Kaffe Fassett, iconic fabric and knitwear designer, is currently celebrating his remarkable career of 50 years in the craft industry!
To join in with the anniversary celebrations, we've created our own list of reasons why Kaffe is one of the most inspirational crafters around...
1. He got the nation crafting, before it was fashionable! In 1985, Kaffe launched a project on the TV programme 'Pebble Mill at One', inviting viewers to needlepoint an image of their favourite thing. Over 2,600 entries were sent in. Since then Kaffe has continued to inspire thousands of crafters to use rich palettes of colour, or to try a new craft for the first time.
2. Now 77 years old, he still works relentlessly. Kaffe's craft talents include needlepoint, mosaics, tapestries, costume and set design, rugmaking, knitting, fabric design, and quilting. He still travels worldwide, teaching and lecturing, and releases at least one new quilting book each year.
3. He passes on his knowledge and enthusiasm. Kaffe runs lectures and workshops around the world throughout the year. Jenna has been lucky enough to attend one of Kaffe's colour workshops and encourages her own students to take any opportunity to go to one. His current calendar of events is always available on his website kaffefassett.com.
4. He believes anyone and everyone can try it - and do it! In his own words, working with colour is not an 'intellectual game'.
"The main thing is to have a go at trying out colours, the wilder the better. None of us designers really know what works until we see it, so sampling becomes wonderfully exciting as you stumble on really unpredictable and interesting colours."
5. He tore up and reinvented the rulebook. Kaffe dropped out of art college when he started to be taught the 'rules' of colour - believing that colour was instinctive, and shouldn't be treated scientifically. How often have you laboured over whether a particular shade or tone is "right"? Why not take a leaf out of Kaffe's anti-rulebook!
"Good designing follows no rules: remaining open to the unexpected is paramount."
6. The glorious fabrics! Kaffe and his team create beautiful fabric designs - so it's easy to get started on a colourful project of your own - and we stock them in the shop! We now have selected Kaffe fabrics on sale at half price - these are from previous season collections, and many of his prints are limited edition - so once they're gone, they really are gone! As well as fabrics on the bolt, we have a wide selection of fat quarters to help you get started on your Kaffe-inspired projects!
7. He encourages men to get crafting too... in fact he encourages all of us not to let anything hold us back.
"Though knitting is overwhelmingly considered a female activity, I never saw it as exclusively so. I loved doing it and had so much to explore in the field that it never occurred to me to be put off doing it."
8. His patchwork and quilt designs are suitable for beginners. Kaffe often works with very simple shapes, and his quilting books are written like recipe books, which makes many of his ideas and designs perfectly suitable for beginners.
9. He lives by his personal maxim of 'finding colour in a grey world'. Widely regarded as Britain's greatest colourist, Kaffe is best known for his vibrant colours and adept way of putting them together. But don't worry - he certainly caters for pastel palettes in his fabric designs too!
So why not join in with the celebrations, come into the shop and see the colour for yourself! All it takes is a few fat quarters, some inspiration - and you too will be 'dreaming in colour'!