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. Annmarie says:

    Last but not least but nice interview – thanks for the chance to win the goodies. If I don’t win that book, I’m going to have to buy it as I’m sold on these quilts.

  2. Hilary says:

    Red is my favorite color. And what a cool book by Cherri House! I would love to win this giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity!

  3. Lynn D says:

    This tour has been so fun, and each intervierwers approach was a little bit different. I really hope I win one of the books and FQ bundles.

  4. Dorian says:

    Fantastic questions! Thanks so much for a chance at this give away.

  5. Darlene Staley says:

    Loved this interview. Great Questions, Great Answers. Thanks for a chance to win!

  6. Sandy Koehler says:

    Love the interview and the chance to win this fabulous book.

  7. Alma says:

    I have the book already–it’s fabulous! great designs. Wouldn’t mind a chance at the fabric though.

  8. Elle says:

    This has been an excellent interview. And it is true that solids require a bit more accuracy and thoughtful quilting. I’ve enjoyed this tour very much. Thanks for a strong finish.

  9. Sylvia says:

    Great questions, thanks for the interview. I’m sad the tour is over!

  10. Robin says:

    I so need to get my hands on this book! Thank you for sharing some of the quilts that appear in there… fabulous eye candy! :)

  11. Bec Clarke says:

    Wow, the reds are lovely but I am a green or purple kind of gal myself. Thanks for the great interview.

  12. sarah says:

    Love these designs! If I ever plow through my collection of prints, it would be fun to try my hand at solids.

  13. Lindsay says:

    Great interview, especially with the insight about the quilting, which I hadn’t really thought about.
    I keep seeing this book and thirsting after it. And the Kona fat quater packs – sigh. I’ll take one of each.

  14. Donna C says:

    I have loved this blog tour – thanks for the chance to win this awesome book and fabrics

  15. Carmen says:

    I can’t wait for City Quilts to come out! Thanks so much for this giveaway:)

  16. This was a lot of fun. Thanks for the chance to win this awesome book and fabric. nlundeen at catt dot com

  17. Angela says:

    Great interview. I would love to see Cherri’s work combined with Kaffe’s prints. I can see some amazing things happening there.

  18. Thanks for the great interview! I love Cherri’s book and would love to win it or the fabrics. Thanks.

  19. Nancy B from Many LA says:

    As always, a great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. Diane says:

    I have really enjoyed the blog tour, wonderful answers to the questions. Thank you so much for being part of this blog tour.

  21. mab says:

    These quilts really are gorgeous! Thanks for the chance to enter.

  22. jodi meenan says:

    You guys are all amazing! Thanks so very much for all this fun!

  23. Vicki says:

    I’ve really enjoyed reading Cherri’s interviews! This book looks so good.

  24. Judy says:

    I have been to all of the sites and it has been so much fun. I have a new list of favorite sites to check out. Thanks for the chance to win.

  25. samantha says:

    The blog tour has been great fun. Great interview

  26. Kate Erbach says:

    Oh yes, the reds. I love the graphic punch to all the quilts. Adds excitement to any room they would live in.

  27. Shirley in Canada says:

    I would love the chance to win the book and fabrics! I really would love to try my hand at using solid colors in a quilt. Great idea about the journal! I have been taking photos of my projects and will now start adding more info to them! Thanks for another great interview with Cherri and for the super great giveaways!!

  28. Savita says:

    As a fellow Austin-ite, it’s great to see City Quilts on your blog. Almost like listening to the author at Book People. Would love to make my first quilt from this book. Thanks!

  29. Carol says:

    Very interesting questions – and answers! Thanks for being a part of this giveaway.

  30. Colleen says:

    We love the solid quilts. My daughters favorite is the City Lights.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  31. This was a great interview – especially liked the question about quilting her masterpieces! I agree, the red fat quarter bundle would be the perfect choice to accompany City Quilts.

  32. Katie B says:

    Thanks for the interview! I’ve really enjoyed the blog tour.

  33. PaulaK says:

    I have really enjoyed the variety of questions that have been asked during the tour and the very interesting answers. Yum – those reds are delish!

  34. Mary Claire says:

    Interesting questions! Thanks for the chance to win!

  35. Lynnae says:

    Thank you for a very informative interview with much to think about.

    The Blog Tour has been excellent.

  36. Barb Colvin says:

    Thanks so much for asking Cherri about quilting on solids. I was really wondering about how she approached it with her contemporary designs.

  37. leona says:

    loved the blog tour and a chance to win this wonderful book.

    Leona

  38. katrina says:

    I’m so excited to get this book!

  39. Julie in WA says:

    Excellent questions! I asked the library to purchase this book, and I was the first to take it out! Of course, I had to return it right away because others had it on hold. But the concepts are challenging me to think differently about quilting.

  40. duff says:

    this has been a pretty cool tour! I caught 2 other interviews and I think I’m starting to really like the solids. That would be a new direction for me–thanks for the inspiration!
    ♥Duff

  41. Elizabeth says:

    I’m happy to see solids back in the quilting picture, as I’ve missed them since their heydey in the 80′s. Of course, what you are doing with them is fresh and modern and so appealing, that it’s like they are all new again.

    Very enjoyable interview. Thanks for publishing this, and allowing us a chance to win the book.

  42. amisha says:

    what an inspiring book- i loved this interview!

  43. Leslie Schmidt says:

    This blog hop has been really interesting. I’ve enjoyed seeing where other people are coming from is regards to the design process and what they see as challenges in designing a quilt. I’m with you in thinking the quilting design and all the work in a solid quilt needs to be perfect. That’s pretty stressful for a mediocre quilter. And I never would have gotten the connection between Kaffe fabrics and solids if you hadn’t mentioned it. Very insightful! I have so much more to learn!
    Thanks, Kim!

  44. This has been a great blog tour – it’s introduced me not only the Cherri’s work but also a few more blogs :-)

  45. Ann says:

    I have been eyeing this book for awhile now… it looks great. I’m hoping to get a hold of a copy to read during my continued recovery from surgery.
    Great interview questions, by the by!
    Thank you for the opportunity.
    ann

  46. Teresa Pierce says:

    Blog tour – who knew it could be so much fun

  47. Meghan says:

    So sad the blog tour is over. I’ll keep my fingers crossed to win a copy of the book next week :) If not, I’m going shopping…

  48. Betsy Lynn says:

    Love the interview!
    Thanks for the chance!

  49. pam says:

    the blog tour has been great. lucky you to be the grand finale.I sure hope I win, as I will have to purchase this book if I don’t.

  50. Debbie says:

    Thanks for the interview, Kim. Really good questions! That fat quarter bundle is my favorite, too. You have great taste. :) Thanks for counting me in.