My favorite book isn’t a book: our acquisitions editor explains


Karen-BurnsFor me, picking a favorite book is like picking a favorite child. I don’t have a “favorite” child, nor do I have a favorite all-time book, but I do have favorite projects I want to work on at any given time.

For instance, when I’m getting ready for a quilt retreat (where I talk a lot and need to have not-too-intricate work because sometimes wine is involved), I really like John Q. Adam’s book Beyond Neutral. Many of the projects use fat quarters and show off some of the beautiful fabrics I have. The quilts are large, easy to piece, and fun to make. I’ve made five quilts out of Beyond Neutral and have a few more cut out, waiting for me to go on another retreat.

Cape Lookout quilt from
Beyond Neutral

I also like the chunky appliqué that Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks of The Quilt Patch are known for. Jeanne and Shelley’s designs have appealed to me since they released their first book, Tis the Season. I decorate for the holidays, so my favorite book from The Quilt Patch ladies changes with the seasons. I’ve made a number of quilts from Tis the Autumn Season and Here Comes Winter. I have many projects earmarked from their newest book, Here Comes Spring.

Books by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks (aka The Quilt Patch)

I also like handwork and have made a number of projects from Gail Pan’s Patchwork Loves Embroidery and Christmas Patchwork Loves Embroidery. I’ve also spent many happy hours working on projects from Robin Kingsley’s book Snow Happy.

Clockwise from top left: embroidery projects from
Christmas Patchwork Loves Embroidery, Patchwork Loves Embroidery, and Snow Happy.

Of course, I love browsing through machine-quilting books too. As a long-arm quilter I’m always looking for new ideas and information. One of my go-to books has become The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. Both Angela Walters and Christa Watson share a multitude of information, and their designs are timeless. Christa Watson’s book, Machine Quilting with Style, also offers wonderful designs that I refer to often.

The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting and Machine Quilting with Style

Oh, I could go on and on. I haven’t even begun to mention all of my favorite baby-quilt books (we have lots and they are all great!). We also have many books that use precuts (which I have LOTS of), and I use them often. Oh, and who doesn’t LOVE a Kim Diehl book? I can’t begin to pick a favorite from her “Simple” series. I’ve made a number of quilts from Kim’s books, and I want to make more.

So, back to picking my favorite book. Obviously, I don’t have just “one” favorite. It always depends on what it is I plan to sew on any given day.

What are your sewing plans today? Tell us in the comments. Happy quilting!




22 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I love all your favorite books. I agree, it would be difficult to pick an absolute favorite book.


    QuiltShopGal on June 3, 2016
  • We are the road in our RV right now with many stops planned before getting back to Florida. Sadly I have no projects at this time but I do really like these projects shown in your email.

    —Barbara Barthle on June 3, 2016
  • Hemming some pants on my serger & paper piecing.

    —Amy Cofer on June 3, 2016
  • First thing I need to do today is finally get going on the quilt block for the "Block contest" I entered. It’s due back in Oregon by the 15th, and I have not been able to come up with an idea for the 5 pieces of fabric they sent me. I know time is ticking away and hope some inspiration will come to me soon.

    —debra lee on June 3, 2016
  • I’m quilting with friends today at Beverly’s, Citrus Heights, CA and then, maybe throwing a quilt on my Gammill w/ Statler Stitcher.

    —Fran Claassens on June 3, 2016
  • At the moment, I am quilting Charlotte’s Baskets from Bonnie Hunter for my daughter. I will work at it everyday until it is finished with binding.

    Sandra on June 3, 2016
  • Today, I am cutting a quilt, binding a quilt, fixing another, and quilting one. Do you think that could be too much?

    —stephane woodward on June 3, 2016
  • After I finish looking at my e-mails, I am going to watch online Eleanor Burns and hand quilt on the quilt I have on my frame.

    —Linda on June 3, 2016
  • My quilting goal for today is watching a sewing machine video on a special stitch I want to learn how to do on my new sewing machine. Then if I can find it and figure it out, I will try it out. One step at a time.

    —carol on June 3, 2016
  • I need to finish quilting a wall quilt for our granddaughters room.

    —Karen on June 3, 2016
  • After working outside in the gardens all day I will sit tonight and work on binding for a graduation gift!

    —Rita S on June 3, 2016
  • A favorite quilting book? There isn’t enough paper to write all of them down and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Kim Diehl? I see her name and know I’m going to have another favorite. Martingale has so many terrific books, many of which line my book shelves; picking just one isn’t possible. Right now I’m looking forward to "Stitches From The Garden" which comes out on the 7th. Do I need another book? No I don’t, but books make me happy and that works for me. Thank you for your wonderful site, your terrific prices and the wide variety of topics. I’ll be a fan for many more years to come.

    —BettyGee on June 3, 2016
  • My sewing plans for this Saturday is to start a quilt for my grandson in honoring of him earning his black belt.

    —Vicki L on June 3, 2016
  • Today? Well, today I am working on a little boys quilt – to be sent to the Fort MacMurray fire victims. I have set aside my brother and sis-in-law’s 50th anniversary quilt… once again!… to work on another project. Only 2 months till the real anniversary, so I’d better not set aside much more!

    —janG on June 3, 2016
  • I will be making a SewHappy banner…

    —MerryG on June 4, 2016
  • Today I hope to finish a shirt for my husband, quilt a table runner on the machine and hem some napkins. Then maybe join some English paper-pieced sections by hand. When my fingers get tired, I’ll soothe them with some knitting. Busy hands, happy heart!

    —Linda Towers on June 4, 2016
  • hermoso , hermoso gracias por compartir

    Translation: beautiful, beautiful thank you for sharing

    martha on June 4, 2016
  • Today, I finally got the rows stitched together and borders on a quilt that has been on the design wall much too long. I am thinking a table runner pattern I’ve been wanting to make in spring colors will be the project for tomorrow. Time to make something that most likely will be a day project!

    Paula Hedges on June 4, 2016
  • Trying my hand at making "Ugly Quilts" for homeless. Kinda excited about making a couple of them

    —Sue on June 5, 2016
  • My back is out, so handwork is in. Good day to work on crochet UFOs.

    —lynne on June 5, 2016
  • My back is out, so handwork is in. Good day to work on crochet UFOs.

    —lynne on June 5, 2016
  • I am currently working on a small black & white summer challenge for my guild. It’s rather elaborate fabrics I am using and i think it will be spectacular!

    —Alice on June 8, 2016

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