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. Stacy says:

    This book looks fantastic, thanks for an opportunity to win!

  2. Kathy says:

    I’m sorry to see the blog tour ending – it’s been fun. Thanks for sharing the interview! Great questions.

  3. Sarah M says:

    Love her work with solids. Cherri has a beautiful, simple free quilt pattern on the Moda Bakeshop site. She’s made it in prints, but it would look great in solids, too.

  4. Rachel H says:

    I don’t know why, but I never really thought about doing a quilt all in solid colors. It’s quite an appealing idea, though…and so many colors to choose from these days. Thanks for highlighting the book.

  5. Andrea says:

    LOVE the City Quilts!!!!!……inspiration for my return to quilting after a sixteen-year hiatus.

  6. Cara says:

    This has been a fantastic blog tour!

  7. kathryn says:

    Loved the interview! Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. beverlyanne says:

    Kim you’re the greatest. I love True Up. I wold also love to have City Quilts and the RED fat quarter pack. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  9. robin says:

    wow, i have so many uses for the kona solids–been working on shaded quilted belt designs and such. the city quilts book looks inspirational also.

  10. shannon says:

    yes yes yes!!! i love solids–so i think this is an absolutely fabulous giveaway! :) thanks so much for the opportunity! :)

  11. Christine says:

    You can tell I am a city girl, because those quilts seriously appeal to me! Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. Ellen Ban says:

    Still hoping to win one of these books as I’ve heard glowing reviews and I don’t want to wait until Christmas to get one! Enjoyed the entire blog tour!

  13. Marilyn says:

    Spectacular color, shape and use of solid fabrics! This book looks really inspirational. Thanks for letting us know about it!

  14. Deb says:

    I love solids but have never used them in a quilt. I would sure love to win one of these bundles.

  15. Nancy Sue Phillips says:

    You’re right those reds are great! If each one were a different type of cherry popsicle, I’d want them all even though I know a slurpy headache would soon follow!!
    Thanks for wrapping up the tour with your questions!
    nsue21702 at gmail dot com

  16. kim says:

    Wow. These entries just get better and better! I love the City Quilts. Can’t wait to actually hold one in my hands!

    Kim

  17. Karen W. says:

    Love this Blog Tour and this book! Thanks for participating — fun blog.

  18. Susan says:

    Great interview with Cherri. This book has already caught my attention – I’ll be adding it to my wish list! So refreshing to see quilts which give out a different vibe and are not dependent on being tied to a particular fabric range or trying to sell the latest cutting tool either. Some of Cherri’s quilts remind me of Molly Upton’s “Torrid Dwelling” – a similarly uncompromising mood of the built landscape. Really looking forward to this one.

  19. WandaFish says:

    I’ve loved this blog tour. Thanks for the giveaway and rounding off the tour with another great interview.

  20. michelle says:

    I’m loving this tour! This book is already on my want list – so win or lose, it will end up in the library.

  21. jan says:

    These quilts look amazing. I can’t wait to get the book!

  22. margaret says:

    Love these quilts. Not sure I’ll go back to using prints ever again. The possibilities with solids are endless.

  23. Linda L says:

    Wow, great questions about the care you need to take when quilting and piecing with solids. I love this site too.

  24. Holly says:

    Lovely! I’ve never really thought about using all solids in a quilt. I love the way it looks.

  25. Wendy D. P. says:

    I can’t wait to see more of this book – I love the simplicity of these gorgeous projects!

  26. Great interview! Thanks so much for the chance!

  27. SarahS says:

    I love the City Lot quilt!!!

  28. Bethany says:

    Thanks for asking about the quilting as well.

  29. Hannele says:

    This tour has been wonderful and you as the last stop managed to ask some “new” questions :)

  30. Allison says:

    Cheri House’s quilts are truly inspirational. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of her book.

  31. Annette says:

    What a great inspiring post!

  32. Marianne says:

    Who can say no to the chance of winning fabrics and books so please include me in the draw

  33. Marie Ireland says:

    Love the City Quilts & have been adding Kona Cottons to my stash…..would love to win the book & get started!!!

  34. Melissa H. says:

    I can’t wait to make a quilt from this book!

  35. Jo says:

    thanks for hosting! i love the question about organizing her fabric stash and the fabric journal — cool ideas that think I might have to get started on!

  36. Alisa says:

    Very nice interview! I’m loving the City Quilts blog tour and would love to win a copy of the book.

  37. Jennifer says:

    I love the quilts in this book. They have clean crisp lines and the color combinations. The quilts are simple to make but elegant.

  38. Katie says:

    I love the City Lot quilt! It would be a perfect baby quilt…I better get going on that :)

  39. Jorie says:

    Great giveaway :) I would love to get my hands on a copy of that book! Thanks for the chance! :)

  40. Steph says:

    LOVE the quilting-with-solids. A lot of quilts are just too busy for me to handle, but this is right up my alley. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  41. Heidi says:

    I love using solids — what a great book! I am in love!

  42. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for a great interview and a great giveaway! I loved reading Cherri’s answers to your questions.

  43. Natalie says:

    Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway. The red looks awesome!

  44. Catherine says:

    This book looks wonderful. My Kona color chart has made me fall in love with solids for quilting. Great interview!

  45. tayamg says:

    Great stop on the blog tour! I love Cherri’s quilts – she has an amazing sense of color and is really great at helping others to develop their’s as well!

  46. Bryanna says:

    Oh man that colorful FQ set would be amazing at creating one of Cherri’s quilts!! I love the dark blue set!

  47. Kim says:

    Ah! I’m so nervous about starting my first quilt! I’m so inspired by this blog tour. Thank you!

  48. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the stop on the tour

  49. Karen says:

    Last day -oh no!Ihave my fingers crossed as does everyone. Love the quilts!

  50. AnnieO says:

    How great that you were able to ask a question Cherri said was a first! I agree, the quilting is a lot more important on solids. I’d love a chance to win.