One of our favorite features from Quilting Month I was the list of quilting books we compiled from our readers. We think it’s important to keep our recommendations up-to-date, so a couple of weeks ago we asked you to suggest books we might have missed or books that have recently been published. We took your suggestions and combined them with our staff favorites to append the 2008 list of Sew,Mama,Sew! Favorite Quilting Books. (The original list is at the bottom of this page.)

FREE SHIPPING! You can pick up any of these seven books for a great price at Connecting Threads, a Quilting Month II sponsor. What’s more, Sew,Mama,Sew! readers get free shipping on their entire order (whether it includes books or not!) Simply enter the code SEWMAMA when you check out.  (Make sure you stop by their big quilting tool sale too.)  Edited to add:  This wasn’t working, but it is now.  Apparently you will see some text that tells you you still need to reach x dollar amount for free shipping, but if you click through to check out, you’ll see that it is $0 for shipping.

We love to read your book reviews. Comment here, or join our Goodreads sewing book group!

The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns:  4050 Pieced Blocks for Quilters

by Jinny Beyer
Breckling Press (October 15, 2009)

SMS:  Several readers recommended this book and we’ve seen it other must-have lists.  We’re fascinated by the concept of “4050 unique block designs.”  Wow!

From the publisher: This visual encyclopedia of quilt block designs provides quilters, designers, researchers and patchwork enthusiasts with a comprehensive tool for finding, identifying, and drafting more than 4050 unique block designs. World-renowned quilter Jinny Beyer has categorized the designs in a way that eliminates duplicates and allows quilters to understand exactly how each block is successfully pieced. Jinny has analyzed all designs in terms of the grid on which they are drawn, making it easy for quilters to recreate the blocks in any size or color scheme desired. Imagine-more than 4050 unique designs to choose from for your next quilt!

Quilts, Baby!  20 Cuddly Designs to Piece, Patch & Embroider

by Linda Kopp
Lark Books (May 5, 2009)

SMS:  This is an amazing compilation of beautiful, contemporary baby quilts.  The contributors are all talented modern sewists that you may know from blogland, including Sew,Mama,Sew! board member, Kajsa.

From the publisher:  Modern, innovative, and exciting: if you’ve never associated these words with baby quilts before, you will now! Here’s a collection of fresh designs that aren’t fussy, cutesy, or old-fashioned, but that still have that “aww” factor. Best of all, every one is easy to make, and most take only a weekend to complete. Try a round “Peekaboo” blankie with fanciful creatures hidden under fabric flaps, the clever two-in-one “Good Morning/Good Night” quilt, and a funny “Monkey Monkey” block quilt. Plus, there’s helpful information on choosing baby-friendly and safe materials.

Kaffe Fassett’s Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts

by Kaffe Fassett
STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book (March 1, 2010)

SMS:  Many of our readers include Kaffe’s books in their list of favorites.  Pick any of them–they’re all great!  We’re particularly excited about this one, which was just released last month.  In addition to the 23 unique quilt patterns and instructions,  the stunning photography makes this book worthy of your best coffee table.  Make sure you check back here on April 20 when we interview Kaffe about this book as part of his blog tour!

From the publisher:  In Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts, world-renowned quilter Kaffe Fassett demonstrates how basic geometric forms—squares, rectangles, triangles, diamonds, circles, and quarter-circles—found in natural and manmade environments inspire his quilt designs. Twenty-three of his magnificent, inventive quilts—ranging from the relatively simple Tilt, ideal for beginners, to the more complex Circle of Stars, for more advanced stitchers—are showcased in the book, along with step-by-step instructions for making each one.

Along the way, Fassett also offers over a hundred photos of geometric inspiration from around the world—everything from triangular watermelon slices, to rectangular sheets of metal on African scrap dwellings, to lollipop-shaped topiary trees in Japan. In the accompanying text, Fassett reveals how he experiences the colors and basic shapes around him, how we can train our own eyes to see this rewarding source of creativity, and how we can, just as he does, combine striking fabrics with simple shapes to create our own spectacular quilt designs.

Material Obsession:  Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots

by Kathy Doughty & Sarah Fielke
STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book (March 1, 2009)

SMS:  This book had a big impact on lots of bloggers.  The authors’ “what rules?” attitude struck a chord with many quilters who were inspired to experiment with color and print to make fun, modern quilts using traditional designs.

From the publisher: Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke, owners of the popular quilting shop Material Obsession in Sydney, Australia, bring an unconventional spirit to a traditional craft. They encourage quilters to use bold patterns and unusual color combinations, and to trust their instincts rather than follow rigid rules.

In Material Obsession, Doughty and Fielke present 23 vibrant quilt patterns that appear fresh and modern, but are often based on traditional designs. They explain how any quilter, novice or seasoned, can create striking variations of their own by seeking inspiration from both the fabric in front of them and the world around them. Patterns are arranged in order of difficulty, from easy to advanced, and a techniques section fully describes the basics of patchwork and quilting. Material Obsession provides quilters with everything they need to put a modern twist on an age-old craft—and to express their own creative spirits while they’re at it.

Quilting for Peace:  Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time

by Katherine Bell
STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book (October 1, 2009)

SMS:  In December we reviewed Quilting for Peace and interviewed Katherine Bell.  We were so inspired, we started our own Quilting for Peace team.  This book is full of fun projects, but most importantly, great stories about how you can affect change through the simple act of sewing.  (Check out our Sew Good page for more ideas!)

From the publisher: As crafters of all ages take to their sewing machines in unprecedented numbers, many of them join a movement to distribute hope and warmth to those in need through quilting. These are volunteers who have inherited a tradition of comfort and protest, and a belief that they can make the world a better place one stitich at a time.

Quilting for Peace, the follow-up to STC’s Knitting for Peace, profiles these quilters in more than 25 essays about individuals and organizations devoted to making quilts and other necessities for the needy. The efforts range from Newborns in Need, a group that makes clothing for premature babies at nearby hospitals; to Quilts of Valor, which makes quilts to honor wounded soldiers; to the Sleeping Bag Project, which distributes 100,000 homemade sleeping bags to the homeless every year. This timely book also includes 15 projects and guidelines for quilters who want to contribute to an existing effort or establish a new one.

I Love Patchwork:  21 Irresistible Zakka Projects to Sew

by Rashida Coleman-Hale
Interweave Press (December 1, 2009)

SMS:  We call our theme “Quilting Month”, rather than “Quilt Month”, because we believe quilting techniques are transferable to whatever you want to sew and aren’t just limited to blankets.  Rashida’s wonderful book is proof of that.  You can practice binding, quilting, paper piecing, applique and, of course, patchwork on any of the 21 fantastic and approachable projects.

From the publisher:  Offering a modern approach to traditional fabric design, this charming instructional illustrates how to create sophisticated patchwork projects by combining linen and print fabrics using simple quilting procedures. Presenting a diverse collection of projects—many inspired by the Japanese zakka aesthetic—such as a travel sewing kit, sewing machine cover, table runner, apron, eco bag, towels, calendar, lap quilt, tote bag, pillowcase, and shoulder bag, all designs are fun, functional, and easy to master. Combining sewing, appliqué, quilting, and patchwork techniques with thoughtful advice on how to select, work with, and care for linen, this colorful handbook is brimming with sophisticated and innovative projects to challenge and inspire both beginning and intermediate sewers and quilters.

Liberated Quiltmaking II

by Gwen Marston
American Quilter’s Society (January 1, 2010)

SMS:  This sequel to Liberated Quiltmaking comes highly recommended by SMS readers and is another book that’s chock-full of modern twists on classic designs.  Marston has legions of fans who attest to her genius.

From the publisher: At long last! Gwen Marston has updated her signature Liberated Quiltmaking! The fascination with Gwen’s Liberated Quiltmaking has generated a demand for more, more, more! Introduced in 1996, her distinctive methods for creating original quilts are expanded in this new volume including Liberated Square Within-a-Square, Liberated Medallion, and Recut Blocks and Sashing. Gwen presents nine Liberated Quiltmaking processes and each is clearly illustrated with step-by-step instructions, pieced samples, and loads of example quilts. Multiple techniques and variations are given. Liberated Quiltmaking II provides a way of working without using templates or set patterns. Truly original quilts result that engage the quilter’s intuition and emotion as well as technical skills.

Our original list of favorites:

Denyse Schmidt Quilts by Denyse Schmidt

Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson

Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!: The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking by by Diana Mcclun and Laura Nownes

The Modern Quilt Workshop: Patterns, Techniques, and Designs from the Funquilts Studio by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr

Quilter’s Ultimate Visual Guide: From A to Z–Hundreds of Tips & Techniques for Successful Quiltmaking by Ellen Pahl

Kaffe Fassett’s Kaleidoscope of Quilts: Twenty Designs from Rowan for Patchwork and Quilting by Kaffe Fassett

Quilter’s Complete Guide by Marianne Fons and Liz Porter

Bend-The-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew by Amy Karol

Collaborative Quilting by Fredd Moran and Gwen Marston

Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt by Paul Arnett

Comment in any post this week for your chance to win one of these great prizes. Wow!:

Make! Over 40 Fantastic Projects with 16 Exclusive Designs by Cath Kidston; Pretty Little Mini Quilts by Ray Hemachandra; 200 Quilting Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets by Susan Briscoe; Simple Contemporary Quilts A Beginner’s Guide to Modern Quiltmaking by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader; The Quilts of Gee’s Bend ~ 23 Fat Quarter Pack, Retail Value: $57.50.