Denyse Schmidt Workshop: Theme & Variation

Denyse Schmidt Workshop: Theme & Variation


Date: April 13-14, 2019

9:00 am - 3:00 pm (each day)

Workshop Price: $425


This exciting workshop is for crafters who have some experience with improvisational patchwork and are ready for more-in-depth exploration and refinement of the technique. We’ll begin with a discussion and overview of various principles of design and how to turn your improvisational “sketches” or blocks you have brought into a considered composition while still working in an improvisational way. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the design elements of structure and composition, while building confidence in working with improvisation. You’ll receive hands-on guidance in planning, exploring, and developing your own design and color story. You won’t go home with a finished quilt (or maybe you will!) - but you will build confidence in your individual patchwork “voice” with Denyse’s motivational techniques.

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A single block pattern can yield an infinite number of variations. In this workshop, we’ll use impro- visational patchwork to explore repetitions and variations on a theme. You’ll gain a deeper under- standing of the design elements of structure and composition, while building confidence in working with improvisation to create quilt tops that reflect your own voice.

What You Need to Bring Bring a favorite traditional or original block pattern to work with. See below for ideas. Your experi- ence will feel more successful if you reduce your block choice to it’s most elemental form. Com- plexity and secondary patterns can emerge through variations developed in class.

Materials: You’ll need a total of about 4-6 yards for this two-day workshop, based on your preference for work- ing large or small, and how fast (or slow) you typically work. This total should include mostly solids supplemented with prints and/or yarn-dye chambrays and wovens in a variety of values and hues, including neutrals. Please (try to) keep your color palette limited/simple and reflective of the block you choose. Most of the sample blocks shown below need only two or three colors or values to create the visual pattern in it’s simplest form. Broaden your fabric options with variations of a hue – for instance a wide range green hues (blue green, yellow-green, muddy green), and value (dark green, light green), A zinger (oddball fabrics) or two will go a long way. Think about incorporating some- thing vintage, or something that you don’t “love”.

Tools and Equipment

• Sewing machine and the usual accompanying supplies like needles and thread

• Fabric shears/snips

• Cutting mat/rotary cutter/acrylic ruler

• A sketchbook or paper and your preferred drawing tools.

• Digital camera or phone

• 2-yard piece of white flannel or cotton batting to use for a design wall, unless supplied by the venue.

• Masking tape or pins for hanging blocks/design wall.

Block Ideas The block patterns shown below work well for this workshop. The blocks as shown have two main colors.

About Denyse

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.

Cancellation Policy and Refunds

WMQFA reserves the right to cancel any program up to 10 days prior to the event. When WMQFA cancels the workshop, lecture or event, students will receive a full refund. When WMQFA cancels a program due to extreme weather, every student will be notified, and if the program cannot be rescheduled, refunded.

In the event that you are unable to attend a program that you registered for, please request a refund 30 days prior to the program. For refund requests made 30 days prior to an event, a full refund less $25 will be provided, or you may apply your full costs towards another workshop or program. No refunds will be given within 30 days.

Class transfers may occur up to 30 days prior to the class provided it does not cause the class to drop below the minimum for operation. Individuals are also welcome to send a friend in their place at no additional cost instead of a cancellation or transfer, and this can be done at any time.

For classes over $250, a non-refundable fee of $100 will be assessed to any cancellations instead of the $25 fee. WMQFA is unable to offer refunds for programs with a $25 or less cost. While WMQFA is understanding, “no-shows” will not be refunded.

If you have any questions about the cancellation policy, please contact the Education Coordinator at