Friday, 13 June 2014

Kaffe Fassett Exhibition at The American Museum

Last week I had a few days away with my sister in Bath.
I had wanted to visit the American Museum (just outside Bath) for ages. I had a book of their quilts many years ago and had always longed to view their quilt collection.

This summer they are hosting a Kaffe Fassett Exhibition so it seemed a perfect opportunity to finally make that visit.
A shuttle bus brings you from Bath to the museum and as you get close to the house one of the first things you see are these glorious yarn-bombed lamp shades.

In front of the gallery that houses the Kaffe exhibition is this huge tree completely covered in fabric (Kaffe of course!) lampshades and pom-poms!

With this incredibly bright crochet covering the tree trunk!

There were Kaffe touches all around, like this fabric bunting around the cafe and shop building.

Once inside the building it's the colour saturation that really hits you. The exhibit below was a flavour of Kaffe's studio and inspirations.

Because each area was lit with different colours it was quite difficult to photograph but hopefully the next few photos will give you an idea of the exhibition.

I have been a Kaffe fan for so many years now, first getting in to him through needlepoint. Some of you may know that my first business was as a designer and manufacturer of needlepoint kits and Kaffe was such an inspirartion to me. At that time (25 odd years ago now) he was still producing amazing knitting too.

Having moved on to quilting myself I was delighted when Kaffe got in to this too. I love this blue star quilt above.

There were quite a few of these glass cases around, which not only had all sorts of Kaffe made (or designed) pieces in but also some of the items that had inspired him.

The colours changed from room to room. I love the fact he mixes patterns and crafts. This tumbling log wall hanging was all needlepoint rather than patchwork.

It was wonderful to see all his craft pieces mixed together: quilts, knitting and needlepoint/tapestry.

This green tableau was my favourite, I've always loved his cabbage designs.

This large flower wall hanging was worked in long and short stitches, it's huge! All of the textiles in this room made me long to try my hand at needlepoint again.

After all that intense colour it was lovely to see some Kaffe pieces hanging in the main museum including this stunning and massive quilt.

So much to look at in this piece!

Of course I made sure I had time to view the American Museum's quilt collection before I left.

And as always when I am looking at old quilts I am so amazed at how modern they all look!

And also how beautiful and tiny the hand quilting is.

The quilts were displayed behind perspex in large flapping 'poster' hangers that you could swing back and forth. Hence the reflections on the photos.

How modern is this one above?!

They have a really stunning collection which is well worth a visit on it's own. Plus the museum is really fascinating in itself.

In the foyer of the main building were 2 large flower boxes each under a Kaffe fabric design orirginal framed print.

All of the flowers and leaves had been made from fabric or wool!

Here is a close up of the fabric design original, my favourite cabbages again.

I loved my visit to Bath, what a beautiful city, and the highlight was definitely this trip to the American Museum and the Kaffe Fassett exhibition. I hope you enjoyed your virtual tour along with me.
Details about the exhibition and museum here.


  1. Thank you for the pictures! What a fabulous exhibition this must be, I would love to see it. The hollyhock wall hanging is especially beautiful!

  2. A veritable feast for the eyes! The massive quilt in the main museum is the one which stands out to me - amazing.

  3. Fab Jo, quite envious that you were on my home turf and enjoying Bath, great to see all that colour - Chris :D

  4. Oh wow, I had forgotten this was on..must go, it looks amazing. I only live in Bristol so no excuses!

  5. Thank you for all the wonderful images. I really love the last Kaffe one with all the different blocks, not his usual style. It looks like this exhibition is even better than the London one last year. I first saw his quilts at the American Museum many years ago and it was a great day out. xx

  6. Whoa! Thanks for the tour...I'm so jealous!

    Did you get a straight on shot of that last quilt of his that's hanging in the main museum?

  7. Looks like a fun tour, love the lamp posts

  8. Thanks so much for this tour! I loved it!

  9. Hi There Jo,
    Thanks for the beautiful pictures from Bath, I will be visiting in October when our Quilt Group go to take part in one of their Sewing Bees in the Quilt Room. We are lucky enough to have this house on our doorstep and go to sew twice a year. Your post is a taste of what's to come. So glad you enjoyed your visit.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Great post. Our quilt group are going next month. I love Kaffe too and this will be an opportunity to see some of his other work. Did you get to the exhibition at the Welsh Quilt Centre in Lampeter? Loved the saturated colour.

  14. It is interesring to hear about an "American Museum". Living in America, I didn't realize that yes we can be museum stuff. I think I am just spoiled because of all the quilt related shows, shops and teachers I have access to in Portland Oregon. Thanks for the tour.