Create Your Own Art Quilt Reference Library

As we celebrate 10 years of Quilting Arts Magazine, I've been going over the issues from the beginning. I have a mental catalog of every article we've ever done, and it's kind of become a little party trick of mine to be able instantly recall which issue an article or artist appeared in. Although, now that we're approaching 50 issues of Quilting Arts and a slew of other titles, I admit it's getting a little harder to pull that off!

We always want to capture what's new on the scene and of interest to you at the moment. But while machine stitching, hand stitching, surface design, embellishment and the other big topics of contemporary art quilting are always covered, the trends in those areas change.

One thing I noticed about how the magazine has evolved is that in the beginning we devoted more space to some of the more elaborate hand embroidery and beading techniques.

Same thing with using a soldering iron to fuse, cut, and make marks, or doing reverse appliqué and bobbin embroidery on paper. These techniques were new on the contemporary quilting scene, and we were right there with expert artists showing you how to do them.

I refer to these articles from our earlier issues again and again; that's where my total-recall indexing trick comes in handy.

Here, for example, is a tutorial from Beryl Taylor on how to create the Twisted Insertion Stitch. This stitch comes in handy when you want to join two pieces of fabric or fiber art together (such as artist trading cards or fiber postcards) in a decorative way. The stitch is easy to work and gives a lacy look when finished.

The Twisted Insertion Stitch
By Beryl Taylor


  • Kraft or computer printer paper
  • Fabric or fiber art to be joined
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle (blunt-ended)
  • #5 perle cotton, six-strand embroidery floss


1. Tack your 2 pieces of fabric to be joined onto the paper, leaving a gap of ¼" between the pieces.

2. Take a needle and thread and pass the needle through the left-hand edge of the piece of fabric that is on the right side. Pass the needle from the rear of the fabric to the front.

3. At the front, pass the needle and thread under and over the loose end of the thread to make a twist shape.

4. Take the needle and thread to the right-hand edge of the piece of the paper. Pass the needle front the rear of the fabric to the front and then under and over the thread of the original stitch you made to once again form a twist shape.

5. Continue along the row in this fashion. When the row is complete, remove the tacking stitch and backing paper.

I know most of our readers hang on to their issues to refer to them like I do, for a particular technique or inspiration. But if you're missing issues, now is the perfect time to fill in your collection, because all Quilting Arts back issues are now 50% off for a limited time. So, complete your art quilt reference library today!


Other topics you may enjoy:


Art Quilt, Quilting Daily Blog

7 thoughts on “Create Your Own Art Quilt Reference Library

  1. I’m new to all of you wonderful magazines and resources. Thank you for the stitch tutorial… I’ll use that for a project I’m working on now.

    As for the 50% off back issues, how about putting your content online for a membership fee? It would make for a greener world (less printing), you and I wouldn’t have to warehouse back issues and and for computer geeks like me, it would be much quicker to search for all of the great information and tutorials you have.

  2. HI: Your talking about creating your own reference library gave me a thought so here goes!!
    It would be wonderful if someone could list each of the articles in each issue and have it available online somewhere so that if I was trying to look up a subject to review I could find it easily. I have almost all of the issues and to find a particular subject takes a lot of time to find it
    each time I need it.
    I realize I am asking for a lot but what a helpful thing to have.

  3. I was interested to read the headline about Quilt Reference Library, and had hoped that it meant you were going to index articles in previous issues to help us find the one we are always searching for. Any chance that could be done on line? I’m sure it would be appreciated by many of your readers and subscribers.

  4. Good idea, JodyK6! As a matter of fact, that’s something we’re working on right now. Stay tuned for more details as we have them.

    Ruth (ettabee) and Lornamarym, please see the response to JodyK6. However, you will already find all the articles indexed by topic, artist, etc., in our Cumulative Index on the website now. You’ll find it under Useful Links on the left-hand side of the home page, or just follow this link:

    Thanks so much for your comments and interest in Quilting Arts!

  5. Wow – talk about quick response… I just came out to the blog to suggest an indexing strategy – and it’s already done! Thanks a lot to all of you who read my mind this morning.