Summer Reading 2014

Shots and Stripes

August 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Books

Stripes, quilts, and my new idol

Kaffe Fassett quilts : shots and stripes : 24 new projects made with shot cottons and striped fabrics, by Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy

Reviewed by Renee Schmutz-Sowards, BCPL circulation specialist

I grabbed this book simply because it was new, featured artsy yet simple looking quilts on the cover, and the word stripes was in the title. I did not expect to find within its pages my new idol! (Sorry David Bowie.)shots and stripes

To understand why I love this book more than other quilting book and why I want to grow up to be this author you’ll need to know some things about me. First, I sew. I make clothes and that’s what I’m good at. However, every now and then I get cocky, look at my growing collection of scrap fabric bits that I (only semi-obsessively) hoard and smugly think to myself “I’ll make a quilt. It will be so easy. Certainly easier than clothing! It’s flat! No curving seams! I’ll have it done by the weekend.”

I’ve yet to finish a quilt in less than years (yes, years. The plural of year). And every time I swear never again. I have, however, developed far more respect for quilters in the process. I also suspect they must be more than slightly nuts, so it’s a wary sort of respect.

It’s been over three years since my last quilt-adventure, my scrap stash is just short of epic, and I heard somewhere that winter is coming.

Also, of all the material that I love (Velvet! Linen! Damask! Brocade!), my absolute favorite are stripes … preferably woven stripes. If there is a bolt of woven striped fabric, chances are good I will take it home and swear that someday I will finally make The Perfect Striped Skirt.

Second only to stripes on my obsession level are cross-woven cottons, also called “shot” cottons. These are cotton fabrics that are woven with one color of thread in one direction, and a different color in the other direction, creating an iridescent effect

Once you understand these personality quirks it becomes clear why, in my eyes, Mr. Kaffe Fassett has reached the veritable pinnacle of awesomeness.

He designs fabric. He specializes in woven stripes and shot-cottons, although he also has designed some rockin’ patterned fabrics, too. And, as if that is not cool enough, he then wrote a book about making quilts using only stripes and shot-cottons.

Best. Job. EVER.

This book is filled with stunning, novel quilts made all the more striking by the exclusive use of shot and striped fabrics. Each quilt has been photographed against vibrant backgrounds found along England’s southern coast. The instructions for recreating each practical masterpiece are clear and precise. Scaled pattern pieces and a list of resources to find Mr. Fassett’s inspiring fabrics are included.

All I need to do is decide between making the “Jambo Throw”, the “Japanese Rags”, or tackle the ambitious “African Collage” and get started.

And when my toddler reaches middle school I might have a somewhat square quilt that will look nothing like anything in this book, but will at least (hopefully) fit the bed and keep us warm.

Checkout this book, or any of our 60-plus quilting related books today! Look for them in the non-fiction section any BCPL branch, or reserve a copy by using the online catalog. Just click here.

 

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