Although I had been sewing for years, my real first crafting love was patchwork and quilting. I don't remember how I got into it, but I remember that I was at University. I am still young enough to have had the internet when I was at Uni and I trawled it looking at spectacular quilts. All crafts are alchemy; you take basic materials - cotton, yarn, etc. and through manipulation something incredible happens. What fascinated me as much as the designs themselves was the rich history behind them. Many different countries and tribes had unique ways of manipulating this item that was originally intended to serve a practical purpose and developing it into a language.
The complete book of patchwork and quilting is you phrasebook to learning these new languages. It begins with a little history and some impressive color examples of quilts both contemporary and traditional to pique your interest. The rest of the book is an exhaustive reference of every aspect of quilting, from tools and basic methods to the different types of patchwork and quilting. The instructions are clear and there are plenty of illustrations to help you. There are no projects but it is such a detailed reference that you can easily develop your own. I have no other books on quilting.