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


You may also like

soaring stitches: blog book
soaring stitches: blog book
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  Over a year and a half ago, I started writing a book about creativity for quilters. M...
Read More
colorful philippa naylor
colorful philippa naylor
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  I was completely taken by Bird By Bird at the 2014 Festival of Quilts in Birmingham ...
Read More
summer fun: koinobori
summer fun: koinobori
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA Koinobori decorate the landscape of Japan from April to early May, culminating in the ...
Read More
my one-yard challenge
my one-yard challenge
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  I challenged myself to make a baby quilt using just one yard of yukata cotton and sti...
Read More
four garden quilts
four garden quilts
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  On April 13, Jane Sassaman wrote this Instagram post: I have put together a few texti...
Read More
joe cunningham: quiltmaking as a way to be free
joe cunningham: quiltmaking as a way to be free
By Joe Cunningham SAN FRANCISCO  When I started making quilts 40 years ago I learned that there were certain tech...
Read More


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published


2 comments


  • Barbara
    I quilt to satisfy my need to create. I love that while it’s something I enjoy doing while also keeping my loved ones warm while they sleep. It’s both a loving act and a very selfish one.

  • Norma Petersen
    So excited to see this collection…I am from the area…

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published