Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Kaffe Fassett Mini Quilt Swap

I've been a fan of Kaffe Fassett's colour sensibility for a very long time. I used to look at his colourful knitting designs for Rowan and wish that I (or my mum) had the patience (and in my case, skill) to make a jumper or cardigan. When he started to design quilting fabrics, I would lust over them in quilt shops and imagine ways to use them. So I was delighted when a Kaffe Fassett Mini Quilt Swap was announced on Instagram.

My partner didn't list any specific likes or dislikes on her sign-up form, so I had free reign to create. I started with choosing a selection of fabrics in rich blues and purples, offset with bright lime green.

Fabrics from the Kaffe Fassett Collective in blues, purples and lime green

I designed a quilt based on an adaptation of a half pineapple block. My partner did say that she would prefer a small mini (!) so I drew up 6" foundation piecing papers for the blocks and started to sew. The quilt needed just four blocks, so it didn't take too long, but it did create quite a bit of mess in my sewing room.

Foundation piecing the blocks

I added sashing and cornerstones to finish the 15 inch square quilt top.

The quilt top ready for quilting

I decided to use quilting threads that would not fight too much with the beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics, so picked out a Sulky variegated thread in lime green, and a gorgeous Wonderfil Tutti thread in a ranges of blues and purples. I had not sewn with Wonderfil before, but I think I'm a convert. My machine liked it, it stitched beautifully and it left very little lint. I stitched in the ditch around all the lime green squares and triangles, before adding little free-motion flower motifs in lime green thread. After that, I switched to the purple/blue thread and stitched long spindly curls which remind me a little of water lilies or chrysanthemums.

Detail of quilting in progress

I chose a green shot cotton for the back of this quilt, and I couldn't be more pleased with how the quilting looks from the back. It feels great to have gained enough confidence to use contrasting threads.

The finished quilting from the back of the quilt

After quilting, I completed the quilt with another shot cotton - this time purple for the binding. I had been worried that the busy Kaffe Fassett prints might detract from the overall quilt design, but I think using similarly coloured fabrics makes this hang together pretty well.

The finished quilt

And here's the quilt that came to live with me - made by Kari in Pennsylvania. On my sign up form, I had said that I love aqua and red and plenty of quilting, and Kari did a great job of choosing fabrics and sewing a quilt that I love. It looks fantastic in my sewing room, along with my spoils from other mini quilt swaps.

The quilt that came to live with me

If you would like to see more of the quilts made for this swap, check out the #KaffeMiniSwap hashtag on Instagram. There are some really amazing and inventive quilts.