Friday, August 17, 2018

I Am an Artisan : Kaffe Fassett fabric challenge

Kaffe Fassett is the undisputed genius of color, with decades of experience in  painting, knitting, patchwork, and fabric design.  Today we are featuring 7 outstanding quilts from a juried show featuring Kaffe's Artisan fabrics. We think the sunny yellows and oranges, enhanced by complementary hues of blue, are the perfect colors for summer.

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Dance with Joy by Silke Cliatt (Georgia)

This original design by fabric artist Silke Cliatt combines machine applique, piecing, and quilting, with hand applique and quilting, and embellished with embroidery.  Silke says,  "The longer I work on a quilt, the more joy I experience, especially when it comes to embellishments.  The endless hours of embroidery take me back to my childhood and cause me to contemplate how far I have come."

The Wheel-Wright's Fantasy by Barb Sorensen (Washington)

Winner of First Place in this special exhibit, Barbara Sorensen's quilt was based on the traditional Carpenter's Wheel block. She says,  "A wheelwright needed to be an exceptional craftsman, an artisan in his day. My wheel moves from the center out, defined by the quilting, and ending with a binding of blue chambray." The wheel is surrounded by circles of small and large feather quilting, shown below.

Dance of the Dragonflies by JoAnn Hoffman (South Dakota)

Dance of the Dragonflies is quilt designer JoAnn Hoffman's best selling pattern.  This design is dedicated to the memory of her neighbor who passed away, who promised to communicate through dragonflies. JoAnn says,  "I think I make art with fabric, so I consider myself an artisan. The word ARTISAN is quilted into the background" (in the lower middle of the quilt, in the above photo).

JoAnn continues,  "Kaffe Fassett's fabric makes me happy.  It's all so different and unusual, but when you put it all together magic happens."

It's Intense by Janette Sheldon (Kansas)

It resembles a French Braid, but this quilt is an original design by Janette Sheldon with an improvisational feel. The rows follow an undulating path rather than a straight line. It features complementary orange and blue hues and dynamic Kaffe Fassett prints, giving rise to the quilt's name:  It's Intense!  Janette Sheldon says, ".. there is nothing conservative or traditional about this piece.  I hope it speaks to you as it does to me."

Chelsea by Lori Allison (Minnesota)

Chelsea was adapted from the Chelsea Quilt pattern in the 2007 book Quilts in the Sun by Kaffe Fassett.  The quilt uses a freehand layout of vases and flowers on a pieced background with large blocks.  Lori Allison says, "The yo-yo technique is one that I learned as a child by tracing dinner plates, salad plates and coffee cups for my yo-yo sizes!"

Maha Surya (Major Sun in Sanskrit) by Robin Long (Washington)

Robin Long says,  "Shortly after I purchased some of the [Kaffe Fassett] fabrics, I found the most amazing fabric from India that was embellished with embroidery and stitched around little silver Mylar discs.  I instantly knew this artisan-made Indian fabric had to be in my quilt, and that it would work perfectly with the beautiful Artisan fabrics by Kaffe Fassett.  I named this quilt Maha Surya, paying homage to its Indian influence."

Blue Plate Special by Cherri Kincaid (Florida)

Winner of the Viewer's Choice award, Cherri Kincaid's stunning Blue Plate special was machine appliqued, pieced, and quilted.  She says, "The blue fabric reminded me of antique hand-painted blue and white china plates, and what better way to tell their story than to create a similar concept with embroidery.  The simple square block with the circle middle was a great way to showcase the china plate embroidery designs."

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.  The I Am an Artisan Challenge was sponsored by Free Spirit Fabrics.


  1. His fabrics are so wonderful, both the colors and the gorgeous hand. Add in the talent of these amazing quilters and the result is true art :)

  2. These are all fabulous! Were the artists required to use and orange and purple color way to is it just coincidental?

  3. How lucky you were to see all of the quilts in person! The last one 'Blue Plate Special' is mine. I wish I could have seem all of them up close. They are all hanging at the National Quilt Museum until the end of September 2018! Thank you for showcasing these beautiful quilts!

  4. Fun interpretations! Each one is a winner.

  5. These are amazing and creating, but Maha Surya is fantastic! Was it a requirement that orange be used in these. Love it!


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