Maker Spotlight: Wendy Chow the Weekend Quilter

Maker Spotlight: Wendy Chow the Weekend Quilter

My name is Wendy and I’m an Aussie modern quilter and pattern designer based in New York City, and a co-host of Quilt Buzz podcast. I was exposed to sewing from a ripe age of four. Mum used to make her own dress patterns and sewed all sorts of things for my sisters and I, including bedsheets, curtains, dresses, costumes and pajamas. However, my introduction to quilting didn’t come from her, nor my grandmother.

image of wendy

With the basics from school, I taught myself how to quilt. My quilting journey started in 2015 when my older sister spent most of her spare time making quilts for friends and family in my parents’ dining room. Eventually quilting became my escape from my hectic corporate job. It was a creative outlet and the thought of my projects helped me get through the long hours in the office. Quilting encouraged me to carve out dedicated time during the week to create by not bringing my laptop home or checking my work e-mail on my phone (unless I “really” had to). This was the start of @the.weekendquilter.

image of wendy quilting

What sets me apart from other quilters is my fearlessness to incorporate unique and bold colour combinations in my work. I love exploring traditional blocks and quilt designs, and giving them a fresh and exciting look so they can be translated into the modern home. Through my designs, I aim to inspire others from all walks of the quilting journey to continue to make and share this beautiful craft.

Q&A

What do you think about fabric.com?

I was introduced to fabric.com last year by a quilty friend – Amanda of Broadcloth Studio – I met on the Quiltsagram. Since then, there was no going back. Variety and price are what keeps drawing me to the site. I’m able to shop all my go-to quilting fabric brands and old favourites that are no longer produced or in stock at other retailers at a lower cost.

image of Wendy and Amanda

Describe your shopping experience with fabric.com

I enjoy discovering new fabrics for upcoming projects, and can spend hours browsing on fabric.com. Or I would like to call it, “going down the fabric.com rabbit hole”. But with that said, fabric.com’s options to filter by manufacturer, designer, colour, purpose, patterns and themes makes decision making quick and easy if I have something specific in mind.

Their estimated delivery times have always been on point and sometimes a little earlier than expected, which is always a bonus if you’re working against deadlines. And if you have any questions or concerns, their customer service is quick to respond.

What are your top fabric.com projects?

To get you inspired and excited about your next quilty project, here are my top 3 fabric.com projects:

Meteor Shower Quilt

Creating a holiday quilt pattern has been on my things to do for the past 3 years. However, each time the idea comes in mind, it’s too late and there is only a week or two till Christmas Day.

image of meteor shower quilt

Meteor Shower quilt is an explosion of strip piecing and flying geese fun, and takes the traditional sawtooth star quilting block to another dimension. It was designed with the festive season in mind, as well as the versatility to suit all occasions, whether it is welcoming a newborn, updating your space and many more.

This version of Meteor Shower Quilt is made up of Cotton + Steel quilting cottons:

Quilt Top Fabrics
Backing Fabric
Binding Fabric

Wedgewood Christmas Tree Skirt

Speaking of the holidays, I made this tree skirt for my mother-in-law last Christmas. This Cloud9 Fabrics tree skirt quilt pattern is the perfect gift for recipients that have everything, or you’re simply stuck on ideas.

image of Wedgewood tree skirt

Fabrics used in this project are a mix of some of my favourite quilting fabric brands. For this particular fabric pull, I was going for a non-conventional Christmas colour palette to give it a fresh, modern and timeless look. You can check out my IGTV video, for more details on why I chose these fabrics, and tips on putting together an all prints and patterns fabric pull.

Quilt Top Fabrics
Backing Fabric
Binding Fabric
  • FIGO, Lucky Charms Basics, Shooting Stars in Red

Seagrass Quilt

– The Seagrass quilt is my top selling design. If you stare at the design long enough, you can begin to see seagrass moving in the water. It was designed to challenge quilters to step out of their comfort zone and choose fabrics that have the same or similar hue. The colour palette for this particular version of Seagrass was inspired by an unforgettable trip up the Western Australian coast to Kalbarri.

image of seagrass quilt
Quilt Top Fabrics
Backing Fabric
Binding Fabric

*For tips on selecting a fabric pull from the same hue, check out this fabric.com blog post by me.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for other makers?

The biggest piece of advice for other makers is to be bold. Don’t be afraid to incorporate several prints and colour combinations you have never attempted or considered. This also includes using vibrant coloured threads. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can do with colour and prints. Nailing it the first time might not necessarily happen, but practice builds confidence.

What are your top 5 must-haves as a sewist?

Before I sign off, I’m going to leave you with my top 5 fabric.com quilting notions must-haves:

  1. Aurifil, 50wt natural white quilting thread - It sounds a little ironic to suggest white thread after I encouraged you to go experiment with vibrant coloured threads which you wouldn’t normally go for. However, Aurifil’s 50wt natural white quilting thread is the perfect thread weight and colour for piecing and quilting. It is the most commonly used thread in my quilting tool kit. And if you quilt as much as I do, I go through these spools like they’re going out of fashion.
  2. Quilter’s Dream, Natural Cotton, Deluxe Batting - This is one of my favourite batting brands. Their Deluxe loft is what I use the most. The fibers are packed densely so it holds its structure as you baste and move your quilt project through the sewing machine. Yet it’s soft, flexible and provides additional warm for cold winter evenings.
  3. June Tailor Basting Spray - I think you’re going to like this if you’re a spray baster like me. This is an essential in my quilting tool kit. Of the brands I’ve tested and tried, June Tailor has been most reliable. You don’t need a lot of it to get your quilt sandwich secured. The layers don’t peel off and it stays stuck as you work with your quilt.
  4. Maywood Sewing Wool Ironing Mat, 15” x 24½” - Seams have never been flatter with a wool pressing mat. The heat radiated from the wool is like having two irons pressing at the same time, one on each side of the fabric. The 15” x 24½” size is a great size for pressing fat quarters, larger quilting blocks, and smaller pieces. The compact size is also perfect for smaller sewing spaces.
  5. Riley Blake 10” Rounding Rotating Cutting Board* - With the rotating cutting mat, I no longer need to awkwardly reposition myself or play a dangerous game of Twister with my rotary cutter and ruler. This rotating cutting mat was particularly useful when it came to trimming the hourglass blocks in the Seagrass quilt pattern.

*Note: N.B. Rotating cutting mat shown in the image is not the same as the link. However, the functionality is the same

For More Inspiration

Seagrass and Meteor Shower quilts are available in my online store, and the Wedgewood Christmas Tree Skirt pattern is from Cloud9 Fabrics Marketplace. For more quilty adventures, follow me, @the.weekendquilter on Instagram.

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