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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you're looking for a fun and fast project, sewing four-patch quilt blocks is for you! These are a classic, and are great to use in quilt borders or interspersed with solid blocks for visual interest. Here's how to make four of 'em using just four charm squares, so you can make the most of your stash.
Sewing your own tote bag is instantly gratifying. It's one of those fast and easy projects that require hardly any fabric or tools, and it makes for a pretty impressive gift. But you know what makes it even more impressive? Adding a lining. Not only will the bag look way better, but a lining will help it last longer. Who can say no to that?!
When it comes to making crochet blankets, corner-to-corner is quickly becoming our new favorite. And really, what's not to love? Worked in a solid color, it makes a deeply textured fabric. But work it in multiple colors, and the sky's the limit. Seriously — you can work any grid-based color chart with the corner-to-corner technique.
There's so much you can do with distressed ink, but we love it best for crafting easy, arty backgrounds for cards and other paper crafts. Use these techniques as a starting point, and you might love the results so much you let the background stand alone. Or get fancy and layer on your favorite embellishments — it's up to you!
Bobbles are making a comeback — and we couldn't be more thrilled. Their bold, nobby texture adds a bit of fun to traditional knit sweaters and blankets. And really, the sky's the limit when it comes to bobbles. The technique is less a stitch pattern and more an actual stitch, meaning you can work a bobble into a single stitch of your project at any point.
One of the most common newbie knitter mistakes is trying to knit directly from a hank of yarn (you know, the yarn that's wrapped up like a twisty baguette). You've probably been there. You were probably shocked at how quickly it all went wrong. The good news is, winding your yarn into a ball first is actually kind of soothing. And you don't need fancy equipment to do it (though, owning your own swift and winder may change your life...just sayin').
Nothing kills the look of a great pair of denim like fabric pooling at the ankle. And hemming the jeans — only to lose that original cool, worn edge — hurts our souls just a smidge. That's why we dug deep to find a solution that doesn't require going to the tailor. The secret: moving the original hem up higher, and making it look like it was always there.
The seed stitch is one those stitches that packs a big punch for very little effort: its nubby texture can make any project look extra. Trust us when we say it's super simple — if you can knit and purl, you've got this.
Let's be real: you can make the most gorgeous kitty drawing, but if you don't get the eyes just right, the whole thing can look a bit off. Don't be a scaredy cat — perfecting feline eyes is easy if you know how to tackle the task.
We can't get enough of this fresh and funky pixelated heart. It's easy to make if you know quilting basics, and it's gorgeous in traditional Valentine hues... or whatever color scheme you dream up (or find in your scrap pile!).
Hey beach bums, this one's for you. Whether you're craving some fun in the sun or just got back from the shores with a new shell collection in tow, painting watercolor seashells will instantly give you that toes-in-the-sand vibe.
Your sock heel is pretty much the last thing in the world you think about — ever. Except when it's time to knit a pair of socks. That's when sock heels get their revenge. How? By being so freaking hard to knit, at least the first time (or second ... or sixth time). When you're learning how to knit a cuff-down sock, things usually go pretty smoothly, but the pattern can get crazy once you get to the heel.