Denyse Schmidt

Denyse Schmidt

Denyse Schmidt Quilts – a modern take on the classic quilt
A former graphic designer and graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Denyse Schmidt has been sewing since she was a young girl. As a professional seamstress, Denyse worked on everything from tutus and bishop’s mitres to fine clothing. She brings these eclectic influences together in patchwork quilts characterized by simple graphics, rich color, and quality workmanship. Firmly rooted in the techniques of quilt-making, Denyse reinterprets tradition to make modern functional quilts that are fresh and offbeat. Her Couture and Custom quilts, in production since 1996, are pieced to order in her studio and handquilted by Amish women. Denyse Schmidt Works, a line of machine-quilted pillows and quilts with an industrial-chic aesthetic, are made at her studio located in a historic Bridgeport, CT factory building. Clients of DSQ have included The Philip Johnson Glass House, Ralph Pucci, Takashimaya, Zona, The University of Michigan Art Museum, and The American Folk Art Museum. Denyse’s work has been exhibited at the National Quilt Museum, The New England Quilt Museum, and boutique shops and galleries around the country. She teaches her improvisational workshops across the country. Denyse’s licensing partnerships include/have included her books Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration (STC Craft 2012) and Denyse Schmidt Quilts (Chronicle Books 2005); vintage-inspired consumer fabrics with FreeSpirit/Westminster Fibers Lifestyle Fabrics; fabric for chain store distribution under the name DS Quilts Collection with Fabric Traditions; and Denyse Schmidt Designs for Sarita Handa (2004-2011) for quilts and accessories distributed through specialty shops and catalogs worldwide (including Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Sundance Catalog, Neiman Marcus, and ABC Carpet).

Denyse delivered the keynote address at the Modern Quilt Guild’s inaugural conference QuiltCon in 2013. Denyse’s journals and drawings are featured in Drawing From Life, The Journal as Art by Jennifer New (Princeton Architectural Press, June 2005). Denyse has contributed writing for several books, including an essay for Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 by Roderick Kiracofe (STC, fall 2014); a foreword for Block Party (Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks, Stash Books,2011), and a chapter about Improvisational Quilting for The Essential Guide to Modern Quilting (Susanne Woods, Lucky Spool, 2014). Her quilts are featured in American Contemporary Furniture (Rizzoli International Publications, 2000), and Diamond Baratta Design (Bulfinch, 2006). Denyse’s approach to design and business, and her work has been celebrated in print, including Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco (Chronicle Books, 2007), You Can Do It by Lauren Catuzzi Grancolas (Chronicle Books, 2005), and TheCrafter Culture Handbook by Amy Spencer (Marion Boyers, 2007). Denyse’s work has been published in hundreds of distinguished magazines and newspapers world wide, including: The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Magazine, TIME, AmericanCraft, Yankee Magazine, O the Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Country Living, Town & Country and People Magazine. She has appeared on several national television shows, including Martha Stewart Living.

Denyse Schmidt grew up in central Massachusetts, surrounded by the textile mill towns prevalent in that area. She lives in Bridgeport, CT.

Free Wheeling Single Girl
Thursday, June 13, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Domestic Sewing Machine

Spend the day with Denyse Schmidt, making your own version of her best-selling Single Girl pattern. Learn how to bypass the repetitive (and let’s face it – tedious) tracing and cutting of dozens of pattern pieces, and transform the patchwork process into an in-the-moment creative flow. This simple technique will have you stitching up Single Girl blocks quickly and easily, and change your perspective about any quilt pattern! You’ll receive hands-on guidance and instruction in creating your Free Wheeling Single Girl, including options for overall composition and finishing your project at home. You will finish 2 to 5 blocks in a day-long workshop.Pattern – A copy of the FWSG pattern is required for the workshop. Bring your own copy or I will have them available at a discount of $10 each.
Acrylic template sets aren’t required, but make cutting easier! They cost $45 for the set. Email me in advance if you want a set – info@dsquilts.comSupplies:
What You Need:
For the rings:
Any assortment of fabrics for your rings. Choose a mix of prints and solids in various colors, scale and texture for a vintage scrap-quilt look, or narrow your choices to a single hue for a more sophisticated feel. Scraps, design rolls, and fat eighths will work to gather a wide range of choices if you wish.

For the Background:
Choose a solid color that showcases your ring fabric choices or a color (or colors) that camouflages or disrupts the ring pattern, depending on the overall effect you want to create. See the fabric requirements below for total yardage amounts for the size quilt you intend to finish, but bring just enough for finishing 2 to 4 blocks to the workshop!

Tools & Equipment:
*Fabric shears/snips
*Cutting mat/rotary cutter/acrylic ruler (a 28mm blade makes it easier to cut curved pieces than larger blades).
*Sketchbook/pens or pencils
*Digital camera or phone
*Template making supplies: template plastic or thin cardboard (a legal size file folder is great), pencil, paper scissors
*2-yard piece of white flannel or cotton batting to use for a design wall
*Masking tape or pins for hanging blocks/design wall

Free-Wheeling Single Girl Yardage Requirements (Based on 45” wide fabric)
Baby – 50” x 50” – 4 rings
1/8 yard (or F8) each of 18 fabrics
Background and binding: 2 5/8 yards one color
Twin – 65” x 86” – 12 Rings
1/8 yard (or F8) each of 18 fabrics
Background and binding: 5 – ¼ yards one color
Queen – 86” x 93” – 16 rings
¼ yard (or FQ) each of 18 fabrics
Background and binding: 7 ¼ yards one color
King – 103” x 93” – 16 rings
¼ yard (or FQ) each of 20 fabrics
Background and binding: 8 1/8 yards one color
Use your favorite batting in the appropriate size
Sizes are based on US mattress size plus a roughly 13” drop on three sides

Sizes assume top and/or bottom borders on same sizes as instructed. To customize your quilt size, make the borders wider or narrower and adjust your fabric requirements accordingly.

Binding yardage is based on cutting 2 – ½” selvage to selvage strips sufficient for a double-fold, cross grain binding with mitered corners. Adjust for your preferred binding method.

Advanced Improv/Theme & Variation
Friday, June 14, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Domestic Sewing Machine

A single block pattern can yield an infinite number of variations. In this workshop, we’ll use improvisational patchwork to explore repetitions and variations on a theme. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the design elements of structure and composition, while building confidence in working with improvisation to create quilt tops that reflect your own voice. Suitable for quilters with some experience with improvisational patchwork who are ready for more in-depth exploration and refinement of the technique, however beginners can create exciting work!
What You Need to Bring
Bring a favorite traditional or original block pattern to work with. Your experience will feel more successful if you reduce your block choice to it’s most elemental form. Complexity and secondary patterns can emerge through variations developed in class.
You’ll need a total of about 3-6 yards for this (one-day) workshop, based on your preference for working large or small, and how fast (or slow) you typically work. This total should include mostly solids supplemented with prints and/or yarn-dye chambrays and wovens in a variety of values and hues, including neutrals. Please keep your color palette limited/simple and reflective of the block you choose. Most of the sample blocks shown above need only two or three colors or values to create the visual pattern. Broaden your fabric options with variations of a hue – for instance a wide range green hues (blue green, yellow-green, muddy green), and value (dark green, light green), A zinger (oddball fabrics) or two will go a long way. Think about incorporating something vintage that you don’t “love”.Tools and Equipment
• Fabric shears/snips
• Cutting mat/rotary cutter/acrylic ruler
• A sketchbook or paper and your preferred drawing tools
• Digital camera or phone
• 2-yard piece of white flannel or cotton batting to use for a design wall, unless supplied by the venue
• Masking tape or pins for hanging blocks/design wall
A Different Stripe
Saturday, June 15, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Domestic Sewing Machine
Join Denyse for hands–‐on sewing and fun, as she shows you how to improvise her “A Different Stripe” quilt pattern. Learn to trust your intuition, build your creative confidence, and streamline your patchwork process!
I’ll provide: your copy of the “A Different Stripe” pattern, and all the Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids fabric you need!
Materials fee is $25, and I can process all credit cards or take cash.Bring: Scissors, snips, thread, cutting mat/rotary cutter, sketchbook/pens, digital camera or phone.
Contact me at if you have questions.