The Featured Writer of May : Debbie Wendt
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I love bindings…Yes! I said it out loud! Hello, I’m Debbie Wendt of Wendt Quilting. You can find me at wendtquilting.com. I had fun doing a play on words with my last name in my business name and I love to “go” to teach, vend at quilt shows and travel. A big thank you to Tori for including me in the guest designer’s blog posts.
I’ve been quilting for 36 years and sewing even longer. As a kid, when asked my hobbies, I always included sewing. I loved watching my grandmothers sew and admired their beautiful work; plus, my mom allowed my sister and I to use her sewing machine. I have always been in love with quilts and fabrics.
Speaking of loves, teaching quilting is why I stepped into the quilting world. I wanted to share my love of quilting with others. I have a BS in Secondary Education with a major in Home Economics (now often called Home and Environmental Science). I taught Home Ec for 8 years. I loved getting my students excited about sewing (even though I also taught cooking).
The junior high I taught at changed the curriculum, so every student took Home Ec and Shop. This gave the girls and boys a chance to experience areas they may not have chosen. My brother, 5 years younger than me even got to choose Home Ec, so he too can sew. You know, a sewing machine is a power tool!
When I was in school, I only took the minimum required math classes. My dad encouraged me to take more. I should have heeded his words, I use geometry in designing and could use a math book some days. I’m a fan of graph paper to work out my designs and details.
That was a bit of a side-step by my way of encouraging everyone to sew and quilt and using math skills in quilting (or let the designers do to it for you). I’ve always said, “If you can sew a straight line, you can quilt!” I encourage simplicity and the use of simple shapes in my designs. I want my students and customers to “see” they can do it.
As I first stated, I love bindings! I designed Brilliant Bindings tool in 2007 and was the first trapezoid shape tool on the market for finishing the tail ends of bindings with no fuss seam and perfect mitered corners. I included full color instructions with photos to take you through the steps.
Bindings can add so much definition to finish your quilt. My favorite tip is to test different fabrics. Look at a variety of fabrics, even stripes, plaids and checks. Try auditioning a straight cut as well as bias. It thrills me to find an unexpected (or expected) fabric that is the perfect FINISH. I give tips every Tuesday on my blog. Checkout “Two Tip Tuesday” on debbiewendt.wordpress.com.
Many of my patterns use the Brilliant Bindings tool as a cutting template. I’ve often created trapezoids in blocks to use the tool!
As a pattern and tool designer I search for ideas for my quilts. Inspiration from “old” blocks and architecture. My love of travel has opened up a world of possibilities. Thanks to my husband, we lived in Egypt for 8 years and traveled to many countries where I’ve gotten to experience so much history and culture. You can often find me aiming my camera at floor and ceilings. Egypt is where I fell in love with camels, thus my logo <grin>!
I also love color, as you can see in my booth photo. I started with more traditional colors and I’m drawn to them. I’ve not met a plaid I didn’t like. Brights tend to be what I gravitate to when designing. Scrappy, Yes please! For all the years I’ve been collecting and using fabric, an “old” one is often the perfect fit. I’m not afraid to mix old and new.
Shopping for new fabric is fun and I highly encourage it. Plus, I’m always on the look out for fabric when I travel. Will I use all the fabric I’ve collected? Very doubtful but it isn’t always about use. I like being a fabric collector! I encourage you to find inspiration wherever you are or go. Even colors in nature give a wealth of combinations to consider.
My latest tools are Hex-a-ma-jig and Hex-a-ma-jig Jr. for cutting half hexies and other shapes including triangles, diamonds and full hexies. “Hex” is for 3 ½” strips and “Junior” for the beloved 2 ½” strips.
To wrap up…wrap up in a quilt…or wrap your quilt in the perfect binding. A well done binding adds the finishing touch. May all your quilts (and bindings) be brilliant!
Coffee Chat with Debbie Wendt:
Coffee Chats with Quilters is a new interview series about the quilters behind the Quilts and Quilt Designs! I interview both hobby quilters and businesses.
Debbie and I had a fun and candid interview! We talked a lot about design, bindings and Debbie’s connection to Egypt!
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Find Debbie's Brilliant Bindings Tool, Here!
Checkout “Two Tip Tuesday” on debbiewendt.wordpress.com.
Find Debbie's Hex-a-ma-jig and Hex-a-ma-jig Jr., Here!