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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Kaffe Fassett - The Man Himself!

OMG!  (I never, ever, thought I'd use that acronym).  ...  Just don't know how to describe my thoughts at actually meeting one of my idols ... in a little church ... St Mary's ... in Ely!  How did that happen?  I have some of his books from the 80's, 'Glorious Needlepoint' and 'Glorious Knitting'.  Plus several Rowan knitting magazines and I've just seen his exhibition in London, so when a friend told me he was giving a lecture, I bought my ticket like a shot!  It was completely sold out.  He's an excellent, entertaining speaker and told us how he started out, with lots of stories along the way.

In a nutshell, his parents had a very cosmopolitan restaurant at Big Sur on the Californian coast which attracted foreign visitors from afar.  This inspired him in turn to travel, ending up in England, where he loved the 'oldness'.  He was brought up Bohemian and taught himself about art and design from museums, after finding art school too restrictive.   He started out with still lives because he didn't want to be an outdoor painter.  Initially these were white but he became inspired by the pattern on pattern that he saw in the V&A Museum.  Portobello Road was his other great inspiration.  He met Bill Gibb by accident and discovered yarn and knitting through him.  This progressed into 'celtic' designs that he'd seen in the British Museum.  He was then discovered by Missoni, who invited him to design for them - his only knowledge of Italian was the names of colours - and began selling in Bloomingdales.  He came across patchwork quilts while researching knitting and his enthusiasm for fabric was spotted by Oxfam, which led to a print design project.  He was wearing a shirt from this collaboration.

So here he is, with his studio manager Brendon Mably - this is the only decent shot I have, as I suffered from camera shake through being starstruck!




He signed my book and asked 'little ole me' how I spelt my name, one 'n' or two?  An 'e' on the end? Wow!



These are some of the quilts he brought along, featured in the book, 'Shots and Stripes'.





It's inspired me to get on with the patchwork squares I found at the exhibition ...


6 comments:

  1. Dianne,so happy for you.. What an exciting day..

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    1. It was Judy and I'm still buzzing from it, which is a good thing! I so want to make a quilt now.

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  2. Oooh, how exciting! Such beautiful quilts.

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    1. Very exciting. I have so many ideas now!

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  3. Sounds like you had an exciting day. I've always loved the way he uses colour, whether knitting, needlepoint or quilting.

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    1. Hi Jane - he says it's 'instinctive' ... I wish I was so instinctive!

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