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Denyse Schmidt Inspiration

Enjoy this wonderful guest post from Melissa, reviewing the new, fabulous book by quilt and fabric designer extraordinaire, Denyse Schimdt.  Thanks Melissa!


I had high hopes for Denyse Schmidt’s new book Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration, but I had no idea how strongly I would feel about it when I received it for my birthday last week. I HAVE STRONG FEELINGS, FOLKS. First off, it’s a beautiful book— something I’ve come to expect and appreciate from Melanie Fallick and the folks at STC. It’s lovely to hold, the styling is pitch perfect, and John Gruen did a wonderful job with the photography. Beyond that, you have an instructional book of twenty quilt patterns, containing thorough instructions, diagrams, and a pull-out template sheet. But what really hits it home is Denyse’s range with these quilts. She has included applique, block piecing, stamping and whole cloth patterns, all based on traditional quilts and blocks. This book is part history, part inspiration and a wholly useful addition to your sewing library.

When her first book came out (Denyse Schmidt Quilts, 30 Colorful Quilts and Patchwork Projects) I was a newish mom, just getting back into sewing and making for my little family. That book, along with Japanese sewing books, really changed my thinking about quilting. I fell hard for improvisational piecing and what “traditional” might look like using an updated palette and modern, simple blocks. This book could have easily been a follow up volume of similar projects with more improv piecing and restyled projects and it would have been great. Instead, this book picks up where the last one left off with beautiful patterns (some complex and some simple) that pushes me further into the history of quilt making and skill development. I have always appreciated traditional quilt blocks, but this new book and Denyse’s way with color has me frantically pulling fabric from my stash and assigning piles to patterns. Might this be my gateway into appliqué?? Maybe.

I have made quilts from both Denyse’s first book as well as her individual patterns and have appreciated her attention to detail while not losing the big picture aspect of quilt making: make something useful that you love and are proud of. Imperfections are part of that package. I know for certain that I’m going to get myself all wrapped up into a half square triangle situation with Ocean Waves, but that my inability to create perfectly matched points every time won’t stop me from a stunner of a finished project.

Bolt just received the first shipment of books AND bolts of the discontinued Hope Valley line by Denyse Schmidt. It gets better though: you can purchase all 11 prints in a 1/2 yard bundle for just less than 34 dollars. AND with that purchase you’ll receive 15% off of the book price. Or you can purchase the prints by the yard for only 7.25.  (There are only a few bundles left!)

That’s a gift to yourself or somebody you love just waiting to happen.

[Denyse will be doing a book signing at Modern Domestic this summer.  More details on that will come closer to the time.]