Category Archives: Sewing – Crocheting – Knitting – Cross Stitch- Quilting

How to Choose Yarn for Your Next Project

LauraMusikanski-yarn-14275319415hba3-11

How to choose yarn for your next project, whether for knitting or crocheting, can be an overwhelming task. Your local yarn shop has a vast array of colors and textures. There must be a logical way to narrow down the choices. Focus on your particular yarn project or pattern and its function. Yarn shop staff should be able to direct you to the best yarn for what you are trying to do. But you might want to figure out for yourself how to choose yarn for your next project and here are some ideas that may help.

Re-Use Those Plastic Knitting Needles

Pschemp-Straight_knitting_needle-11

If you’ve inherited your grandmother’s plastic knitting needles, here’s how you can repurpose them.

Family Quilting Traditions

Sarah-Fielke-quilt

For many people, family quilting traditions have been passed down from generation to generation. Creating a quilt for a to-be married couple or an expectant mother has been in practice since the 17th century or earlier. While some may view quilts as a more “traditional” present for a bride and groom or mother-to-be, others pass the quilts down as family heirlooms through generations of family members. The keepsakes are ideal for both wall decorating or using as bed spreads and decorative pieces in bedrooms or living rooms.

12 Days of Learning to Quilt

512px-Baby_quilt_in_pinwheel_pattern-Jim-1

Learning anything new always takes time and patience. Learning to quilt is no exception. Here are the 12 days of learning to quilt that I used to help a friend make her first baby quilt.

Best Knitting Needles For Arthritis – Choose From Several Options

mf_knitting-needles-file9511293817316-1-johninportland-1

If you’re itching to knit, but comfort is an issue due to arthritis, you may prefer knitting needles that are warm and somewhat flexible in your hands versus cold, unyielding metal. Here are the best knitting needles for arthritis nowadays.

7 Tips to Read Vintage Knitting Patterns

Knitting_needlesTransportation Security Administration

In the past 50 years, knitting patterns have tended to conform to generally-accepted standards. Before these standards came into being, people wrote knitting patterns using the terminology and conventions of their time. When you first try to read a really old knitting pattern (like one published in the 1800’s), you may be surprised at the assumptions and terminology in it. This article provides 7 tips to help you read these vintage knitting patterns and convert them into modern form so that you, too, can create a knitted project just like your ancestors did.

The Well-Equipped Sewing Basket

Photo Credit: Gracey

So you are thinking about getting back into sewing? Whether sewing garments, crafts, quilts, or dolls, you will need a list of supplies in your sewing basket, ready at all times. A sewing basket can be anything like; a shoebox, a sweater box, a hat box, or anything that will hold your sewing supplies in it.

Choosing a Thimble for Hand Quilting

Photo Credit: Phrontis

Choosing a thimble for hand quilting is important and may take some time. A thimble is a personal tool for any quilter.

12 Things That Need to Be In Your Hand Sewing Kit

fdp_Grant Cochrane-sewing-ID-10095179

Most people who hear the words “sewing kit” think of those little travel sewing kits you can buy for less than $10 at a discount or drug store. These kits come with the basics you might need if you have to mend a tear in a hurry.

Common Quilting Mistakes Even Pros Make

512px-Starting_to_sew_a_quilt

Like medicine and yoga, quilting is a practice-not something you can master. That can seem like reassuring news for a quilting newbie, but frustrating for those who have been practicing their craft for years. No matter where you are on the spectrum, rest assured that you’re always in good company. With quilting, there are always skills you can better, new ones you can learn and different approaches to try that can help hone your talents. There are a few common errors that everyone makes, but at the core of them all is one similarity: accuracy (or lack thereof).

5 Quilting Tricks

640px-Vintage_aloha-shirt-quilt-1

Quilting is a social hobby; it’s been proven to improve your health and it leads to some gorgeous results—but sometimes you just want to make things a little easier. With quilt tricks, you can indulge in the occasional shortcut without compromising on quality (saving yourself some headaches, too). Whether you’re a novice or a stitcher for life, try out these tricks to make your next project easier—and more enjoyable.

10 Best Knitting Tips

Cable-caston-wrap-yarn

One of knitting’s secrets is to be very familiar with all of the little tips and tricks that you can use for any project. Whenever I go to forums or even visit my favorite LYS (aka my ‘local yarn shop’) there are knitters there who have been knitting for years and some are still not familiar with little techniques that are not only time savers, but knitting life savers, as well.

Telling A Story Through Quilting: Then and Now

512px-Diversity_quilt_(4046764327)

Everyone has a story. Even if you are not a storyteller, public speaker, or author, don’t be discouraged. Stories can be told in other beautiful and unique ways such as a handcrafted quilt. Most quilts have a story and these types of stories are becoming more popular throughout the world.

8 Gift Ideas for Knitting Nuts

Bobbin_with_colourful_wool

Knitters are great people to know … and it is great to be listed in their ‘good books’, especially when winter time rolls around! Given that knitting wool is such a personal choice, and you never know what projects your knitter has in mind, what Chrissy gifts will earn you the most sock and scarf points with a beloved knitting fanatic? We point out some beauties today!

Flags in the Breeze Dishcloth (Pattern)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love knitting dishcloths, but I know a lot of knitters think it’s silly. Why do I like them? Well, they’re an almost instant gratification project and it’s practical to boot. They’re thick, durable and make doing dishes even prettier. Besides, I love making groups of these and tucking them into homemade bath and body or kitchen themed gift baskets. Make a spa basket for a friend, surprise them! Just make sure that you use cotton yarn or a cotton blend. Acrylics and wool are icky for dishcloths. They don’t dry well at all. Cotton yarn comes in so many pretty colors and is relatively inexpensive so what’s stopping you? I’m going to share my own little knitting cloth pattern with you. The stitch pattern reminds me of flags in a stiff breeze. Hence the name. The cloth is a little reversible, although the pattern does show better on the “right side and in solid colors as you’ll see in my photos. Make them in tons of colors, they’re so easy and fun, how could you resist?

Make a Scented Hot Pad

scented-hot-pad

This one is so quick and easy that I’m making a bunch to stick on Christmas presents as “bows” — scented Hot Pads!

Knitting By Machine Vs Knitting By Hand

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Many articles and a lot of information both online and off talk about both flat knitting and round knitting. Now looking at this offhand, it may seem like no big deal but a closer look reveals that the concepts are vastly different when knitting by hand and when machine knitting. The differences are not by any means subtle or irrelevant so it is a good idea to know and understand the differences before you start working with one, the other or both hand knitting and machine knitting.

10 Good Reasons to Start Sewing

fdp_m_bartosch-sewing-ID-10046567

Back in the day, sewing was thought of as an old lady’s job. But thanks to DIY projects, the practice of sewing is coming back. If you haven’t gotten around to sewing, there are plenty of reasons for you to start.

Choosing The Correct Yarn, Needle & Hook sizes For Knitting & Crochet

Flat_knitting

If you have ever considered knitting a vintage pattern you may yourself confused over the required yarn. Terms such as “fingering” and “worsted” can be enough to cause you to give up on your project before you begin.

Stash Flow – Knitting in Tough Times

fdp_Gregory Szarkiewicz-wool-ID-1008620

In these tough economic times, the new buzzword is definitely “save”. Banks and financial institutions want to save your money for you, towns and cities want you to save your garbage in recycling containers, the environmental movement wants you to save the rain forest along with the spotted owl, and store discounts promise to save you money at the checkout line.

Knitting Yarn Common Terms

Photo Credit: Pioneerthinking.com

While there are many different sizes and styles of knitting yarn available, there are certain terms that are common no matter what type of yarn you are knitting with. While the different terms do not apply equally to all of the different types of knitting yarn, they will be helpful in determining what type of knitting yarn you want to work with for your next knitting project.

A Guide to Loom Knitting

fdp_Darren Robertson-wool-ID-1008610

Loom knitting uses a wood or plastic knitting loom instead of needles to knit fabric from yarn. Knitting looms come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. In loom knitting, the yarn is wrapped around the pegs of the loom in a simple weaving technique. Different wrapping techniques result in different stitches and patterns on the fabric.

Make a Denim Pouch Pocket

fdp_Gualberto107-deniumpocket-ID-100184622

Reduce, reuse, recycle, this is a great motto for crafters too!. Try using old denim jeans for your projects, and make some useable crafts. This pocket is very simple and yet useful to make.

Must Have Home Sewing Box Essentials

fdp_Grant Cochrane-sewing-ID-10095179

As a work at home mother and grandmother, I often don’t have a lot of time to mend clothing when the need arises here in our home. When I did find the time, I often didn’t have the supplies on hand that I needed so I would end up delaying the mending of the clothing item(s) that needed to be repaired.

Make Your Own Fragrance Sachets

fdp_winnond-sewingID-10050367

I was given a couple of fragrance sachets for Christmas, and it reminded me that this item used to be a staple I always had on standby in case I needed a donation for our local school or church charity sale.

They are extremely simple to make, and you can even make your own fragrance insert! Or you can buy potpourri or dried herbs from your local craft shop.

Learning How to Make Braided Rugs? Here Are Some Pitfalls to Avoid

Making_A_Braided_Rug-1

Pitfall Number One: What Is Your Purpose?

“Your purpose?” — I can just hear someone saying that. Yes, a common pitfall of those who are learning how to make braided rugs is that they have no goal in mind — therefore when they experience difficulties, they have trouble in staying motivated, and soon abandon their braided rug project.

So, let me ask you: why do you want to learn how to do this?

How to Make Cooling Neck Ties

Photo Credit: Marin

Have you ever used a cooling necktie? If you have I bet two things surprised you. How they helped you keep cool and how much they cost. About $8 each. Ouch!

How to Make a Patchwork Blind

aaron_clifford_patchwork-blind1

Patchwork blinds are great additions to any room. With the simple instructions below and some sewing skills you can make an easy-to-hang blind.

The History of Thimbles

Photo Credit Jmiltenburg | Morguefile.com

A thimble is a protective shield worn on the finger or thumb generally worn during sewing.

History of Knitting

Photo Credit: Pioneerthinking.com

Knitting is technique to turn thread or yarn into a piece of cloth. Knitted fabric consists of horizontal parallel courses of yarn which is different from woven cloth. The courses of threads or yarn are joined to each other by interlocking loops in which a short loop of one course of yarn or thread is wrapped over the bight of another course.

How to Make a Crazy Quilt

mf_jdurham_quilt-file1921304827782sm

A crazy quilt is a quilt that is made from scraps of fabric. The scraps come from different types and colours of left over fabrics from old clothing or other sewing projects. Usually there is no pattern or design to the quilt, giving it a very abstract look. A wide variety of stitches are used, which also contributes to the abstract look. The scraps are sewn onto a larger single piece of fabric, which will form the backing of the quilt. Unlike most other quilts, crazy quilts usually don’t have any batting in the middle.

Beginner Quilting

dt_9083287da

Beginner Quilting – Instructions for Picture Quilt Making
Memories are never ending tales of the warmth and happiness that we have shared over a period of time with friends, family and relatives. This experience only gets better day after day and therefore there are many more memories that we will want to preserve over a period of time.

How to Choose Quilt Fabric Colors

quilt-1

Picture yourself in a few hours or in a few days stitching a beautiful quilt, However, I would suggest that regardless of your sewing experiences you may want to consider quilting with fabric scraps to help develop certain quilting skills.

Learn What Size to Make Your Rag Quilt

dt_9083287da

The sizes of rag quilts can vary widely. The rag quilt size can vary a lot depending on what you plan to use it for. In other words, making a rag quilt to use as a throw quilt is dramatically different than making one to fit a king-sized bed.

Learn to Quilt: Discover How to Save Money

512px-Starting_to_sew_a_quilt

In today’s economic climate, starting a new hobby may seem like an expense that your budget just can’t support. Between gas and groceries, becoming a quilter just doesn’t seem like a wise financial choice. I’m here to tell you that being a quilter doesn’t have to be expensive.

Hand Quilting Tips – Make Beautiful Patterns

Photo Credit: bluekdesign | Morguefile.com

From the time quilt making came into existence, a well-accomplished hand quilting stitches have been adored and envied.

Quilting for Beginners: How to Quilt Beautiful Heirlooms your Family Will Enjoy for Generations

mf_bluekdesign-quilting

Did you know that more than 6 million beginner quilters decided to learn how to quilt during the last 3 years?

That brings the total number of quilters to about 27 million – that’s just in the United States. And most of those quilters, just like me, are presented with limited drawing and painting abilities.

Quilting and The Tools of The Trade

dt_18190632

Whether you are a veteran quilter or a “newbie” just ready to begin your first quilt, like any great craftsman, having the right tools for the job and knowing how and when to use them is important to the success of your project.

Proper Seam Pressing in Quilts

dt_9083287da

Pressing the seams in your quilt is one of the most important tasks for the completed work.

Making a Rag Quilt

dt_9083287da

If you are a beginner quilter looking for near-immediate gratification or an old pro who wants to create a different look, why not try making a rag quilt?

Keepsake Quilting Turns Memories Into Family Treasures

Photo Credit: Ronnie B. | Morguefile.com

Keepsake quilting is one of the most popular reasons people begin to learn the craft. Maybe a daughter is getting married, or a first grandchild is on the way. Both wedding and births are popular occasions to give a keepsake quilt. But where do you start if you are new to quilting all together?

Finish your Quilt With Tying

dt_9083287da

Sometimes tying a quilt seems like the very last resort to getting a quilt finished.

Cutting Quilt Patches With Scissors

file3781290617904

For those quilters who hand cut their patches, here is a shortcut way to hand cut the patch and know that your finished piece will be the right size. Rather than marking the cutting line on your fabric, mark the sewing line. That way, you have an accurate sewing line, regardless of how accurate your cutting line is.After all, the point of accurate stitching is to get an accurate patch when the block is sewn together. Here’s how:

Create a Complex Quilt Design Using Only Simple Shapes

quilt4

Quilt designs are created by combining blocks that have different color variations.

Beginner Quilting – Denim Quilt Making Instructions

dt_9083287da

Flowery and vivid patterns coupled with neat designs are not everyone’s taste. It would be hard to imagine that some young toddler would really appreciate a quilt that has pink flowers, violet lining and lavender color on it; well he might even not like to notice its existence.

Sewing a Button on by Hand

Photo Credit: Alvimann | Morguefile.com

I have so many people come into my shop saying something like – I can’t even sew on a button. How sad it is that a whole generation has lost out on learning how to do just the basic skills of sewing. Sewing a button on to clothes doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact I take just a few minutes to sew them on.

Learn How to Knit a Scarf

DMedinaIMG_0015_v2-11jpg

Learning how to knit a scarf isn’t hard, and guess what? Once you know the basics, it’s just as easy to learn how to knit a striped, patterned, or fringed scarf, too. Really, simply understand one basic pattern, and make any variations you like from there.

Felting, Fulling, or Boiled Wool?

800px-Felted_slippers-linda-1

To ignore one of the basic knitting commandments, “Thou shalt not put wool into hot water” is to risk suffering the dreaded consequence of such action – very small, very stiff, little sweaters into which no family member would ever want to grow.

Learn How to Make a Knitted Doll

dt_9083287da

Many times, you have some free time to spend and you are confused as what to do then? There are many great ideas to utilize that time efficiently and creatively.

How To Knit Fingerless Gloves

dt_9083287da

How to knit fingerless gloves at home.