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. Marianne says:

    yes, you are right…the reds are fabulous!

  2. Donna B. says:

    I hate to see the tour end. I am loving all the different questions and all of the knowledge Cherri is sharing with us. Thank you so much for your thoughts Cherri.

  3. Beal says:

    Yay for Houston, and thanks for the giveaway!

  4. sue says:

    Love your blog! Thanks for participating, it’s been a great way to meet new people!

  5. Amy says:

    I love these modern quilts without all the typical business or whimsy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. leslie says:

    Thank you for offering such a great giveaway! I have thoroughly enjoyed the blog tour!
    Leslie

  7. Kris S says:

    I enjoyed you interview and love your website. Such a interesting topic for me.

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

  8. Gretchen says:

    Thanks for the great giveaway and the great interview questions. I especially enjoyed the question on quilting designs for solid fabrics.

  9. mjb says:

    This is the first blog that I’ve seen the city shops quilt on – I love it!

  10. Jo Chu says:

    What a great way to conclude the tour. I hope I win the giveaway.

  11. Cathy A says:

    Cherry House Quilts with Kaffe Fassett–sounds like it will be wonderful!

  12. Sally H says:

    What a nice combo prize– the quilt pictures are inspiring. I love quilting with solids.

  13. Mary Freeman says:

    Love the quilts- makes me want to work more with solids!

  14. Sarah-Ashley says:

    Oh! I love the City Lot quilt. I have made a couple solids quilts and love them, these are amazing.

  15. Allison S. says:

    Cherri’s quilts are amazing!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. craftytammie says:

    beautiful quilts! thanks for the chance to win!

  17. miriam sappington says:

    Thank you for sharing this fabulous book! I think my favorite quilt shown so far is the City Lot quilt. Thank you for the chance to win!

  18. delia says:

    Cherri’s fabric stash sounds so organized! I love it!

  19. jane says:

    i’m an artist turning quilter and would love this book and could certainly use the solids!

  20. Jette says:

    Thank you to Cherri and all the Bloggers for the Blog tour.
    It has been wonderful to know Cherri and fun to read all the interviews.
    I will enjoy following Cherris future work
    Jette / Denmark

  21. JayTee says:

    i love the blues & purples!!! Great quilts in the book

  22. Andrea says:

    I got turned on to solids by the inspired quilters of Gee’s Bend. I’m loving Cherri’s very modern, architectural approach as well, and can see the linkages between her work and theirs. Wonderful! Thank you for the interview and the giveaway.

  23. Brenda Wiseman says:

    I’d love to figure out a good way to organize my stash–color doesn’t work when it’s prints that are multi-colored. I have itty bitty pieces and long yardage lengths.

    Lately, I’ve been buying the scrapbook cases from Hobby Lobby (about $9, usually they have a 40% off coupon as well, so ends up being about $5. I put everything for a single project that I know I’m committed to the fabrics, pattern, design, whatever. Possiblities — try to dump all of them in a larger container/box until I have the time and energy to figure out what I want to do with them.

    While I love the Art Bin totes, they are just too pricy for me! Even at 50% off, they are more expensive than the generics I use. By the way, the boxes run about 14″x14″x3″ plus high. The dont hve the nifty carying handle but they do have built in a carrying indentation (or whatever you’d call it). I’ve started throwing the backs for all of these projects into a designated larger bin that holds nothing else.

    But the rest of the mess–I’m still trying to figure out.

    (By the way, you can go to Hobby Lobby online and print off as many coupons as you want.)

    b/

  24. Kathy says:

    Thanks for all the motivation!

  25. Sheila says:

    Beautiful quilts! I love cities and quilts made with solid fabrics. Thanks for the inspiration!

  26. Lindsay Ramon says:

    Thanks for this chance to win! Cherri’s quilts are so interesting and they definitely have a modern city feel which I love.

  27. floribunda says:

    thanks for the great questions — here’s hoping I’m a winner!

  28. Stephanie H says:

    Great interview! Love this book! Thanks for a chance to win these great goodies!

  29. Hannah says:

    Thanks so much for the giveaway. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book (one way or another!).

  30. Gill says:

    I really enjoyed reading your interview – the book looks well worth a read and the fabrics…….!

    Gill

  31. marilyn says:

    I’m intrigued by solids and love the look. I just need a nudge — maybe this book and fat quarters is it;))
    Being a Kaffe Fasset fan, I would love to see patterns using his fabric and solids!! Thanks for a fabulous giveaway!

  32. Julia says:

    The more I see “City Quilts” the more I want it. I think “City Tracks” is my favorite.

  33. Gayle Allen-Grier says:

    Love this book and have really enjoyed all the interviews. Thank you!

  34. Jessica says:

    I’ve been wanting this book for a while and I love Kaffe Fasset’s fabrics!

  35. Lisa says:

    Ooooo, this book looks awesome. What a great addition to any quilting library. And you are right, those reds are gorgeous!!

  36. Heather says:

    What an awesome giveaway! I have to find a copy of this book. Sounds incredible.

  37. Helen says:

    Oh dear! I wasn’t going to spend any money and now I’m going to have to go buy this book! I love these quilts.

  38. isa says:

    This book sounds sooo inspiring!! It would be wonderful to win a copy!
    It’s great that you asked about the quilting. It’s a part I’ve neglected, and would love to learn more about :-)
    Thanks for the chance.

  39. Lisa Garrett says:

    Oh I do like those reds!!

  40. Munaiba says:

    A really interesting looking book and a great prize too!

  41. Tiffany says:

    This was a fun tour. I love working working with solids!

  42. Amy says:

    Beautiful book and great interview! The reds are a beautiful choice.

  43. Carolyn Wood says:

    Good interview, wonderful book of quilts.

  44. Margaret says:

    Liked your question about the quilting….it seems like such an important part of the design. I am new to working with solids and this book looks like a great introduction. Thanks for the chance to win!

  45. Katy says:

    Nice giveaway and great interview! Lots of info. Thanks

  46. Caitlin T. says:

    gorgeous quilts! they remind me a lot of the Amish quilts my grandmother made. i love using a combination of patterned and solid fabrics in my own quilts.

    thanks!

    saltyoat [at] gmail [dot] com

  47. SJS says:

    Great interview. I’m a beginning quilter, and one of the reasons I haven’t invested more time into it is that I’m not really interested in traditional patterns. But this stuff all looks great.

  48. Cara says:

    Thanks for another great interview with Cherri! I especially love you asked her about the quilting as I tend to stick to prints because of their forgiving nature in the quilting process- it was great to hear her insight! Thanks so much for the great giveaway!

  49. Claudia Yates says:

    The pretty in pink bundle is beautiful.

  50. Shannon says:

    Great interview!