Quilters Reference Tool — A Must Have Book!!

OK…..I just can’t stop praising this wonderful, handy book!!  It’s the….drum roll please…..

All-in-One Quilter’s Reference Tool: Updated by Harriet Hargrave, Alex Anderson, Sharyn Craig and Liz Aneloski

Quilters Reference Tool coverThe Quilter’s Reference Tool, or QRT as I call it, has been updated in February 2014 and reissued.  I love this book for so many reasons–here are a few:

  1. It lays FLAT because it is spiral bound.
  2. It’s small–about 6 inches by 8.5 inches in size so it doesn’t take up a lot of space on my work table.
  3. The type face inside is very readable!  Lots of white space for readability on each page.
  4. It is full of great short-cuts.
  5. It does a lot of math for you for upsizing and downsizing blocks AND quilts.


The book really is an “all-in-one’ reference guide.  For example, it helps you calculate such important information as:

  1. How much yardage do I need if I am making X number of hexagons? or Diamonds or…..
  2. How much yardage do I need to make sashing strips or binding strips of various sizes & lengths?
  3. How much yardage do I need for my quilt backing?  I find this handy, handy, handy!!
  4. How do I make a curved seam?

And, the list goes on and on….

Who the Quilter’s Reference Tool is For

Any quilter–modern or not–will find this book helpful.  If you design your quilts using graph paper or other types of sketches, this book will save you hours and hours of math!  You can confidently buy the yardage that you need for your project with less worry about running out of a specific fabric.  Even us ‘improvisational quilters’ will find something useful in this book.

How I Use the Quilter’s Reference Tool

This past week, I used the quick cutting instructions for making half square triangle units.  I used Method #2 using 2 large squares sewn and cut so that it makes 8, yes 8!!, finished half squares with only 4 lines of straight sewing.  There’s a lovely trick –they show you exactly how to cut and sew.  Talk about fast!! And, the method is very, very accurate. And, in my next project, I plan to make variable size units, including  large size half square and flying geese–using the QRT table, I can easily do the math to upsize way bigger than the sizes shown in the table.

I can also use it to quickly calculate how much yardage I need for the quilt backing once I know the finished size of my quilt.  This helps when I’m hunting through my stash and think I might have enough of one fabric…but is it really long enough?  If the quilt is 62 x 92 inches, the table tells me how many yards total I need (5-1/8 yards) and shows me how to cut and piece the back.  I know that I always underestimate how much I need for a backing for my larger quilts.  (The only time I have to make a conversion is if I decide to use my extra wide 108 inch backing.  Even so, this table helps orient me.)

Should I buy the Quilter’s Reference Tool even if I use EQ7?

I say YES!  I love Electric Quilt 7  and use it all the time to design my quilts.  However, sometimes, I just need a quick calculation like how much total yardage for my backing, or how to quickly make flying geese or half-square triangles.  Or, as I mentioned above, how to make units that are 5 times the size of a ‘standard’ block…..

So, thanks, thanks, thanks to the 4 brilliant authors.

Where Can I buy this Fabulous Quilter’s Reference Tool

Of course–start at your Local Quilt Shop.  If they don’t carry the new edition, they can order it for you and usually get it in a couple of days.

Happy Modern Quilting Everyone!!
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