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. :)