Monday, October 1, 2012

My weekend with Kaffe and Brandon

I spent last weekend with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably, superstars of the quilt world. Kaffe Fasset is a painter, and designer of quilting fabric, and author of at least a dozen books on knitting, needlepoint, and quilting While he doesn't actually do any of the sewing himself (he has Liza Prior Lucy for that), he does knit and do needlepoint. He and Brandon (his business partner and fellow designer) have dubbed themselves "the color guys." And their fabrics are brilliant, full of vibrant colors and designs, I just love them!

Ok, so I admit there were a few other women who spent the weekend with us. About 400 or so on Friday night and another 29 on Saturday, but I did get to spend some quality time with both Kaffe and Brandon on Saturday during my all-day workshop.

Friday night we attended Kaffe's lecture at Bentley University which was sponsored by the Quilter's Connection guild. Kaffe spoke about his life and his work and showed a brief slide presentation.

We ran into fellow quilting peeps, Sally, Kim G. and Joan S.

I came with my usual quilting posse of Joannie and Marion.

Here is Kaffe Fassett, wearing a shirt made out of his own fabric.

Here is one of his quilts. It is also the workshop that I took on Saturday. Brandon is behind the quilt on the left.
I picked Marion up at 7am and we drove 80 miles to Portsmouth.


And more Kaffe!
The workshop was sponsored by Portsmouth Fabric Company, which is one of my favorite quilt shops even though I usually only get to go there about twice a year. I think that Marion and I signed up at least six months ago in order to get into the class. The workshop was held at the Sheraton Portsmouth. We were making a quilt from Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Sweden book called something like Sunlight on the Forest Floor. We brought oodles of fabric, pins, and a design wall to work on. We spent the day cutting squares and moving them around on the design wall. The quilt is fairly simple, made up of assorted squares in sizes from 3.5 inches to 12.5 inches. Kaffe and Brandon are doing a six week tour of North America and we were so lucky that Massachusetts/New Hampshire was their first stop! They will wrap up their tour at the Houston Quilt Festival in early November. We met women from Maine, Vermont and New York at the workshop. Marion and I shared a table with Marie, Cheryl and Laura, who were all very nice.
Here are some the fabrics I brought from home.

Marion and I also bought a few more to add to our quilts.
Here is Brandon helping me with my quilt. Notice that he is wearing a shirt made out of his own fabric. Love that paisley!

He's a cheeky guy!
Here is my quilt in progress.

I wanted to work with purples and blues.

As usual, some pink snuck in...

By the end of the day, this is what half of my quilt looked like.
Marion, Brandon and me!
Let's just say that Kaffe Fassett didn't like my quilt as it was progressing. He was very generous with his time and spent time with each individual student, as did Brandon, but we weren't seeing eye to eye. He kept saying, "your quilt is too blue," and "let's add some ochre to this!" I compromised and added the loud purple fabric with red daisies, the green stripe and the large pink and blue lotus-like fabric, but he still wasn't happy. As a parting shot, he told me that my quilt was "turgid" an adjective, according to, that means: 1) swollen and distended; congested and 2: (of style or language) pompous and high-flown; bombastic.

Note: this is not a word usually associated with quilting...think naughty romance novel or Viagra commercial instead.

Perhaps, Kaffe meant turbid, instead. Turbid is also an adjective that means: 1) not clear or transparent because of stirred-up sediment or the like; clouded; opaque; 2) thick or dense, as clouds or smoke; 3) confused; muddled; disturbed.

Either way, it was a little insulting and I kept trying to explain to Kaffe that it was my quilt and that I had to like it. If a blue period was good enough for Picasso, who was Kaffe to complain? Kaffe did autograph my book and he did admire my jacket and asked where I bought it (I made it!), so that almost made up for the turgid comment.

Here is Marion's quilt. Kaffe liked her. She was a good girl and listened to his suggestions. If you look closely, you can see that we both started with the same fabric in the upper left hand corner, a gorgeous dahlia print by Phillip Jacobs, also a member of the Kaffe Fassett design collective.
Marion's quilt

The day ended with Chinese food and chocolate pudding! Ah, bliss!

I like my quilt. I think I'm even going to go back and put MORE blue fabric in it!
What do you think?






  1. Nancy, I liked your quilt best when it was all yours with no compromises!
    In your photos of other people's WIP, I see a lot of focusing on a favorite color scheme.
    I am glad that Kaffe liked your jacket - I do too!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate your being honest, without stooping to his level by name calling. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..... And I think you should add more blue, too. Did this quilt get finished? I have to snoop around your archive and find out!