Introducing Modern Designers - Denyse Schmidt - A Fabric Swap

She has been called the "mother of modern quilting" and her fabrics have inspired a whole generation of quilters.  Quilter, fabric designer, author, pattern designer, this woman is a cornerstone of the modern quilting movement.

ECMQG's swap for the month of March is a fat eighth (FE or F8) fabric swap by the amazing Denyse Schmidt.  If you would like to know more about her, this brief biography may be of interest.

Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt (photo courtesy of Westwood Acres Fabric)

Aunt Edna by DS Quilts for Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

Hope Valley.  Photo courtesy of dsquilts.

Hugs and Kisses Quilt (pattern by Jaybird Quilts) made with Denyse's signature Flea Market Fancy)

What is a Fat Eighth?

A fat eighth (FE or F8) is one eighth of a yard of fabric, or a yard of fabric cut into eight equal pieces.  Traditionally, this long narrow cut from the fold line to the selvage, resulted in 8 strips measuring 4-1/2" x 21".  

Modern quilters found this cut too confining, and realized by changing the cutting dimensions of that same yard of fabric, shorter fatter pieces were more user friendly.   

This newer cut, still a FE or F8, and hugely popular with modern quilters is sized at 11" x 18" or 10.5" x 18" (after selvages are removed).   

Quilter's Quarters by DS Quilts for Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

The Rules

 If you wish to participate, here is what you need to do:

1.  Purchase one yard of any Denyse Schmidt printed fabric.  (If ordering online, be sure to order early enough to allow time for delivery and cutting before the March 8th meeting.)  Some possible sources for your fabric might be:

A&E Pharmacy in Pensacola, or online from Hawthorne ThreadsPink Chalk Fabrics,  Fat Quarter Shop,  Fabric dot com, eQuilterIntrepid Thread and Fabricworm.

Be sure to buy 100% cotton quilting fabric.  This is not a swap for corduroy, voile, home decorator, or other fabric types.

2 - You may swap up to three yards of fabric.

3.  Cut your fabric using the tutorial below.

4.  Place your cut fabric in a zip top bag labeled with your name.  If you're swapping more than 1 yard, place each SEPARATE yard in a labeled zip top bag. 

5.  Leave your labeled bag(s) on the designated Denyse Schmidt swap table inside the Fellowship Hall.

6.  Your fabric(s) will be sorted and separated by groups.  At the conclusion of our meeting, drop by the Denyse Schmidt swap table and pick up your bag(s); a beautiful bundle of modern designer fabric.

7.  We won't have a variety of prints if everyone purchases and brings the same fabric.  Please utilize the comments section to let us know what fabric(s) you've selected.  With the number of participants we are anticipating, it should be okay to have no more than two people bring the same print.  

Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt

Cutting Modern Fat Eighths

1.  Press your fabric to remove the center crease.  Do not remove the selvages.

2.  Using your rotary cutter, cut your fabric lengthwise through the center.  You now have two pieces, measuring 22" x 36".

3.  Cut each 22" x 36" piece in half again lengthwise.  This gives you four pieces, each measuring 11" x 36"

4.  Cut each 11" x 36" piece in half crosswise.  This gives you eight pieces, each measuring 11" x 18".  A modern fat eighth.  

(Note that the width of the fabric may vary, which may make your F8 somewhat less than 11"; if you cut your fabric width into equal quarters, it will be close enough.)

As always, if you have questions regarding the swap or this tutorial, you can email me at wendimihalik at yahoo dot com.

This is going to be a good swap!

Wendi Mihalik
ECMQG Swap Captain


  1. I selected two from Florence. Caligraphy Circle in Carnelian & Caligraphy Circle in Malachite.

  2. I got 1 yard of dress floral from shelburne falls in the red color way. Yummy!

  3. I purchased a yard of union station foliage in orange, navy and cream.

  4. I got a yard of Flea Market Fancy Eyelet in green and also in gray.

  5. Ok I'm sending 3 yards all Chicopee
    Circle cross in green
    duet dot in green
    and ziggy medallion in green

    looks like this is going to be a fun swap!!

  6. I can't find a name on mine. It has a black background with teal & lime green paisley looking motifs.

  7. Heatwave stripe in fuschia, Disc Medallion in Carnelian.

  8. Fancy Free abstract in navy, ivory (this one is my favorite)

  9. I got three yards .Not one of mine has a name on it but Ds.
    1.a ceamy orange with cream flowers and dark brown dots.
    2.cream back ground with small blue,yellow,orange and brown flowers. a check with cream and aqua lines and larger darker blue lines.

  10. I have ds traditional. Some yellow, green, and some blue with floral.


Happy New Year! January Sew Day