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A Nod to Kaffe Fassett

by | Nov 26, 2013

The colors in this quilt in Kaffe Fassetts book Passionate Patchwork inspired my scrappy pinwheels quilt


Sometimes there is pleasure in the simple and not so planned out quilt. Noting intricate and too thought through.

Last week I was roaming around in my fabric stash and came across my Kaffe Fasset shot cotton solids that I have had for years.  I simply love the colors in these fabrics but the issue I have been having with them is that they are really soft and thin and I find it to be hard to do precise piecing and applique with them.

I really wanted to give them a stage where they could shine, so I pulled some of them off the shelf and started to make a Chinese coins quilt with them. Just sewing strips together and cutting. Nothing could be easier.

Probably one of the reasons I wanted to do something with Kaffe’s fabrics was that I saw him in his booth at quilt market a few weeks back, but I was too starstruck to even approach him!

When I was 10 or so, sometimes in the mid-eighties I believe, one of Kaffe’s knitting books was translated to Norwegian and it found its way into my childhood home.  I was fascinated by the complicated richness of his color schemes. Compared to the traditional Norwegian knits, which tend to either be black and white, or navy, white, and red, Kaffe Fasset’s knits were like rolling in the full color spectrum of the forest floor or the grasses in a summer meadow sprinkled with various concentrations of red beet juice and blueberry jam. It was incredibly rich.


My blue winter morning quilt and the source inspiration in Glorious Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett

My quilt with the inspiration quilt from Kaffe Fassett’s book Glorious Patchwork.

After market, once the dust settled and I got time to ponder my next project I thought about how long it has been since I have actually played with fabric, Kaffe style. Forever.

All my latest quilts have been very structured about which fabrics to use. I like Kaffe Fassett’s early quilt books best, the ones that he made with Lisa Prior-Lucy before they made their own huge fabric collection. It isn’t that I don’t like Kaffe Fasset fabrics, I love them, what is there not to like?

However, the early quilts have a whimsical quality that you only get from selecting from a wide array of fabrics that don’t have a common designer or theme. I really admire that quality in a quilt.  Whimsicality and spontaneity is how it comes across.


The inspiration for this quilt was the icy winter mornings by the Oslo fjord in Norway where I grew up, but the pattern is from Kaffe Fassett's Glorious Patchwork

The inspiration for this quilt was the icy winter mornings by the Oslo fjord in Norway where I grew up, but the pattern is from Kaffe Fassett’s Glorious Patchwork


For the last week I have been playing with my Kaffe Fasset shot cottons. I will post the directions for it in a future blog post.

Do you have a fabric, quilt designer, or other artist that you feel have influenced how you quilt today?

Happy quilting!