Blog Tour/Giveaway: City Quilts by Cherri House

Today I’m thrilled to host the grand finale of Cherri House‘s blog tour to celebrate her new book City Quilts. OK, confession — I was just late in asking to be included, so Cherri was kind enough to tack me on to the end of the tour! Jessica is the rightful grand-finale host, but I guess because of my neverending fascination with solid fabrics and my lifetime membership in the Cherri and Lizzy House fan club, Jessica’s throne was usurped. Sorry, lady friend.

In case this is the first you’ve heard of City Quilts or the tour, I encourage you to familiarize yourself by visiting Cherri’s previous stops. Some of them still have giveaways going (and I’m no exception — see the end of the post).

City Quilts is an essential addition to your sewing/quilting library if you’re interested in working with solid fabrics, are a beginning quilter or beyond interested in modern quilts, or just love unique takes on the creative process. All the quilt patterns included in the book were inspired by grids found in the urban landscape. At the same time, it’s a gentle introduction to achieving dazzling and impressive color effects by juxtaposing fabrics of different hues and values. Check out some of gorgeous patterns included in the book as Cherri answers my motley assortment of questions …

{ City Shops }

City Quilts is kind of a love song to the urban landscape, and the urban landscape of Houston in particular. I love Houston — it’s so huge there is something (more than something — a lot of something!) for everyone. Will you tell us about the must-visit shops and other sites for textile tourists?

My LQS is It’s A Stitch in Humble, near IAH airport — great for travelers with a little time before a flight. Another shop I really love is Painted Pony in LaPorte – other side of town, but a great selection. There seems to be a huge explosion of shops on the southwest part of Houston as of late. That part of town is a good hour plus away, so I haven’t visited any of them yet. It requires a road trip to hit all of the “local” stores. Though not Houston, Austin has a great selection of stores for quilters … lucky you!

{ City Lot }

What is your fabric stash like? How do you store it all? On a related note, I was mighty impressed by your fabric journal described and pictured in the book.

I have a wall unit from Ikea that I use for my fabric storage. Wire bins hold all my smaller fabrics cuts that are sorted by color, style, precuts, and speciality fabrics. What once was a linen closet now holds long yardage, and fabric for quilt backs. Kona solids are kept in tubs, and I have small bins where I keep projects that are queued, and awaiting sewing. My fabric collection is spread over 1/2 of my home … I need a studio! In regards to the journal, I would recommend that every quilter, or seamstress start one, and maintain it through the years. Aside from fabric swatches, I also keep design notes and sketches, plus thank you notes from the recipients of my quilts. I’ve been keeping a quilt journal for about 10 years, and it is great to look back, and see what I’ve done, and what has changed.

{ City Lights, which was perched precariously over the railing of some very tall downtown building for the cover shot! }

After reading your lake story, I looked at the photography in City Quilts from a different perspective. So many of the shots are taken from high places! Were you involved in the shoots? Were you worried about them flying off the railings and blowing down the streets?

Fortunately all but a few photos were taken by C&T, and I think they are probably more careful with my quilts than I am. Photo shoots are so crazy, the wind is always blowing, quilts are always trying to fly away, rigging systems fail. Helpers are scrunched down behind quilts, trying to stay out of the shot and keep the quilt still. Falling in the lake has been the most dramatic of all my experiences, and fortunately I didn’t drown, and the quilt didn’t fly into the lake with me. No more photo shoots by myself, that is my new rule!

{ City Aviation halfway assembled on the design wall, pre-quilting }

Let’s talk about quilting a solids quilt. I know not everyone thinks this way, but to me the quilting design is just as important as the piecing. And the quilting on an all-solids quilt is even more important, because it shows up so much more. Are you extra exacting with your solids quilts when it comes to fixing mistakes, thread ends, etc.? And how do you feel about outsourcing your quilting? Any tips to give to readers on working with a professional long-armer?

I’m so glad you are asking about this … you’re the first. In the book I talk quite a bit about the importance of the actual quilting; how it is very much a part of the whole composition. As you are envisioning, and planning your quilt, the quilting needs to be part of the overall plan, and not an afterthought. Personally I have no qualms about sending a quilt out to be professionally quilted. I know my limitations as far as machine quilting goes. There were several quilts in the book (City Aviation, City Center, City Lot, and City Circle) that I needed the quilting to be very specific, and I knew that it was beyond my capabilities, with the time constraints that I was under. My longarm quilter is DeLoa Jones, and she was a lifesaver. Normally her work is very traditional, and I completely pushed her out of her comfort zone with the work I was asking of her; City Aviation just about killed her. She kept saying that there should be feathers, and wreaths on the those open spaces, and I kept saying “No, it has to be contemporary, it has to be modern!” She came through, and the quilting makes the quilt. In regards to working with a longarmer, ask to see samples of their work, ask if they are comfortable, or capable of doing the work you need done. Ask about their backlog, and what the wait time is. Sometimes, if I know I will need a quilt with a quick turnaround, I will call and ask for space to be reserved so I can send the top in last minute, and get it back in days. This happened with the book, and it is frequent around Market.

As I’ve mentioned before in regards to working with solids, you can’t hide mistakes the way you can with a busy print. Know that going in, and work with that in mind throughout the process, the extra time and care definitely pay off.

{ City Tracks }

You mentioned earlier in the blog tour that you love Kaffe Fassett — you two are definitely kindred spirits when it comes to simple, geometric-based quilt designs. And his fabrics, though often multicolored, function so much like solids. Then I started envisioning your quilts with his fabrics and some of his quilts with solids and my creative mind exploded. Have you ever tried either?

I’ve never thought of it in that light, but for me, his fabrics were really the bridge from “printed” fabrics to solids. For a couple of years, all of my quilts incorporated his fabrics. My quilts were changing, as well as my fabric selections. After my “Kaffe” period, I then began my work with solids. Though I own several of his books, I’ve never made one of this quilts. I’m in the process of creating some new patterns combining solids and some Kaffe fabrics; I’m excited to see how they will be received.

Thanks so much Cherri, and congratulations on this grand accomplishment!

As with all the other blog tour stops, you can enter here for a chance to win a copy of City Quilts courtesy C&T Publishing, and a Kona Cotton Solids Fat Quarter Pack (of your choice, but clearly I’d encourage these reds!) courtesy Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Just leave a comment with a valid email. The comments will close next Saturday, July 31, around 4pm CDT, and I’ll announce the winner shortly after that.

Quilt images by Cherri House, used with permission.

358 Comments

  1. Tong says:

    Love the blog tour so far, and the book looks amazing! Thank you so much for the great interview and giveaway!

  2. Jen says:

    OH, I have this book on my Amazon wishlist. :)

  3. Shirley Clark says:

    That’s a very interesting post. I love quilts and looking at all of the fabrics. Thanks for a chance to win.

    clarkclay@bellsouth.net

  4. Lori says:

    She’s right, It’s a Stitch is AWESOME! Though I don’t go often (I tend to want everything in there. lol.), it is by far the best fabric store in the area.

  5. Eleanor says:

    You just completely blew my mind with the whole Kaffe Fassett with solids/City Quilts with Kaffe fabrics thing. Wow! What a great idea…

    Also, I love these City Quilts — City Lot caught my eye in all the pictures from Market!

  6. Beth says:

    I can’t wait to see this book in person!

  7. Anne says:

    Wow another great interview and the final, oh no, what am I going to read now….I have loved this blog tour, what a great idea. Please do it again. I sure do love those reds tooo. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Leslie Williams says:

    Final interview I am so sad. I can’t wait to see the book in my own little hands, I agree with you on the red as well!

  9. Lesly says:

    Great discussion about the quilting of a solid-colours quilt. Hope to win this spectacular book – thanks for the chance!

  10. Kim says:

    Those reds are gorgeous! I recently bought the Kona color swatch card.. Oh my! I can’t wait to get my hands on Cherri’s book.. I look forward to getting a look at those photos of her fabric journal!

  11. DianeY says:

    Thanks Kim – I great finale with great new questions! I’ve loved this blog tour & definitely want this book (which I’ll probably have to buy since Mr. RNG hates me)

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Stunning quilts! Glad to learn about a modern quilt book!

  13. Janice says:

    Fabulous read and a great end to the blog tour. Thank you and everyone for the inspiration, ideas, and insight. OK – didn’t mean to do the alliteration thing there. Anyway, its been fun and I’ve discovered lots of new blogs to follow and a lot more about Cherri. Well done everyone. P.S. – I hope I win!!

  14. Caitlin says:

    Lovely colours. I am totally digging the City Tracks quilt!

  15. Linda says:

    I really liked your questions…different than the others and relevant. Thanks for the interview!

  16. Angelina says:

    Great interview! And thanks for the chance to win!

  17. Kristy says:

    I also loved the question about the quilting.

    Personally, I have never sent a quilt out to be machine quilted by a longarmer. I think in part it is because I do see the quilting as being a huge part of the quiltmaking in general and to me it feels a little like cheating. When I am faced with something that I know I don’t have the skill or patience to machine quilt I tend to hand quilt instead. This won’t help with a short turn around, obviously! But i have spoken to others and they have explained that to them, being involved in the design of the quilting is what makes them involved, which is what I think Cherri was saying.

    Thanks for a great interview, definitley thought provoking. I need to find out more about this journal…

    Sorry, that is a long comment!

  18. Kay says:

    I’m so glad you asked her about the quilting! I had been wondering about it. And, yes, those reds are fabulous! Thanks.

  19. Denise :) says:

    All the colors are splendid; but you’re right, those reds are va va va voom!!! :)

  20. Cecilia Young says:

    I have really enjoyed this tour. Thanks for the great interview.

  21. sy says:

    thanks for the interview and giveaway. the patterns in the book look fun and modern, want to make.

  22. kaelin says:

    thanks for the interview! the quilts in this book are breathtaking!

  23. Mary says:

    Great questions! I can well imagine these quilts would be atypical for long arm quilters, but what fun. THis tour was a terrific idea. I hav ere-sorted my stash, looking for suitable solids!

  24. Michele says:

    I love the book; has been an inspiration to move away from prints and toward solids…

  25. Sandy Allen says:

    Great interview! Thanks for the chance to win. I love those reds, too!

    Sandy A

  26. Jen says:

    Cherri’s quilts are so amazing to look at. I’d love to make one or more!

  27. Missyintx says:

    Thank you Cherri and all the blogs that have hosted this tour. I cannot tell you how much it has helped me to see how I like color and solids. I finally got a chance to see the book in person yesterday and it is so much better than the photos on the web. A certain purchase if I do not win. lol

  28. Joanna says:

    Great interview!

  29. Fran says:

    Wonderful interview & great questions !
    You have given me much to ponder….
    especially the journal. I’ve always
    wanted to do something like that…this
    may spur me on. I have tons of sketches,
    swatches & photos….maybe a winter
    project !

  30. Debbie Gallett says:

    Great interview. Love the reds.

  31. Belinda Gelhausen says:

    Wow! I’m so sad the tour is ending – it’s been great fun!
    So glad you asked about the quilting part – and I loved Cherri’s answer.
    The book is just AWESOME!

  32. Wendy says:

    Nice interview!
    And thanks for giving us the chance to win Cherri’s great book and that fabulous fabric.
    =-)

  33. Karen says:

    Great questions and great answers! I’m so glad you got tacked on there at the end. :)

  34. Janice says:

    I am new to sewing and quilting. I drool over fabric and I dream of the quilts I will make and the sewing room I will design.

  35. SheilaC says:

    I would love to win the book and those fabrics are yummy!!

    Thank you so much!

    SHeilaC

    shecarita at yahoo dot com

  36. Johanna says:

    I love the blog tour. There is so much to discover about Cherri and to win, too :)
    Thank you for jumping in at the last minute to extend this blog tour for just a little bit :)

  37. Debbie says:

    I have been adding to my solids collection and can’t wait to try a quilt using all solids….Thanks

  38. marg says:

    I’m about to start my solid quilt so looking forward to the book for my inspiration although from the photos I have seen I think I know which I will make..

  39. Sequana says:

    I’m still smiling about her photoshoot at the lake. *S*

    I have this book already, and it’s so wonderful. Lots more than usual quilt-type books in it.

  40. Sara says:

    Love this book! Thanks for the chance to win it!

  41. joh says:

    Im now really dying to use solids…… now I understand cherri’s attachment to them, Oh how i wish post was instantaneous! ps: yes that red bundle ll tied up does look too good.

  42. Anita says:

    It’s easy to thnk it’s all been done before – and then someone comes up with something totally new. Bravo.

  43. Kristine says:

    Wow, great questions! What a great way to conclude the tour!

  44. Sandy N. says:

    Oh yeah, Hot Spice, definitely the bundle I would choose if I were to be lucky enough to win!=) I have never done a quilt all in solids and am itching to try one. This book really inspires me and I’ve wanted it more and more as I’ve read all the interviews on the blog tour. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  45. Wanda says:

    You are right, the fabric pack should be the reds!!!! Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.

  46. Kimberly says:

    What a wonderful interview. I am now very interested in this book

  47. Sherri says:

    Sad to see the blog tour come to an end…I particularly enjoyed the questions and discussion on this post…now I have even more reasons to want the book…the part about a quilt/fabric journal really intrigued me–would love to read more…and also fabric storage is also always an issue…thanks for the fun interview!

  48. PJ says:

    Wow – this post has inspired me to start a new modern quilt. Thanks.

  49. Nancy A says:

    Great interview. That fat quarter bundle and Cherri’s book are too die for. Thanks for the giveaway! Crossing my fingers!

  50. Shari W. says:

    City Aviation in purple, reds and yellows. Yes! Need, want, must have. Thank you so much for the interview and the chance to win the book and fabrics to get started on that (those) wonderful quilts!