Sunday, November 13, 2011

Classes at Houston, Part Dos, Kaffe Fassett

Back again.  So the second day of classes, Cecilia and I took the Kaffe Fassett 'Gridlock' class.  Now anyone that knows us knows how much we love Kaffe and his fabrics.  So taking a class together and with Kaffe was paradisiacal!

If you have never taken a class with Kaffe, you should know the following:

It's the best color class you will ever take, bar none.
Doubtful that you'll ever think of color the same way after a class with Kaffe.  You won't even be able to explain what's different.  They must pump something thru the air conditioning...

It's a totally new way of learning.  
Liza and Kaffe give you a brief overview of the project.  No sewing, just layout.  Then you get to work.  The best music you can think of (Beatles, Grace Slick, James Taylor, etc) is playing loud enough that you can hardly hear yourself think.  So you just give in, start singing along.  Before you know it, you are not really thinking anymore and just working intuitively.  Kaffe strongly encourages you to work quickly, and the only way you can do that is to trust your instincts!  Better to get something up on your design wall and change it later than to over think every little piece of fabric you put on your design wall.  Forget any notion about your fabric being precious.  If you end up not using something you cut, make a pillow when you get home, for God's sakes. (verbatim).  That brings me to point #3:

These classes are not for the faint of heart.  Just hang in there.
Kaffe tells it like it is.  Some nuggets from the gridlock class:

  • "If I give you a suggestion, just try it.  If you come in her and do only what YOU think is a good idea, well then you will learn a lot about... YOU."
  • "Stand back and look at your work from afar.  I've seen a lot of people who never step back.  They think their quilt looks great until they step back at the end and it looks like cat vomit."
  • That fabric next to that one looks just... wussy.  (said to me!)
In fact, there were 2 different women that just up and left in the middle of the class that day because they didn't like Kaffe's instructional method... (their loss, and more room for me!)

So you cut, put up, and stand back. Repeat. Repeat another 100 times until about 4pm when it's time for the group critique.  

Then Kaffe goes around to everyone's project and gives it a critique.  It's the juiciest part of the day.  You learn soooo much from seeing what others have done within similar parameters and what Kaffe has to say about that.

When the time came for my critique, I wasn't quite sure what was going to happen.  I hadn't talked to him about my quilt much that day. (Later I would find out that was a good thing!)  I used very little Kaffe fabric that day, as I had decided to use my stash of striped men's shirts from home. Most people used about 99% Kaffe fabric, so I wasn't sure that NOT supporting his fabric line was going to lend itself to a very favorable critique.  Well, watch for yourselves (and note the empty wall space where the 2 women ripped down their design walls- not even bothering to remove the tape! :0  )

So I left exhausted, but happy that day.  Here are some other photos from the Gridlock class:

A cuttin' and a grinnin'

Ceci and her quilt design (on right)- both gorgeous!!!!!


During Critique

Critique of my quilt- see tape to the left!!
Kaffe, don't stand still too long- your shirt would look great in my quilt!

But Kaffe and Co. let me know about a spot that had opened up in the following day's class.  So the next day, I went back for more!!

This time, the class was for the quilt "Big Bang".  An amazing take on the Texas Lonestar quilt.  Of course, the only fabric I had with me was the shirt stripes from home, so that's what I used.  

Another really demanding day.  I told Kaffe and Liza that that class kicked my butt!  Verrry challenging, especially with cutting stripes on the bias.  But, I was there to push myself, and that I did.  I've decided I need this color tuneup at LEAST once a year! 

Some photos:
The classroom at lunchtime

Hard at work, probably belting out some Beatles song!

Dame Liza Prior Lucy.  Love her.

Kaffe and Cecilia

Kaffe and I in front of my quilt.  My favorite pic of the trip:)

ps,  I need to thank Cecilia for some of these pictures that she kindly took and lent me.  Thanks Ceci!!



  2. Julie, your work is amazing! I love the stripes in the star quilt.
    Glad you got to spend 2 days with your favorite, (Kaffe). And welcome back to Orlando. Hope to see you soon.

  3. Julie That's CRAZY! Super jealous of your time in Houston and your quilting boyfriend, Kaffe. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    Hope to see you at Sew Day

  4. Qué envidia Julie!!! Hermosos trabajos y divinas las dos (vos y Ceci)

  5. Holy Cow! Your post about your Kaffe me the shivers! A very talented lucky girl you are!! To be living out your fantasy....color classes with the guru of color...I love your flowers done with his fabrics....And your shirt die for!! Keep pup the good work!