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Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration, Denyse Schmidt

Denyse Schmidt, Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration

Reading over a cup of tea = happy!

I have rather a lot of books, apparently. It’s one thing people remark on when they come round for the first time, but I don’t usually think of myself as having that many really. The ones I do have I go back to again and again and I tend to let go of the ones I don’t, which are usually novels. I don’t collect them indiscriminately (like some people I know, but I’ll mention no names. No, not even Kim’s dad!).

If you look through my shelves you’ll find areas of strong interest, so there are naturally lots of reference books in fine art, crafts and gardening, but you might be surprised to find a few on psychology and feminism, and philosophy too, amongst others!

I’m sure any creative person has lots of books, whether to read or browse through for inspiration. How can you fall in love with a subject if you don’t! Which got me thinking, I wonder what’s in your library?  Which books are special to you and why? I thought I’d share some of mine in a new regular series ‘Fancy a Read?’. I’ll share some of my favourites or some that I can’t wait to get my hands on (there are plenty of those!) and perhaps you could recommend some to me in the comments section?

So, here goes!

Fancy a Read? Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration, Denyse Schmidt

Denise Schmidt Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration

Bold designs by Denyse Schmidt

What a lovely Christmas present this was! I’d had my eye on it since I first saw it on a Waterstone’s bookshelf in 2012. There’s a lovely cafe in our local bookshop and I’d ‘borrow’ it over a long cup of coffee every now and again just to sit and ogle the sumptuous photos!

The book includes 20 of Schmidt’s big designs – all a modern take on a traditional block or theme. Each quilt is introduced with a little bit about it’s inspiration and design, sometimes even giving you the name of the original design and quilter. In the back of the book there’s a list of places where you can see historic quilts, though disappointingly these are all in the US! There’s also a list of inspiration and historical reference though, and it’s possible to get hold of some of them on Amazon (one of them was £1200+ *gulp*!!!!)

I’m never going to make the quilts in this book, I’m too independent (and I like to think creative!) to do that, so the patterns aren’t that interesting to me, but I do read them through and they seem very clearly written along with useful tips and design ideas. There’s a section on techniques, which is useful as it’s always good to find as many ways as doing something as possible, so that you find the best method for you or the project in hand.

I suppose being an artist accounts for why I find this book a rich source of inspiration, rather than instruction. I love the little details in her designs, the ‘odd’ or ‘misplaced’ print in an otherwise perfectly uniform design, the juxtaposition of colours and scale. The designs are eminently repeatable (which is why the patterns are included I’m sure!), but there’s something distinctly Denise Schmidt about them that I love. The only disappointing thing about the designs is the quilting itself. A lot of them are machine quilted in a regular overall ‘s’ design, which doesn’t add much to the quilts at all and feels very ‘manufactured’, taking away a lot of the charm and individuality. But, essentially, I guess this book (and these quilts) is about the design piecing (the patchwork), rather than the quilting – and in that aspect it excels!

This is definitely one book that will be on my work table a while and on and off the bookshelf for years to come!

Published by Abrams, 2012

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] condition and full of fab photos, but I’ll say no more now and will save it for my ‘Fancy a Read?‘ series! (Apologies for missing it this week by the way, but everything’s gone a bit […]

  2. […] it’s great to see how Denyse Schmidt has interpreted this same pattern in her recent book Modern Quilts Traditional […]

  3. […] week I showed you Denyse Schmidt’s book Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration, which I love to look at for inspiration, so this week I thought I’d take one off the shelf […]

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