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This year, for me, was all about crafting while camping (and crafting while queuing – lots of that!)
Sitting around in the cold was the perfect opportunity to snuggle up and hand bind the Liberty quilt, which is all finished now, ready to wash and iron for it’s final show and tell sometime soon.
‘Abigella’ brought her finished quilt – made with Tilda fabrics – it reminds me of a delicious box of chocolates and Lisa was granny squaring ( incidentally she has a book out now showing the step by step technique of felting a handbag – do take a look.)
I think ‘Glamping’ might be on hold for a while now as when we packed up to leave we chose not to bring the tent back with us (10 years old with dodgy zips and split poles) but anyway the car was too full of all my quilts and rugs! Happy to be back with electricity and running water. I’m not as young as I used to be
It’s fitting that this quilt is almost finished as the summer holidays come to an end.
My recent days have been pieced together, a patch or two at a time, around being in for tradesmen and making them tea’s.
My creative drive needed channeling or it was set to drive me crazy being at home for such a long stretch and not being able to paint in a quiet space. So the quilt was the perfect project for the stop/start stay-at-home project manager.
Here as promised are the Kaffe Fassett quilts from the Festival of Quilts show.
- If you’ve visited my blog before you may know that I quite like Kaffe Fasset’s work!
- That is a total understatement BTW!! My head was spinning as I wandered into the Cotton Patch stand, which was full of Kaffe quilts, covered chairs, cushions, KF fabric to buy…and then there in the corner knitting, was the very man himself. Whoa!
I managed not to throw myself at him squealing ‘teach me everything you know’ but just stood gawping at him from a distance.
So this post is an un-ashamed feast of eye candy of all things Kaffe.
There was a special mini exhibition of some of the quilts from the “Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts” book.
The riot of colour and pattern just gets me every time, whether it’s pastels or bold colour. He has a real eye for putting colours together and mixing it up with spots, solids or pattern.
Seeing these quilts in real life was a bit like witnessing a well celebrated piece of art work or seeing some A list celebrity close up.
Everything is just so yummy – I could happily live in Kaffe land.
I’m not going to get all highfalutin about colour tension and juxtapositioning, but would you just look at this little piece of beauty.
I couldn’t help but buy some pre cut squares of Kaffe patterns and solid’s, so although the Liberty quilt is still under the sewing machine, dreams of the next Kaffe quilt are percolating.
All this colour makes me want to leap up and paint something, it’s so inspiring. I think Kaffe should be knighted, bottled and cryogenically frozen!!
Next year I’m going to be organised enough to have a ticket to one of his talks, sit on the front row and make a point of actually saying something to him. Guides honour! In the meantime my hero worship will continue.
Yesterday I went to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham.
It was a huge show and it was jammed packed full of inspiring stuff to see, have ago at (if you’d booked in advance) and to buy.
It was the first year that I was aware that many people had travelled from far afield to be here. As I walked around I could identify Dutch, Belgian, French and Spanish accents.
It gave me a fresh feeling of gratitude to have it on my doorstep and so easily accessible.
And admired many quilts along the way. I should have bought a programme and then I could have described the different categories of quilt and given exact details – hey ho.
The word ‘quilt’ covers all manner of fabric expressions from the very traditional and formal…
through to wearable and three-dimensional work…
to Art Quilts which were as much a piece of wall art as a piece of cloth.
The Cotton Patch had a huge stand (that’s where all the big names were signing their books) and lots of merchandise to inspire you to have ago yourself.
Photograph’s don’t do justice to the colour and detail of the workmanship in all these quilts. I took 365 photo’s yesterday so this really is only a little bit here. Kaffe Fassett had his own mini exhibition of quilts but I’m saving them for tomorrow – it takes a long time to do all these mosaic’s and my tummy’s rumbling – off for some supper!
I’m making good use of my free time (school holiday’s) to read some of my recent birthday present books. First up has been this one about Vera Neumann who I’d never heard of until I saw an advert for this book.
Vera Neumann was an American painter and textile designer (50′s – 90′s) who championed art for all and is thought to be one of the first innovators (especially amongst woman) of cross-licensing. Her work appeared on bedding, dresses, wallpaper and most famously scarves. She was an unlikely innovator being very small and shy but she was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of her generation.
She wanted everyone to be able to afford art and live with it around them and so she designed scarves as little pieces of wearable art. Her company actively promoted the stretching and framing of these scarves so that people could have the fashion item and the art to hang at home, effectively bridging the fashion market and home furnishing market.
She painted using sumi-e brushwork. This is where the artist holds the brush vertically using swift brushstrokes and economy of line to describe the image.
Vera didn’t design for printing, she painted artworks and then staff put them into repeat pattern. She was known to have painted her bedding designs onto large pieces of canvas cut to the actual size so every design kept that feel of being an art piece.
In the 60’s she developed fabrics for her own clothing line. These were designed as wearable paintings with each piece of the garment printed differently so that when pieced together it hung as an artwork not a repeating pattern.
She was inspired by everything around her but particularly nature and loved flowers and insects, the butterfly being one of her most used motif’s. She travelled very widely, sketching constantly and then painted back in the studio. The company had a clever marketing scheme of “Vera paints…Italy, Vera paints Ireland…etc” and so once she had become famous she was paid by local tourism to travel to their country because she would inevitably be inspired to design a collection which would in turn promote that country.
What I find most inspiring is her drive to paint anything and everything and find visual merit in it, whether it’s a pile of spectacles or an abstract line drawing of a house. She stuck to her own style of painting and did not waver to fashions, advice or to try to make something fit into a commercial pattern. She didn’t paint a whole scene and then reduce certain elements into a pattern.
I often find that the promise of buying new things galvanises me into making the items that I last bought new things for. You still with me?! I mean that it was last October that I bought two bags of Liberty fabric scraps at the Knitting and Stitching Show. I cut them out and ‘stored’ them (read forgot them.) So with the Festival of Quilts approaching, I feel that now is the time to be seen making use of previous purchases lest my buying possibilities are diminished (read ‘make what you’ve already bought before you buy more’)
I love Liberty fabrics but they are pricey. These were small strips roughly cut up and bagged and sold for £20ish. I’ve been able to get 10 cm squares out of them (just about.) These are my favourite four but I must admit that I feel a little trepident about how this quilt will turn out. It isn’t my usual colour palette and as I’m using the Liberty fabrics, I’ve stuck with what was in the bag so I haven’t had much choice in the matter of what goes next to what.
Anyways it is blissful distraction from what has seemed like long weeks of cleaning and DIY matters, and if this turns out badly then I really will have an excuse to buy new project material!
P.S. Do you like my Kaffe inspired ‘Quilt in the urban landscape’ photo?! LOL
Break open the champagne, light the fireworks and throw out the ticker tape, I am online at home again!
It seems to have been a long four weeks (why does it take four weeks in this age of immediate technology?) but I’m over crabbing on about it and delighted to be back on the cyber highway.
I also have a new email address which is…
The other day I was strolling past one of these bargain book type shops when my head whipped off it’s hinges to see this book in the window (I have an x-ray type vision for the word Kaffe !) and it had the handsome price tag of only £8.00 on it.
I almost ran into the shop elbowing everyone out of the way whilst shrieking “That’s cheap!”
With the Festival of Quilts coming up soon I thought I’d get my quilting juices going by reading it this weekend. I actually saw Kaffe in 2008 in the flesh! I was awe-struck and just kept walking to and fro ogling him! I did a bit better with Amy Butler because she signed my book, but we didn’t have the friendship sealing chat that I had going on in my head, it was much quieter than that! But I digress…
I don’t know if I’ll ever attempt a complicated Kaffe quilt but I love looking at them because I love his fabric designs and the shots of them in urban landscapes are genius.
The book is based on the idea of looking for geometric shapes in the natural environment and applying them to quilt patterning. I love the photomontage of his snap shops taken in his locality, mixed in with images of his sewing and painting.
I do that a little bit anyway when I’m out and about and so I ran through my back catalogue of photos and made a mosaic myself.
Watch this space – if I meet Kaffe at the Festival of Quilts show he may give me a whole stack of his fabric (because we will become fast friends immediately) and then I will begin a complicated quilt based on my own geometric photo research with Kaffe’s 1:1 tuition because he’ll be coming around to dinner!
P.S. No I am not fevered, drunk or concussed – just dreaming out loud
Just popping in to say ‘hi’. We still have no internet use at home and so I’m having to be a bit creative about where and when I can get online. I am really missing my daily blogging; reading yours and posting mine, and am beginning to feel disconnected But I can hop on Mr L’s iPhone and check in so please keep visiting and commenting – I’ll be back properly soon!
The only painting that has been going on around here, is of the garden furniture. An epic four coats! One of primer (that wasn’t needed once we read the tin properly) and a quick change of product and colour’s and then another three coats of that. It’s looking really good though and when the sun shines (ha!) I’ll take some pic’s.
I delved straight into stripping the new studio room a week after we moved in. Then we decided that if we needed electricity and water for that room, then why not install an en suite in the next door bedroom while we were at it. Cue a long trail of plumbers (all saying different things) plastering quotes, scaffolding quotes, roofing quotes, plumbing quotes, electrician quotes, trips to bathroom fitting stores (not as much fun as I’d hoped) and some demolition to make space for it all. you get the picture?!
“It will be worth it once it’s done” is something I’m heard saying at least three times a day but it’s at that dirty, messy, boring stage where it’s tempting to go for a quicker, simpler option. But hey, at least we can sit out in the garden on our newly painted furniture and ignore what’s going on inside!