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.
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.
Stitch in the ditch is a beginner-friendly technique for anyone just learning how to quilt. And when we say easy, we mean it: All you do is sew along the seam lines that join your quilt blocks — aka the ditch — so you have a clear (and usually straight) path to stitch! Bonus: stitching in the ditch adds extra stability to your quilt, it can be done before you add decorative quilting, or you can leave it as a design all its own. Hello, triple threat!
Chain piecing is fast, saves thread and can lead to more accurate piecing. By feeding one pair of fabric directly after the next, and piecing in batches rather than pressing after each seam, you’ll find your quilts come together in a flash.
As a newbie quilter, nine-patch blocks are one of the first you'll learn to make. It's easy to pull together, and learning this technique will give you a design that's versatile, traditional and trendy all at the same time.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Pressing seams helps keep your quilt top flat for easier quilting. While you'll use a bunch of different methods throughout the quilting process, this one helps control bulk when a lot of them intersect.
This cast-on is arguably the easiest way to get stitches on your needles. It's not super sturdy, and it can be hard to keep an even tension, so it's not ideal for casting on lots of stitches. It does work well when you need to cast on stitches in the middle of row, though!
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.
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 left (M1L), as we'll demonstrate here, or to the right (M1R).
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!
Knitting is made up of two (yes, just two!) basic stitches — knit and purl. The purl stitch is sort of like a backwards knit. You create a bump on the right side of your fabric, and 'V' on the wrong side. Pair it up with the knit stitch, and the possibilities are endless.