Temari with a Jingle not a Jangle

Finally, I figured out how to make a bell box for the core of a temari that had a nice bell sound to it without a rattle sound of the bell rolling around. Simple: don’t have a bell rolling around. But, if the bell has anything touching it, it muffles the sound. Hmm, had to think about that.

My first homemade bell box was a ping pong ball with a bell shoved inside through a cut in the side. Holes had to be made in the balls surface to allow the sound to come out, but more jangle than jingle was audible. I kept the basic idea, just tied the bells down to the inner surface of the ball.

The following are the steps I used to make my temari core bell box with a jingle instead of a jangle. You are welcome to use my idea.

You will need:

Ping pong

small bells

heavy thread (crochet thread works well)

large sharp needle

larger tapestry needle

electric tape

small piece of felt

craft knife

bell box 1

1.  Holes were made randomly in the surface of the ball using a sharp needle, then a larger blunt tapestry needle was used to enlarge the holes. More holes equal more sound escaping chamber.

bell box 2

2. Using a craft knife, a slit was carefully cut along the seam. It is thicker on the seam so when the ball is taped back together, it keeps its shape better than if cut off the seam where it is thinner and softer.

bell box 3

3. Insert the sharp needle thread with crochet thread through one of the hole and out the slit.

bell box 4

4. Cut a piece of felt to about the size of the bell. Stitch through the felt, through the loop on the back of the bell and back through the felt.

bell box 55. Bring the thread back through the slit and out a hole near the first hole that the thread came in. Shove the bell into the ball. For this ball, I added two more bells using the same method. I spaced them apart so that they would not touch each other.

bell box 8

6. Using the tapestry needle, the dented inside can be pushed back out.

bell box 6

7. Cut a piece of the electrical tape long enough to cover the slit. Cut the piece in half down the length to make it narrower.

bell box 7

8. The thread ends were pulled tight and then tied off. A dab of glue was placed on the knot just to make sure it did not come untied. It is ready to become the jingle in a temari.

Pincushion Paperweights

paper weight pin cushion

These three pincushions were made for our quilt guild chapters fundraiser auction coming up next week. They were made by sewing two circles of muslin together (leaving a small opening), filling with clean sand (a funnel is handy for this step), and then stitching the opening shut. Two circles of felt the same size were stitched together a little past halfway around, the sand bag was slipped between the two felt circles and then I finished stitching the felt circles together.

The stitching designs on the green and fuchsia  pincushions are temari inspired.

I found that it was easier to do the decorative stitching after the felt was stuffed with the sand bag because it did not need to be in an embroidery hoop the keep the tension of the stitching even as the felt surface was already a little taut. A button was centered on both the front and back and stitched through both, tying off in the front. I used a square knot, tied half the knot, put a little dab of glue in the center, then tied the other half the knot to prevent it from coming undone.

When I was working on cutting out some fabric from a pattern I made, I needed a weight for the fabric (I prefer to use just about anything other than pins when sewing) and immediately thought of my just made pincushions. They worked great. So, I am now calling them pincushion paperweights.

Temari 38

This temari did not go as planned, but in a good kind of way. I had envisioned one thing and as I was working, I decided it needed to be something else.

This temari is a C8 division stitched with  perle cotton threads which I have hand dyed.

temari 38

The plan was to stitch four pointed stars in each of the six “squares” on the ball, with each point of the star going out to a corner in the square. For those, I used a blue and green hand dyed variegated thread that was dark enough to have a good value contrast with the light green background thread that the ball is wrapped with. Being on a ball, they are really not square since the sides bow out, but easier to call them that.

Then the next step was going to be stitching another layer of four pointed stars centered on top of those but each turned so that the points go out to the sides and their points overlap with the adjacent stars.

Instead, I opted for a suggestion of the second layer of stars with bright green, but under instead of on top of the dark stars. I used the same green to outline the dark stars to give them more dimension and to tie the color back into the other layer.

The green ball was one of about half a dozen that I made one day a couple months  ago with the idea that I could have ready to stitch balls of different sizes and colors. That way, if I have a sit and wait situation like at a doctors office or waiting to pick up my son after a class, then before leaving the house, I can grab some thread and a ball out of a basket, stuff it in a small tote bag and go.

For this ball, I marked the ball that morning with the light blue thread before leaving the house, then got about half of the stitching done at the doctor’s office. For me, temari make nice portable projects that provide a pleasant way to pass waiting time.





Annual Quilt Guild Meeting

On Saturday, I attended the Richmond Quilt Guild’s annual quilt guild meeting for all of our guild chapters. Each chapter had a table set up to show off some of their beauties.

bits and pieces table

hospitality table

not sure whose table

not sure whose table 2

friendship circle table

james river heritage quilters

Yes, those are temari you see at one of the tables. I was asked if I would show some of my temari on our chapter’s table. The two small quilts in front and center are also mine.

temari and quilts at guild meeting

Getting ready for our guild quilt show coming up later this year, a few members from each chapter made don’t touch quilt signs which of course are quilts.

don't touch 5

don't touch 4

don't touch 3

don't touch 2

The one I made is in the center row, slightly to the right of center: white dog on yellow background with words “Pet dogs…not quilts!” I designed the quilt in Word on the computer, using a copyright free image, and then printed on fabric. I used pastel dye stick to color the image background.

don't touch 1

There were many attendees, but that is just a small fraction of the total number of members from all the chapters.

guild meeting big picture

There was the usual business part of the meeting with each chapter giving a report for their chapter including such things as programs, finances, charitable giving, etc. Throughout the morning, there were many door prizes from gift certificates to fabric stores to lovely items such as the tote sitting on the floor in the foreground of the picture above. Of course there was a pot luck luncheon with a fabulous array of homebaked goodies. I did not get to stay to hear the guest speaker as I had to go somewhere else.

Knot Quilt Almost Done

Almost, meaning it is closer to done than not done. The front is finished but there is still work to be done on the back which includes a rod pocket, hand sewing the inside edge of binding on back and a label.

knot quilt 2

After making the quilt top, this quilt project got derailed by two things: temari and lack of inspiration.
I just could not find the solution to how it needed to be quilted. So, I let it hang on the sewing room wall for months, until one day I decided to tackle it, but with no better ideas than before. Fortunately, after several failed attempts, it hit me that instead of having the quilting following the knot patterns, it needed to emphasize the oak leaf hydrangea leaves.

And it worked. To outline the leaves, I had to add lines where the leaves would have shown through the knot design since I wanted the leaves to be continuous and not cut off by the knot patterns. Quilting outlined the leaves and the major veining of them and then the rest of the background was quilted in another color.

knot quilt 11

Since there are some large areas of less densely quilted areas near the edge, those areas tended to bubble up. To cure that and to make sure the quilt would lay flat, I basted along just those areas then tugged on the lose thread end to ease the fullness out until it lay flat. Then I tied off the basting thread.

knot quilt 7

The next step was to attach binding. No amount of wishful thinking would help me find the perfect fabric either in my fabrics or at a store. I could have used a navy blue to go with the almost solid navy blue lines, but it would have looked too heavy. Any dyed fabric would look solid, heavy and just not right with it because this quilt top is white colored with fabric markers and pastel dye sticks.

The only solution that I would be happy with is to make binding that went with the quilt design. Whit fabric was cut and pressed into single fold binding. Next, using the same blue fabric marker used for the major knots, I colored the edges to imitate the bands in the knot work.

knot quilt 8

As you can see from the picture of the back, that only the front binding on the quilt has been sewn in place. The raw end was trimmed and folded to the back.

knot quilt 12

When I flipped the quilt over, I really liked how the quilting on the back looked but decided the leaves could use a little more color to separate them from the background a little more. Out came the pastel dye stick again. First, a little red, then orange, and finally (not shown) some highlights with yellow. After the back is finished, I will post a picture of it.

knot quilt 9

For the back binding, I found a scrap of fabric that complimented the orange backing fabric nicely and would look good with the navy blue thread that the front binding was sewn with. That is important to me because the outside edge of both are sewn together using color chosen for the quilt front binding.

To hold the back binding in place without distorting with pins, I used fusible web tape. Then the binding is stitched along the outer edge. I stitched with the top side up so that I could be sure to stitch down the center of the blue line on the edge of the binding.

knot quilt 10

While stitching the outside edge, when approaching a corner, I paused to add use my fabric marker to continue the line around the corner at the end of the of the overlapping binding. I could have done this before, but did not think of it till I reached a corner. The were two reasons to continue this line: 1. it looks more finished and in keeping with the closed knots in design and 2. the stitching would have shown there and looked out of place.

To learn how the knot patterns were generated, go to my previous post on this quilt, Knot Quilt Not Done.


Hand Dyed Threads and Two New Temari

My son’s science project required dyeing of fabric, which meant we had to take out  all the dye stuff. After he was done, I decided to leave it out and dye some threads in different weights and colors, with quite a few being variegated.

I really like how variegated threads add interest to temari and quilts. I used to buy variegated threads to couch on quilts, now that I have a source for white thread to dye, I will just dye what I want. Besides, it is fun to do.

hand dyed cotton and rayon threads

Here are two temari sporting hand dyed threads.

temari 36

The variegated thread is the only hand dyed in the one above. It is a simple 8 division of the ball with braided or ribbed stitching using single threads.

temari 37

Wanting to explore the braided or ribbed stitching some more, I created this C8 (complex 8 division) ball. The triangles were stitched from the outside to half way to their centers using the variegated thread. Then purple thread was used to stitch the squares in the same manner, but interweaving with the other thread where they cross over. There was a small gap along the marking lines, so I wrapped the ball with two double thread bands that weave through the center of the woven squares.

The whole ball was stitched with doubled thread. It was very tedious trying to keep the threads flat and untwisted, especially when it got down to the last few rows of weaving. I persevered and finished it. It was a good project to take my mind off of being miserable with a sinus infection.

Both the variegated and the “solid” purple are hand dyed. The purple is not really a true solid as it has slight variations in value. If the fibers, whether fabric or thread, are not agitated during the dye process, then the colors will be uneven and not leveled out to be solid. Solid is easy enough to come by at the store, but I tend to lean towards the almost solid and the variegated in preference.

I am sure there will be lots of temari with hand dyed threads in my future and quilts too. These are nice weights to either hand stitch with or to couch with the sewing machine.

3D Quilts- real, not illusory

Making things in 3D, real and not illusory, is a challenge I enjoy. I think it started with a couple origami books that probably my father bought when I was a child. I made every model in both books. I went on to making other paper models of things like polyhedrons, imaginary birds, etc. when in college.

I moved on to quilts, then came back to 3D by combining 3D and quilts. Both of the following quilts were made last year.

corrugated tessellation #1

Corrugated Tessellation #1

Technically, by the commonly accepted definition of a quilt as having two layers of fabric with a batt (which is sometime fabric or other material) in between and stitching holding together the three layer, Corrugated Tessellation #1 is a quilt. Although it has more than three layers, what and how it is quilted might be considered questionable my some. The top layer of fabric is machine stitched to a layer of stabilizer. The black back fabric encases a couple layers of heavyweight stabilizer (which are stitched together). And finally the folded top is hand stitched to the flat back with beads in the valleys. The beads on the peaks serve not only decoration, but hold the shape of folded intersections.

corrugated tessellation #1 close up

This small quilt is 12″ x 12″ x 1″. It utilizes a lightweight stabilizer as the batting on the 3D part and a heavy weight stabilizer for the 2D part.

Blue and White Double Pleat Square Tessellation Garden

Blue and White Double Pleat Square Tessellation Garden

Another small 3D quilt. It is approximately 15.25″ x 15.25″ x 1.25″. The blue fabric is one piece (except the border) and the white flowers are separate units tucked into the folds of the blue fabric. Both the white fabric and the hand dyed blue fabric were hand colored with texture rubbings using pastel dye sticks. When the pleats were folded, the textures were not visible until the pleats were pulled up and stitched together with beads to form square flowers.

blue and white double pleat close up

The quilt is self batted, meaning the folds of both the blue and the white fabrics become the inner layer that is used as the batting, with the layers held together with machine quilting.

I tend to not like picking favorites, since each quilt has something about it that makes it special, but this is one of my favorites.

Instead of limiting myself to just quilts, I have expanded into anything fiber, and lately it is three dimensional that holds my interest.

Note: the pictures are not very good representations of the quilts for two reasons. It is difficult for me to photograph them and one of my photo bulbs died so the lighting was even more compromised.

Temari 35 and Hand Dyed Threads

temari 35

This temari is the result of wanting to try out my newly hand dyed threads. I had purchased some 5/2 perle cotton and 5/2 bamboo thread from the Woolery during the Christmas holiday. It took me a while to get around to doing the dyeing as I was trying to give my injured arm a rest. Trying is the operative word; I learned that there are many things that can be done without using dominant arm, such as dyeing.

This is a C8 (combination 8) division of the ball with the six spindle exes stitched in some of my new hand dyed thread. The little squares and the exes are outlined in a solid color purchased light purple thread. The ball just did not look finished until I added a French knot at the intersection of three points.

Below are some the hand dyed threads from the first of many batches yet to come. The perle cotton 5/2 come as one pound cones, which translates to about 2,100 yards. Enough to last a little while.

hand dyed cotton and bamboo threads

The second from the left is the one used for this temari. I plan to use the one on the far right in my next temari project. I imagine some of these will end up being used for couching to quilts or the finer weight ones (which I have not dyed any of yet) used in the bobbin for quilting.

Knot Quilt Not Done

knot quilt- just the top

knot quilt- just the top

The design for this quilt was made using the Perlin Knot Generator. This is an online widget that is fun to play with. To start and stop the animation, you press “toggle animation”. I made a bunch of designs by randomly selecting the toggle button and then used a snipping tool to capture and save the images. From a couple of the designs in this quilt, I rearranged some elements to create my own design.

This quilt top has been hanging on my design wall above my sewing machine, teasing me every time I come to get supplies for making a new temari. I think is begging to be finished. Sometimes what goes on the back  of one of my quilts is suggested by what is on the front or how it is going to be quilted. I just have not thought that far ahead, but….

Hmm, an idea about knots has popped into my head. I’m thinking it will be a combination of machine quilting and hand ties (then the knot quilt will have another kind of knot).

I think that at least basting the top to batting and backing won’t put to much strain on the injured elbow, so I will hopefully get that done over the weekend. I just have not decided what to do for the backing.

About the quilt top: It is a whole cloth. The design was traced with a graphite pencil onto the fabric using my homemade light box. I used some fabric markers. They worked fairly well, but had a tendency for the color to pool wherever I started, stopped, or paused, hence the lack of uniformity of line width. At first this bothered me, now it doesn’t. I think it was this issue combined with me new infatuation with making temari that drew me away from finishing this quilt. To fill in the lines, I used pastel dye sticks. And for the background pastel dye sticks were used to make rubbing of oak leaf hydrangea leaves and rubbings of a basket weave texture plate meant for embossing.

Now, it is time to move on and make progress towards finishing it.

Several More Temari

Over the holidays, I created four more temari which were all made as gifts except one.

temari 31 pole view

temari 31 pole view

temari 31 side view

temari 31 side view

The simplicity of this temari lends to its bold, graphic quality. Only one thread, a variegated thread, was used to stitch the six spindles. By selecting a different color on the thread to start the stitching, then it was possible to get six differently patterned spindles.

This is an S6 temari for which additional guidelines were added to  skew the spindles so they did not run straight from pole to pole, but rather diagonally to create a spin effect when seen from a pole end. The original guide lines were removed so they would not distract from the design.

temari 32 side view

temari 32 side view

temari 32 pole view

temari 32 pole view

The design of this temari is an S16 with the silver guidelines clearly visible. The design is easier to make than it appears. Only one thread, a variegated thread, was used to stitch the two zig zag bands that cross at the equator. A solid green thread was used to stitch the star pattern at the poles.

temari 33 view 2

temari 33 view 2

temari 33

temari 33

This is a C8 division temari. The triangles bands are turned on point to the marked triangles and interlock at their points. The sides of four triangles create a square in which a solid square is stitched within a four pointed star. The stars interlock at their points to reflect the interlocking of the triangles, but creating a more complex design in the center of each triangle.

There are 8 triangles and 6 squares formed by the triangle sides which are the fourteen faces of the cuboctahedron polyhedron.

This temari was made as a gift for my mother who is red/green color blind so the emphasis was on line, shape, value contrast, and color gradation without the use of pure green or red.

temari 34 view 1

temari 34 view 1

temari 34 view 2

temari 34 view 2

This temari was made for the fun of it. The core of the ball is a cat toy bell encased in hard plastic sphere. The yarn wrapping a is made of three different wool yarns which was wet felted. The bell was safe inside its plastic shell from water corroding. Rather than obliterate the interesting textures and subtle colors of the wool yarns with a covering of thread, only a small amount of thread was added so that the yarn and the thread became the background.

Using the yarn as a background for stitching on makes for a challenging surface to get detail, so I did not even try. I opted for simple bands in a C4 design.

With this temari, the focus became texture instead of color. It is a quiet, unassuming ball.

It was a good thing this temari needed a simple design as I am supposed to be resting my right arm. A couple months ago I strained my elbow, or so I thought. I found out recently that it is a torn tendon which my doctor said would take several months to heal, if I am nice to it and longer if not. Some activities are okay and some are not. I have found that I can get away with some sewing if I use my other hand to pull the ball away from the needle rather than the needle away from the thread, and doing much more than a little is too much.