Ode to Denyse

Just like every other modern quilter, one of my favorite fabric designers is Denyse Schmidt, the modern quilting maven.

denyse schmidt
Katie Jump Rope Collection. Image source: DSquilts website

I first started quilting about the time when Katie Jump Rope, Denyse’s second fabric collection, was fairly easy to find (sans a couple prints). KJR might be my favorite fabric collection of all time. In my opinion, KJR is practically perfect. It is classic; colorful but not too bright; and it can look masculine or feminine, depending on which prints you use. And the prints mix and match easily with other fabrics. I guess Flea Market Fancy fits that criteria too, huh?

My love for Denyse’s fabric didn’t stop with KJR and I have since collected all or some of the prints in all of her other collections.

Denyse’s fabric plays so nicely together and I have known for a long time that I wanted to make a quilt showcasing just that. I had not been able to settle on a design, but I finally figured out the design this week while reading through the archives of the Molly Flanders blog.

Mary (aka Molly Flanders) posted an example of a flowering snowball quilt/quilt block and it hit me – this is it! I left a comment for Mary about it and then we emailed back and forth. Mary kindly offered to send me templates for the block and I also played in Illustrator trying to figure out how the quilt and colors could come together.

Ode to DenyseDespite really needing to work on other projects (projects that I need to finish THIS month), I just could not get this quilt out of my mind. I figured out how to make templates using an extra plastic divider I had on hand (a first for me) and I quickly started tracing and cutting fabric.

I pulled out my Curve Master foot and tried it for the first time by piecing together parts to a couple of blocks to make sure I really could do full-on curved piecing. Once I figured out I could, every single bit of DS fabric I have came out so I could see how it would all coordinate together.

Ode to DenyseWith the way that I am utilizing the block design, I will have to know exactly where each block goes in relation to what is around it before piecing the blocks. The “blocks” shown above have not been pieced yet (save two partial curves); they are just on the design wall so I could see how the individual circles look.

Ode to DenyseI love how a secondary pattern of lighter circles show up in the design because of fabric placement and value differences in the fabrics.

The plan is to use a creamy white to the insides of the secondary circles (where the design wall white is showing). I had wanted to use a darker neutral but then I don’t know if the circles would pop like I want with a darker neutral.

It felt really good to finally cut into fabric I have been coveting and hoarding for a couple of years. In doing so, I discovered that I really like the basecloth for Hope Valley. And, while I have always been in the minority in the modern quilting world for liking Greenfield Hill, I like GFH even more now after getting to play with it. It might be too traditional for some modern quilters, but I think it is quite divine in a refined but bold way. You can see in these photos that it very easily coordinates with the other collections.

Ode to DenyseTo note: this is not the final layout; I still have more fabrics to add. I am waiting on a package from Australia to arrive as it contains the ten Australia-exclusive DS Quilts Picnic & Fairground prints.

Desparately ISO FMF and CFETA: All missing prints found. Thank you everyone for helping me out! I am missing a few Flea Market Fancy prints that I would LOVE to add to this quilt. I do not need big pieces – a 5″ charm is perfect. I would like to buy/swap for these missing prints, if anyone out there has them and wants to take pity on me help me out.

Ode to DenyseI know I will wait until at least the end of summer before I work to piece the top because Denyse has another DS Quilts line, called Sugar Creek, being released at JoAnn stores in late summer. After that, I will have to decide if I want to wait until FMF is re-released early next year before I complete the quilt.

I anticipate this being another throw-sized quilt and it stay with us. I think I will call it Ode to Denyse. 🙂

33 thoughts on “Ode to Denyse

  1. Oh, what an incredible pattern! The planning required is amazing – I am impressed by your use of value. I’m making it a goal to explore value a little more this summer – it’s something I’ve never given a lot of thought to. I have a few of those prints that I’d be happy to swap for – brown medallion, brown barbells, yellow barbells, yellow posies, pink tiles, pink leaves, red leaves, pink seeds…..i’ll check the others but I think I only have teeeeny bits of them. Let me know if that works for you! 🙂

  2. This is just so amazing! Definitely a labor of love and patience! It will be fantastic! I am excited to know that DS has another line coming out later this summer and did I read right? Flea Market Fancy is going to be re-released next year? Are you serious?????????? Wow!

    1. Thank you! And yes, DS has another Joann line coming out. On her Facebook page, she said she would post sneak peeks once she gets the strike-offs from the manufacturer. And the FMF reprint is expected early next year. She even mentions it on her DSQuilts website (read the small text on this page where she confirms that: http://dsquilts.com/fabric_and_patterns.asp?PageID=79) . The reprint won’t include all of the original designs/colors and I think will be limited to 12, but I guess that could always change. Save your pennies (I know I am)!

    1. Hello, Mrs. Wilkes! Isn’t the news of FMF fantastic? I came into quilting too late to be able to get FMF at regular prices, so to be able to buy it without forking over an arm and a leg is going to be so nice. Denyse says it’s a limited release with maybe 12 prints. But, 12 is better than none! I’m glad the folks at FreeSpirit finally came around to see that there is still demand for the collection. And thank you, too! – Mrs. Wilke 🙂

  3. This looks great. I love the way you’re grouping by color , then value. I haven’t seen this pattern used that way. Do you think the bits between will stay white?

    1. I am debating between a soft white/cream or possibly a darker neutral (Bella Solids Stone possibly), but I’m not sure yet!

  4. I am not a DS maniac like many people out there– her collections are cute, though I disliked Greenfield Hill quite powerfully. The Joann’s collection is very cute, and I may have to buy some of that large-scale gingham print, though I probably won’t. Instead, I’m going to wait for FMF to be rereleased because I do actually really like that line.

    I agree with you on one point, however: The base fabric Free Spirit used for Hope Valley was divine! That stuff was like butter to sew. I loved sewing with it. Loved it!

    Your project in progress looks awesome! I really like this block and if I weren’t terrified to death of curves, I just might be willing to try it out for a special fabric collection that I am currently hoarding.

  5. What fabric are you missing…I might be able to help!
    This is going to be amazing and thanks for the info on a new Denyse Schmidt line coming out….need to save my pennies!

  6. This is a totally stunning quilt! I so want to make one just like it, you have a great eye for putting fabrics together!! I can’t wait to see it finished.

  7. I’ve only recently become aware of the Modern Quilt Guild movement, and I’m loving it! Your quilt layout is absolutely fabulous! I look forward to seeing more pictures as the quilt comes together!

  8. This really is just amazing! I think with all of those prints you might end up with something bigger than throw size though! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have it on your bed to look at every day!?

  9. I love everything about your post. Love, Love, Love the fabrics, the pattern. Just found your blog through DS’s FB post. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your progress.


  10. Wow, that is *gorgeous*! Your project reminds me of just how lovely DS fabrics are, but I’m also wowed by that pattern. I also own the curvemaster foot and haven’t yet used it; this makes me want to give it a go.

  11. Hi there Lucia, I found a pic of your planned quilt on Pinterest and had to pop over to have a proper look. It’s going to be absolutely gorgeous! Love it! Can’t wait to see it all finished. : )
    ps. Are you sure you don’t want to use white as your backing, it looks stunning already just on your wall. All the best, Alisa

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