Six Questions With Wendy Butler Berns

Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Quilting, Sewing | Comments

This week, we sat down with Wendy Butler Berns, instructor of the online Craftsy classes Art Quilting 101, Machine Quilting and Pictorial Quilting Techniques.

In this chat, we learn all about Wendy’s first quilting class, the source of some funny sounds you might have heard in the background of one of her classes, and her biggest source of inspiration.

Thanks for playing along, Wendy! And to all you Craftsy readers out there, make sure to check out Wendy’s awesome classes! And remember, we post a new Six Questions every week, so keep checking back!

What was your first quilting/sewing project? 

In 1993, I took my first quilting class when my youngest child headed to preschool.  It was a sampler class covering hand piecing and hand quilting.  I just knew I would not have time for the handwork, so I had the instructor show me how to do the piecing and quilting by machine too…. In the end following this first class, I had completed TWO quilts. I have been quilting with that same passion ever since.

What are your three desert island quilting/sewing supplies?

Fabric, scissors, and a glue stick.

What item has been in your stash the longest?

My Gingher scissors.

Cat person, dog person, or do pets just interfere with your quilting/sewing time?

I have always been more of a cat person…. They are always joining me to keep me company in my studio. In fact, while filming for Craftsy, our female Siamese, kept jumping onto the table where we were working. You can hear her meowing in the background of the Machine Quilting course!

What was your biggest quilting/sewing disaster?

Actually, to tell the truth, I cannot think of one. Maybe one suppresses the really haunting memories. A number of times, I have completed a piece, realizing that my values were too close together because I had not spent enough time audition my fabrics ahead of time.

In 10 words or less, what inspires you? 

The world around me- nature and my endearing family members.



  1. Natascha Rutherford says:

    Yes you are inspiring, bubbly and I love your voice on the videos. You have me going I tell you…

    1. Wendy says:

      Glad you are enjoying the course from me… it is fun to interact with all the students enrolled!!!

  2. Karen F. Suemnick says:

    Hi Wendy and Craftsy, I just read the Six Questions and really enjoyed getting to know you more. Nice idea and am looking forward to more of the same!

    1. Wendy says:

      These interviews are fun to do and fun to read…. thanks for taking the time!!

  3. Mary says:

    I am really enjoying Wendy’s classes. I am still working full-time so I just have time for brief periods of time at the machine but once I retire from my home day care job I plan to really get into quilting – piecing and art quilting – in a big way. I love the fact that my Craftsy classes are there, waiting for me to have time to watch and re-watch the lessons. And it’s still almost magical to me that Wendy will take the time to give her students individual replies to our questions. That makes it so personal and helpful. Thank you, Craftsy and Wendy, for helping me turn from my beloved teaching toward a creative retirement.

    1. Wendy says:

      So glad you are enjoying the format of the Craftsy classes…. so many new things to learn on your own time…. humm… sounds like retirement might be looming?? Quilting and other art forms are waiting for your to jump in when you have the time!

  4. Kathleen McCarthy says:

    Love to hear the personal side of an artist and WBB is a talented person and fabulous instructor.

    1. Wendy says:

      glad you are enjoying your Craftsy courses….. it is fun to interact with students from everywhere around the globe…. have fun and see you in the classroom!

  5. DJ Campbell says:

    I am extremely pleased with the beginning machine quilting class by Wendy. She’s filling in all the “holes” in my knowledge base and it’s absolutely wonderful to watch the classes while relaxing after a long day at work. I’ve had the pleasure of taking two classes from Wendy in the past at the Quilt Festival when it was in Chicago, so I knew she’d be great. This format is wonderful. Can’t wait to see how Craftsy grows! All those unquilted quilt tops will soon get off their hangers thanks to Wendy!

    1. Wendy says:

      Glad you are part of the machine quilting course and that you are gaining the courage and a few additional skills to get to those quilt tops!!
      Great that you were around at the Chicago Festival… I will be teaching and lecturing at the Wisconsin Quilt expo in September in Madison, WI…
      post photos of your quilted projects along the way!!

  6. MaMaKat says:

    I have taken one of Wendy’s online classes and attended her mini-classes at the Houston IQS. While there she was trying to tell me about a new and upcoming site, Craftsy. I told her I was a contributor and was taking her class! We both had a good laugh at/with each other! I enjoy her views and her style,. It’s nice to see someone so upbeat. So glad she’s here and I hope she hangs around for a long time.

    1. Wendy says:

      Thank you and glad you are watching from that computer at home when you have time. I am enjoying meeting students from Craftsy when out teaching…. an instant bond for sure!!! Enjoy and let us know what you are working on!!

  7. Jean Black says:

    What a good idea to do interviews on Craftsy. I love taking quality classes on my own schedule. Wendy, you always inspire me to want to do more and try new techniques. I just wish I had a 10th of your energy and creativity! You surprise me though, I thought you were a dog person! :)

    1. Wendy says:

      Hey Jean..
      fun to see you online and out and around in WI and IL….. glad you are enjoying the courses…. you are really blossoming with your fiber and paints…. so much fun… so little time!

  8. Jenny Crevier says:

    Thank you Wendy for allowing us to read about you. Your class Machine Quilting is very informative and easy to follow. It has given me the confidence to work on quilting. I am still working so I do not get enough time to practice, but I do make the effort much more now because working with your methods makes me comfortable and I do not worry about making mistakes as much as I did before. Thanks also to Craftsy. This is such a good platform.

    1. Wendy says:

      So glad to have you in the course… my goal is to help you gain confidence and I am glad to get the feed back that you are willing to jump in…
      time sure is a factor…. but we find the time for what we love..
      Have fun!!!

  9. Lucia Gabor says:

    Thank you for sharing part of your life with us, I enjoy reading it and it made me think about when I got started in the quilting world in 1984 when I was just 17. Thank you for your classes you are a great source of inspirations. Craftsy rocks!!

  10. ellen siegfried says:

    Always interrested in quilting

  11. Wendy, I thoroughly enjoy watching you through You are interesting and fun to listen to. You are very knowledgeable and make quilting look so easy for us beginners. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to teach us. You are a fantastic instructor!

  12. Janet Guerard says:

    Please do not ever feel the need to apologize for the kitty visit during our classes, my three spaniels always join me in my quilting room. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! BTW: love your relaxed teaching style!
    Janet G.