Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stitch in time with expert Kaffe Fassett

Fassettís color and design attracts sewing enthusiasts

Express Staff Writer

London-based Kaffe Fassett visits the Wood River Valley as a guest instructor with Brandon Malby for Isabelís Needlepointís annual retreat. Photo by

Kaffe Fassett, one of the most important and influential needlepoint artists known today, will visit the Wood River Valley for Isabel's Needlepoint shop's annual retreat. The retreat will take place Monday, Sept. 28, through Friday, Oct. 2, with classes in Sun Valley and Hailey.

Fassett and his colleague Brandon Mably will present several workshops on needlepoint, knitting, painting and quilting. The classes are $200 per day. A lecture followed by a book signing will take place at the Sun Valley Opera House on Monday, Sept. 28, at 5 p.m. The lecture is $30.

"Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably are extraordinary and there is no one like Kaffe in this field," said Jennifer Wilson, owner of Isabel's Needlepoint.

Wilson's shop is not just a place to buy yarn and patterns, but a place where needlepoint culture flourishes. Women from all over the U.S. come to the store and share ideas and needlepoint. Bringing needlepoint's most coveted artist to the valley has also attracted Wilson's wide customer base.

"Our little community is very appreciative of what these guys do because Kaffe and Brandon have an appreciation for color and an open mind," she said. "Kaffe's mind is wired in a completely original way,"

Wilson scheduled the painting workshop at the Ezra Pound House in Hailey because she said the facility is wonderful. Wilson was involved in the preservation of the house and her shop is named for Pound's mother, Isabel.

"The needlepoint shop has the same feeling that people have about a bookstore," Wilson said. "People come in and the colors are very soothing and inspirational at the same time. It addresses the psyche on many different levels."

Inspired by a sewing class at Isabel's, Barbara Berry invented the Knit Kit, an accessory tool for knitters coined in the industry as the "Swiss army knife" of knitting. She is now selling her product in over 700 stores in the U.S. as well as 17 other countries.

"Customers and store enthusiasts are wonderful," Wilson said. "People should really attend Kaffe's lecture because it will be an opportunity to hear about color, and what he has to say because he combines color in ways no one would ever imagine."

The quilting class will be held at the Sun Valley Fabric Granary in Hailey on Friday, Oct. 2. The class is $200 and space is limited. For details on the week's retreat, call 725-0408.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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