I was lucky enough to attend a workshop recently with Kaffe Fassett and his fabric designing, patchwork creator and partner Brandon Mably. I was happy and anxious to take this workshop for many reasons, mostly because it really was a bucket list thing for me to take a workshop from the master of color himself. Luckily enough, the people at my job and my family were encouraging of me to take a day for myself and to travel to Lafayette, CA to spend learning about snowball quilts and tackling the all important element of color.
I have to start by saying that I learned so much. And, what I learned was completely everything I didn’t expect to learn. Let me back up. During the day at the shop, I help people all day long with their selections of fabric with particular attention to how several fabrics may look together. So, I really thought I had my act together with the fabrics I had brought. In fact, I had chosen and re-chosen many different sets of fabrics with my ‘final answer’ fabrics chosen only the night before. Immediately, Kaffe came over to my tidy basket of cut squares and said, “These are lovely fabrics, but not for this workshop.” I wilted and my stomach tightened all at once. Thank goodness they had heaps and heaps of fabrics there on hand. I walked over to the lot and started choosing anything with pink, yellow and orange in it with little thought to much else. At that moment my education in color started. The message he gave me was, “Work quickly, an artist has much to do. Don’t overthink anything too much.” And from Brandon Mably, who kept offering me other fabrics that I didn’t like, “I’m looking for a reaction, not a reason why you don’t like it.” I started to think differently – or, rather, to turn off the thinker and to get in touch with something visceral, something instinctive. Let the color do the talking.
For the rest of the day, my two teachers were calling out to me from across the room and referring to me as “Mrs. Yellow” and I loved them! I especially developed a small crush on Brandon, who whispered a few naughty things to me as he pointed to the pair of peaches in one of my snowball blocks. I’ll let you all wonder about that! I cut fabric with abandon, spent too much money on fabric I didn’t necessarily need (or would have chosen on my own before the workshop) and I loved every minute of it.