Nov 8, 2013
02:19 PM
Style & Design

Denyse Schmidt's Quilts Star for Pottery Barn; 'Amazing Deals' at Her Bridgeport Studio This Weekend

Denyse Schmidt's Quilts Star for Pottery Barn; 'Amazing Deals' at Her Bridgeport Studio This Weekend

Denyse Schmidt's iconic "Drunk Love in a Log Cabin" quilt.

In the world of quilting, as with other creative domains, there’s a roster of quotes that parse the practice and its value from different perspectives. “A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars,” offers one of the more poetic sayings, while another advises, “Asking a quilter to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage.”

Connecticut’s Denyse Schmidt is the Picasso of quilting, or maybe the Josef Albers of quilting is more apt, as she was interviewed for a Yale University Press project, done with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, to create a digital edition of Interaction of Color, markin the 50th anniversary Albers’ masterwork about color.

Schmidt is a master quilter, an artisan and artist working at the highest level of creativity, and her talents have been recognized far and wide—the national home design juggernaut Pottery Barn, for example scooped up some of her quilts for its line (Single Girl is loosely based on the traditional Wedding Ring pattern, and Tied & True is loosely based on the traditional Chinese Coins pattern).

She has two quilts in the Roots of Modern Quilting: Nothing New is New exhibition running through late December at the New England Quilt Museum—and is appearing there Nov. 15—and Schmidt and Marianne Burr are featured in the National Quilt Museum's fall exhibit, Two Approaches: Now & the Future of Quilting, running through Jan. 14.

All of that is as lofty as it sounds, and while Schmidt’s premier quilts can sell at price points in the thousands of dollars, a great opportunity to purchase Schmidt’s artistry and style awaits this weekend, when she is holding her Sample Sale 2013—from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, and Sunday, Nov. 10—at her studio. (Shown above, Spool.)

“We’ve been doing this sale annually for about 15 years, and it has slowly grown into a building-wide event (and the last two years we’ve been part of a city-wide art trail weekend), which makes it that much more fun for everyone,” Schmidt said in an email Friday afternoon.

That city-wide event is the Bridgeport Art Trail, which is in progress and running through Sunday.

"Artists in The American Fabrics Building (where our studio is located), as well as locations throughout the city, are opening their doors and serving up art, craft, design, food and entertainment," the post about the sample sale on Schmidt's webiste says.

Every year the sale evolves, depending on what we have on hand,” Schmidt added in the email. “Folks come from far and wide to see the studio, and to score some amazing deals. For us it’s a chance to meet our fans and clear out some of the accumulation that naturally occurs in a busy studio environment.”

“This year's sale includes a limited selection of one-of-a-kind studio quilts and several of our DSQ Quilt Pattern samples,” the website elaborates. “We'll have LOADS of fabric, patterns and other goodies for DIY-ers, plus a hands-on quilting demo and bee on Saturday with the Peace by Piece Guild. Don't miss our first-ever Quilt Raffle! (Shown at right, Flowering Vine.)

So click on the web site, get directions, and make plans to  head to Bridgeport—where another exciting venture, Black Rock Galleries, is holding an auction Sunday featuring a Babe Ruth autograph, “Mad Men” era artwork by a Westport artist and much more.

And if you go, make sure to check out the prize in that special raffle.

“For the past several years, Denyse has ended her Improvisational Patchwork classes with a plea,” the website expalains. “She asks students to leave behind as quilt block or two as a contribution to our Quilt Donation project. The donated quilt blocks are sewn together and the finished quilt donated to benefit a local charity.”

The latest Quilt Donation project is finished, and it will be offered as a raffle prize for a small donation during the sample sale and open studio event this weekend. All proceeds benefit the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, which feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, and helps people conquer drug and alcohol addictions in the city, the website says, adding, “This amazing quilt will be on display and tickets available on the 4th floor through the weekend. We look forward to seeing you!” (Above, Denyse Schmidt, left, with Marianne Burr.)

If you can’t get to Bridgeport, you can still take advantage of Schmidt’s sample sale online.

While there, check out the page for Schmidt’s lastest book, Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration, which has American Craft magazine rhapsodizing:  “Denyse Schmidt's contemporary art quilts are things of enduring style and beauty, but few fans realize her 16-year career as a textile artist began when Schmidt fell in love with tried-and-true, centuries-old traditional quilt patterns - from Basketweave and Orange Peel to Streak of Lightning and Mariner's Compass. Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration is the artist's return to this fertile terrain, featuring her colorful and updated take on 20 time-tested designs. Schmidt contextualizes each quilt pattern with historical details and pertinent notes on her adaptations. Full-page photos of gorgeous quilts full of those bold geometric shapes that first inspired her provide ample motivation, while detailed instructions, a pull-out book of templates, and a section detailing tools and techniques offer plenty of how-to support, even for novice makers.”

For all her talent and accomplishments, Schmidt is modest and down-to-earth. Here bio says, “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.”

Denyse Schmidt Quilts Studio is located at 1069 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 4-401, in Bridgeport.  It can be reached at (203) 335.2719 or toll free at (800) 621-9017. The email address is, and the website is packed with beauty, inspiration and useful information.



Denyse Schmidt's Quilts Star for Pottery Barn; 'Amazing Deals' at Her Bridgeport Studio This Weekend

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