Monday, September 16, 2013

Quilting Books

I like to describe my quilting style as “modern traditionalist”. I like to honor the quilting patterns of a more traditional feel while using more contemporary fabrics (bright colors, fun prints, and more fluid rather than geometric designs) and occasionally trying a more modern pattern. I’ve had a love hate relationship with quilting books ever since I acquired my first one. Before purchasing a quilting book I like to be able to flip through it to be sure that I like at least half of the patterns in it. Having an 18 month old at home and an almost full time job doesn’t leave me a lot of free time to browse the stacks. I often rely on the internet to find a new book I might love. What’s frustrating about this option is that the previews that are available are often limited at best, only showing one or two patterns. If I’m really lucky, my local library will have a copy in rotation so I can have a proper look at it before whether or not to buy it.

Many of the books that I have come across have been extremely traditional - both the author and the patterns they offer - frequently using antique floral prints that I feel only fits in grandma’s house. I have a hard time getting past fabrics that I don’t like to see a pattern I might love. Alternately, when I’ve tried to find a more modern quilting book, I find myself staring down at an uber modernist pattern book. It seems to me there may be no happy medium in quilting books, and if there is, I’ve had difficulty finding it.

I end up relying on free patterns I can find online or in my own imagination. Let me tell you, I am NOT very good at coming up with my own quilt patterns. In fact,  if I am presented with a fabric for a quilt and have no pattern prior, it leaves me a little stymied, but that’s another blog post. So, I continue to search for the perfect quilting book (for me) and taking full advantage of websites kind enough to give me patterns for free. Here are few of my favorites:

Quiltville: This is a great resource for scrappy quilt patterns (or not so scrappy). It’s a great quilting blog too.

In Color Order: She does focus mostly on quilting but has other fun sewing tutorials too.

Quilter’s Cache: This is a collection of literally hundreds of patterns which you can search through by size or alphabetically. It only gives you instructions to make one block at a time, so you have to do a little math and designing on your own to make a quilt.

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