Learning From One of the Best

I'm a big fan of Aussie quilters. I love their use of color and I'm kind of obsessed with their use of applique and folk themed designs. And I don't know of a quilting demographic that's more proficient in using Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably's fabrics.

I think I've mentioned here before that I want to push myself to overcome some....what's the word?....fear...of incorporating Kaffe's fabrics into my pieces. I gravitate toward geometrics and bright, clean colors. I rarely - and I mean rarely - buy anything with brown in it and I avoid complicated color pairings because even though I like them in other people's quilts, for some reason my eye doesn't ever seem as pleased with what I do.

I own Material Obsession II by Sarah Fielke and Kathy Doughty which is one of my favorite quilting books ever. I absolutely love the designs and the use of color in this book. And the photography is beautiful - not over styled or fluffy.

Forgive me for the picture quality here.

This is my favorite quilt in the book. I love Sarah's use of color and the clever way she set the blocks. And the hand quilting - good Lord in heaven.

This block in particular intrigues me. I love the prints that she uses - all small-scale prints but not really in the same family in terms of style. And the mixture of the oranges with the browns and blues - the stripes and the teeny tiny squirrels - the art-deco curves and the reproduction-style floral.....
Blows. My. Mind.
But here's where I get tripped up.
Why does this work?
What about this combination of color works?
I've seriously been thinking about this since I bought this book over 2 years ago.

And this middle one.
I would never have thought to pair that millefore Fassett print with pink!!
But it works.
And lastly, this sucker puts me over the edge.
Turquoise, pink, rusty brown and yellow.
Who does this?
Who thinks - yes, this will look lovely?
I know who.
Sarah Freaking Fielke, that's who.
I'm planning on taking her Craftsy class because a good friend recommended it. And I'm going to continue to try and wrap my brain around the whys, hows and whats of what makes this quilt - and everything else that Fielke woman makes - so dang lovely.
Click picture to get to Craftsy's site.
This will be an ongoing story here, kids. I'm goin to pull some fabrics for the first block this weekend and see what I come up with.


  1. There's so very much to learn from other quilters. I'm continually amazed at the colors and fabrics other quilters think to put together. Good luck on your class.:)

  2. I don't have any answer, but I totally agree with you. I tend to be all matchy-matchy, or else it just comes out looking like a hodge-podge. I hope I will develop this skill over time! The class sounds fun!

  3. I have that class in my queue. I haven't watched it yet.

  4. I completely share your Aussie obsession! We should go... I think in this quilt there is a good balance of warm and cool colors in each block and lots of white based dots prints to unify it. Am sure your version of this quilt will be Sarah worthy!

    1. We should go. Maybe Sarah would let us crash at her house....

  5. I think the answer is just that we are a brave nation when it comes to colour selection.

    You should check out Kathy's latest book - similarly spectacular! I've also heard great thing about Sarah's latest, but I haven't seen it for myself yet.

    1. I just saw that Kathy has a new book. She's so skilled and I LOVE her applique work. Stunning.

  6. One piece of the puzzle, maybe? I've read that brown contains all colors within it so it goes with all colors and enables them to shine. Also, some of what works here might be as much about value as it is about color.

    1. Wow. What great little nuggets of wisdom! I had never thought of it that way, but it totally makes sense. Thank you, thank you.

  7. Thank you Andie!! Blushing over here on the other side of the world :) xxx

  8. Just go with it Andie, step into the colour!

  9. I agree. The balls on those Aussies... Just plain awesome quilts. I feel so very vanilla in my fabric selections when compared. I am challenged (in a good way) to think beyond my color box when pairing colors. I'm looking forward to reading Sarah Fielke's new book. But maybe I should take her class too.


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