Denyse Schmidt, modern quilter and fabric designer

denyse schmidt goes retro with stonington collection

by Patricia Belyea

Seattle WA / Bridgeport CT  Last week I talked with modern-quilt leader Denyse Schmidt about her current fabric collection, Stonington, offered through FreeSpirit. She reflected on the inspiration for the fabric designs as well as the challenging quilt project she is working on.

In the 1970s, Ali MacGraw stole every school girl's heart with her college student role in the romantic drama Love Story. Seen in jeans and a bandana (L), Ali was adored as an all-American idol. Her young fans included Denyse who is seen below (R) in a bandana print shirt dress in the sixth grade.

Denyse Schmidt Inspiration

Denyse’s new fabric collection, Stonington, plays homage to an enclave of classic Yankee style—Stonington, Connecticut. This beach-front town takes you back in time with its 19th century wooden houses, historic lighthouse, and down-home types who have lived there forever.

The Stonington fabric designs include a bandana print, stripes, dots, plaids and other updated Americana motifs.

Stonington Collection by Denyse Schmidt

The patriotic palette of Stonington includes warm red, chrome yellow, and clear blue—a designer’s take on red, white, and blue. The fresh yet traditional fabrics, can be applied to almost any quilt design including Denyse’s Hills ’n’ Hollers (shown L).

Quilt Ideas with Stonington Collection by Denyse Schmidt

Denyse is well-known for her pattern The Proverbial Quilt. Based on an old-fashioned talking quilt, the pattern shows makers how to piece the letters in the alphabet to express their thoughts about the world around them.

The Proverbial Quilt by Denyse Schmidt

Thinking about this election cycle and how to exercise our right to quilt, Denyse designed a new version of The Proverbial Quilt for 2016.

Sketch by Denyse Schmidt

With a simple message of VOTE, Denyse expresses the importance of all citizens to make themselves heard.

VOTE Quilt by Denyse Schmidt

Denyse has found the election news emotionally and intellectually confusing. Some of the stitching on the VOTE quilt was done during the presidential debates while other evenings Denyse just couldn’t pick the project up. So she is behind schedule on completing hew newest quilt.

Denyse Schmidt Election Quilt

The project will get finished as Denyse is taking her VOTE quilt to Market in Houston later this month. And Denyse will be voting on November 8, as she hopes everyone else will this year.

To learn more about Denyse, her book, her quilts and her workshops +click here