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Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!: The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking

Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!: The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking

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Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!: The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking

4/5 (20 évaluations)
556 pages
2 heures
Nov 18, 2013


Widely considered to be the best instructional book for anyone learning how to quilt or seeking to improve their quilting skills, this guide boasts the expertise of industry veterans and bestselling authors as they embark on this third edition of the quilting bible. Based on the principle that a solid foundation turns beginners into lifelong quilt makers, this comprehensive reference covers every tool, technique, skill, and shortcut in machine and hand quilting—no matter how basic. An all-time classic, it is the essential handbook for the beginner and a constant companion for the experienced quilter. This authoritative treasury brims with more than 30 classic quilt patterns, complete with fabric charts for crib, bed, and wall sizes, and complete cutting and sewing instructions.

Nov 18, 2013

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Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! - Diana McClun


Chapter 1


A quilt is more than fabric, batting, and stitches. It is a rare and wonderful creation of the soul which expresses our personal statements, our likes and dislikes, feelings, thoughts and loves. It is a bridge that encourages friendships. A quilt supports our need for recognition, as we display it proudly to the applause of admirers. And a quilt links us with those who’ve stitched before and those who will follow, as a quilt gives a wordless but meaningful description of who we are and what we feel.

With this new edition of Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!, we share with you the same joy and love of creativity our ancestors had. Now it’s time to do what we do best—detail the construction of a quilt from start to finish, so you too can have the experiences only making a quilt can bring.


Many quilters and teachers have told us that the reason our book has been so successful is that it meets the needs of beginners while still challenging experienced quilters to reach new goals. This new edition continues that tradition. If you are a novice, you will first learn the basics by mastering some simple yet essential skills. If you have already made a quilt, we give you opportunities to practice and improve. You will soon find out that as you sew, you develop some wonderful qualities, like diligence and patience—attributes you may not have known you possessed. And as you make quilt after quilt, you will discover your own creative gifts as you produce works of great beauty.

Our new edition of Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! includes patterns that beginners can complete successfully, as well as designs an experienced quiltmaker will enjoy working with. There are 28 new quilt patterns, including four sampler quilts designed specifically for beginners. The patterns include many familiar traditional designs and geometric pieced quilts, as well as fun new looks, all with complete step-by-step instructions. Chapters on specific techniques, such as cutting, piecing, appliqué, assembly, and more provide in-depth guidance to allow you to master each skill.

A Quilter’s Supply List


Self-healing cutting mat

Acrylic rulers

Rotary cutters



Sewing machine

Pressing board

Spray starch

Steam iron

Perfect Piecing Seam guide

Sewing machine needles, No. 12 Microtex or Topstitch

Thread: 100 percent 50-weight cotton in a neutral color

¼″ or patchwork presser foot

Sharpie marking pen


Seam ripper

Glass-head pins

Pin cushion


Open toe embroidery foot

Bias tape maker

Permanent and disappearing marking pens

Circle templates

Fusible web

Small project iron

Fabric and embroidery scissors

Appliqué needles


Basting glue

Embroidery floss/perle cotton

Plastic coated freezer paper

Heat resistant template plastic

Scissors, paper and embroidery

Pins and pincushion


Pins and pincushion


Basting/long darning needles

Tape measure



Small safety pins, masking tape, or removable tape


Quilting hoop

Needles and needle threader

Finger cots


Marking pens, pencils

Perle cotton thread (for tying)

Quilting thread

Walking foot

Darning/free motion foot



Binding clips



Scissors, embroidery type

Walking foot


Eight squares-to-the inch graph paper

Mechanical pencil and lead



C-Thru drafting ruler

Template plastic

Pencil and sharpener

Marking pens and pencils

Fine-line permanent pens

The patterns are arranged in a progressive sequence, incorporating new designs and utilizing more difficult techniques as you move from the simpler patterns to the more complex. Some patterns require more precise work than others, but with care all can be completed by the quiltmaker who begins with the simpler patterns, moving onward as experience warrants. There are years of joyful quiltmaking within these pages.

You can select one of the patterns and make a quilt or you can make a variety of pattern blocks and incorporate them into a sampler quilt similar to the examples shown on pages 176 to 183. Choose one you like or make up your own combination of blocks. Using some of the quick techniques included in the book, you can complete a quilt in a reasonable period of time and move on to another one that interests you. In the last chapter, there is even a guide to building your own course of quiltmaking lessons, which is as helpful to the self-taught quilter as it is to a teacher planning a sequence of classes.


For your first quilt there is no need to invest in specialty tools or supplies. The basic items shown in the photograph below, plus your sewing machine or hand-sewing tools, will cover most of your needs. Later on, as your interest in quilting develops and as your budget allows, you may wish to supplement your tools with some of the items listed in the margins on this page and the next.

1. 100 percent 50-weight cotton thread, neutral 2. Rotary cutter 3. Fabric scissors 4. Walking foot 5. Paper scissors 6. Darning foot 7. Seam ripper 8. Self-healing cutting mat 9. Wide plastic ruler


This series of steps will help you benefit the most from working with the third edition of Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!


Read through the entire book from start to finish to get an overall idea of the quiltmaking process. Don’t jump around. Important information is not given in the first few pages but developed progressively throughout. Next, re-read the book, spending time on the Practice Exercises. These are intended as learning experiences to familiarize you with basic quiltmaking techniques before you begin your first quilt. (If you are an experienced quiltmaker, you can skip some of these exercises, but we urge you to do the ones involving time-saving techniques.) Instructions for making the quilts build on your knowledge of the techniques, including those developed in the Practice Exercises. If you complete them, you will be happy with your results.

Since this is intended as a workbook, wide margins and spaces for your personal notes have been given. The Table of Contents serves also as an index to the book, with specific page listings. It is conveniently placed at the front for ready reference. In addition, there is a complete index in the back of the book. We have highlighted Helpful Hints we feel are important. You should feel free to highlight other points yourself and add personal observations. Then, you can decide which techniques you feel most comfortable with—quick methods, traditional methods, or a combination of the two.


Look through Chapter 2, Choosing a Pattern. For a positive quilting experience, we recommend that a beginner make one of the quilts requiring only strips (such as Rectangles, Somersault, and Lazy Day Quilt) as a first project. Work and become comfortable with its techniques before moving on to patterns with squares, triangles, or diamonds. If you are an experienced quiltmaker, choose freely from among the many patterns offered. Remember, the patterns in Chapter 2 are arranged in a progressive sequence, so find the level you are most at ease with and work onwards from there.


Decide on the finished size of the quilt you wish to make. How do you intend to use it? Will it be used on a bed or as a wall hanging? Once you’ve determined this, turn to the pattern you selected in Chapter 2. There you will find a chart that succinctly gives you the total number of pattern blocks and suggested border widths recommended for the setting and size quilt you wish to make. You will also find convenient fabric requirements for all quilt sizes and settings.


For most quiltmakers, this is the most difficult decision. Since we can’t see the finished quilt but can only speculate upon what it will look like, this is an especially difficult task for the beginner. Chapter 2 includes fabric suggestions for each pattern. Chapter 3 provides more detailed guidance on selecting colors and fabrics. Take time to read Chapter 3, as choosing the right combination of colors is one of the keys to creating a quilt that is pleasing and original to you.


Chapter 3 also provides guidance on choosing and preparing your fabric, including pre-washing for colorfastness and shrinkage. Next, in Chapter 4, the excitement begins, as it is time to cut fabrics and prepare them for the quilt pattern you have chosen. Don’t underestimate the importance of accurate cutting: if the pieces are cut incorrectly, they will not sew together perfectly. Whether you are experienced or a novice, take the time to practice working with cutting tools to make sure you cut perfect pieces every time, without wasting time or fabric.


Chapters 5 through 11 include step-by-step instructions with diagrams and illustrations of the various techniques required for making the quilts in this book. Study the instructions, work on the Practice Exercises, and become familiar with every technique before beginning a quilt.


Everything you need to know to make every quilt in this book is included here. Each pattern in this book includes the following:

Color photographs of the pattern as an entire quilt and as an individual pattern block

Fabric and color suggestions

A size chart, showing measurements for the quilt photographed as well as a variety of bed and wall sizes

A yardage chart listing fabrics needed for different quilt sizes, including backing and binding requirements

A chart for accurate cutting of pieces, with minimal fabric waste

Step-by-step instructions for making the quilt, including color drawings

Template patterns for appliqué and paper piecing patterns, whether made by hand or machine

Along the way, there are Helpful Hints that smooth the process, reminding you of key techniques and helping with any tricky steps.

We hope you enjoy this updated edition of Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! and the fresh new patterns it has to offer. We feel there is no more pleasurable pastime than quiltmaking and we hope that you agree. It is an elixir for the soul. Happy quilting!

Detail of Circles (see page 70)

Chapter 2


The patterns are organized from easiest to most challenging. Beginning quiltmakers are urged to begin with one of the patterns that require only strip piecing, such as Rectangles, Somersault, Lazy Day Quilt, or Nine-Patch. If you are an experienced quilter, begin wherever you choose with the pattern that appeals most to you. If you need more help on specific techniques, everything is there for you in Chapters 3 to 12.

Fabric. We have listed generous amounts of fabric in the charts. Experience tells us that there are few things in quiltmaking as frustrating as nearing the end of a quilt project only to discover that you are short of an essential fabric. Use leftover fabric to begin a scrap bag for future projects or to replenish your stash.

Cutting Charts. It is important that you cut the fabric in the order listed in the charts, so that you do not cut into a length you will need elsewhere.

Borders. We have given suggested border widths in the cutting charts. If you feel confident enough, determine your own borders and their widths. This may change the amount of border and backing fabric required.

Quilt Sizes. All are given as width × length, for example, 61″ × 90″. Here are some helpful measurements in planning your bed-sized quilts. Adjust borders accordingly to meet your personal needs. Each suggested size allows for a 13″ drop on three sides.


All quilts by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes, machine quilted by Kathy August, 44″ × 60″

Finished block size: 4″ × 10″

Techniques: Quick cutting, strip piecing

Setting: Straight, vertical

Fabric suggestions: One fabric for small rectangles and four fabrics for large rectangles

CONSTRUCTION (use ¼″ seam allowance)

1. Join each 8½″ strip with a 2½″ strip to make sets, as shown. The sets should measure 10½″ wide. Press the seams in the direction of the darker fabrics. Remove the selvages, then cut the strip sets apart every 4½″ to make blocks, as shown.

2. Number then arrange the blocks in pairs in each vertical row. Helpful Hint: Label the blocks as 1, 2, 3, or 4, according to your desired placement.

3. Cut the #3 blocks at the ends of vertical rows to make 3a and 3b blocks.

4. Arrange all of the blocks in vertical rows, as shown. Note that the 3b blocks are placed at the top of each even numbered row and the 3a blocks are attached at the bottom of the same rows.

5. Sew the blocks together in rows. Press seams toward darker fabrics.

6. Join the rows together, matching the center point of each large rectangle with the center point of a small rectangle, as indicated in the diagram. Note that each odd numbered row is ¼″ longer than the even numbered rows on the top edge. This will be trimmed off after the final pressing.

7. Press the new seams first on the wrong side and then on the right side. Trim and straighten the top edge to complete the quilt top.

8. Layer and baste the quilt top with batting and backing in preparation for quilting.


Denise Killingsworth, 40″ × 40″

Finished block size: 8″ × 10″

Techniques: Quick cutting, strip piecing

Setting: Straight

Fabric suggestions: Four fabrics, pairing two light with two dark

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  • (5/5)
    This is an excellent book for the beginner who knows next to nothing about quilting. There are detailed chapters that cover how to choose a pattern, color selection, fabric preparation, laying out and cutting the pieces, and how to sew the pieces together. Appliqu? is treated in it's own chapter which discusses how to prepare the pieces and to sew them by hand or machine. Quilting patterns, for the sewing of the layers, is discussed as are the methods of marking the quilt for stitching. The kinds and methods of putting a binding around the edges is followed by a discussion of how to draft your own patterns, making it possible to recreate a historic quilt in your own collection or to look at a photo and reproduce a quilt pattern in your own layout. The final chapter is a sampler quilt that can be made as a class that meets for 11 sessions. Each block is shown in a color diagram with the stitching pattern in a second diagram in black and white. This is an excellent book to be used by teachers, beginners, and quilters of all levels of expertise.