Tucking in the round

Date made: April 2005

Tucking in the round

As part of the package of lessons I bought for my Janome 300e (embroidery machine) were heirloom sewing classes once a month. I know how to do machine heirloom sewing, but since I paid for these classes, I'm doggone gonna take them! Who knows .. I might even learn something different. :-) Because I arrived late to class, I had a choice of the dregs of the class kits ... the "best" of which was HOT PINK for the sunflower.

Anyway, this particular lesson was using Janome's circular stitching foot .... a really wierd, cumbersome presser foot that I wasn't impressed with at all. I'm glad I got to use it during class without having to buy it .. it would have been a very expensive item that I would never use again.

The lesson was making a sunflower using a tucking in the round technique ...
1. we cut a doughnut-shaped piece of fabric,
2. sewed radial tucks (tucks of fabric from the outer to inner edge of the doughnut),
3. As instructed by the teacher, I layered the tucked doughnut on top of a square of batting, secured the layered item in the circular stitching foot
4. used one of the machine's decorative stitches to hold the tucks down in concentric circles.

Sounds easy enough but what I discovered what actually happened that as the circular stitching foot rotated the layered fabric + batting, the batting became horribly bunched up underneath. This was something I didn't realize until I had completely stitched the first circle of decorative stitches. I assure you there was no way the batting could have been left in that condition and have a nice item result from it. Now in defense of the circular stitching foot, it could be that having the batting as the bottom layer wasn't recommended; that without the batting, it might have stitched the circular path wonderfully. I'll never know because I'm certainly not going to buy this specialty presser foot.

At that point, the lesson was over, so I packed everything up. Upon my return home, I very methodically ripped out the decorative stitches so the batting could be flat once more. Once that was done, I restitched the circular path, this time manually. I think that *I* did just a credible job as the circular stitching foot, in fact, better, since the batting didn't get messed up.

The outer edges of the sunflower were finished with prairie points; the center was covered with a machine appliqued circle. The square, box pillow has a shirred boxing strip.

Now, I think I did a nice enough job on the pillow ... but I don't particularly care for it. The colors don't go with ANYTHING in my house .. and the sunflower is HUGE. I mean HUGE. Like, over-powering for my taste. So, here I had the perfectly nicely constructed pillow that I had no use for. BUT .. aha! ... no wait. I'll defer what I did with the pillow in a couple of entries later on. :-)