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A Basic Quilting Book?

ckells | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

Hello everyone– I’m a new quilter with only one small lap quilt completed in a class. I’m starting a project that came with directions and fabric for a wall hanging. There are some quilting terms that I don’t know. I was to “fussy cut” some squares which I didn’t know. I looked in my Fons and Porter but no mention there. My point is that I’m looking for a reference and instruction book for tne most beginning quilter. Any suggestions from anyone? Thanks– Sheila


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    I don't do much quilting but I do know how to use Google! LOL

    put in "quilt fussy cut" and you should get several possible sites. One seems to be all about terms and techniques.

    One of them had this definition.. fussy cut: to cut the desired shape with respect to the design printed on the cloth.  So I guess I would use my clear square ruler and center it over the flower or cat or whatever I wanted to show up in the center of the block.  Does this make sense in the context you found it in?

    Hope this helps,


  2. HeartFire2 | | #2

    Fussy cut means that you look at your fabric and lay out the square you want to cut so the design of the fabric is used to its best advantage - its more wasteful of the fabric as you end up cutting holes here and there. Otherwise what you normally do is just use a ruler and rotary cutter and cut from the edge of the fabric not paying attention to what design ends up in the piece you cut.Hope this helps

  3. lovemycottons | | #3

    Sheila,  Did you visit your library? Most library's have a good selection of quilt books.  Usually before I buy a book, I check it out at the library first to see if the contents is what I want and need. If my local library does not have it, I use the on-line library and virtual catalog which is a service most librarys provide, at least in my area. If I am near a bookstore, I also browse the books there also.

    When I look for a quilting book, I look for one that has basic instructions for techniques, design, etc . One of my favorite books is a very old one, 'Quiltmaker's Handbook' by Michael James. He is a comtempory quilt artist and I don't care for his style, but I still admire his work because his piecing, quilting, design are phenomenal. This book is old but contains the nuts and bolts for quilting. He has a newer version out but I have not seen it. The older version is excellent.  I laugh because he instructs to use a #2 pencil (because that was the only tool to use back then) and today's quilters cringe when you even mention the pencil. I still use the #2 pencil and it works for me.

    Through the grapevine, I heard Carol Doak's 'Your First Quilt Book' is very good.

    Here is another thought. If there is a quilting guild in your area, you should join it. The friendships and their knowledge of quilting is wonderful.


    1. ckells | | #4

      Thank you for the suggestions. I will search my library catalog for a start. I want to have all of my information at hand to use as questions come up. Looking on-line is not the same as a book. I finished squaring my small blocks in prep to assembling, I have a square ruler and measured carefully but don't want to find further along that I left out some very important step or measurement. There is a lot of information  that is assumed that you know in some instructions.

      1. thimbles1260 | | #5

        You may want to look for You Can Be A Super Quilter by Carla J Hassel.  It is a "teach-yourself manual for beginners" that I used when I first began to piece quilts.  I would suggest that you try doing hand piecing first.  It does seem tedious when we are so used to the machine, but you learn to see how the blocks/seams must fit together.  Then, when you go to machine piecing, you will have a basic understanding of what's ahead and comprehend the importance of accurate seams....much more important than in garment sewing as you are dealing with 1/4" seams.  Have fun!! and let me know if I can help.

    2. ckells | | #7

      lovemycottons-- I just returned the Carol Doak book to the library and it was a huge help. I will try to purchase thru Amazon. Thank you for the help!

      1. lovemycottons | | #8

        your welcome

  4. midnitesewer | | #6

    Try these books: Rotary Magic bY Nancy Johnson-Srebro,

    10-20-30 Minutes to Quilt by Nancy Zieman,

    Beter Homes and Gardens Complete to Quilting.

    They helped me. Also look for quilting shows on your local PBS affiliate. The shows are great and they are free. Good luck.

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