On 8th September 2016 I had once in a lifetime experience – I attended a design workshop with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably.
It was held at the wonderful Lady Sew and Sew Warehouse and Sewing Centre in Henley on Thames. It lasted about 6 hours, in which we had an introduction to the workshop, had time to chose and buy fabrics, designed 2 big blocks of the ‘Trip Around the World’ quilt and the most exciting part was at the end – Kaffe’s assessment of each individual work.
This is a sample quilt that was hanging at the warehouse specially for us. It is made of 9 blocks and we had to design two of them at the class.
Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably didn’t try to persuade us to buy their fabrics from Lady Sew and Sew at all, which was very nice of them 🙂 Some ladies brought fabrics from their stash to use them at workshop which was absolutely fine. However I decided to buy my fabrics right there. I looked at all fabrics available at the warehouse and because it was a design and colour workshop from Kaffe and Brandon the best and obvious option for me was just to go straight to the shelves with Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics (even though I could have picked any other designer’s fabrics). Before the shopping time Kaffe suggested to use fabrics with relatively small prints for the quilt. Fabrics with big flowers on wouldn’t work here, because quilt is made out of many 2.5″ squares.
Here is my 1st round fabric pick:
I was thinking of the rainbow and tried to get all the colours. Kaffe happened to be nearby helping other ladies to pick up fabrics and when he was available I asked him what he thought of my choice. He called it Mexican carnival and only added his pink fabric to it, the one in front of the above picture.
Then we started our design process under the gurus’ supervision where possible. There were about 25-30 ladies I think.
The work lasted for few hours including a lunch break in between. I had to cut my purchased long quarters in many 2,5″ squares. Then a I was experimenting on the design wall and was figuring out colour placement.
I designed this just before lunch
This is my final work at the end of the class
After we all created our 2 blocks, the most exciting part started – Kaffe was walking around the warehouse and talked through each created piece.
Kaffe Fassett on my design and colour choices:
So very kind and wonderful! I love the use of so many luscious adjectives!
At the end I caught the moment and took couple of pics with Kaffe and Brandon.
This is me being super happy 😀
I didn’t complete this quilt straight away of course. I put the flannel design wall with 2 blocks on the wall in my sewing room at home and was looking at it for some time considering how many more blocks I wanted to make. I definitely had enough fabrics for 2 more blocks. So at first I decided to piece my 1st two blocks to see how big they were going to be.
Obviously shrunk after piecing 🙂
In January this year I decided that I will go with just 4 blocks in total and finished quilt was going to be about 50″x50. I don’t need a really huge quilt and this size is just perfect for snuggling in front of TV. Also I so couldn’t wait to finish it as soon as possible and enjoy it!
I designed two more blocks with the remains of the fabrics left from the workshop.
When I was putting the top together I realised that about 70% of fabrics were by Brandon Mably, and only about 30% were by Kaffe Fassett. So I decided to go with Brandon’s fabrics for the backing and binding.
Here is the finished quilt:
This is me couple of weeks ago, the next day after I finished the quilt, being photographed with the quilt next to two iconic London sights 🙂
Wellington Arch at a day time
Trafalgar Square at night
In conclusion I’d like to say that it was a great experience to learn from Kaffe and Brandon and to complete this super colourful “Mexican Carnival” quilt. The whole process was very enjoyable and made this gloomy rainy and cold British weather more bearable, bright and full of colour. I feel all the blessings and really happy with the result. I will treasure this quilt for the rest of my life no doubt.
This is finish #1 from my Q1 FAL list