Monday, November 18, 2013

Improv piecing with Denyse Schmidt

Pieced block with randomly assigned fabrics.
by Bonnie Dwyer

Many thanks to The New England Quilt Museum for bringing the "Mother of Modern Quilting" to Lowell Saturday, November 16. Sixteen quilters experienced a day of hands-on improvisational design work with Denyse Schmidt, commercial graphic designer turned quilt maker and fabric designer. She is riding the wave of this currently popular modern quilting trend. More info:

Although 'modern' quilting does not appeal to everyone - especially improvisational work - I found the day to be transformational. Meaning, spontaneous piecing has a place in the quilt world once more. Trends are cyclical. My grandmother made "string" quilts out of scraps in the 1940's and 50's. Although her reasons were practical, influenced by the economic depression in the 1930's, mine are more about finding accidental design in randomly chosen fabrics. I felt her smiling down on me as I basked in the glow of "making something from scraps" - a philosophy I've always embraced. The day was satisfying and I came away with renewed energy for working with fabric.