Monday, September 12, 2011

DS in the WSJ

"I had all these talents, but I didn't feel I was putting them to productive use until I started making quilts." - Denyse Schmidt

My parents came over for dinner last night and my dad was grinning ear to ear as he handed me this article from the Wall Street Journal. I was pleased to exclaim, "Oh ya, she designs fabric and I have a couple of her prints!" It made me feel like a real quilter, in on all the action and whatnot.

The Queen of the "Neo-Hillbilly Quilt" by Meg Cox
You can read it here.

It wasn't until later that I sat down and read the article. It was mesmerizing. Here I'd been thinking of Denyse Schmidt as a fabric designer when in fact that's just a cherry on top.

Some neat things I learned:

 - She's got a cluttered studio. (ah, so she's not an alien...)
 - She finds inspiration in old, imperfect, utilitarian quilts made by ordinary women, not fancy heirlooms.
 - Her really crazy-unique quilts can go for 10,000 bucks. Whoa.
 - She has a 25ft long design wall in her studio, which has 16ft ceilings. (I'd guess the lighting is spectacular, too :P)
 - She didn't start designing quilts until her early 30's, which means I still have time to quit my job and switch careers. (shh, don't tell my boss!)
 - She calls her style of quilting "Neo-Hillbilly." As in, a new take on the unsophisticated quilt. Here's an awesome example: 

Image courtesy of Denyse Schmidt Quilts

There is also mention of a crafty blog, Exit Through The Thrift Shop, which chronicles Jenny Ryan's progress in creating the quilts from the book Denyse Schmidt Quilts. You should totally check it out because it's awesome.

Congrats to Denyse for being such a rock star :D


  1. I forgot to comment when I read this post on Monday (maybe I had to cook dinner or something? who knows) but I loved reading the article on Denise Schmidt in the WSJ. I appreciate your posting it. I need to go and visit the other link--Exit Through the Thrift Shop--maybe later today, when I'm sick of sewing.

    Thanks for posting!
    Elizabeth E.

  2. Oh my! Thanks for sharing! I love Denyse Schmidt's work and line of fabrics! Very classy, simple, and beautiful! When I found out some of her fabric was at JoAnn's I jamp at it like hotcakes. :D

    " - She finds inspiration in old, imperfect, utilitarian quilts made by ordinary women, not fancy heirlooms."
    Love this little bit so much! <3


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