We recently shared an interview about the trend towards home dec weight fabrics in many of our latest fabric collections. As we eagerly await our shipment of Denyse Schmidt’s County Fair, Denyse was kind enough to share her own thoughts on this exciting, new home-dec collection.

SMS: Your quilt-weight collections were big hits. What made you decide to do a home-dec group?Denyse Schmidt: I was interested in a fabric with a little more weight that could have wider use than the quilting-weight fabric. I also liked the idea of a wider fabric which makes it easier to use for upholstery.

SMS: Westminster calls the fabric “canvas.” How would you describe the weight and finish?Denyse: I chose the “canvas” because it’s essentially a plain weave with a little tooth. I have a lot of vintage fabrics I’ve used in my quilts over the years that are similar in weight and texture. The texture and weight remind me of some of those funky prints from the 60’s and 70’s that were used for apparel mostly, though County Fair has a softer hand.

SMS: What do you think are the advantages to sewing with these wider and heavier fabrics?Denyse: I would say the fabrics have more body; they aren’t really as heavy as some people assume. I think it makes it nicer to use for bags, pillows, hats, curtains or drapes, and anything you where you want the fabric to have more body. It is great for upholstery projects, especially where you’d use linen-type fabrics. The cotton canvas has that kind of softness/weight and ease of use, without the wrinkling or stretch that linen has. It is definitely NOT “upholstery-weight,” like the heavy, fuzzy stuff you’d find on a couch from your parent’s basement. The width is great for apparel or upholstering things, as it is 54″ wide (standard for home decor projects). That means you need less yardage for big projects, with fewer seams in large-scale cushions or upholstery. I did a large tote bag too that was one piece, since the fabric is wide. Time saving!

SMS: How was designing this group different from designing a quilt-weight collection? Denyse: It’s not really any different. In fact some of the prints are from Flea Market, re-colored and in some cases re-scaled. We have found that makers just never got enough of those fabrics, so it made sense to make them available again but to make them a little different too. The Patchwork Promenade cheater print WAS different to work on. It’s an idea I’ve wanted to do for years, but you can imagine that it is a lot more work to design and produce something that complicated. It uses 15 colors, the maximum for screens that wide. It was a challenge but so worth it! I love that is has 6 totally different “pieced” blocks. The individual blocks could be used for fast to make pillows or apron pockets, or any smaller projects. A few yards will make a entire quilt or duvet cover – with just a few simple seams! I love it for upholstery too. We all need some easy gratification now and then to keep us motivated for longer-term projects.

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Thanks, Denyse! We can’t wait to start sewing with County Fair!