Quilt Block Library Reference Materials

You don’t have to be around quilting for very long before you realize that many of the blocks we make go by several different names. As I was compiling the Quilt Block Library it was sometimes hard to figure out which name was correct.

In an effort to provide the most reliable information possible, I frequently referred to several well-known authoritative works. Below you will find a list of reference materials that are cited frequently throughout the Quilt Block Library. Each of these sources was instrumental in documenting block names, traditional colorways, block construction, block history, and in some cases, block categorization. (I should point out that ultimately I decided to categorize the blocks using grid systems learned from my work in graphic design, as I believe these are more descriptive and therefore more useful when using the blocks to create quilt designs.)

Credit where it is due

I am forever indebted to the generous spirit of quilters before me who dedicated so much of their lives to preserving and documenting the artistic heritage of quilting. Humbled by their work, my aim is to compile a comprehensive, searchable online database to document the great blocks of years past as well as the newest innovations of modern quilters. If you want to deep dive into quilt block history, I highly recommend each of these resources.


501 Quilt Blocks: A Treasury of Patterns for Patchwork & Applique Better Homes and Gardens, 1995.

Beyer, Jinny, The Quilter’s Album of Blocks & Borders, McLain, VA, EPM Publications, 1980. (Note: I believe there is an updated version of this book, with a slightly different title.)

Gordon, Maggi McCormick, 1000 Great Quilt Blocks, London, Collins & Brown, 2003.  (This is the book I consider my “quilt block bible.”) Hird, Laurie Aaron, The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt: Letters from 1920s Farm Wives and the 111 Blocks They Inspired, Fons & Porter, 2009.

Hird, Laurie Aaron, The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them, Fons & Porter, 2015. Michelle, Marti, The Perfect Patchwork System Encyclopedia of Patchwork Blocks, Vols 1-4, Marti Michelle, Inc., 1995-1998


International Quilt Study Center & Museum | www.quiltstudy.org

The Quilt Index | www.quiltindex.org

Please note that this list does not include every source used on the entire site. When a source is cited in a blog post, that source is listed with any appropriate links on that post’s page.