Read these 9 Tools Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cross Stitching tips and hundreds of other topics.
It's very easy to get into the bad habit of threading the needle into the fabric when ending a stitching session. Always store a needle properly or it can leave a permanent stain or large holes in the fabric. There are plenty of needle minders on the market today... these handy little magnets (that are both pretty and functional) can be attached to the edge of your fabric and when you are done for the day you just leave your needle 'parked' there. It's all ready for you the next time and it can't do any damage to your fabric.
If you have difficulty with keeping your needlework clean, cotton gloves may help. If you cut the fingers off you will have the use of your sensitive fingertips, while still keeping your palms covered. Fingerless craft gloves are another option, and are especially useful for arthritic hands.
Needles can lose their finish over time and damage fabric. Experiment with the different finishes available to find the one that lasts longest and works best for you. Don't hesitate to throw out wornout needles that are loosing their finish and/or are bent. Needles are inexpensive and the better needles you use the easier it will be on your hands and your finished piece!
When ever possible use a hoop or frame large enough to fit the entire finished project inside. When this is not possible use a piece of muslin or other uncolored fabric (I use old white dishtowels torn into strips) and place it between your fabric and the hoop to preven the hoop/frame resting directly on to your finished work.