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. Ruth Thompson says:

    SO inspiring! I just love “City Lot”. Very, very cool.

  2. shanna boatler says:

    Looks like a great book with great new ideas!!
    thanks!

  3. Kelly B. says:

    Love her quilts!

  4. Penne says:

    Love those quilts in the book……..would love to have the book. Interview was great.

  5. Colleen says:

    What great inspiration for out of the box approaches to quilting. Each quilt appears so simple but so dynamic and interesting. This book is definitely on my wish list.

  6. Sharon F says:

    Great wrap-up to the blog tour. Thanks for participating.

  7. Nova says:

    It’s been a wonderful blog tour! Thanks for more great questions. Cherri is so inspirational, I just want to jump into my Kona Colour card and start dreaming up solid quilts.
    x

  8. How inspirational! I have been wanting to start a quilt, but I’m not into the more traditional ones. These are amazing and something that I’d definitely love to have a go at. The book looks fabulous.

  9. Kristen says:

    I love the use of solids! Nice work.

  10. phyllis f says:

    love the modern, sleek look! great interview, too!

  11. Christy S says:

    This book is already on my wish list…I’d love to win a copy! :)

  12. Susan says:

    Thank you for the interview. The book is fantastic and i would love to have it someday.

  13. Anna says:

    Thanks for the interview – what a great-looking book!

  14. Janet says:

    Love this book, and this blog-tour has been terrific for adding new sites!

    Thanks for the opportunity … and thanks for your blog!

  15. Meredith says:

    those quilts are amazing! can’t wait to see the book when it is released! thank you!

  16. Kathleen says:

    My interest in quilting started out with the idea of using only solids, but then I got all caught up in cute prints. It was mostly because I had so many scraps from making skirts and dresses for my daughters. But for me and my personal taste, I love the solids and want to get back to that idea.

  17. Carol Jordan says:

    I am really excited that there are so many great solids available now – Kaufmann is wonderful. I have so many prints that making a quilt in all solids is a fresh start. Love this blog tour.

  18. Anne Marie says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to win the beautiful fabric snd book. Realy enjoy your blog.

  19. Karen says:

    Those are some really nice, and different quilts. Would love to have that book. And oh, yeah, that red fabric, too.

  20. Bellgirl says:

    Thanks for this interview, I’m making my first solids quilt at the moment and it was really good to hear a bit about the actual quilting part because I’m just about to start quilting. Bellgirlsblog [at] gmail [dot] com

  21. Megan says:

    This book is absolutely FABULOUS! There is not a quilt I WOULDN’T make. Thanx for being part of the tour so EVERYONE can see how great it is!

  22. KerryQ says:

    This definitely makes me want to check out this book!

  23. Melissa R says:

    I’ve really enjoyed this blog tour and getting to know Cherry a little bit. I look forward to seeing what’s next! :)

  24. Maria says:

    Great interview and interesting discussion re:quilting. I’m just starting on (long and painful??!!) free motion quilting myself and have so-o-o-o much respect for those who can do it well. Maybe after years of practice, i’ll get there too!~ Thanks for the inspiration to use solids more Cherri!

  25. Sarah Curry says:

    This looks like such an inspiring book. I love the use of solids. I would love to win this.

  26. julie says:

    wow – i love cherri’s work and lizzy’s as well. what a creative family!

  27. Linda says:

    Nice interview. I think you brought up a good question with regard to the actual quilting. It was a good tour.

  28. Marjan says:

    The book is a must have, if I’m not lucky will buy it.
    Thanks Marjan

  29. Tricia L. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! What a great conclusion to the tour.

  30. baukje says:

    What a great book, I never heard of it. ILove to participate in the giveaway.

  31. April S says:

    Props for the great questions. I’ve been following the tour and wondered how the last one on the list was going to come up with something that hadn’t already been asked!

  32. Edie says:

    Those quilts are really beautiful. I would love to win this.

  33. Jen says:

    Great interview! Thanks for the chance!

  34. Melanie MacDonald says:

    Thank you for the great interview and opportunity to win! I am hoping to win so that I can work with solids for the first time. Thanks again!

  35. Grace says:

    Gosh that looks like a lovely book. Thanks for the interview and the chance to win.

  36. Barb says:

    What a great interview and lovely giveaway! Thank you for the chance to win!

  37. Korie says:

    I drooled all over this book at Spool Sewing, would love to add it to my collection (not to mention those gorgeous FQs)!

    Thanks!

  38. Sherry says:

    Loved to hear how you store your stash.

  39. Raven says:

    I would love love love to win this book.

  40. Cathy says:

    Great interview! And I would LOVE to win that bundle of red goodness.

  41. Patty says:

    Enjoyed the interview. Love the book.

  42. Kim says:

    It’s a treat to see such a modern spin on quilting! Thanks for sharing!

  43. Nancy J says:

    Ordered the book last week and I can’t wait to sew one of these quilts. Don’t have many solids in my stash, hope I win.

  44. Mitzi says:

    Excellent interview! If I don’t win this book, I’m definitely buying it.

  45. craftydill says:

    oh, i just love these modern quilts and the use of solids only! thanks for the chance to win the book and the FQ pack! -Michelle

  46. Jill says:

    Can’t wait to get this book! Thanks for the fab giveaway!

  47. vanessa says:

    Wonderful book and fabrics. Really love the solid quilts.

  48. Sharon says:

    looks like a great book – thanks for the great interview

  49. simone says:

    Thank you for sharing! Lovely wins!