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. dee j says:

    I agree the reds are a wonderful choice, I would love to play for that!

  2. Beatrice says:

    Last day, last chance, hope to win this wonderful giveaway !

  3. Audrie says:

    This has been such a fun blog tour for a great book!! Loved reading about Cherri House… and I loved your question about the quilting!

  4. Anna says:

    I’m really interested in this book! And it’s been so informative reading interviews with Cherri. Thanks for participating in the blog tour and hosting a giveaway!!

  5. ariane says:

    Beautiful quilts! I really like the City Lots pattern.

  6. Amanda W says:

    I would absolutely love a copy of this book! It is currently at the top of my wish list to add to my quilting library!

    Thanks for joining the fun tour and giveaways!

  7. Jessica W. says:

    Added the book to my Amazon list yesterday!

  8. Hannah says:

    Thanks for the interview! Always wondered how the photos were done.

  9. A Peppermint Penguin says:

    Great question about the quilting – thanks.

    And thanks for adding another stop to the tour.

    Oh I hope I win!

    Cheers,
    AJ

  10. nicolette says:

    Thanks for asking about the quilting, this is a really great interview!

    Cherri’s book is wonderful and an absolute must-have for every lover of contemporary quilts!

    Tanks for a chance to win some gorgeous fabrics!

  11. Marit says:

    Loved to read the interview and look forward to see Cherries new designs using both solids and Kaffe Fassett fabric. I happen to love both!

    ; )

  12. City Lot and City Tracks are just amazing – I have to try working with solids on their own!

  13. Corinnea says:

    You asked very good questions. I was wondering about her quilting process too…

    Thanks! You do a great job with your blog.

  14. Bettina says:

    I am only a beginning quilter (maybe I should say a pre-beginning one? I have started to buy my materials and tools and am now looking for patterns I like) and I find myself drawn to modern, geometrical designs; the City Quilts are right up my alley! Great inspiration and what a cool idea to have a blog tour, off to read the blogs and bookmark, bookmark, bookmark now
    Oh and many thanks for the fabulous international sale section in your alerts, they are the best!

  15. Sammie says:

    *Fingers crossed*

  16. Lisa says:

    Can’t wait to buy this book, it just sounds so inspiring. Hope I’m lucky, that fabric is gorgeous!

  17. carmel says:

    amazing work!!!
    thanks so much!!

    carmelita at windowslive dot com

  18. Nancy C says:

    A stack of yummy reds and a great book…the set up for some beautiful dreams!

  19. Julia says:

    I really get used to my daily share of City Quilts – thanks for the tour, it’s great!

  20. Jacqui says:

    Oh yes, I could be persuaded to choose the reds! I had initially thought the candy corn stack, but seeing the reds up close I think I’d change my mind. Thanks for the chance to win and for the interview!

  21. Camilla says:

    Wowee! I have a couple of solids-only quilts under my belt, and I need this book.

  22. Jenny says:

    I’ve had my eye on this gorgeous book for a while. Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. Chelsea says:

    Can’t wait to see that book in person!

  24. Rachaeldaisy says:

    Im glad you were tacked on the end. Great questions! It was interesting to hear Cherris thoughts on quilting. Also the question about Kaffes fabrics being similar to solids wAs thought provoking. I’m a bit disappointed the tours over, it’s been fun!

  25. mathea says:

    I’m so glad you asked that quilting question – that’s the one I wanted to know more about as well. I love City Lot, but when you look at the quilting – all that stopping and starting, the mind boggles! The quilting really sets it apart, though – much more than an allover pattern would have done – it is SO worth the extra effort!

  26. Jeannie says:

    Lovely, sophisticated quilts.

  27. Fulvia says:

    Other than my own dyed or painted fabric, Kona solids are the only other tool I must have. Love them. Thanks for the chance.

  28. Deb says:

    Now that was one terrific interview! Great questions (and answers)…

    Yes, the Hot Spice FQ bundle is my favorite too!

  29. Xandi says:

    Great interview – can’t wait to read about this quilt journal and start one.

  30. Kitty says:

    I’ve made to all the blogs on the tour! Yay! It’s been fun reading all the interviews and seeing all the blogs that are new to me. I’m just learning machine quilting and enjoyed Cherri’s comments. Thanks for the interview!
    I really want to make Cherri’s quilts!

  31. domoshar says:

    Randomly exploring the tour now /not chronologically/… Great journey :)

    I do love these reds Hot Spice colorstory
    oh, and the book – it will be loved too!

    Thank you for the tour and the giveaway!

  32. PeachRainbow says:

    LOVE this tour!
    Thanks for the chance!

  33. VickiB says:

    So sorry that the tour has come to an end. I’m really enjoyed following the tour and reading about what has to be my favorite book in quiltland!

  34. Michelle says:

    This book is so inspiring – finally I think I’ve found a source to make my very first quilt!

  35. Paige says:

    The tour has been so wonderful, hate to see it end. I made all the stops and enjoyed all of them. Thanks for the chance to win. Great question regarding the quilting process.

  36. Mama Mel says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to win! :)

  37. Sarah G. says:

    Those are beautiful reds – I’d probably go with greens, though!

  38. kristin s says:

    i’m ready to dive into the world of quilting, it’ll be my first. this book looks like the perfect place to start! thanks!

  39. Mary Ann says:

    A fitting end to this wonderful book tour. Thanks!

  40. Barb in MI says:

    Another interesting interview and the blog tour comes to its end. Thank you for addressing so many different angles – and of coure thanks for the giveaway! Spice red or any of the other color combos are just beautiful!

  41. Nicole says:

    its been a great tour, thanks for hosting and thanks for the chance!

  42. Dot says:

    Kim—thank you so much for this interview. I have seen the book which is on my wish list and after reading this interview I want it even more. Cheri brings solid fabrics into a whole new way of designing. Would love to win this giveaway.

  43. Alice says:

    Thank you for the interview. I’m ready to start stashing solids now.

  44. Michelle Z says:

    I have been very interested in this book and the quilts. i would love t have it and the solids…thanks

  45. Kathy C says:

    Loved the blog tour- got to find some great new ones to bookmark. Also a great way to find out about Cherri’s quilts. hope to win!

  46. Amanda says:

    I really like the City Lights quilt!

  47. Mary P says:

    Great questions! Thanks for the interview.

  48. Kimberj says:

    Love the book! And I desperately need to fatten up my stash of solid colors :)

  49. Lynn says:

    The book looks great. My solid fabric pile could use an injection of more fabrics.

  50. corina says:

    I’ve really enjoyed the tour. I think that this last stop has had the best questions. What a great interview. Thank you for hosting this last day and the chance to win.