In this amazing industry of ours, there are a few designers who are unequivocally known as industry icons… Those who have forged their own way in the world of design, who stay engaged and ever creative, and who have built a dedicated tribe of followers. Kaffe Fassett is one of those remarkable people. A man who has inspired creatives across the globe with his colorful work in not only fabric, but also in knitting, needlepoint, patchwork, painting, and mosaic.
His patterns are so incredibly brilliant and radiant, it’s like a ray of sunshine and we swoon a little every time a new collection comes out.
Kaffe works with a brilliant team of designers known as The Kaffe Collective — we have been itching to work with the whole team for quite some time. And so, it is with absolute pleasure that we are now able to present three thread collections that celebrate the colors of The Kaffe Collective.
We began our work with Liza Prior Lucy, a key member of The Kaffe Collective and one of Kaffe’s longtime design partners. Liza had been working closely with Kim McLean, a prolific quilter based in Australia. They both found that our 80wt thread was absolutely perfect for the work they were doing. The collection features 20 small spools with colors ranging from warm neturals to brilliant brights.
From there, we shifted attention to creating two collections to coordinate with Kaffe’s go-to color palettes — one with 50wt for piecing and one with 12wt for hand-stitching. The 50wt collection offers 12 large spools and the 12wt collection feature 20 small spools… in partner, everything you’ll need to work through a year of sewing and quilting with Kaffe Fassett fabrics!
We presented all three collections in Fall of 2018 and had a chance to chat with Kaffe & Liza.
A CONVERSATION WITH KAFFE & LIZA
What first drew you to a life in textiles?
I painted still lives for years when I first arrived in London. My subjects were patterned china on colourful cloths I’d find in the local flea markets. Some of the cloth was embroidered, some printed or patchworked. They were my passion and I’d wonder how they were made. One day I met a fellow who designed scarves and I suddenly realised I could design fabric if he did. My first efforts were furnishing fabrics for Designers Guild in London.
What was your ultimate path to get to where you are today?
Designing for Patchwork started after I did a range of hand-woven stripes done by weavers in India. When they were well received, I was asked to do prints to go with them. I designed a Swiss chard print and a design inspired by ancient glass in the V & A Museum, called Rowan Glass. These were fun to design and to use in early quilts. I started thinking of all the fabrics I’d loved in my still lifes and gorgeous antique cloths I’d seen in museums, books and magazines.
Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I would say my greatest inspiration for fabric comes from Oriental an Islamic cultures. But honestly, any culture that loves colour and pattern – so folk costumes from the Slavic world or primitive patterns from third world countries have always thrilled and inspired me.
What about this world of design brings you joy?
There is something deeply intriguing to me about pattern – so all the variations one gets from a simple shape like a square or triangle in Patchwork or on tiles is fascinating to my imagination. I’m never happier than the time I spend working out a new knitting pattern or creating a patchwork quilt.
Tell us about your latest fabrics. Do you have any favourite projects that showcase the fabrics?
My fabrics have gotten bolder in scale and a little more contrasting lately. I’ve just introduced some new double width (108”) backing fabrics – Full Bloom with large scale flower heads and Fruit Mandala. There is also a flower print called Enchanted, which is a cluster of round blooms in a rich range of colours but I’m always grateful that my company allows us to keep a range of classic prints from the past that we can use and reuse as we think of more new ways to play with them. Polka dots and small prints like Roman Glass, Paper Weight and Guinea Flower and endlessly useful to combine with larger scale florals and geometric prints.
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NEW fabric from Kaffe – 'Enchanted' available in 6 colourways from @freespiritfabrics and shipping in February!⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #quiltersoninstagram #quilting #kaffefassett #kaffefassettcollective #freespiritfabrics #floral #floralfabric #sewingproject #sewing #freespiritfabrics
When did you first discover Aurifil Threads and what do you love most about working with them?
Liza here: I can’t recall when I first used the Aurifil 50 but from the first project I sewed with it, I knew it would be my new favorite thread. It was a bit thinner than the 50 wt I had been using, both from Coats and from Mettler so a lot more could be loaded on the bobbin. It was very smooth and left barely any lint . I also liked how easily I could un-stitch a seam because the thread was very strong and yet silky enough to pull smoothly out. I try not to un-stitch but when I have to, this thread met my needs.
Kaffe here: I don’t sew that much myself but I love the colours of the Aurifil threads – I’m always suggesting colours to my sewers to use in a way that shows the thread colour – say red against green or vice versa.
What excites you about The Kaffe Collection and these 12 stunning colors of 50wt thread?
Liza here: I am most excited about the greys! LOL. I do a lot of machine piecing and the various tones of the greys are so useful when presented with the fabrics designed by the Kaffe Collective. It is impossible to figure out what color thread might match. I choose a grey and it just sinks into the seam invisibly. The brighter colors in the collection are just right for machine buttonhole stitch or satin stitch that suit Kaffe’s palette.
To enter-to-win one of THREE Kaffe Collective Prize Packages, click here or on the image above to head to the Rafflecopter entry page. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, February 17! Three winners (receiving one thread collection each) will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, February 18. Good luck!
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Kaffe Fassett & Liza Lucy
The Kaffe Collective
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 12 Large Spools
1104 – 2588 – 2520 – 5005 – 2135 – 2860 – 1231 – 2725 – 6736 – 2610 – 5021 – 2600
100% Aurifil 12wt, 20 Small Spools
2260 – 2395 – 1104 – 2235 – 2145 – 2120 – 5022 – 2479 – 2530 – 4020
2892 – 4093 – 2860 – 1231 – 2535 – 2520 – 2805 – 1320 – 2725 – 2780
Liza Lucy & Kim McLean
100% Aurifil 80wt, 20 Small Spools
4241 – 2026 – 2315 – 2340 – 2360 – 2615 – 2610 – 5004 – 2783 – 2725
2805 – 2810 – 2890 – 1231 – 5022 – 1135 – 1154 – 2479 – 2260 – 1243
To view these collections on our website, click on the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
Kaffe Fassett has dedicated the last 50 years of his life to the world of Knitting, Needlepoint and Patchwork, promoting these crafts through his own work and encouraging others to find their own creativity. He has produced over 30 publications from ‘how to books’ to colour in design, and also tours internationally giving workshops, lectures and museum exhibitions. [For a full bio, please visit Kaffe’s website here]
CreativeBug produced a gorgeous video all about the amazing Liza Lucy. We felt it made sense to let her tell her story in her own words.
Click HERE to read a wonderful article about Kaffe & Liza via Quiltworks Today.
**Images & text courtesy of Kaffe Fassett, Liza Lucy, and The Kaffe Collective (thank you, Rosie!)
** Liza Lucy bio video by CreativeBug