Fact: the nicer you are to your sewing machine, the better it will behave. And if you want it to stay in tip-top shape, it's important to give it a good cleaning. Here's what you should be doing about every eight hours of use.
Straight line quilting is a simple and effective way to finish your quilts. You can do it on a home machine, and you only have to worry about moving your quilt in one direction. Play with the width between your lines of stitching for a denser or more airy effect.
Knitting is made up of two (yes, just two!) basic stitches — knit and purl. The knit stitch is the first one most people learn. It creates a smooth 'V' on the right side of your fabric, and a little bump on the wrong side. Combined with the purl stitch, there's nothing you can't do.
So you've decided to frame your finished embroidery in a hoop — good choice! Your artwork will be easy to hang, and easy to frame. Inexpensive bamboo hoops work great for framing, but you can use any hoop you like.
Using pins will help you keep your fabric in place until you've had a chance to actually sew it together. Remember, never sew over your pins — for safety, you should always remove them as you get to them.
The centered double decrease (cdd) does just what the name says — you start with three stitches and decrease down to one. The resulting stitch is centered, which means it doesn't lean to the right or the left. You may also see this stitch referred to as s2kp, or slip 2, knit, pass — this is just another way to describe the same stitch!
Pretty much any pattern you knit will tell you to "weave in your ends." But what does that even mean?! Securing your ends on the wrong side of the fabric without knotting them is a crucial step, but don't let it stress you out. Here's our go-to method.
The make one (M1) increase is a pretty common increase in knitting — it increases one stitch by working into the row below. The increase can either slant to the right (M1R), as we'll demonstrate here, or to the left (M1L).
Mattress stitch is our go-to for vertical seams — it's invisible, and works kind of like a magic zipper. Just thread your needle through each edge, then tighten up your thread and watch that seam disappear.
Double crochet is one of the basic crochet stitches, and you'll use it frequently both by itself and as part of other stitch patterns. Just keep track of how many yarn overs you're making and when you're pulling loops through, and you'll be all set.
The chain stitch is one of the most basic building blocks of crochet. You can use it as a starting or foundation chain and work stitches into it, or chain between stitches as part of a larger stitch pattern.
Half-square triangles, or HSTs, are fundamental quilt units used in many classic block designs, from the pinwheel to the friendship star. Learn to make them two-at-a-time for double the fun in half the time.
When it's time to get some stitches on your needles, make sure you have the long tail cast-on on speed dial. This versatile cast-on works great for lots of projects, and has a clean, smooth edge — you're essentially casting on AND knitting the first row as you go! If you only learn one cast-on, make it this one.