Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Kaffe Fassett at the American Museum

As I mentioned in my post on Saturday, we went to the American Museum for my birthday day out.  I have more posts to follow about that - two probably as the quilts need their own! - but first of all I had to share with you the wonder exhibition of Kaffe Fassett's work.

It was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Truly.  There cannot be too many exclamations for how wonderful it was.  For those who do not know, Kaffe Fassett is a designer of textiles, he is American, but has lived in England since the mid 1960's.

I should warn you that this is a very picture heavy post, but what else would you expect for such a visual exhibition!!  I hope that you will understand what I mean and forgive me.

As we arrived I was so excited to see the yarn bombing that had taken place, it was wonderful.  My hubby was a bit surprised and could not really see the point, but I loved it and it was my day!

This tree had some yarny elements, but was mainly covered in wonderful fabric lampshades.  I forgot to ask if they had lights inside, but it would be wonderful if they do and if they light up at night wouldn't it.

These pots were either side of the entrance door.  A small taste of the explosion of colour that was to come inside.

This is a photograph of the man himself!  You can see from his jumper what a love of colour he has.

One of the things that Fassett is very well known for his knitwear designs.  There were so many of them displayed on the walls and they looked amazing.

I hadn't expected to see many quilts, but there were lots on display.  The one below that goes from light to dark looks as though it as a light glowing within it or shining on it, but it is all in the colours of fabric that were used.

The quilt above was amazing - sorry, I keep using that word, but it is so true!!!!

The first part was divided into colour themes of pinks and reds and then blues and purples.

I loved this outfit.  It is pure 1970's style, which I remember so well.  I wish that I could wear an outfit like this now, but I might look rather odd!!  It took me right back though.

The design of this patchwork cushion that had then been turned into a tapestry/needlepoint cushion intrigued me and worked really well I thought.  I just wish that they had hung them both round the same way!  I tried rotating the photos, but they didn't look right!!

Now, people, this is the best bit of all!!!!  Sorry about the fuzzy photo.  There were some samples of the work that you could touch and feel, and turn over to see the backs of them.  This is the back of one of the tapestry samples.  Look at it!!  Ends all over the place.  I was so pleased to see this.  I don't mean to sound horrible, but I worry so much about my sewing, the ends on the back of my tapestry and sewing in the ends of my crochet.  I decided though if this is good enough for Kaffe Fassett, my work is definitely good enough for me - and is neater than this!!

The shells in the above picture were probably my favourite piece of all.  The only negative point with the exhibition is that it is in quite a small space, so getting straight on to take photos with the other people looking round was hard.  You will have to take my word for how wonderful this piece was.

The great big blanket below is all knitted and appeared to be one continuous piece of knitting.  You know that I cannot knit as I have mentioned before, so I was really really in awe of a massive piece of knitting like this.  The colours are just stunning.

Although the shells that I showed above were my favourite individual piece, the items in this area were my favourite as a collection of work.  They all depict vegetables.  The floor is covered with a picture of the piece below.  We have something similar at Basildon, they can replicate anything that you want as a floor covering - you could have your favourite piece of crochet on your bedroom floor if you wanted!!

I had not realised that Kaffe Fassett was also a ceramics designer, I don't know if he designed these pieces, but they were wonderful in any case.

The two teapots above are "normal" sized, but the asparagus set below is a teeny tiny miniature and was just about the size for a dolls house, well, perhaps a little larger than that, but not much.

I was fascinated by the way that the colours were produced in these pieces of long stitch work.  Two or three different coloured threads were used to produce each stitch which gave real depth and texture to the work.

It gives a feeling that is a mixture of pointillism and impressionism.  They look a bit like an impressionist painting from a distance and then more like a work of pointillism when you are close up.

I loved the sign!

There was a whole wall covered with quotes, I have just picked out a few of my favourites to share with you.

Attached to the exhibition space was a room filled with another exhibition of maps.  I have to say that I didn't really pay the maps much attention, but I love the fittings in the room.  They reminded me of the work of my favourite architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Then it was back to the real reason we were there for a last look around!  I loved the way that this yarn was stored.  It fits so well with the ideas from the quotes above.

Here you can see the pink area on one side and the blue on the other - combined with the pink and blue of course for contrast!!

Finally I have the picture below from the little shop area.  This picture is for Gina.  It reminded me of you immediately.  I didn't buy one as they cost a small fortune.  I did buy a fat quarter of fabric though, so perhaps I will make one for myself!

I hope that you enjoyed the tour.  If you are in the area it is well worth a visit, and well worth a visit from further afield I would say.  The exhibition is on until 2nd November this year.  I am not sponsored to write this in any way I should say.  I just loved it so much that I wanted to share it ALL with you and hope that some of you can visit too as it really is great!

Thank you for your birthday wishes, I think that I have thanked you all in person, but just in case I missed anyone!

I don't know about you, but I have been having trouble leaving comments on others blogs because of word verification.  I tried turning mine off, but I have put it back on I am afraid because of the spammers.  But I do have a tip.  If you get the words photo sphere - with or without a picture behind - I thought that if you typed those words the comment would go through, but I am not sure that it does.  so instead, in the box next to where the words are there is a refresh button - the circle with the arrow - press that and you will get a new word/numbers.  Enter those and it seems to go through.  I hope that this helps, it isn't a plea for comments, just a suggestion after I realised that some of my comments were not getting through, I only just worked it out!



  1. I think I might faint!
    I LOVE Kaffe Fassett.
    Hollyhocks had me near to swooning...utterly gorgeous!
    Jane x

  2. wow what a colourful day out! So much to see, so many colours, patterns and textures!

  3. I am spinning with love right now and will be pinning from this post when I get home on my computer! Holy goodness am I completely inspired by his work!!! The strong bold color in all of his pieces give them a life all there own!!!! I would have loved to see this in person and those little shades hanging from the trees!! Wow... Just speechless! I have been really getting into folk art so this comes at the perfect time for me!!! Thank you for sharing friend how lucky were you to see this exhibit!!! Nicole xo

  4. OMG how wonderful! Happy Birthday to you Amy, and what a super way to spend it! I love going to the AM and I am dying to go to this exhibition! Your photos are brilliant and I could never see enough of them, thank you for sharing all these wonderful works of art. I am a real fan of Kaffe and have been for decades as his sense of colour and design is incredible.
    The tree of lampshades is amazing at the beginning too!
    Wonderful post, thank you.
    Gill xx

  5. I am so delighted that your birthday trip to the American Museum worked out happily Amy. As a birthday treat did you have one of the restaurants delicious American Cookies? The Kaffe Fassett exhibtion is a wonderful design feast and visual explosion of colour.

  6. Love love love this!! Thank you so much for sharing, I really must get up there to see it x

  7. Wow! Isn't his work/art glorious! Thank you for taking so many photos! I thoroughly LOVED them all!

  8. I recognised a lot of the designs from his book, and have even made up a couple of them. Great Kaffe fan here.

  9. Oh Amy...you must have been in heaven!
    I had not heard of this man...thanks for the introduction...and the fabulous tour!
    So....how old is Miss Amy now??? hahaha!
    Linda :o)

  10. What an intriguing display of talent. So much color and design, it's mind-boggling.

  11. Thankyou for sharing this Amy, you have no idea how much I want to go there now!! (actually you probably do!!!) a treat for my next birthday maybe, I can get to and from Bath in a day fairly easily yay!

  12. What a fun exhibit! Thanks for sharing all those photos!
    I've been having trouble with word verification too. I took it off my blog and changed it so I had to ok posts that were over 1 week old. I haven't had any trouble with spammers since doing that. If they do spam me, I can delete it before it shows up on the post.

  13. Amazing visual feast! Thank you for posting these gorgeous images.


  14. Happy (belated) birthday!! Thank you soo much for sharing your trip to this wonderful exhibition. I dearly wanted to go myself, but haven't had the chance and your post has been almost as good as being there myself :)

  15. This is the first blog post I've read today. It's 6.19am, grey and rainy outside and all that colour has cheered me up and inspired me! I love the vegetable-themed work, the tree hung with lightshades and yes, the big knitted blanket.
    Thank you for the tour - and all those photos.
    Sarah x

  16. Holy sh....
    I wish I could visit that museum !!!
    I think I have never seen something like this in a museum, it is so nice to see a hommage to a "textile artist" for once, and not the usual painters, sculptors, etc.
    My oh my. That lampshade tree. The tapestry designs. That needlework. The knitted sweaters. I really don't know what I like most....
    Thanks for posting so many photos !! I think a lot of them will be stored op my ipad, just for future inspiration... (Do you think I'll find patterns online as well ? ;-)))

  17. Wow, utterly spectacular. The American Museum isn't too far from here, so I shall bear it in mind. I particularly love the squares in the shawl at the end and in a quilt at the top of the red divided display unit. Sounds like you had a really good birthday. CJ xx

  18. Amy I love this post - not too many pictures for me, I couldn't get enough - I have never heard of this man but I really like his work now that I have seen it. My favourites are the vegetable items too - the teapots are fabulous, I really like the foot stool at the begining too. Thank you so very much for sharing this passion of yours, I am all the richer for it.
    I am glad that you mentioned about the comments I don't usually have trouble with your blog but I do with others, thanks for the tip off.

  19. A belated happy birthday to you! �� how can one person be so talented, that man is something else. Loved all the pictures, such beautiful designs and glorious colours. I agree it's nice to see he doesn't really worry about his ends, I have heard his knitting is the same. He just goes for it, good for all of us to know! Thanks

  20. What a great exhibition of his work, I am a big fan of Kaffe have been since the 70's when he started designing on the knitting machine, I have a few of his early books, I have met him on a couple of occassions through work and attended some of his workshops.
    Thank so much for sharing your visit. :-)

  21. A most intoxicating post, Amy! What a super treat for your birthday - Happy Birthday to Amy:))
    Everything is so gorgeous, and of course I have been in love with Kaffe Fasett for years, along with all my stitching friends. They are coming to visit tomorrow, so we will all be looking through your post over the tea and cake! You know I love birds, so my all-out fave has to be that Kaffe Bird - now, where can I acquire one of those.. xxx

  22. Hey Amy,
    Happy belated birthday!! What a madly colourful day out you had! I have to say I adored the lampshade tree. I really hope it can be lights on after dark too. Imagine reading a book under it, snuggled in one of his quilts!
    Leanne xx

  23. Oh gorgeous gorgeous! I love Kaffe Fassett so much! Thanks for sharing your photos. I will be pinning some of them to my Kaffe Fassett board. X

  24. Wow, does it get any better than that? A truly amazing birthday treat, a great day out. Some of the knitwear was stunning, and the yarn bombing outside amazing. A wonderful post, thank you for sharing.

  25. Wow! What a visual feast Amy! Thanks for the vibrant tour - through your eyes and lens!
    Ali x

  26. Wow!! What a fantastic exhibition.

  27. What a fabulous exhibition, so colourful. I'm sure everyone must leave there with a smile on their face.

  28. Oh my, such an explosion of colour!! I love Kaffe Fassets work, and have to say I was really chuffed when you showed that the reverse of his work is not exactly tidy!!


  29. Dear Amy
    Thanks you for sharing your visit. What an explosion of colour! I love it...
    Best wishes

  30. Hi Amy, Happy Birthday! (belated, I have missed some posts!) I can see why you you wanted to go there, gorgeous color everywhere!! I never even knew that museum existed! I liked the tree decorations, would look nice if they are lights. thanks for sharing your day. :)

  31. Hi Amy,

    Happy belated birthday to you, and what a wonderful way to spend it! Thank you for introducing me to the beautiful and colourful works of Kaffe Fasset, a most talented artist, indeed! I love the vegetable ensemble and the many stitching pieces - glorious colour! Have a lovely Wednesday!


  32. OH MY!!!!!!!! What a wonderful post. I have enjoyed Reading it and seeing all those amazing photos. Thank you for sharing Amy :) I love Kaffe Fasett, I love how he uses colour it's so inspiring. Whenever I see a bit of yarn bombing it makes my day too xx

  33. Hi Amy! Oh, thank you so much! I really would have loved to see all these exhibits in person, I had heard about the exhibition a short while ago! You made that dream come true by sharing your experience and all these lovely photos with all of us! What a fab way to spend your birthday! I love Kaffe's work, still got his knitting book I bought in the Eighties! It gave me such a love of using colours in the things I do now! (Is this the reason why I always want to buy a whole rainbow of wool, I wonder?)

    I'm sure you must be very inspired!!!

    Thanks again! What a thrilling post!
    Ingrid xx

  34. Hi Amy, I'd like to nominate you for the Liebster Award if that's alright with you. I'll post the details on my blog. Hope you're alright with that.

  35. Oh, WOW, Amy!! Thank you so much for introducing me to this amazing designer! Makes me giddy... all those beautiful colors and designs! WOW! Thank you again. blessings ~ tanna
    ps you can just shut off anonymous comments in your blog settings and this will take care of almost ALL spam. Then set your moderation to any comments over 14 days. No verification necessary.

  36. Fabulous, fabulous fabulous, superb post, such brilliant vibrant colours, designs, textures, really felt we were walking around with you. Really will have to put it on my to visit list if we do come back in October. Sorry to miss your birthday, so belated greetings, no need to ask if you had a good day lol xcx

  37. What a wonderful post! The colours are amazing in his work, and so inspiring, so great you got to touch samples!! Hope you had a wonderful bday :) xx

  38. I really enjoy his work. If you like him, you should read his book. It's full of personality and beautiful photos.

  39. Color, fabric, fiber, ceramics...what a happy birthday outing! Just beautiful! And the gorgeous stitched wall-hanging of the hollyhocks...dreamy. I have determined that I will plant hollyhocks in the front of my log home next year. A little bit of England in the mountains. :)

  40. I liked his knitwear back in the 80s, but I just don't like all his highly coloured stuff.

  41. AMAZING indeed!!!!!!! Tanna is right about the spam comments.You don't need word verification.

  42. How wonderful Amy! Such amazing photos. Must have been great to see his work up close. I keep borrowing his books from the library here and love the colours and patterns. Not sure i'd wear the jumpers, but the throws and cushions are wonderful. I love the quotes too. Fab! T x

  43. Love the tree with the lanterns

  44. I wish the American Museum was closer to us as I'd love to see the Kaffe exhibition. I used to watch his knitting programme way back and love what he did with needlepoint and now quilts - in fact I have some of his fabric in my latest quilt. Thanks for the detailed virtual tour. x

  45. Wonderful post Amy. I've seen Kaffe's work on several occasions and I'm always blown away by it but this looks like an amazing exhibition. The sheer volume of his output is mind blowing. Love that lantern tree too.

  46. Wow, this was a great post Amy. The colour is amazing, I have never heard of Kaffe before, what a treat that you got to go there on your birthday! The lampshade tree is so pretty, I have never seen anything like it. Ha ha. And the ceramics are very interesting too. It looks like you had a really great day. :)


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