like a charm. That bit of practice really did make a difference.
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Block quilting pattern from the Coils design set


Machine Quilting with Style6. Machine Quilting with Style by Christa Watson

I’m going to try this cool spiral design from Machine Quilting with Style—I’m not sure which project will be receiving it, but I love the spiral.
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Focal Point quilt


The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting5. The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson

This quilt top is from the cover of All about Strips. I think I’ll try machine quilting it with the U-Turns design from The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting.
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Karen’s All About Strips quilt top and the U-Turns quilt design


A Common Thread4. A Common Thread: A Collection of Quilts by Gwen Marston

I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting Gwen, and I think this gorgeous book is a perfect tribute to her incredible body of work as a fiber artist. As I continue to thumb through this book over and over again, I am awestruck at seeing her progression through the years. With over 80 quilts to drool over, I know everyone on my holiday gift list will love it as much as I do.
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The New Hexagon3. The New Hexagon by Katja Marek

The New Hexagon is still at the top of my favorites list. I’m slowly working my way through Katja’s Millifiore Quilt-Along. As if the 52 blocks in the book weren’t enough, the new perpetual calendar provides daily inspiration for my next hexie project.
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Simple Applique2. Simple Appliqué by Kim Diehl

This also remains on my favorites list because I love to appliqué and I just keep on learning from Kim! It’s my go-to resource for all things appliqué. Here’s the project from the cover of the book that I made to improve my invisible machine-appliqué skills.
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Learn to Paper Piece1. Learn to Paper Piece by Nancy Mahoney and Papers for Foundation Piecing

I know how to paper piece, and I’ve taught friends. I admit to pulling a few clumps of hair out in the process. But it’s SO much easier now. I just gift friends with this book along with a package of our papers. Voila! No more bald spots! Thank you, Nancy.spacer 10px deep

Can you beat Karen’s 22 quilt tops in need of quilting . . . or maybe you’re close? Share your count in the comments!

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