Friday, 9 August 2013

Quilts not Monsters

If you have dropped by today expecting monsters... then sorry, I have dragged you here under false pretences. The monsters will have to wait until tomorrow because I had such a lovely day at the Festival of Quilts with my friend Catherina yesterday that I needed to tell you all about it.  As ever the hundreds and hundreds of quilts on display just felt overwhelming. I find it impossible to pick out favourites or to even discern those that are well constructed. Most of the time I don't understand what the fuss is all about.  But there are one or two things that stuck in my mind (closely related to the very few of my photographs that actually came out!)
I really loved the mixed media work of Stephanie Redfern (pictured above) which appeared so fresh and modern.

We were both quite taken with the work of Mandy Pattulo, pieced together from various recycled fabrics. Her wall hangings and garments were fabulous and so rich with texture and history.

Catherina and I are both interested in Art to Wear but mostly we were disappointed with this year's exhibits however we both loved this soft wool jacket with its beautiful kantha stitching by Pauline Macauley. I would happily wear this!

And I also loved this back and white quilt constructed from the most beautifully mono-printed fabrics by Sarah Welsby. It relates directly to some of the work I've been doing with Spectrum as well as some plans I have for new work which is probably why I found it so appealing. But the highlight of my day... the lovely Kaffe Fassett who spoke to me! There he was surrounded by glorious colour and a posse of admiring women just gently knitting. When I asked if I could take his photo he replied "Sure"... that counts as speaking to me doesn't it?

Which leads me on to my purchases... quite modest considering what was on offer.

We each bought a bundle of these beautiful shot cottons from Oakshott fabrics - inspired by both the colours and a lovely table runner that was on display. I don't particularly want a table runner... and I don't make quilts... but now we have set ourselves a challenge to each make something from our fabric purchase. 

But my best buy... this amazing Kaffe Fassett ribbon. Who even knew he designed ribbons (not me obviously). I limited myself to just one metre but could have easily bought masses in all the different patterns and colourways.

So it was a wonderful inspiring day... except for the ridiculously overpriced cheese sandwich which was frankly quite disgusting! I wished I'd bought another couple of metres of ribbon and had gone hungry.


  1. I had a great day too, but I didn't spot you. Food facilities were a bit limited weren't they. Two ladies nearly came to blows over a seat where I was. The KF ribbon was superbut I was restrained and just bought basics.

  2. Oh heck! I remember Kaffe Fassett when he was a young man!!!
    Such big feet too. :)

  3. What a lovely day it was, Gina.
    Thank you for sharing the day with me. It was tiring but truly inspirational on different levels, apart form the overpriced horribly cheese sandwich.
    No let's see what we do with that beautiful shot fabric.

  4. Thank you for this Gina. I have always been tempted by those wonderful Oakshott fabrics and I may stop resisting during my forthcoming visit. We have booked into a lecture given by Kaffe Fasset and I wonder if he will speak to me? The ribbons are just stunning.

  5. Gina, I smiled when I read this as Steph and Mandy Patullo's 'Thread and Thrift'blogs are the top of my favourite list of blogs to read regularly. I am a huge fan of Steph's ideas and prodigious attitude to work and live for the day when I will get to see some of it up close. She is a rare talent with great vision.
    Just catching up with all your posts about blogging etc. I'm still out here reading but rolling all my comments into one! I went to the Kaffe Fassett knitting exhibition at the Welsh Woollen Museum the other week and thought how 1980's it all looked. I think he has had a resurgance thanks to quilting. I'd love to know what you'll do with that ribbon.....

  6. Kaffe Fassett eh? I remember him when he first came to prominence. I can't, however, cope with all the madness of his colours, they overwhelm me.

  7. Thanks for popping by my blog and for the kind comment. Bet you had a fab day at the Quilting ex - I love those "juicy" colours. x Jo

  8. The works you have photographed are so varied but all beautiful. I attended a lecture given by Kaffe Fassett in Bath many years ago - both he and his assistant Brandon are charming. His adventurous use of colour is enviable and always seems to work. Love your purchases.

  9. How brilliant meeting Kaffe, love your ribbon.
    I would wear that jacket too, it's beautiful! :)
    V xxx

  10. it's a mind boggling day out isn't it Gina. must try and make it next year. how lovely to see Kaffe in with his typical bright colours. gorgeous buys from Oakshott. it's a shame he looks like an old man now. I'm looking forward to their Bath exhibition next year- it's nearer for me than London!

  11. Having visited Nepenthe the other year I now 'Get' Kaffe Fassett's blasts of colour and contrasting faded whites and neutrals - you are so lucky to have actually spoken to him!

    Love your purchases the colours are very 'Gina' :-)

  12. Thanks for sharing your visit. The quilts you feature are inspiring. no wonder they caught your eye.

  13. He spoke to you! I've loved his use of colour since I did A level textiles many many years ago so I'm just slightly jealous!!
    Your purchases are gorgeous colours, I look forward to seeing what you do with them.

  14. If you'd worn your Kaffe hat you might have had a full conversation! I'll remember to steer well clear of the cheese sandwiches while I'm there this weekend. I like the Kantha jacket, but then I'm a sucker for hand quilting and stitching.

  15. Gina, thank you so much for your reporting on this quilt show.

    Yes, I do wish I could been there myself, but don't envy you that shifty sandwich.

    As you know, I've met and spoken to Mr Fassett several times in fairly low key occasions over here. I very much admire his color sense, and think that a few UK textiles companies have much to thank him for.



  16. I went to NEC on Friday. I too thought the work of Stephanie Redfern amazing. She is doing a course at Bramble patch in the near future which I might go on. Very inspiring lady. I bought the red Oakshott fabric too! It was my first time at the Festival of Quilts and was pleased I went on a coach trip from Cambridge since I was exhausted by 3pm. Will take a packed lunch next time. Wern't the queues awful?

  17. I love the quilt made from recycled fabric.

  18. I liked Steph's pieces too and was finally seduced by an Oakshott pack. It is such beautiful fabric too work with.
    You should have tried the restaurant, we had a very tasty hummous and roasted veg pumpkin seed roll.

  19. That ribbon looks delicious

  20. Unfortunately I had to miss the show this year as the shop was moving that week but I have been able to drool vicariously over all these blogs. I bet Kaffe's stand was amazing. I met him earlier this year at the V&A but was horrified at his attitude to quilters! He said he has no respect for people who care about the technique, because he doesn't. There was an audible intake of breath around the auditorium as his rudeness so I hope he learnt his lesson before FoQ this year :)
    That ribbon looks stunning!

  21. The black and white monoprinted piece was by Sarah Welsby. I loved Mandy Pattulo's gallery as well. One of my friends is now altering a skirt after she was inspired by Mandy's work.

  22. Lovely to read about the Festival of Quilts from your eyes. I'm sure I would be overwhelmed by the sheer number of them all, but still - nice to see so much cloth and thread I am sure.
    Thanks for introducing me to Stephanie Redfern's work and for your gentle photo and comments about Kaffe, too.


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