Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gridlock



If you are a Kaffe Fassett fan, you know what I am talking about. This quilt pattern was in his first quilt book,  'Glorious Patchwork' with Liza Prior Lucy published in 1997.
Roughly, around the same time I started exploring quilting in my own little way. My friend Linda had introduced me to the book and that's all I needed. 


 This was one of the first books I could relate to as a quilter. Although the photographs of quilts were staged in different parts of the world, the colors of quilts were very similar to what I was used to seeing while growing up in India. 

Other well known quilt artists at the time may have used Indian silks and woven fabrics in their quilts but for me, the way Kaffe Fassett could bring all of India in a quilt just by using combination of different colors and textures..
No one could!

Every quilt picture I saw reminded me of home. The plaids and stripes, the bold combination of magenta reds and emerald and chartreuse greens and bright Orange and turquoise blue..Just to name a few!


I started dreaming of all the quilts I would make.. I would day dream in colors and textures..
I would go to the only local quilt shop that carried some of his fabrics. At the time, the quality of his fabrics was not well appreciated among seasoned quilters because the woven fabrics from India were too thin for long life of a quilt. For me, they were perfect because that's how they were supposed to be.. light and airy for India's hot and humid climate.. 

The only problem? 
They were too expensive for me to buy for a whole quilt at the time..

So, I would go and visit the shop but never buy an inch of his or any other fabrics. 
Instead, I would go to a local Jo Ann store and buy what I could justify for my new hobby!

Few years went by and my urge to make a quilt with fresh fabrics took over. 
In 2001, I  started working on an applique quilt, 'Stars in the Garden'. The pattern was designed by Piece 'O Cake designs. I needed some plaids to make the stars for the centers and I  knew where to go! 

They worked like magic!

And, I was hooked!





In 2002, I started working at that very quilt shop. It also turned into a teaching job. 
A workshop based on Kaffe Fassett fabrics and quilts!
My dream job!

I loved helping our customers with the colors and textures from a different eye... 

An Indian eye!

I found these blocks in one of my boxes from the move almost three years ago. During those years, I only could sew while I was in the class with my students and co workers/friends.. 
At home, there were three kids in three different schools, and soccer, boy-scout, baseball and everything that goes with it! 
What I couldn't finish, stayed in a box!



Thanks to my friend 'Nifty' who mentioned of old projects during our last week's conversations, I pulled out that box with the blocks and finished the quilt top.


The light wasn't perfect for pictures yesterday, but today it is raining... So I say, this is great!


This picture reminds me of a silk sari draped in a window display of a sari shop in India.


The quilts looks rather bleached outside than it actually is! But guess what? The blocks are put together after seven years! I say that's an accomplishment by itself!


You see, it was fun for me to put together colors and textures outside the Kaffe Fassett fabrics and make them look as if they were from his collection. As beautiful as his fabrics are, I liked them as an inspiration and as a guide to a gorgeous and glorious color palettes.

Now, don't get me wrong.. I have collected lots and lots of his fabrics over the years. 
Who can resist? 
I am only human!

But, I was stuck in a gridlock!

The line that I used to describe my class, 'let the fabrics do the work for you'  was not working for me. 
I love putting my own colors and textures together. I would see students not wanting to mix his fabrics with other fabrics or follow the exact 'quilt recipe' from the books with all the same fabrics...

That was not my thing!

Quilts are supposed to be fun..

So, I took a break.

A break form creating from his beautiful fabrics.

 It had been three years since I moved. Last I had worked with those gorgeous fabrics was in spring of 2007! I stopped teaching the workshops and moved. The fabrics and unfinished projects stayed in the boxes. 

Yesterday was a great day! 
I feel free again.. moving in the direction where I am supposed to be. You will see in the next few posts..slowly and steadily.. I will be moving forward with his fabrics and inspirations!

Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably's workshops and lectures are lots of fun! I have  learned a lot during those when I got the chance. 
The man can describe a  really pale candle so beautifully with his words at a dinner table, you can start dreaming of a quilt just by hearing him talk about that candle!
Thanks to my friend, Stacie Baumeister who is also the owner of Quiltworks Northwest , I had the opportunity to sit next to him over the dinner, work very closely in the class and had a great time!
Thanks, Stacie!

I wish they would come near my town..I have lots of memories from the past.. I want to share more and make more by using more of their gorgeous fabrics in my quilts.

 I am out of the gridlock! 

By the way, if you missed my previous post about the basket full of scraps, check it out. I am still collecting names. There is no deadline and you can start anytime you want! 
Leave me a comment on that post saying you would like to join the group.

Have a great day!



26 comments:

  1. I love your version of that quilt! It is one I have always wanted to make.

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  2. lovely quilt. wonderful memories. Keep quilting!

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  3. Love it. Love the story, love the finish... Your stars with plaids is fantastic too! can I see that too?

    ;-)

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  4. Congratulations on the finish . . . especially since it was finished YOUR way . . . happy to see that you are happy!

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  5. What a wonderful color palette! I, too, love the photo of it draped by your fireplace.
    I've always wanted to visit India, but for now, visits to your posts will have to do!

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  6. thanks for sharing your story- wish I'd been in the quilting phase of my life when you were living here! :D

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  7. The colors are beautiful I want to see it in person!

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  8. Your quilt is gorgeous! It's much prettier than the one that inspired it.

    Your applique and stars project is beautiful too. If I look at old projects that weren't finished they seem so outdated. Yours looks fresh and new. Both projects are standing the test of time very well!

    The Kaffe fabrics are fairly new to me. I never saw any of them in person until I ordered some online last year. I'm sure they would have made it into my stash if only I had known about them? Their colors are intense..like you describe the colors of India.

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  9. What a lovely quilt and a great story behind it! I've been intrigued by that one, and even cut strips for it, but never made a block. Those plaid stars are really wonderful too!

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  10. A beautiful post, and a fitting tribute to Kaffe and Brandon. I also have Kaffe to thank for getting me interested in making quilts. His fabrics are timeless and beautiful. And your quilts are all uniquely Sujata's, no matter whose fabrics you use! I love this quilt and those plaid stars. And I love hearing your story as it unfolds!

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  11. beautiful quilt! It is always gratifying to complete a project, however old it is!

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  12. Your color pallette is as rich and vivid as the colors of India. It is wonderful to see how your inspiration translates into quilts. The plaid flowers are beautiful! The quilt hanging by the fire place does remind me of saris dislayed in the shops. It is gorgeous! :)

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  13. What a joyous post!! How wonderful to finish your quilt after 7 years! It really is all about the journey, not just the destination. Your photos of the quilt in different poses is great too. It's you having fun with a long lost friend.

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  14. Beautiful quilt. Your descriptions make me want to visit India. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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  15. What wonderful way with words and fabric you have, Sujata. I am certain that Kaffe would be astonished if he could see what you have done without the aid of his fabrics. Spectacular. I will be rereading your story as well as continuing to drool over your quilts.

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  16. I love your Gridlock Quilt. I have always admired the one in Kaffe's book but have been too scared to make one. Of all his designs, this one is the hardest to reinvent with your own colours. You have done a brilliant job.

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  17. Such a wonderful, colourful post!

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  18. I so enjoyed reading your post. I love your interpretation of that quilt. I too am a Kaffe fan and I love all his saturated colors in his quilts. Yours is beautiful as well. Well done!

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  19. Gridlock no more...gorgeous. But the India stars are out tonight for me. What a great story and I love seeing ALL the images.

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  20. Whole picture of Stars in the Garden please!! The Gridlock is lovely too...I love that combination of bright spring green with spicy orange...you have such a great eye for colour & pattern...how about designing your own fabric range??!

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  21. I can read your excitment!! Woo_Hoo on finishing this wonderful quilt after 7 years!!!
    The descriptions are fantastic in your post and it makes me visualize what you are writing about. I wish I had that gift!!

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  22. Such a touching story, and a wonderful ending!

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  23. I like your Gridlock so very much! It is beautiful. I've made three Gridlocks and from time to time feel another one coming on.

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  24. Loved to read your story! This quilt top is such a beauty - your choice of colors and fabric is fantastic. So alive...
    I have made this pattern, myself. It was one of the first quilts I made. Fell completely in love with the one in his book...
    ; )

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  25. What a fabulous story! I love Kaffe and your quilt is breathtaking!!!!

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