Curved Stitching Based on Circles

  • poster board or fadeless paper (approximately 6" squares)
  • pencil
  • compass
  • protractor
  • push pin
  • small carpet squares
  • thread (2 or 3 strands of embroidery floss is very effective)
  • needle
  • scissors

The teacher shows the child to draw a circle on the poster board, using a pencil and a compass.

She then shows them to mark the circumference of the circle into equal parts, using the protractor. (Every 5 or 10 degrees works well.) The children can prick the holes on top of small carpet squares. If necessary the teacher can thread the needle and tie the knot or tape it to the back of the card. If desired, the children can number the holes.

The child can sew, starting at #1, and stitch across the circle to any other number, i..e. #10. The child moves forward, one hole, coming up in #11, and stitches down through one hole ahead of where he started (#2). He then comes up in hole #3 and stitches across to the next hole, #12. He continues in this way all around the circle. By stitching between points so that the threads form a series of equal chords, the stitching forms a circle which is concentric with the drawn circle.

The width of the circle is determined by how far along the circumference this sequence is begun. The closer the holes are along the circumference, the narrower the design. Beginning the sequence farther apart, results in a wider circle.

As soon as the child learns that he always moves forward one hole ahead as he crosses back and forth along the circle, he will no longer need to number the holes.

A circle may be stitched multiple times, using different widths, and if desired, contrasting thread.

The pattern below results when the child stitches from each hole to every other hole along the circle.

Experiment using velour or other specialty papers for the card stock.

Using thinner card stock, make greeting card for special occasions.

Make picture frames for school pictures, or to hang as ornaments on the Christmas Tree.

Stitch on fabric, using embroidery hoop to hold taut.

Decorate sweatshirts or T shirts with curve stitching.

In using curve stitching, the main aim should be to encourage the students to develop their own ideas. Once the principles of curve stitching are understood, it is usually only necessary to show them a couple of possibilities for them to start producing their own designs.