Beginners and Beyond

Half of the fear for quilters is in starting that first project, and half of the fun after that is in learning something new with each quilt. The books in this section are made for those who want to learn, and there is always something to learn, regardless of experience level! Many of these books start by explaining the tools needed for successful quilting, and continue through the entire process of making a quilt. Others offer dynamic but easy to construct patterns for beginning quilters or quick gifts. Updated July 8, 2019.


Anderson, Alex. Rotary Cutting with Alex Anderson. C&T Pub., 1999. 48 pages. Book #1987. (Contains tips and techniques for using a rotary cutter and includes 7 projects. 48 pages. Book #1987.

Better Homes and Gardens: Complete Guide to Quilting. Meredith, 2003. 352 pages. Book #3043. (This comprehensive book covers all the major topics of quilting, from design to applique to binding and finishing.) [Tags: Beginner]

Better Homes and Gardens Quilt-Lovers’ Favorites: 15 Cherished Quilts Plus 37 One-of-a-Kind Projects. Vol. 2. Meredith, 2002. 160 pages + patterns. Book #1796. (The book is divided into 15 sections by theme and pattern of project, followed by “Quilter’s Schoolhouse,” a primer on basic quilt making skills.) [Tags: Beginner]

Bono, Pam. More Quick Rotary Cutter Quilts. Leisure Arts, 1997. 160 pages. Book #3070. (After 24 pages of basic quilting instructions, this book contains step-by-step instructions for 24 quilts and other projects.) [Tags: Beginner]

Browning, Bonnie K. Any Body Can Learn to Quilt. AQS, 2001. 127 pages. Book #3073. (The first half of this book is a step-by-step guide to the basics of making a quilt. This is followed by instructions for 8 patchwork projects, 4 appliqued projects, and 2 projects for children to quilt.) [Beginner]

Dackson, Elizabeth. Becoming a Confident Quilter.   That Patchwork Place, 2013. 96 pages. Book #3075. (This book gives lessons and techniques helpful to the beginning quilter and 14 patterns for building skills, arranged from easiest to more challenging.) [Patchwork]

Dobson, Jenni. Reader’s Digest Patchwork Quilting and Applique. MQ Pub., 1997. 192 pages. Book #3097. (A comprehensive guide to quilting basics and to varieties of patchwork and applique.) [Tags: Beginners]

Fons, Marianne, and Liz Porter. Quilter’s Complete Guide. Rev. Ed. Leisure Arts: 2000. 272 pages. Book #3101. (This book is divided into two sections, identified as “first steps” and “beyond basic.” Numerous short lessons in quilting techniques are spread throughout.)

Gordon, Maggi McCormick. 1000 Great Quilt Blocks. That Patchwork Place, 2003. 512 pages. Book #1973. (A compact compendium of patchwork blocks in 11 categories. Black and white drawings of each block are followed by a simple chart showing size, shape, and number needed to make block.) [Tags: Beginner, Patchwork]

Gordon, Maggi McCormick. The Ultimate Quilting Book. Collins & Brown, 1999. 448 pages. Book #3100.

Green, Mary V., Ed. Easy Quilts for Beginners and Beyond. That Patchwork Place, 2012. 79 pages. Book #3079. (These 14 quilts from Quiltmaker Magazine are selected for their ease of construction and interesting patterns.) [Quick and Easy]

Guerrier, Katherine. The Quilting and Patchwork Project Book. Smithmark, 1992. 80 pages. Book #3063. (This book contains 20 small projects for the home or for gifts, suitable for the beginning quilter.) [Tags: Beginner, Beyond Quilts]

Hargrave, Harriet, and Carrie Hargrave. Quilter’s Academy: Vol. 1—Freshman Year.   C&T Pub., 2009. 112 pages. Book #1931. (The first of 6 volumes, these books teach the skills of quilt making in a course format. Vol. 1 “addresses the basic workspace, tools, equipment, and fabric needed to get you started. Includes 11 projects.)

Hargrave, Harriet, and Carrie Hargrave. Quilter’s Academy: Vol. 2—Sophomore Year.   C&T Pub., 2010. 112 pages. Book #1948. (The second of 6 volumes, this book discusses upgrading workspaces and adding tools, as well as exploring sashing and border ideas. Includes 11 projects.)

Hargrave, Harriet, and Carrie Hargrave. Quilter’s Academy: Vol. 3—Junior Year. C&T Pub., 2011. 128 pages. Book #1949. (The third of 6 volumes, this book features several ways of working with triangles. Includes 16 projects.)

Hargrave, Harriet, and Carrie Hargrave. Quilter’s Academy: Vol. 4—Senior Year. C&T Pub., 2012. 128 pages. Book #1950. (The fourth of 6 volumes, this book focuses on set-in piecing and complicated blocks. Includes 16 projects.)

Hargrave, Harriet, and Carrie Hargrave. Quilter’s Academy: Vol. 5, Master’s Year. C&T Pub., 2015. 143 pages. Book #1951. (The fifth of 6 volumes, this book challenges quilters to create a medallion quilt.)

Hopkins, Judy. One-of-a-Kind Quilts: Simple Steps to Individual Quilts. That Patchwork Place, 1989. 63 pages. Book #0941. (This book shows how to use grids and a simple formula to create a unique quilt.) [Tags: Beginner]

Jensen, Lynette. Beginner’s Luck. Thimbleberries, 2002. 119 pages. Book #1723. (There are instructions for 20 quilts and smaller projects here, along with basic instructions and tips.) [Tags: Beginner, Patchwork]

Kuhn, Barb, Darra Williamson, Lynn Koolish, and others, Eds. All About Quilting from A to Z. C&T Pub., 2002. 256 pages. Book #1958. (This is not a step-by-step guide for quilters, but rather is organized alphabetically by topics which may be as broad as “Color” or as narrow as “Making Yo-Yos.”) [Tags: Beginner, Reference]

Lawther, Gail. The Complete Quilting Course. Chilton, 1992. 176 pages. Book #3093. (This 10-chapter book gives instructions for patchwork and applique, plus a variety of projects not included in most introductory books—including shadow, tied, trapunto, corded, and sashiko quilting.) [Tags: Beginner, Special Techniques]

McCloskey, Marsha. Marsha McCloskey’s Quick Classic Quilts. Oxmoor House, 1996. 160 pages. Book #1224. (The idea behind this book is that late 20th century quilting tools and techniques make quilting much faster than it was for earlier generations. The 26 quilt patterns here are arranged from easiest to most challenging.) [Tags: Beginner, Patchwork]

Pattison, Emma, Ed. Simple Stitches Quilting: 18 Projects for the New Quilter. Lark Crafts, 2011. 128 pages. Book #1764. (The project instructions are given after 10 pages of basic instructions. Most projects are easy to make quilts.) [Tags: Beginner]

Poster, Donna. The Quilter’s Guide to Rotary Cutting. 2e. Krause, 1999. 208 pages. Book #1578. (This mostly black and white book contains 5 chapters of basic quilting lessons and instructions for 20 quilts, from beginner to advanced.) [Tags: Beginner]

Quilting: Patchwork and Applique. DK, 2014. 320 pages. Book #3030. () [Tags: Beginner]

Rolfe, Margaret, and Jenny Bowker. The Magic of Quiltmaking: A Beginner’s Guide. That Patchwork Place, 2004. 160 pages. Book #1825. (This full-color guide for the beginning quilt maker follows the process from tool selection to design and includes instructions for 10 quilts, mostly patchwork.) [Tags: Beginner]

Strick, Candace Eisner. The Quilter’s Quick Reference Guide. That Patchwork Place, 2004. 144 pages. Book #1567. (This spiral-bound book is a reference to some of the most common quilting topics, in 13 chapters.) [Tags: Beginner, Reference]

Townswick, Jane, Ed. Easy Machine Quilting. Rodale, 1998. 248 pages. Book #3099. (This book is presented in the form of 12 “lessons” in machine quilting, given by 9 expert machine quilters. A dozen projects are included.) [Tags: Machine Quilting, Beginner]

Wilens, Patricia, Ed. Relax and Quilt. Oxmoor House, 1998. 144 pages. Book #0928. (This book focuses on the stress-reducing practice of quilting. Quick and easy quilt instructions are given, as well as 20 pages of general instructions for the beginner.) [Tags: Beginner, Quick and Easy]

Zieman, Nancy. Quilt with Confidence. Krause, 2008. 143 pages. Book #1935. (In 7 chapters, this book takes beginning quilters through the steps in making a quilt from fabric selecting to labeling the finished quilt. Included are 8 simple projects.) [Tags: Beginner]


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