Book Review & Giveaway: Beginner’s Guide to QUILTMAKING

When I made my first quilt, my sewing experience was next to none.  Words like feed dog, seam allowance, bias didn’t mean a thing to me.   My dear quilting teacher Barbara started me on piecing 4″ squares to make the quilt center of my first quilt…

Why, how hard could that be?  I was just sewing a bunch of 4″ squares together, right?! WRONG.  I began realizing very early on that there was more to quilting than just sewing a bunch 4″ squares together… after I found out rows of eight “supposedly 4″ finished” squares don’t all measure at 32 1/2″ raw edge to edge.   And to complicate the matter, the points don’t match.

I went on a quest to read books and websites in search of tips, tricks, and answers.  I found that some reads were tedious.  Although I am not bothered by heavy reading, sometimes when dealing with a sewing technique, I just want something straight to the point with good illustrations!

[First forward, almost 10 years after I made my first quilt, shown above…]


“Where was Jeri when I needed her?” was my first reaction in reading through the newly released book, Jeri Simon’s Beginner’s Guide to QUILTMAKING.  The book was exactly what I was looking for 10 years ago, and I still can appreciate the book even after having quilted for a few years.


You may read about and purchase the Jeri’s book here.  You may also purchase the book in pdf format here.

I happen to know and love Jeri.  I can “feel” Jeri from reading through the pages.  Read on to find out why I love this book:

1.  It is written in a “reference” style – the reader does not have to wade through wordy descriptions to get to the point.

2.  This book is FULL of illustrations – 450 photos showing step-by-step of processes.  I really like this part about the book.  The photography is great.  I know  (and some of you know too!) because Landauer Publishing did a super job photographing my quilts in Recreating Antique Quilts.


3.  Jeri is able to break things down to the basics.  I really admire Jeri’s ability to be able to do that because I am not very good in that department.  In this book, Jeri starts from the very very basic in brilliantly explaining words like “grain” (NOT rice or quinoa!) and “block” (NOT streets!) mean when used in the context of quilting.


4.  Jeri covers pre-treatments and finishing techniques of the entire quilting process.  When I reached the parts about hanging sleeve and quilt labels, I knew this book is a winner — because I know my quilting teacher WILL approve, and my quilting teacher is never wrong!!


5.  You know how I feel about “that” first quilt.  Jeri included beautiful projects to engage the beginning quilters – with complete instructions and illustrations.  Jeri’s cover quilt totally stole my heart!  You will have to get this book to see what other projects are included.  And who says seasoned quilters can’t have fun with “beginning” quilt projects?!

6.  The CHARTS – Those charts made my (engineering) heart go a-fluttering.  Jeri included more than 20 charts in her book with FORMULAS!  The charts and formulas are helpful and essential in helping quilters get more out of quilting.  So I am really excited that Jeri include them in her book for beginners to use beyond that baby stage of quilting.



I highly recommend the book, truly!  I can see this book being well used for a beginning quilter, and a valuable reference for a seasoned quilter.  If you are looking for a book to buy for a potential quilter – this is it!


I have a copy of the book to give away to a US/Canada address.  Thank you, Landauer Publishing!  Between now and July 17, leave a comment to tell me any of the following to enter the giveaway:

1.  The reason(s) you quilt;

2.  If you are currently teaching someone to quilt; or

3.  A little about your quilting story!

And with that, I am going to fly and get my little one some help with her Math.  She can’t figure out what 14 minus 8 is, and that 14 minus 8 is “driving her crazy”!

Oh, one more thing… have you checked out Landauer’s blog or Facebook page lately? Click here and here to be apprised of the latest news!

Have a great weekend, Friends!