The release of Cheryl Wall’s latest book, At Home with Country Quilts, got a lot of buzz from YOU, our Stitch This! readers (remember this incredible “Sunflower Explosion” quilt?). Now we’re thrilled to be the first stop on Cheryl’s exciting blog tour!
Who better to kick off a tour about this popular new book than the author herself? Get to know Cheryl—and how she gets inspired to create her stunning patchwork quilts—in this special guest-blogger post. See quilts from the book in the slideshow below.
Follow Cheryl’s tour on her blog every Sunday through September 16. Enter to win an autographed copy of At Home with Country Quilts each week on the tour—including today!—or purchase yours here right now and download the eBook instantly for free.
Take it away, Cheryl!
How At Home with Country Quilts Came to Be
I confessed in the introduction to At Home with Country Quilts that I didn’t much care for sewing in high school home-economics class. So it still amuses and amazes me that quilting is my career choice, my passion, and my joy. But I guess when I look back over my life, I can see some signs that led me down this path. I always loved to draw—now I draw appliqué patterns. I studied graphic design—now I design quilts (and what are quilts but graphic design in fabric?) I loved to write and dreamed someday of writing an actual book—and now I’m doing that too!
When Martingale agreed to publish my first book, Country Comforts, it was a dream come true for me—I wasn’t kidding when I thanked them in the introduction for making it possible to scratch one item off my bucket list. It took about one and a half years from conception to publication and the whole process was so much fun I couldn’t wait to write another one. I’m sometimes asked if I’m afraid I’ll run out of ideas and I admit when I first started designing patterns, I was worried about that. But I found that creativity feeds off itself. One idea often leads to two more. I don’t like to try to design when I’m not inspired. The pattern usually feels forced and is not much fun to make. If I do ever feel like I’m running on empty, I thumb through some of my old quilting or decorating magazines. I look at a picture I’ve seen a hundred times before, but then something new pops out at me. And of course (though my husband might disagree), attending quilt shows and finding quilt shops when we travel is an absolute necessity!
My new book, At Home with Country Quilts, is special to me because this time I was involved in the “birthing” process in a unique way. I had suggested to Martingale that the quilt photos be taken in my home, among the antiques I love to collect. I live in Canada, which made that difficult. Instead, they suggested that I bring some of my personal items down to their offices in Bothell, Washington (about a two-hour drive from my home), and they would use them as props in the photos. I was invited to sit in on the photo shoot, which took about one and a half days. What fun and what a learning experience that was! So now, when I look at the photos in the book, I see my quilts among some of my other treasures, making the book even more personal.
One of the best “perks” of being a quilt designer is the wonderful people you meet along the way. I can’t thank the amazing people at Martingale enough for believing in me and publishing two books that I wrote. And of course, thank you to all of you quilters out there who buy my patterns and books and by so doing, encourage me to continue doing what I love.
The way you get inspired to design is inspiring in itself, Cheryl—thanks for sharing your ideas!
So, how do you get inspired to create your quilts—from books, from shows, from a leaf on a sidewalk? Share your “inspiring” story in the comments and you could win an autographed copy of At Home with Country Quilts! (You can also purchase the book here, and if you do, you can download the eBook for free right away.)
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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winner is Chris, who said:
“I’m fairly new quilter and have a great way of learning techniques and different blocks. I make preemie quilts for ‘Threads of Love’ a national organization that provides items for NICU of our local hospitals, and 30in square quilts are a great way to experiment and learn something new. My inspiration is sometimes another quilt I’ve seen or fabric that leads me in a certain direction. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to sew for the babies and learn something along the way. My grandson was a NICU baby last Jan, and feel this is the least I can do to say thank you!”
Chris, Cheryl Wall will be in contact with you about sending you an autographed copy of her book. Congratulations!