Flea Market Fancy

I haven’t shared with you the recent additions to my stash. I am really into retro fabrics at the moment.  Boy, how my tastes change!  While at JoAnn’s getting twill tape for my ironing board cover I decided to see if I could find the Denyse Schmidt fabric that I was hearing so much about.  As you can see, I found it, liked it and bought ½ yard cuts of many of them.  I practiced some restrain and didn’t get them all though (what a shock!).  Isn’t it lovely?  I’ve detecting some controversy over Denyse designing fabric for JoAnn’s, but Denyse has always done things a little differently than others in the industry.  It is difficult to make a living in the quilting industry and she has taken a different spin on it than others.  Not only does she produce patterns, write books and design fabric, she also produces and sells finished goods.

Denyse didn’t start out in the quilting industry.  She is a graphic designer and started out designing quilts and manufacturing quilts for the interior design trade.  I first learned about Denyse while on a pleasure trip to New York (with my girlfriend and world traveler, Terry).  We were in the Chelsea district and just browsing the shops and happened upon a handmade furniture maker.  His furniture was beautiful and we went inside to take a look.  Low and behold, there were some gorgeous contemporary quilts gracing the beds and on the walls.  I thought they were so different and wonderful.  I asked about the quilts and he said they were from a contemporary artist, Denyse Schmidt and he gave me one of her post cards.  He also said, “Denyse is going to be on the Today Show next week, you should take a look.”  When I got home I watched the Today Show and sure enough he was right.

While on the same trip we visited Takashimaya, a wonderful department store that sadly closed in 2010.  There were some awesome contemporary quilts made from vintage kimonos hanging in that store.  If I recall, they were tied and not quilted.  I loved them!  Of course, they were out of my price range, but I remember thinking I would make one someday.  These quilts were very different from the quilts that I saw in the furniture store, but I loved them just the same.  Well, later when Denise expanded her website, I found out that she also designed those quilts as well.  I was even more impressed with her then!  As it turns out, she was finally recognized by the quilting community and the rest is history.

Denyse also designs fabric for FreeSpirit Fabrics.  Her very popular “Flea Market Fancy” collection is being re-released.  This is almost unheard of in the quilting industry.  That is why we have such large stashes, you know.  Those that have been quilting for a long time know that if you don’t buy it now, it will be gone, because fabric manufacturers don’t usually reprint a collection of fabric.  I understand all that from a business perspective and I was excited to learn that I could get this collection, since I didn’t get it the first time around.  I pre-ordered from Quilthome.com and it will ship on March 12.  I will share when I get it.

Denyse also has a new book coming out, it is titled Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration: 20 Designs with Historic Roots.  I can’t wait to get my hands on it.  It won’t be released until April, 2012.

I was really pleased to learn that Denyse will be the keynote speaker at QUILTCON, the first conference put on by the Modern Quilt Guild in Austin, Texas in February, 2013.  I sure would love to go to that conference.  One of my favorite quilting duos, Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle will also be teaching there.  The whole line up is fabulous.  Also, they are having a quilt block challenge – designing a quilt block in the colors of the QUILTCON logo – I see another challenge in my future!

Check out Denyse’s website at www.dsquilts.com and the QUILTCON website at www.quiltcon.com.

Remember, the pleasure is in the process, even if it is just buying fabric!

Later ~ Lora

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