Denyse Schmidt

June 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Here at Be Sweet we love creative people. While we adore creative knitters and crocheters, we are an equal opportunity craft-loving bunch of folk.

© Denyse Schmidt

Today we salute Denyse Schmidt, quilter extraordinaire. She says on her website…

I grew up in central Massachusetts in an area of old textile mill towns. Both my parents made things: my mom sewed a lot of her own clothes as well as clothes for four kids, and my dad made furniture. They were both very skilled—nothing ever looked homemade—and while they took pride in their work, they never considered themselves craftspeople or artists. They had careers (my dad was an engineer, my mom an educator with two masters degrees), but having grown up during the depression, they, like others of their generation, did not spend money if they could help it! When you needed something, you made it yourself.

I started making things when I was little, and never stopped. I studied graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design, and had more than a few different careers over the years. I finally patched together my many eclectic experiences when I created my business ten years ago.

© Pottery Barn

Like many crafters, Denyse has it in her blood. She started running quilting workshops and this blogger was lucky enough to attend one a couple of years ago in Connecticut. This Improvisational Patchwork class is still up and running and you can register for it here. Not only did it vastly improve my quilting skills and gave me more of an opportunity to “go with the flow” and use patchwork techniques without having to be straight as an arrow with perfectly cut pieces, but it helped my knitting. It made me look at things differently and realize that sometimes improv is the way to go.

Denyse has some super cool fabric lines, patterns and books and her work has been featured in the Sundance catalogue, Pottery Barn and The Land of Nod just to name a few. Talk about a talented woman!

© Denyse Schmidt

If you’re thinking of taking up quilting, summer is a great time to try your hand at a new craft. If you have little ones, get them involved with picking fabrics, choosing threads and even give them a go on the sewing machine (supervised, of course). Kids are like sponges and the more you throw at them, the more they want to explore and learn. Sewing skills last a lifetime as does creativity. Check out the adorable free scotty dog pattern here or the HOPE market tote here. Both are perfect patterns to get your kids involved in and some fabric shops even offer parent/child sewing classes.

© Denyse Schmidt

© Denyse Schmidt

Now get sewing!

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