a colourful life

dear diary,

Last week I had the good fortune to be going to an event at Royal Ascot. This meant that I was staying in London and had some time to visit the Fashion and Textile Museum to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition before it closes later this month.

KF1

What a treat!!!!This exhibition, the first in London since Kaffe Fassett’s record breaking show at the V&A Museum in the late 1980’s, features more than 100 of his works in a dramatic installation over two floors.

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Highlights of the exhibition include 9 foot wide knitted shawl columns (above) and a glorious selection of quilts (below).

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Kaffe Fassett is surely best known for his vibrant and innovative work with colour, and this exhibition shows how his approach in handling colour has evolved. From early beginnings in painting, through to his textile work in knitting, quilting, as well as tapestry, and lastly through the medium of mosaic, this exhibition shows every facet of his creative life.

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His work began with gentle colour schemes in historical hues borrowed from the early medieval and Renaissance arts, but a visit to India in 1992 sparked a shift in his use of colour to become more vibrant and exhuberant. In Kaffe’s own words: ‘India proved to me that colour is a vital ingredient in life’.

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The attention to detail is ever prevelant, and his delight in pattern and form infuses his creative output.

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Kaffe Fassett’s ability to delight and encourage people to take up their own needles, yarns and fabrics and experiment with colour is ever evident. I have been lucky to meet the man and have spent a whole weekend at a workshop with him being inspired by his infectious teaching in the use of colour and pattern. I think it is a fair statement that Kaffe Fasset’s life in colour has had a lasting impact on so many others’ lives as well and that the title ‘King of knitting’, given to him by British Vogue in 1970 still rings true today.

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The exhibition is still open until 29th June and I urge anyone close enough to London to go and visit.

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I hope you are all having a colourful week xx

national wool museum – amguddfa wlan cymru

dear diary,

After our lovely time at the Welsh Quilt Centre it was time to move on down the road to the National Wool Museum in Dre-fach Felindre near Newcastle Emlyn.

Wool Museum 1

In this gem of a museum, housed in the former Cambrian Mills, you can explore the large industry that produced clothing, shawls and blankets for the workers of Wales and beyond.

Wool Museum 2

Wool Museum 3

Carding, spinning, willowing…Pirn winder and Dobcross loom, by the end of your visit they will be more than mere words. Demonstrations on how everything works take place throughout the day and there are many fabulous examples of the work on display.

Wool Museum 5

Wool Museum 6

Especially the wall of blankets is not to be missed…

Wool Museum 4

Kaffe Fassett has come to Wales for sure as there is also a large exhibition of his work to see here. You can take a trip down memory lane with his knitwear designs from early beginnings to almost the present day.

Wool Museum 8

Wool Museum 9

To finish off you can sample some beautiful designs in the Textile Gallery.

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Wool Museum 13

One of the displays is a huge wall hanging made by the knitting group that meets at the Museum on a regular basis. Members have individually re-worked traditional Welsh blanket designs into knitting charts, then knitted them and sewn up into this stunning design.

Wool Museum 10

Wool Museum 11

Like the Quilt Centre, I urge you to go and visit the National Wool Museum on your next visit to Carmarthenshire/Wales or the surrounding near area. It is an amazing place steeped in history.

 

the welsh quilt centre – kaffe fassett comes to wales

dear diary,

It has been a long time coming, but I finally managed to visit the Welsh Quilt Centre in Lampeter this last weekend. ‘My man’ and I had a lovely weekend away with some dear friends and whilst the chaps went walking and watching a little Lion’s tour Rugby, the girls visited the Quilt Centre and National Wool Museum.

Welsh Quilt Centre

centre entrance – old town hall

The Quilt Centre is the brain-child and hard work of Jen Jones. Originally from the USA, Jen settled in Wales in the early 70’s already a lover of quilts.

Jen’s obsession with quilts was triggered by those in her family’s home in Massachusetts but it was not until she arrived in Wales in 1971 that this obsession came into its own. Since then she has been selling and collecting Welsh Quilts and has acquired a deep knowledge and understanding of the art and craft of Welsh Quilt-making.

Golden Yellow Quilt

golden yellow quilt – ca. 1920

 

Jen’s long time aim was to open a centre of excellence to celebrate Welsh quilting. This ambition was fulfilled in July 2009 when the Welsh Quilt Centre was opened in the splendidly refurbished Lampeter Town Hall. It was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles.

One of the reasons the centre was created was to keep the skills of quilt making in this part of Wales. The centre runs many courses during the year, helping to keep the craft of quilting flourishing, and teaching a new generation of quilters.

Antique pink

antique salmon pink section

Our visit was planned to coincide with a current exhibition of Kaffe Fassett Quilts. This exhibition is running from 9 March to 2 November 2013 and is one of the largest ever shown. Kaffe’s vivid bold patchworks are shown alongside the beautifully stitched antique Welsh quilts from the Jen Jones collection. This in turn provides a stunning contrast of modern and traditional quilts.

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selection of kaffe’s quilts

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chevrons quilt on right – snips and snails on left

Kaffe 4

famous folk art quilt on left

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a selection

Kaffe 2

a selection including blush

I urge anyone to go and visit during the next few months, it is so so worth it. The photos don’t really do the colours and sheer impact justice but we were not allowed to use large cameras or a flash. These were all taken with my phone, but they give you a good idea of the splendour and grandness of it all.

Kaffe 5

imari plate

Kaffe 9

lightning on left and aqua panel on right

Enjoy…more to come next time from the National Wool Museum. x

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