Over the weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to attend a class with Denyse Schmidt. A friend had to back out after the cancellation period had passed, so she asked if anyone could take her place. This was just before my birthday, so I not so subtly suggested to my husband that this would be a great birthday present! He concurred, so on Saturday, I headed off down to Amitie in Torquay.
For once in my life, I was not overprepared! I had no plan on what I wanted to do with my blocks, I just grabbed my stack of Anna Maria Horner fabrics, bought some background fabric – Coloring Garden in Bisque from Skipping Stones, and off I went. And I’m glad I did, as it meant I was able to bounce ideas off Denyse and friends in regards to what direction to go.
Denyse was a great help making sure I had contrast between my fabrics, and I’m glad she suggested just cutting out one block first to get the hang of how it all comes together. The first block took the longest to choose, cut, and sew, but once I had that one done, I felt invincible, ha! The most curves I have ever sewn in one block. I was most scared of the final, inset seam, but that turned out to be the easiest curve of them all.
I absolutely adore the colours I chose for my first block, but it was the second one with that green, and the extra fussy cutting, that really had all the heart eyes going. Also, turns out a Tula Pink Parisville print had slipped into my AMH pile and I was none the wiser as I sliced it up for the quarter circles. Nope, I’m clearly not a true AMH or Tula afficionado 😉
Moving forward, the best tip was from Jules – either use the same centre fabric for all the blocks, or go totally scrappy. The purple print I just happened to choose for the first one has turned out to work really well for whatever colours I choose for the rest of the block, as it has a little bit of every colour – yellow/green, blue, and pink. My current plan is to make at least four blocks, probably five, and set them with more of the background fabric to make a throw-sized quilt. Because I’m not sure I could bear to part with this one, and it therefore needs to be big enough to be useful!
It was such a fun class, and I loved how different everyone’s quilt blocks looked at the end! Jules’ blocks were dark and masculine, Emma’s blocks used two different background fabrics, Erin’s use of Alison Glass with the dark background looks different again…
I must also say, taking a class in the new Amitie location was the best experience. The cake they provided for morning and afternoon tea was to die for! If that’s what we can expect from their cafe opening soon, then there will be some serious competition for the delicious fabrics that fill the store…
I also had the opportunity to attend her lecture that night, and it was fascinating to hear all about her creative journey! I knew she was one of the “older” modern quilters around, but I just didn’t quite realise that it’s now been 21 years since she first started Denyse Schmidt Studios. If you have the chance to attend a class with her, or hear her speak, I can very highly recommend it! She’s lovely, passionate, and wise. There are still some places at her events with The Creative Retreat this month if you’re looking for an immediate chance to go!