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Review of The Quilting Answer Book

Updated on May 13, 2014

The Quilting Answer Book

What is it?

"The Quilting Answer Book" is, as it's title suggests, a book which has answers for almost every question a quilter will ever ask. It is written in Q&A format, the questions divided according to topic. If you are a beginning quilter it will answer such questions as "What makes a quilt a quilt?" and "How should I set up my iron and ironing board?" If you are more advanced and feel as though you could probably write this book, this is still a useful book as a quick reference; perhaps to double check your math or to see how you could embellish a quilt.

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The Breakdown

This book has 14 chapters - 14 overarching topics related to the quilting process. It will take you from step one of quilt making all the way through to the end. It addresses how to choose fabric, how to cut the fabric, how to sew the fabric together, and how to finish the quilt. This section will breakdown what is in this book.

The first four chapters are what I call the foundational chapters. They lay out what every quilter should have to begin quilting successfully. I love the section called "Beginner's Luck." It provides bullet point tips for beginner quilters. In addition to that, the first chapter outlines what quilting is. Essentially, what makes a quilt a quilt. They have illustrations showing the common types of blocks you might see in a quilt such as the Rail Fence and the Square Pinwheel. Then it addresses questions about fabric, batting, thread, and tools that you will need. Each time it addresses questions related to these topics it comes at it from different angles. For example, when discussing fabric it explains the different terms related to fabric as well as the best way to prepare for sewing. When discussing the essential tools needed it covers everything from needles to questions you might have about your sewing room or space.

The next four chapters (chapters 5-8) take you from the foundation (what you need to start sewing) to the actual sewing process. Of course, before you can begin to sew you first need to cut. And it addresses this very important step in what I consider one of the most important chapters of the book. When I first started rotary cutting, I relied heavily on the information in this chapter. In the subsequent chapters it discusses how to piece your quilt, press it, how to applique (if that is what you want to do), and how to make your quilt top.

Once you have made your quilt top, it is time to move on to the actual quilting and that is exactly what this book does. The next three chapters (chapters 9-11) take you through the quilting process from creating a quilting design and making the quilt sandwich to quilting the quilt. It thoroughly explores the different methods for quilting. It covers hand quilting, machine quilting, quilt-as-you-go, and tying a quilt.

Finally, once you have quilted your quilt all you have left to do is finish it up! Easier said than done, right? Chapter 12 explains how to do this. This was another chapter I rely on heavily when finishing my quilt. It clearly explains any questions you might have about binding - how to cut it (both straight-cut and bias-cut), how to attach it, etc.

The last two chapters of the book (chapters 13-14) are the miscellaneous chapters. Anything that didn't really fit in the previous chapters are in the chapters. Specifically, they address ways you can embellish your quilt and (my favorite) quilter's math made easy. I am not a mathematician by any stretch of the imagination and this chapter helps to explain anything mathematical you will be required to do as a quilter such as how to calculate how much material you need for a straight-cut or bias-cut binding and how to reduce or enlarge a quilt block.

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Personal Opinion?

So, what do I think of this book? I think it is an essential part of every quilter's library. In particular, if you are new to quilting this is the book for you. I refer to it as my quilting bible. Whenever I am sewing this book is right there by my sewing machine in case I have a question that I want answered. Do I still use other resources? Of course. I like additional explanations and video tutorials just like the next person, but I also like having a quick reference guide when I have a quick question I want answered.

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