Welcome to my stop on the New Blogger Blog Hop, organized by Beth and Plum and June. A massive thanks to Beth for organizing the hop–it’s a pretty crazy undertaking and she’s doing a fab job, as are my fellow bloggers.

At the end of this post is a list of links to other bloggers on the hop and I encourage you to visit them as well. You’ll find a second list of new bloggers to visit on their posts as well. I’ve found some pretty awesome new blogs and I’m sure you’ll find a few more this way to add to your blog reader.

My name is Carmit and I’ve been sewing for three years, since learning to sew at a local college in early 2011, while awaiting a visa that would enable me to work in the UK (where I no longer live)(and good riddance)(greetings from Munich)(I’ll stop with the parentheses now). My teacher, though not a quilter, was exceptional. More than teaching me how to thread and use a machine, she taught me to decipher sewing patterns and instructions, a skill that was far more valuable to me than learning to operate a sewing machine.

I made my first pieced quilt, The Quilt That Ate Berlin, as a wedding gift in the fall of 2011. I hope the recipients (my boyfriend’s former girlfriend – true story!) never wash it, because I used seriously cheap, super-high-loft batting (cringe). I’d like to think my standards and skills have improved a bit since then, by which I mean that I no longer use a tape measure and scissors to cut my quilt pieces.

The Quilt That Ate Berlin

The Quilt That Ate Berlin. No, I don’t have a picture of the finished quilt. It may not have actually eaten Berlin, but it certainly ate my entire dining room. This quilt was NINE square meters.

Here are some of the quilts I’ve finished since.


I’ve asked myself recently why I started blogging, and while I’ll admit that at first I wanted the blog to be a bridge towards making a living of some kind in quilting, I realize that there are many quilters who are far more creative and talented than me and that at most, I can hope to make a few bobs to help me pay for hosting and fabric; so now I blog to document and to write. I enjoy writing about quilting almost as much as I enjoy the quilting itself.

As for my quilting, I like a quick and dirty project. I want quilts that look great, but that are fun and not too difficult to make. In other words, I am a lazy person who likes pretty things. I am a bit of a commitmentphobe, so you won’t see me posting much about  bees and quilt-alongs. As an example, have a look at all my posts about the Tula Pink City Sampler quilt-along. *Cough*. That went well.

I sew on a Janome Horizon 8200, which is a total dream, though I recently had a brief, torrid affair with the Handi Quilter Avante 18 at a sewing expo and I’m considering polygamy (what’s 9000 Euro between friends?). Look at what I made!


So that’s a little bit about me. In addition to my blog, you can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest (links up there on the right).

In case you’re wondering about the cast of characters you’ll encounter on these pages, allow me to introduce:


Interesting non-quilting-related fact about me? Once a year the Germ, his daughter, our friends, and I get together and bake Christmas Stollen. I don’t mean one. Here’s a Flickr set that’ll give you a bit of a better idea.

I do have a small tip to share about sashing. You’ll notice in The Quilt That Ate Berlin that none of my sashing aligned, and when I started making Mixtape it was even worse since the blocks were much smaller, so I turned to my good friend YouTube and found this brilliant tutorial by Fons & Porter. I hope you find it useful as well; I revert to it constantly.

And here’s a little question for you:

How do you bind your quilts? I’ve sworn off binding by hand, but am not all that pleased with my machine binding, so am looking for ideas and tips for improving it. Leave me a comment! I love comments!

Thanks for dropping by and I hope to see you again soon!

Now go read these guys:

Sharon @Fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

Serena @http://sewgiving.blogspot.com.au/

Jehn @www.jehnnyandtheboys.blogspot.ca

Jenny @http://jacksroomonline.blogspot.com.au

Deborah @www.sunshinethroughtherain-deborah.blogspot.com

Jennifer @http://quarterinchfromtheedge.blogspot.ca/

Jane @wherejanecreates.blogspot.com.au

Carla @grannymaudsgirl.wordpress.com

 ps. I’m in the middle of sprucing the place up a bit, so don’t be blinded by the visual assault.

Comments (42)

  1. I had to laugh that you made a quilt for your boyfriend’s former partner but then admitted to using cheap materials (even if it wasn’t on purpose). Take that, ex-girlfriend! 😉

    I am also a lazy person who likes pretty things! I like the fiddly and time consuming quilts — to look at and dream about — but to make? No thanks.

    I really like the look of your Mixtape and Blue Gradient quilts! Pretty.

    I’ve started using a mix of these two tutorials for binding: Imachine bind so I’ve doing it this way http://wasntquiltinaday.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/quilting-101-machine-binding/ but now I’m trying out cutting them at 1 3/4″ like this: http://youtu.be/jWauykQzr7w though I’m having trouble flipping it over because part of it’s not stitched down so I’m practicing it on a bunch of pot holders I need to bind so I can use them.

  2. Nice to meet you. Your quilts are beautiful. For binding I machine it on the front then fold it over to the back and hand stitch it in place. I tried the machine only technique and wasn’t happy will the result. Maybe someone will have the answer for us Carmit.

  3. Hi, Carmit! I think you and I must be on opposite ends of the quilting spectrum. I seem to be a sucker for punishment. Few ‘quick and dirty’ projects for me! Oh, no! I am drawn to the horribly complex like a moth to a flame.
    I have an antique Singer, a middle-aged basic Janome, a new whizz-bang Janome and an overlocker. I dread to think how much of a polygamist that makes me!
    I still finish binding all my quilts by hand. Even that takes me days as I use stupidly small stitches. You do not want my advice.

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  5. Your quilts are gorgeous! We all have a first quilt that, hopefully, is not quite up to our standard now, right?! I have only recently started machine binding my quilts and I find it helps to go really slowly and to pin it all in place (or use binding clips if you have them) before I start stitching the second side.

  6. Hi Carmit! I like to machine sew down my binding to the front of the quilt and whipstitch down to the back. I do occasionally machine sew the binding on completely for smaller projects (like placemats), but I actually find whip-stitching to be a very meditative process. But I have had a lot of practice at this point – I remember the first quilt I made I would do a few inches and give my mother the evil eye and ask if there wasn’t a better way! 🙂

  7. I machine apply, hand finish my bindings, because I just haven’t found a way to do it by machine that makes my perfectionist soul happy. I love Sharon Schamber’s tutorial for binding and now I am a fan of glue basting. It saves so much frustration.

  8. Hi there, fellow blog hop host! I’ve got to admit, I’m a hand sewer when it comes to binding, though I have been experimenting with machine binding. Love the quilting on the quilt with the ombre blue squares in your mosaic. As for the Quilt that Ate Berlin, in the words of Maya Angelou, “When you know better, you do better” Thank goodness we’re not held to account for every quilt-y mistakes we made when we were beginners! For example, the binding on my first… well, many, quilts was horrendous!

  9. Oh I wish I had an answer for the binding question! I am about to bind a quilt and I am dreading it! I do it by machine but I keep missing spots here and there and that drives me crazy! I am not good at hand sewing so I am looking for techniques too!

  10. Hi Carmit, So nice to meet you! I especially like your blue gradient quilt; the quilting gives it nice texture that really complements the piecing. About binding, I do all mine by machine, no hand stitching. 2 methods:
    1) Sew to the front; then sew down the back from the front. Pin the back very closely, pins not more than 3/4″ apart, and stitch in the ditch from the front. I do one side at a time, then pin the next, etc. Yes, it takes a lot of time to pin, but it’s faster than hand sewing.
    2) Sew to the back, then sew down on the front. Attach the binding to the back of the quilt. Then press and fold to the front. Pin about every 2-3″. Edge-stitch each side down, holding the binding smooth with your fingers between pins.
    Note: Method 2 is not recommended if there are points at the edge of your quilt top that would be cut off by the overlapped binding.

  11. Shauna

    I machine bind, I HATE hand sewing. I have found I am getting better at it and like it much more now than when I started. I also have an Avante and it was the best decision ever. I love quilting with it, because I can actually get things done.

  12. I won’t deny, you have me chuckling quite a few times! I am struggling with my machine binding as well, and I found lots of what you said I have in common with you. I am continuing to perfect my machine binding as well and so far I am finding the current best method is to the “wave” stitch on the front as it doesn’t look bad on the back. The trick is to make sure when binding on the front, you only carry that binding over right along the edge of that sewn line from binding the back on; then you don’t see it on the back… and the “wave” stitch doesn’t look bad at all on the back as well as the front!

  13. I sometimes machine bind and sometimes bind by hand. It depends on my mood and what the project is for. I love your rainbow quilts.

  14. Liz

    Nice reading more about you! Love the pictures of the fam (including cats), and can’t believe how huge that first quilt was! I’m actually working on a biggie myself…and it’s daunting! No advice on binding. I always machine sew one side on and then hand sew the other. Sorry! Good luck!

  15. Pingback: Let’s Talk….Binding |

  16. That’s a massive first quilt! I love your blue gradient quilt, I haven’t seen many like that with simple patchwork, but I like it. I’m also a lazy quilter, the nice thing is, quilts look so nice when finished, even if they aren’t perfect! I do my binding by hand, I’ve tried tutorials for machine binding but have been unsuccessful so far. Good luck!

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  18. Great post!
    I love machine binding, I used a tutorial by Crazy Mom Quilts that has you sewing to the back first and then bringing it round to the front – that made a huge difference for me.

  19. Hi Carmit.
    I sew the binding down by machine, then flip over and handsew. I have tried various methods of machine only and hate the outcome.
    My method is to sew the binding on before you trim off the excess wadding and backing. I find that doing it that way, a) the machine foot has more purchase on the fabric, which means a more even seam and b) I then cut away the excess using the seam as a guide to measure. That way you always have an evenly full binding.
    I also always use my walking foot – so much easier, and I wear the quilting gloves too, which means that my hands aren’t skidding all over the place.

  20. Sherry

    Loved your post. I stitch my binding down by machine, hand stitch to the back. I love the hand stitching part but I think that’s because I know I have finally finished a quilt! I have so many quilt tops waiting to be quilted.

  21. DeborahGun

    lovely quilts 🙂 I am with you on the cheap fabric – I have made that mistake a couple of times recently. And I also stitch my binding by hand – I think it looks much neater.

  22. Love your blue gradient quilt and the photo of Schlug is great! I’ve gone from machine binding to hand as even though I really dislike hand stitching I much prefer the end result.

  23. I do both machine and hand binding, although I’m a slow hand stitcher so nowadays mostly machine. I have a tutorial on my site, I’ve been told it’s very good, and my machine sewn binding looks very nice

  24. Love your blog Carmit! That first quilt is huge! I can’t believe you made it for your boyfriends ex, you must be the nicest person I know! We also make stollen for Christmas, but, um, not as much as you!

    • Carmit

      Thanks, Jehnny! I’m pretty sure that pretty much the only people who bake as many as we do actually own bakeries.

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  26. I’m a lazy let’s make easy and quick things kind of girl as well 🙂 I’m all hungry after seeing all those stollen you made! Yummy. I prefer hand stitched binding. For machine binding I prefer some fancy stitch rather than straight line. Last time I tried that, it worked well.

    • Carmit

      I’ve seen the fancy stitch option, but I think I’ve given in to hand binding. Spent several hours this weekend binding a quilt and a table runner and there’s no comparison in terms of the results – so much prettier.

      Mark your calendar for November 1st, when we’ll be baking again. Maybe I’ll Instagram this year in addition to tweeting… On Twitter, you can follow along at @thestollendiary.

  27. I’ve had a crazy busy week or two so am only now getting round to visiting on the blog hop. Beautiful quilts, I especially love your blue one. And I’m not the best to give advice on binding – if I feel the top won’t be ruined by machine stitching the binding then I go with that, but if it’s really going to stand out or if it’s an extra special quilt I’ll hand stitch it on the back.

    • Carmit

      I was listening to the Lazy Daisy podcast yesterday (while hand binding) and she has a policy. She machine binds for Muggles, but hand binds for other quilters :).

      One tip she offered, which I haven’t tried before, is to zig-zag the edge of the quilt before binding. I’m sure everyone on the planet is already doing this and no one told me, but I’ll try it next time. I think it’ll make a big difference.

  28. Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments and tips on binding. I’ve responded to some already and will continue to in the next week or so. I’ll also be doing a post shortly about my next failed attempt to machine bind. Back to the dreaded hand binding it is ;-/.


  29. Holy stolen, Carmit! That’s serious baking. I’ve never made it myself, but devouring my mom’s stolen on Christmas morning is a serious tradition for me : )

    Lovely progress you’ve made with your quilting. Glad to meet you through the hop!

    • Carmit

      Thanks, Sarah! The Stolen is quite a production. We’re already scheduled for the first weekend of November this year, and for the first time, we’ll be hosting the event. I usually live tweet on the day so you can follow along on @thestollendiary if you’re on twitter.

  30. Hi Carmit! I admit that I only machine bind when I’m in a pinch. It can be painstakingly slow to finish binding a quilt by hand but I love how it looks and I think of it as a ‘get to know you’ time with my quilt as I sit under it and start to enjoy it before it’s done. The Quilt that Ate Berlin is a great name for a quilt. I’ve heard quite a few referred to as ‘beasts’ but there are definitely times when I feel as though something I’m working on is taking over civilization and I fear being swallowed!

  31. Jake

    Well, I still sew my binding by hand because I like the look much better, but it have been meaning to try something I read about on a blog. Sew the binding to the front side with machine as normal, then, flip over like you would as normal. But, to sew the backside, instead of putting the quilt in the machine flat, fold where the binding meets the quilt (part folded outward is the backside) and send it thru the machine like that. The blogger said that with practice and patience, the stitching only goes they the back side of the binding , the back side of the quilt and some batting.
    I don’t recall where I read this, but it was interesting enough I can remember the technique. I just still have t tried it yet…but I plan to! Hand binding is not my most favorite thing to do, but I do like the look.

    • Carmit

      Interesting! If you can find the tutorial again, it would be great if you could post a link, because I think I understand what you’re describing but am not entirely certain.

    • Carmit

      Yes, I know. The UK made this known to me at every opportunity during my three years there and I make no apologies for disliking the place.

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  33. So many talented people have already commented. How can you have time to read my words? I think your writing is so funny! You are so honest and creative. I need to relax about my writing and let it flow the way my talking does. You seem to be a natural at writing a fascinating blog.

    Binding? I have tried all kinds of tricks and methods. I like the perfect look but am such a last minute procrastinator that I find myself using every short cut and trying to justify the times my bindings look half measures. Gah!!! And to top it off, even when I think I do a pretty darn great job, the quilt show police tell me my binding corners aren’t 90º. Probably they are 89º. My best looking bindings are sewn on the front, folded over to the back and hand sewn. The quick way that works pretty well is bias bindings double folded (home made for best fabrics) with one side a little wider, open the binding after pressing, sew onto the front first on the narrow side, then folded over and machine sewn in the ditch on the front hoping to catch the back without being able to see it. It sometimes works, usually I end up missing places and pulling my hair out. Just keep sewing and blogging and find it in your heart to visit Idaho so we can meet.

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