Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Teaching Tuesday - where are these lines going anyway?

In a previous life, I was a junior school teacher. One of the things I remember having to do on my PGCE, and subsequently inflicting on the children in my classes, was to talk about "travelling" in PE.

Basically, you get a load of children in a school hall, and ask them to "travel" across the room, or from one bench to another, or across a series of mats or obstacles. They then devise different methods of "travelling" (forward rolls, walking backwards, hopping etc) without bumping into anyone else. It's one of those things that you try to forget, but pops up again years later - when teaching machine embroidery, f'rinstance.

So, how are we going to travel across our calico (or whatever we're stitching on) today? Ideally you work this out before you start, or at least have some idea.

The sewing machine stitches a continuous line and with free machining, we have total control over where that line is going. But to be able to make it look like something, or outline a shape with many parts, you need to work out beforehand how you will travel across the fabric - i.e. how you will join up the different shapes and lines with your one continuous line.

The dreaded vermicelli is a line that needs thinking about - trying not to back yourself into a corner

Junior school teacher again - look at that handwriting practice...

Stars, hearts, and other little shapes all need to be joined somehow and somewhere. Sometimes you will need to double-back along your line - that's fine, and adds to the charm.

If you don't work out how you're going to travel before you start, this sort of thing happens:

Not sure where the deely boppers came from...

Next week, my new way of using up all those hoarded little scraps of fabric. Ahem:


  1. Well, where have I been this September? What a lot of wonderful posts to catch up on. I LOVE your samples & WISH I could come to your classes, what a laugh they would be (& I'd have something great at the end of it) I've been gazing at my boxes & bowls & tubs of snippets myself so I can't wait to see you here next week! Fabulous bowl, too ;)

  2. I love all your lines, I'm sure they merit a gold star!

  3. lovely machine doodles ;-)

    (ha, teaching pre schoolers was fun too ;-) )

  4. I agree with Sue. Give that woman a gold star for travelling so well across her fabric!!

  5. Oh my goodness I had totally forgotten the pain envolved in "traveling" in PE! Just remembered bunny hops on the bench!!! Aah!!!

  6. I love this blog...you learn something and have a laugh!!


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