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History Bites: The Thread – My Creative Journey

January 25, 2023 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

The instinct to create is universal, but what is it that spurs some to continue on that path and forge a career from it? In conjunction with the exhibition “The Social Life of Quilts: Highlights from the Collection,” join Denyse Schmidt, former graphic designer and graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, as she takes you on a richly visual (and sometimes hilarious) journey highlighting the twists and turns, the influences and inspirations, that led to her unique quilts becoming a commercial venture in 1996. Drawn to the deep historical nature of quilts and inspired by beauty born of necessity, Denyse adds her distinctive aesthetic sensibility – clean, spare lines, vibrant color and bold graphics – to this rich art form. Referred to as the “Godmother of Modern quilting,” she has won acclaim from the worlds of art, design, and craft. In addition to designing and making quilts, Denyse is also an author, fabric designer, and teacher.

Free with Museum admission. Snacks and refreshments provided.


About Denyse Schmidt

A former graphic designer and graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Denyse Schmidt has been sewing since she was a young girl. As a professional seamstress, Denyse worked on everything from tutus and bishop’s mitres to fine clothing. She brings these eclectic influences together in patchwork quilts characterized by simple graphics, rich color, and quality workmanship. Denyse makes modern functional quilts that pay homage to the traditional techniques and history of quilt making in America. Her couture and custom quilts, in production since 1996, are pieced to order in her studio and hand-quilted by Amish women. Denyse Schmidt Works, a line of machine-quilted pillows and quilts with an industrial-chic aesthetic, are made at her studio located in a historic Bridgeport, CT factory building. Denyse’s work has been exhibited at the National Quilt Museum, The New England Quilt Museum, and boutiques and galleries around the country.

Denyse grew up in central Massachusetts, surrounded by the textile mill towns prevalent in that area. She lives in Bridgeport, CT.



January 25, 2023
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Fairfield Museum
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, 06824 United States
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(203) 259-1598


Fairfield Museum