We’re lucky enough to be based in South West England here at TQ towers, and it’s not often internatational quilting superstars jet into town. So we’re a bit excited at the recent launch of the new Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the American Museum of Britian in nearby Bath.
The series features bright coloured patchworks which have been directly inspired by the Museum’s breathtaking vintage quilt collection, some of which date back to the 19th Century. “I’ve always loved the quilt collection at the Museum,” explains Kaffe, “There are so many gorgeous designs that have been a source of great inspiration to me. With all the concerns about throw-away fashion and recycling in the global consciousness, I feel deeply that this show is a brilliant reminder of what anybody can do with a creative use of fabric.”
If you like the sound of this, don’t miss Kaffe’s accompanying book: Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in America.
Some of our favourite Kaffe Fassett quilts
We’re looking back through the Today’s Quilter archive at some of our favourite designs from his recent work. As well as being famed as a contemporary colour-addict, his designs are interwoven with a celebration of craft heritage, and his Ancestral Quilts exhibition at The Quilt Museum and Gallery in York last year was inspired by quilts from the The Quilters’ Guild Collection.
Kaffe’s book, Kaffe Fassett’s Heritage Quilts, features 20 quilt designs created by him and his team, inspired by the treasures in the Collection. He told us about a few of his favourites in our souvenir magazine back in issue 1.
Rustic Checkerboard medallion
Inspired by the Sidmouth Quilt 1820-1840
“I love boldness and it was fun to do a version of the original that was slightly less black and white and with sunny yellows, creams and pinks in my palette. I like the way the background colours of the squares-on-point row goes diagonally instead of straight across the square.”
Inspired by the Hearts and Crosses Coverlet 1875-1900
“We first made a version of this quilt in a mossy green palette and called it Mossy Radiation. It featured in our book, Quilt Road. Re-examining it for this new version, I’m really moved by the dark and light rhythm of the bold stripes of print, and also how some large-scale florals are tossed into the mix.”
Candy zigzag ribbon
Inspired by the Mrs Fitz-Herbert Top 1800-1850
“With quite simple means, a delightful complexity of stripes and zigzags is created in the original. In my design, I have replaced the little pointed borders with print and I have also used a brighter palette to emulate the silky sheen of the original quilt.”
Sunshine herringbone stripes
Inspired by the Chevron Strippy 1880-1900
“My version is much calmer by comparison with the original… In part, this was to make something that is easy to give instructions for and partly because I fell in love with a happy string palette of primroses and soft leafy greens.”
If you want to read more about Kaffe’s life in colour, you can still get your hands on issue 1 of Today’s Quilter, including our Kaffe Fassett: Celebrating 50 years in textiles souvenir magazine, by downloading it straight to your phone or tablet, using our Today’s Quilter app for Apple Newstand. And you can see more of his heritage designs in the book Kaffe Fassett’s Heritage Quilts.
Quilt photography © Kaffe Fassett
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