Saturday, 26 February 2011

City Quilts

I love receiving brown packages in the post.  There is something uniquely exciting about seeing a parcel with your name on it. One of the many advantages of living here in Morocco is that there is little if any junk mail. Apart from the odd bank statement and utility bill, our postman has a fairly light load and for the most part, that suits me just fine.

About a week ago, I ordered City Quilts by Cherri House and it arrived yesterday- a book showcasing quilts designed and made by Cherri and inspired by the urban landscape.  I`ve never been able to decide whether I`m a city girl or a country girl.  Before I went to college, I grew up in the countryside in a Victorian farm workers` cottage in beautiful Warwickshire surrounded by cornfields, with a wood at the bottom of the garden and a spinney at the top of the drive.  If it sounds idyllic that`s because it was although of course I didn`t appreciate it at the time.  After college I moved to London and then on to Marrakech so for the second half of my life, I have lived in cities...and there is definitely something about the city.  Perhaps that`s why I was drawn to the title of this book.

Like The Gentle Art of Quilting by Jane Brocket, and Kaffe Fassett`s Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts, Cherri shows us how stunning quilts can be made using simple shapes with beautiful fabrics.  However, unlike the fabulously funky designs of Kaffe Fassett and the bold florals so often used by Jane Brocket, Cherri uses the best quality Kona cotton fabrics in solid colours by Robert Kaufman.

I had previously and foolishly dismissed solids for the quilts I plan to make, but after reading City Quilts, I have been googling Kona solids to find stockists who can dispatch fabrics to me as quickly as possible. Cherri often uses black in her quilts, not something I would necessarily have chosen, but it works - making the colours in the blocks truly pop.

One of my favourite quilts, City Tracks
By reading Cherri`s book, I have learned a lot about colour and how to use it to its best effect in quilt design and she has left me inspired. `Nature is the best teacher...take a walk and really see the colors around you...I say that if it works in nature, it will work in a quilt!`, which is what I guess I was trying to say in this post. Each quilt can be easily adapted to suit individual tastes and many of the quilts would be great presents for the men in our lives who may not appreciate Amy Butler and Kate Spain as much as we do!

City Bank quilt inspired by a building in the film The Bourne Supremacy
This is a lovely book.  If you`re looking for a book to explain quilt making in detail, this is not for you.  While Cherri gives lots of great advice on the basics and using tools and resources, this is really a book about inspiration -  and contains 12 fabulous projects for those of us dipping our toes into the world of solids.

You can buy or order City Quilts from your local book store or from here.