Category Archives: About

10 Quilty Little Secrets

What a great idea – why not air out my dirty quilting laundry? Visit 13 Spools to see where this all began. I laughed out loud at number 2.

10 Quilty Little Secrets

  1. I hate solids. I’ll understand if you stop reading now.
  2. Not a fan of liberty, either. Cotton + Steel? Whatever.
  3. I don’t love my LQS. It’s way too expensive and they aren’t nice enough for me to be able to overlook this. Didn’t really care for the LQS in the last place I lived either, never bought a thing from them (though they did longarm a quilt for me). Maybe I just don’t like local quilt shops?
  4. I will be 40 in six months, but only learned how to properly knot thread for hand binding this weekend. Thank you, Youtube.
  5. Hexagons? Not bloody likely, my friends.
  6. People who replicate quilt patterns using the exact. same. fabrics. I’m judging you, and not all that silently.
  7. It’s not a quilt if my cat hasn’t been on it. Or under it.
  8. I keep my rotary cutter blade on for months.
  9. Tula Pink tried to convince me when I met her at the Festival of Quilts in 2012 to use Prince Charming to make my Dreamweaver quilt. I may be Tula’s bitch, but I politely blew her off.
  10. I prewash fabric when I remember. See point 3 for factors that frequently affect my memory.

What are your quilty little secrets?

New Blogger Blog hop

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.

How I came to sew

I spend a fair bit of my time wishing ill on the UK Border Agency, but I suppose it deserves some credit, because I never would have learned to sew if not for its maddeningly obtuse and discriminatory policies. I  moved to England in 2010 for my partner’s work secondment and because of a tedious visa process that punishes people (like me) who choose not to get married, I was not allowed to work while my application was pending, nor could I seek work as it was unclear how quickly the visa would be forthcoming. So I signed up for a sewing class, and then another and another.

They weren’t quilting classes, they were sewing workshops where you brought whatever you wanted to work on and the teacher would help you along. I had a terrible time loading the bobbin (Wait, you need to hook the thread of this thingy here? That only took me a month to figure out) and had no control over my speed or over straight lines, but after a few weeks I produced a couple of decent items. 

pinafore

Clothing peg pinnafore || Pattern from One Yard Wonders

Tea Towels

First attempt at patchwork

When I finally did get a visa that allowed me to stay on the island, the first thing I did was to leave it. I flew to Toronto to visit my parents and got to play in my mom’s sewing room. A good friend was pregnant at the time so I got some tips from my mom on how to make her a baby quilt. It was a basic affair–just one piece of top and backing fabrics and diagonal straight-line quilting. The binding was wonky and I poked myself with a needle and bled all over it without noticing it until I’d finished, which brought about a mild panic attack, but turned out fine (Blood just washes away. Who knew?)(My sister did).

Eep!  First baby quilt

EEP!

With that ever-complicated project done, I decided to scale things up and to make a massive European king-sized quilt as a wedding gift for my partner’s ex (as you do)(yes, really). That quilt was a hot mess, but apparently, non-quilters (amusingly referred to as Muggles by Off-Kilter Quilter) are even less aware than me about quilting screw-ups, so I managed to get away with it. It was a very simple design with very large pieces (inspired by a quilt made by Bijou Lovely, who now sells the pattern so if you don’t want to melt your brain with math like I did, go buy it!). The piecing wasn’t too difficult, but nothing lined up and the straight-line quilting was a nightmare since the quilt was huge, the batting was cheap and high-loft, and my machine is tiny. I don’t have a good photo of the finished quilt, but this is it right before I started basting it. That’s my entire dining room.

The quilt that ate Berlin

The quilt that ate Berlin.

When I’d finished, my first thought was, “never again!” My next thought was that I’m totally doing this again, so for the past two years I’ve been a quilter.

Funnily enough, I couldn’t wait to find work during my first bout with the UKBA, but now that we’re entering our second round (I had my passport with visa stolen and the dirty evil bastards are making me REAPPLY FROM SCRATCH), I’m kind of hopeful they’ll make me quit my job so I can spend all my time sewing.

I’m New: Please Bear with Me

I had to wear a tag that said that in my first corporate job. There was a little picture of a bear on it. Twenty years on, I am still mortified about it. Speaking of corporate jobs, don’t they just blow? Mine does, which is why I spend every free minute (and some not-so-free minutes) at my corporate job dreaming about and planning my sewing projects.

There are hundreds of quilting blogs around. How will mine be different? I don’t know–I’ll know once I’ve managed to make it a little different. While I’m trying to figure it out, I’ll be using this space to keep track of what I’m working on, to record the new things I’m learning or hope to be learning, to find and share inspiration, and to hopefully join a lively and welcoming community.

In the meantime, I’m new, so please bear with me!

DreamweaverTula Pink Dreamweaver quilt, completed in early 2013