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Sunday, 12 May 2013

Kaffe Fassett Exhibition

A little while ago I visited the Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the London Fashion and Textile Museum. I have been a huge Kaffe Fassett fan since I was introduced to quilting by a family friend years and years ago! The exhibition is definitely what you would call a feast for the eyes - colour and texture everywhere you look.  The exhibition has been curated really well to create a lovely warm, inviting atmosphere. I particularly loved the large columns wrapped in Kaffe's quilts, a sample wall with bits of fabric and knitting that you could touch and feel and a room full of the original designs for some of his quilting fabrics.  Whilst I was at the exhibition I also visited the museum shop and bought a copy of Kaffe's new autobiography Dreaming in colour which I absolutely loved reading - I had never read an autobiography before but I could not put this down - what an amazing life Kaffe has lived! 

I was very lucky a few years ago to do three weeks work experience at the Kaffe Fassett studio. I had no idea what to expect and had images of spending my time in a big studio cutting out fabric surrounded by studio assistants and never meet the man himself. The reality was that I spent three weeks in Kaffe's studio  which is in his amazing London home, listening to Radio 4, drinking tea and chatting to Kaffe whilst he knitted and I helped sew a massive wall hanging and make a quilt from scratch!!! Kaffe was so lovely as was his partner Brandon Mably. Kaffe's house itself could easily be turned in to a museum with his paintings, quilts and tapestries everywhere you look. I was taken really good care of and made to feel extremely welcome - everyday we would all sit down together and have a delicious home cooked lunch that Brandon had made. It was so nice to be in such a creative environment with people that were so passionate about what they do - when I left the studio each day at 5pm Kaffe would still be sat in the corner continuing to knit!  I was amazed one day when Kaffe said he had an idea for a new knit design, he sat with a book open in front of him with a photograph of a decorative tiled floor and before I knew it he had knitted a design with the same pattern of the tiles. It was an amazing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life - I would love to work with Kaffe again one day. 

Exhibition Photos:

I love the thought of making a quilt like this out of mens shirts

Columns of quilts

Touchy feely wall!




Kaffe's knitted jumpers - very similar to one I wore during my work experience!


Beautiful Textile Designs


A painting very similar to the one that Kaffe turned into a massive wall hanging that I helped stitch



Work Experience Photos

Kaffe's front door

Mosaic in the porchway


Knitted sample with the image that Kaffe used as inspiration

Kaffe in front of the massive tapestry I helped him finish

Me in front of the tapestry

One of Kaffe's beautiful paintings


Me working on a quilt - wearing one of Kaffe's knit designs as it was a bit chilly in the studio!



The leafy dining room




The quilt I made - it was inspired by the quilts of  The Gee's Bend  quilters

The Studio