Quilts in Ireland
by Kaffe Fassett
The Taunton Press, Incorporated, 2017
A review by Susan Voight
Recently, my mother spotted a library book that she thought might interest me. She told me it was called Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in Ireland and asked me if I wanted to see it. “Gosh, yes I want to see it!”, I replied. Immediately, we checked the book out of the library and I was thrilled by even just the cover of it. The content turned out to be every bit as interesting as I’d hoped.
This is a good sized book, in that the pages are approximately the size of standard copy paper. Filled with gorgeous photos, it was nice that the photos were large enough to see the details of the fabrics and designs. The fabric of the quilts, of course, is from Kaffe’s collection. The quilts are credited to many other contributors including Lisa Prior Lucy, Brandon Mably, Janet Haigh, Judy Baldwin, Sally Davis, Corienne Kramer, and Julie Stockler. This books shares the beauty of Ireland’s landscapes, architecture and culture, as it features the many colorful quilts. I probably don’t need to use the word “colorful” when talking about Kaffee Fassett fabric, it’s just a given. A few of the photos capture the images of either Kaffe or Brandon, Kaffe’s partner. I especially liked a photo of Brandon surrounded by three puppies because it looks like Brandon was not sure what to make of three puppies intently eyeing his shoes. I enjoyed that the publisher shared the fun of the photo shoot with us.
The book contains 160 pages of large, color photos of the twenty quilts, and detailed instructions for making each. There are quilts available for every skill level. A usual characteristic of Kaffe Fassett’s fabric design is the use of larger motifs. Use of larger pieces nicely features the larger prints and often allows for quick construction of a good sized quilt. The quilt called “Whirling Stripes” is constructed using foundation paper piecing. “Byzantile Lozenges” contains smaller pieces connected with Y seams. There are techniques for the novice to experienced quilter.
To be honest, not everyone enjoys Fassett’s colorful designs. Some might even call them retina-searing, as I have heard in the past. However, many of us enjoy the explosion of vibrant color and its use in both traditional and modern quilts. This book illustrates both piecing styles. The book’s cover features the “Red Log Cabin” quilt. Although the log cabin quilt is certainly traditional, the use of color in this one makes it fun, funky and modern. The thorough instructions include the fabric inventory numbers so that one may find the exact fabric used in the photographed quilt. With the detailed illustrations and instructions, I believe this book is one worth owning, although I am happy to have had the chance to view it at my public library.