A Day With Kaffe At Missouri Star
I am off to California for the Pacific International Show early tomorrow so you are receiving Tuesday's Tip a bit early this week.
About fifteen years ago I went to the Minneapolis Museum of Art for a show featuring Kaffe Fasset's quilts and knitting. I had seen his books and was intrigued but didn't know that much about his work. That show changed everything about how and what I quilted. In fact, I couldn't get home fast enough. As soon as I had gone through the gallery I went home immediately and had to sew. I purchased each his books and made at least fifteen of his quilts. His work inspired me so, I can't explain how much it affected me and has continued through the years.
My goal was to meet him someday which I really didn't think would ever happen but I was wrong. IT HAPPENED! I was home late last week Tuesday night preparing for a show in California when I received a call from my friend, Susan Brown, who happens to be the Retreat Coordinator for Missouri Star. She knows that I am a Kaffe fan. Kaffe was in Hamilton for classes this past week. It just happened there was a death in a family of someone who was suppose to attend and they had to cancel. It is very unusual for me not to have something planned but it so happened that I was free on Friday so I jumped at the chance to take the class. I didn't know what he was teaching but I didn't care. I was going to meet Kaffe Fasset!
I had just spent the entire day cleaning my sewing room so finding the things I needed was fairly easy. I didn't have time to shop for any fabric for this project but figured I would throw what I had in a pile and if I really needed anything the 13 fabric stores in Hamilton would probably have what I needed.
I took off for Hamilton about 8:30 Thursday morning. It is about a seven hour drive from Minneapolis. I had time and it was a sunny fall day. Great traveling. I listened to my library book all the way and finished it just about 20 minutes before I arrived.
I had been to Hamilton before but I had not been to the Retreat Center so I was eager to see the facility. I found Susan and she gave me a tour and there was even some evening entertainment.
As I walked in the door I thought it truly was Jenny waiting for me but it was a great cardboard cutout of her. That would have to do. The working space at the Retreat Center has everything a quilter needs, great lighting, tables and chairs that are comfortable and tasty food. What more could you ask for?
Several people were celebrating their birthday at retreat so "Marilyn" (Cindy) showed up to serenade them. It was pretty special.
I was lucky enough to spend the night at the Mini-Retreat across the street. I was amazed at the wonderful bed and bedding. Really comfortable. I felt like I was sleeping on a cloud. T
Class was at 9:30 so I had breakfast at the Retreat Center and then off to the Hotel Hamilton where the class was to be held. It too was a great space with everything supplied that was needed. The helpers, Meg, Courtney and Jean were there for for all our needs. All of the staff at Missouri Star were friendly and helpful. Lunch and snacks were impressive. We each received a Kaffe Fasset book, his grey flannel for designing walls and a Missouri Star ruler.
The class began on time and we were encouraged to be a bit quiet and work hard on our own designs. It was suggested that we not ask our neighbor for opinions but play with the fabric we had chosen. Kaffe brings his partner, Brandon, with him for the classes. Brandon was very helpful. He also introduced the word peckish into the conversation. I have to say I had seen the word previously but never heard someone use it in a sentence. Next time I am hungry I will spice up my conversation with it. Brandon is the source of many of Kaffe fabric designs and very talented.
The class was about color. We did no sewing but we designed for the day. There was music playing and the mood was uplifting. I was impressed with how kind and complimentary both Kaffe and Brandon were when working with students and I was thrilled when he seemed impressed with what I came up with.
At the end of the class Kaffe took the time to review all 30 of the designs that we made. He critiqued every project individually. We learned so much from each of the quilts that were planned. His patience and kindness were exceptional.
I was blown away with what we learned. Each one of those 30 quilts were a work of art!
I couldn't wait to get home and begin putting mine together. As soon as he was done talking I packed up my things and drove home as fast as I could. It didn't hurt that the weather in Minneapolis was changing and we were getting our first snow storm.
I made it home by 10:30 and the snow had started only about 40 minutes before I got there. Perfect! I could plan on doing some sewing on Saturday! I had to get back to the project. I was more enthused than I had been at his show at the museum all those years ago.
I had about four hours that I could concentrate on my quilt. After those four hours I looked around at my previously pristine quilting space and realized what I mess I made. But hey, I had just spent eight hours with one of the best designers I know and I was making my own work of art!
Who cares what my studio looks like? Tossing fabric here or there is just fine. I gotta say the process is so fun!
My tip for this week is - Find the thing that inspires you and take some chances.
You might find yourself having the best time of your life.
I will be in Santa Clara at the Pacific International show this week. Stop by my booth 730. You might find a Halloween treat there.
I give you my Irish goodbye.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Green Bean Dumpling Soup
This is the perfect time of the year for this soup. It was one of the most requested soups we made at the restaurant.
5 c. diced potatoes 8 c. water
5 c. green beans, cut up 2 T. chicken broth
Cook the potatoes and green beans in the water and chicken broth until they are tender.
4 c. flour dash salt and pepper
4 eggs dash onion powder
1/2 c. water
Mix flour, eggs, water and spices together with a whisk . Drop by spoonful into the soup making sure the water is very hot.
4 c. mil or half and half
Add the milk or half and half to the rest of the soup. Be careful not to overcook as it will curdle if overcooked.
“You've got to take your chances in life, don't ignore the opportunities when the crop up as you don't get that many, every little helps, the small victories are important because that's your lot.” ― John King,