Why We Quilt

Contemporary Makers Speak Out about the Power of Art, Activism, Community, and Creativity


By Thomas Knauer

Formats and Prices




$38.95 CAD



  1. Hardcover $29.95 $38.95 CAD
  2. ebook $14.99 $19.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 15, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

In this tribute to today’s vibrant quilting community, prize-winning quilter and teacher Thomas Knauer showcases a stunning collection of quilts from a wide range of contemporary makers, accompanied by their testimonials about what inspires and imbues their craft with meaning. From temperance quilts to the AIDS quilt, there’s a rich history of individuals and communities using fabric and thread to connect with others and express themselves, both personally and politically. Why We Quilt blends bits of this history with the stories and work of today’s leading quilters, highlighting themes of tradition, community, consumerism, change, and creativity. With a unique die-cut cover and a richly layered design, this book will enthrall designers, quilters, and all types of handcraft enthusiasts.


  • “Thomas is a maker worth watching, but even more importantly he is a thinker worth listening to. This book shows amazing pieces of art and even more amazing ways of thinking, through the lens of an often overlooked medium.” — LUKE Haynes, designer

    Why We Quilt beautifully highlights some of the leading quilters of our time, stitching connections between their work and the rich history of quilting that we cannot help but be grounded in. This book reminds me, as a quilter and the owner of a local quilt shop, that what we create — alone or in shared spaces, for whatever reason — is important. Our handwork, our stories, our quilt dreams are powerful and meaningful.” — Virginia B. Johnson, owner, Gather Here

    “A great compilation of historical significance, beautifully presented.” — Ricky Tims, The Quilt Show

    “Knauer’s strength is in asking the big questions. Yes, we’re quiltmakers, but why? In a day and age when quilting is no longer a necessity, what drives us to cut up fabric and sew it back together again? In Why We Quilt you’ll find the answers and they are as rich and deeply satisfying as you might expect: tradition, connection, outrage, and creative expression. A fascinating, beautiful examination of quilting culture.” — Abby Glassenberg, While She Naps

On Sale
Oct 15, 2019
Page Count
224 pages

thomas knauer

Thomas Knauer

About the Author

Thomas Knauer earned graduate degrees in art and design and was a professor of design before discovering his true passion: quilting. He is a popular and inspiring teacher who travels nationwide. He has designed many fabric lines with Andover and has a new collection from Kokka. A spokesperson for Janome sewing machines and Handi Quilter, he writes a regular column for Quilters Newsletter and hosts a QNNTV series titled Design Studio with Thomas Knauer. He is the author of The Quilt Design Coloring Workbook.

Learn more about this author