My Class with Kaffe and Brandon


My class with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably has been and gone. I would have to say it was one of the fastest days of my life. It simply flew by in a whirl of colourful pinwheels. 

The workshop started with an introduction from Brandon. He talked about how he and Kaffe work with colour, about how the class would unfold and how we should approach it. Brandon is as colourful and fun as the shirts he wears!!

Then Kaffe talked about the quilt we were making,  the design aspects we should look out for and the types of fabrics we should think about using. Though that being said he also emphasised that we should follow our own instinct. 

They had a great rapport and in a wonderful, enthusiastic way they both got across the aims of the class:

Get as much fabric cut and onto the grey flannel design wall.
Don't stop to think.
Don't get matchy matchy with fabric
Try combinations we'd never thought of
Watch out for interesting surprises. 
Remember there is no right or wrong
Don't ask our neighbour what they think
Just "Do It!"
 Elimination can be done afterwards.


So with that pep talk we raced back to our work stations and started cutting. I followed the guidelines and didn't try to think too much, I just grabbed fabrics and cut out triangles. I was really aiming for those surprise combinations, the ones were you they're almost so wrong that they work. Brandon came by and pulled a few fabrics out that he felt were too light. Kaffe came by and said he liked the browns. 

Brandon had brought music for us to listen to as we worked. A fun eclectic mix with up tempo beats that kept us moving at a good pace. There were some classics, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, lots of Beatles.. and then there would be a marching song or Bulgarian folk music, an old show tune thrown in  Brandon moved through the room singing the songs, and although no one joined in singing aloud with him there was a lot of humming going on. 

Before we knew it it was lunch time. We were told to have a good hour's break from our work. It was easy to fill in the time eating delicious wraps, chatting about out progress and a wander around the fabric laden shelves of the shop. Cottage Quiltworks has the best fabrics!!

Kaffe took some quiet time out to do some knitting. 


Fuelled from our lunch and on a high from buying new fabrics I dived back into cutting triangles. Soon it was time for Kaffe to talk about each persons work. He has a lovely way of describing the "story" of a quilt, the essence or character of the fabrics being used.  He also pointed out elements or colours he feels work well. 
To be honest all I don't remember exactly what Kaffe said about my crazy combos but the word "Gypsy" was used to describe the look and he liked the use of Brandon's dark Fish Lips fabric. 

One of the best things about the day was meeting Ann-Maree. I picked the right place to sit when I sat next to her!! We had such a great time in our corner with our fabrics and triangles flying everywhere. At one point all her triangles fell on the floor and she had to start from scratch but she came up with even better combinations. Her quilt is going to be a party of colour and super spots. 

There was a funny moment when Kaffe came around and swapped some little triangles over to create a really fun bright pinwheel. Five minutes later Brandon came up and said he didn't think that particular pinwheel was working, it was too bright. Too funny!! and a great reminder that everyone is different and has their own taste. 

Soon the fastest day ever came to an end. Not before a photo with Kaffe and Brandon though. Here's the proof of my day with the rock stars of quilting. 

A huge thanks to the lovely ladies at Cottage Quiltworks  they are always so helpful and cheery. 

My Class with Kaffe and Brandon

43 comments

  1. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall!! Wonderful way to spend the day! Glad you had fun!

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  2. Oh I just love this sentence of yours 'those surprise combinations, the ones were they're almost so wrong that they work.' I think that's what I'm always striving for! This sounds like such a fun day for you. So glad you got to have the experience!

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  3. Sounds like you had a fun day!

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  4. I think you should have pulled the phone and and recorded a video of Kaffe talking about your quilt or would that have been rude?
    It looks like the day was a blast and full of inspiration.

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  5. Wow, what a great workshop with the gods of colour. I love the celebrity photo op .

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  6. WOW! You did have a great time Rachael! I love all the bright colours and movement in your creation! I hope you finish it in your own Gypsy-style!

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  7. I like what you did...glad you had a fun day!

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  8. Gypsy-style I love it! ... you could use all that colour inspiration now and do a Gypsy Wife quilt :)

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  9. Looks like you had lots of fun. The workshop sounds like how I remember them, like a fun-fest!
    Your quilt looks beautiful with all those lush fabrics.

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  10. Thanks for sharing your day it sounds so fun and inspiring. I really have difficulty with letting go of the matchy but I love the look. I may have to just pull out some fabrics and give it a go!

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  11. Oh Rachael! I have been waiting for this post! So glad you had a great experience...and how fun to have your quilt referred to as Gypsy! I would say that is wonderful praise! And, by the way, aren't you a cutie!? We don't get to see enough of you!

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  12. How much FUN!
    Thanks for sharing your fabulous day & I'm eager to see what you'll make,
    {as if you need guidance with color, my Color Queen}

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  13. That's so cool! Sounds like a really collaborative class. I so love true artist collaboration, it always means something amazing is going to happen!

    Love your triangles. I think I see gypsy too! :)

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  14. That will be a day to remember! I love that "gypsy" was the descriptive term for your work. I know that this experience is going to be paying rewards for a very long time and I cannot wait to see it in your projects.

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  15. I am so amazed at how Kaffe looks just the same as he did when his first book came out back in the 80s. He is very true to himself, which I take as a great inspiration. That is a great photo of you all!

    Sounds like a whirlwind day. I expect that it may be a few weeks or months before you digest it all. Thanks for the scoop!

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  16. What an amazing experience.....to share a day with these masters! Of course, I think they could take a class from you and have an equally enlightening day!!

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  17. Oh, what fun! Your story and photos make me want to go make that quilt right now! It's fun to see the picture of pretty YOU too!

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  18. What a fun day! And I love that Kaffe made a change, and then Brandon changed it! Too funny....but you're right....we each have an eye for what we like. And don't you just love it when you get put next to someone so fun!?! It double-charges your enthusiasm for the project! And Anne Marie's dress is so fun, it's hard to tell where it stops and the quilt begins! LOL

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  19. Oh what a fun day! You look totally thrilled. I shall have to keep my eyes peeled for the next time either of them are out this way - there was an exhibition of their quilts in a little town nearby last year that I went to. (Last year? Yes, last year) but doing a workshop? Squee!

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  20. Amazing communing with the legends. Quilting has opend so many doors. Your joy in your work always shines through and now you've spent time with others who's visions are as eclectic as your own. Food for the soul..
    You look happy and in good company.

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  21. Talk about an amazing day - thanks for sharing it with us too.

    I think they nailed your quilt style with the word Gypsy- describes you perfectly!

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  22. Sounds like a fantastic day Rachael. I'm another one who thinks Gypsy is the perfect word for your style.

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  23. Sing-along-a-quilt-athon, fabulous!

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  24. That sounds like an ideal day for any quilter! How awesome you got to meet them both and get a taste of their process. And that's so funny they contradicted each other! I think your colors do look kind of gypsyish with the medium darks and bright pops of color.

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  25. Isn't it interesting how so many teachers of creative design tell us to stop thinking and just do, to get out of our own way, let the judgement and criticism go. We do seem to impose so many constraints on ourselves that get in the way of a truly creative life. Thanks for sharing their class and the inspiration you felt.

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  26. What a wonderful report of the day,Rachael...you have captured the 'essence' of our class! It sure was the most intimidating, exhausting, mind bending but most exhilarating workshop I have ever done....my mind is still percolating what we learnt and had to unlearn that day! Sure is food for thought for the future! Thank you for being such a lovely classmate! It was fun! I think Kaffe described my effort as 'on the edge'...LOL of insanity probably!

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  27. You just had my dream day...I'm green with envy. I'm so very glad you had a ball and I can't imagine not having fun with the two of them.

    Smiles,
    Kelly

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  28. What an amazing day! I love the photo of you with Kaffe and Brandon. As I read there were two things that 'stuck out' and will have foremost in my mind when I am next choosing fabrics. They were "Don't get matchy matchy with fabric" (not hard for me, as I don't naturally do it, but sometimes feel that I'm supposed to!) and "Elimination can be done afterwards". Thanks for sharing all that great advice and all the wonderful photos.

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  29. What a wonderful day that you had! I would love to meet both Kaffe and Brandon - they certainly are rock gods of quilting aren't they?

    Sounds like you were given some fabulous advice and tons of good feedback, thanks for sharing it. By the way, I love your pinwheels!!

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  30. Sounds like a really inspirational day! I love their approach of making lots of elements then playing with them. Gypsy is a great way to describe your work - colorful, fun and free - love that.
    Using simple shapes can be such a great way of playing with color and value. The fabrics and prints are vibrant and wonderful.
    what a fun time! love your photo with the "boys"

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  31. What a fun day for you ! I'm sew happy you got to go because I knew your story would make me feel as if I was there too. I'm anxious to see the work you did there ! I'm just beginning to study more about Kaffe, I know I'm behind times.

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  32. Wow how exciting to do a workshop with these guys! It sounds like a great experience, I like the 'just do it' attitude, I know I could take a tip from this! It looks like there will be a lot of bold and colourful quilts after this, so gorgeous!

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  33. It sounds like it was fun and exciting but a little bit daunting at the same time. I really like your fabrics. In my books a riot of colour is always a winner.

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  34. Thanks for sharing some photos and details about your day with Kaffe and Brandon. What fun! About four years ago I took a snowball quilt workshop with Kaffe and Liza, and it went much like the day you described. And I'm so glad you got a photo with them - I forgot to do that! Oh, and I love your color combinations! Don't leave it too long to finish though - I'm embarrassed to say that my snowball quilt hasn't seen much attention since that workshop day four years ago :(

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  35. Wow all that colour Rachael! What a great day with 2 talented guys....Wonderful days just seem to fly by! Love the pic with Kaffe knitting and plastic bag on hand!

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  36. That looks like so much fun! I like your fabric choices. My favorite line of your's was "high from buying fabric"! Too funny

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  37. How fabulous! Thanks for including the part about the music. I can't even imagine spending a day soaking up all that creativity. I saw Kaffe once at spring quilt market in Portland--fascinating. A workshop with him must have been beyond wonderful.

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  38. I am catching up late on this post.
    I am looking at all the wonderful fabrics and the design wall photos and understanding what a fantastic day it must have been. I am so pleased you enjoyed your day. It would have been inspirational!

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  39. Oh, that sounds like such fun! Thanks for sharing this with us and it sounds like just the encouraging class that helps you to develop your own quilting voice. I wish I could have been there too....

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  40. It sounds fantastic - I'm very jealous!

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  41. Just found this post. What a great day you had. I bumped into Kaffe/Brandon's Quilt class group at lunch back on 4th February in Renwick, near Blenheim, NZ. A happy Goup of ladies enjoying their lunch break with Brandon. Kaffe was sitting quietly reading brochures. I bet they had made some great blocks too.

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  42. Just found this older post - what a fun day you had! I haven't taken a class for a long time, must do that! Always gets those creative juices flowing, and there is always more to learn. Love seeing all of the samples. Thanks for sharing.

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Thank you so much for leaving me a comment. I love to hear your thoughts. I don't always have time to reply but your wonderful words encourage me to keep sharing my work and stories.

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