Two New Temari: stars and flowers

Using the same division of the surface of a sphere, very different designs can be achieved. For both, the C10 temari division was used. Comparing this to a geometric solid, the division lines would be the same as the vertices of a Disdyakis triacontahedron (aka: hexakis icosahedron or kisrhombic triacontahedron).

temari 80

In temari #80, pictured above, there are two layers of stitching. The stitching on the lower layer has pointed ovals that follow the edges of the twelve pentagon faces. The upper layer has stitched lines that zigzag around the ball, that together create stars within each pentagon and hexagons between three adjoining stars.

This design appears to have much potential in changing its appearance simply by changing colors, so it is probably one I will come back to in the future to try out variations.

temari 81

In temari #81, pictured above, there is only one layer since the two different stitched elements do not overlap. The idea for this temari grew from working on the previous temari. Seeing how the pointed ovals in the other one left interesting negative spaces, I decided to use that idea in this one. The pointed oval were replaced with diamonds to give the negative spaces a flower shape. Stitching was added to the negative shapes to suggest the centers of flowers.

The variegated threads used for the diamonds gave an otherwise static design more visual interest. Unfortunately, the dynamics of the color relationships do not translate well to photographs sometime.

Both took much longer to finish than I anticipated, but both were fun to make.

Three New Temari: different sizes and different purposes

Three new temari finished, each with a different function and size.

temari 77Temari #77, a very small temari (about 3/4″ in diameter) was made to be a book marker and given to another book lover as a thank you gift. The threads used for stitching this temari and for the braided cord are embroidery floss.

temari 78Temari #78, a medium sized temari ( 2″ in diameter) serves as a pincushion on one of my temari project tote bags. The decorative stitching is around the equator and on the bottom, leaving the top blank, except some small seed stitches to make sure the thread wrappings don’t move. Perle cotton threads in #5 and #8 were used for stitching. All are hand dyed except the off-white thread. When it is loaded with colorful pins, it looks like the top of a cupcake with sprinkles.

temari 79Temari #79, a large ball (about 7″ in diameter) was made just for looking at and the joy of making it. Three different sizes of thread were used to stitch this ball. A fine #8 perle cotton for the pentagons and triangles. #8 perle cotton was used for the blue diamonds. The thicker black thread and variegated threads are actually a silk/bamboo yarn. Except the black, all the decorative stitching threads are ones I have hand dyed.

Temari Pillow

This temari pillow is an accessory that was made for the Temari Project Tote Bag. This pillow goes in the bottom of the tote bag and is removable. It can be places on flat surface to rest you temari on to prevent your ball from rolling away or getting dirty.

SUPPLIES:

Top: cut one hexagon 10″ across (point to point)- same fabric (or same weight) as inner bag of the tote bag. Here, a lightweight linen was used, but could be muslin, flannel, or any fabric of similar weight.

Bottom: cut one 9″ x 9″- same fabric (or same weight) as pillow top.

Stabilizer: for pillow bottom- Pellon’s Peltex #70 Ultra firm stabilizer

  • Cut two at 7″ across (point to point)

Button: 1 at 3/4″ diameter (for temari pillow) or whatever size you like.

Click on this link for a printable pattern for the hexagons.

 

temari pillow 9

1. Stack the two stabilizer hexagons with edges aligned and then stitch them together with an over-edge zigzag stitch. An over-edge zigzag was used, but even a few hand stitches would be enough.

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2. Lay the stabilizer hexagons on top of the back of the pillow bottom fabric. Stitch them together with a small over-edge zigzag stitch.

temari pillow 1

3. Trim fabric to 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides of hexagon. A half inch wide ruler makes this easy.

temari pillow 2

4. Place the 10″ pillow top hexagon down with right side up (this fabric is same on both sides) and then place the hexagon bottom centered on top with stabilizer facing up. Pin them together in the middle of the sides.

With the pillow top fabric(seen on bottom here) being larger than the bottom, there will be some fabric that extends to the front and back of each side seam. This is okay as it will be corner pleats.

Start the stitching at a corner and stitch to the next corner. I back stitch at both start and stop but do not go past the corners.

When starting next side seam, make sure that the excess at the corner is folded back out of the way.

temari pillow 3

5. On the last side, only stitch about an inch from each corner, leaving an opening in between. This is the gap to turn it right side out. Notice that the excess in the corner in the picture is folded away from the corner so that it does not get stitched.

temari pillow 4

6. Notice that the excess in the corner in the picture is folded away from the corner so that it does not get stitched.

temari pillow 4.5

7. Flip it over so that stabilizer side is down. Notice that the corners are not stitched. This is ironed flat then stitched down. I found that sticking a pencil in the opening made it easier to flatten it centered rather than to one side or the other.

temari pillow 5

8. Stitch the corners closed.

temari pillow 6

9. Turn right side out. Fill with bean bag filler, polystyrene beads.  With the beads, don’t over fill or it will be difficult to make a dip in the center for the temari to rest in. Polyfill stuffing could be used instead of the beads.

temari pillow 7

10. Hand stitch the opening shut.

temari pillow 8

11. Stitch a button in center with stitching going through all layers to pull the top layer down in the center to form a dip. You have just button tufted your pillow and finished it.

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12. Here it is in situ, in the tote bag it was made for.

Temari Project Tote Bag Tutorial

This Temari Project Tote Bag Tutorial is based on my second version of this tote bag. It is a handy tote for other sewing projects too.This project is not recommended for beginner sewers.

temari tote v.2 1

Although this bag could easily be used for other types of needlework projects, there are couple nice features incorporated into the bag that have the temari maker in mind.

The tote bag has a hexagon base, six outer pockets and an inner drawstring bag. The pockets accommodate both thread and small tools. The button pocket closure serves the additional function of securing the thread that is dispensed through the eyelet hole below the button hole. There is an additional D-ring below the bag handle to hang a temari pincushion. These instructions do not include the temari pincushion but the temari pillow will be in a separate future post.

The instructions that are given are to make the bag as seen in the photo above which is slightly larger than the first version. You might wish to change things depending on what you have available such as: type of fabrics, size of D-rings, size of buttons, material used to  make strap, etc.

Just remember if you change the size of something, it might effect the dimensions of something else. For example a different size D-ring would need a different width strap to attach it to the bag.

There is little use of pins in this project, but feel free to use more pins if that is your desire.

SUPPLIES:

Looking ahead: a link to a printable hexagon template is provided in the next section, Making Bag.

Fabric

Outer bag– 1/3 yard  heavy weight fabric such as denim or upholstery fabric (I used denim)

  • Cut one at 7″ h. x 28″ w. (outer bag sides)
  • Cut one 11″ x 11″ (outer bag bottom)
  • Cut two at 1 1/2″ w. x 3″ l. (for D-rings)

Inner bag– lighter weight such as muslin (I used shirt weight linen)

  • Cut one at 10 1/4″ h. x 28″ w. (inner drawstring bag)
  • Cut  one at 11″ x 11 (lining for bag bottom)
  • Cut one at 7″ h. x 28″ w. (lining for outer bag)
  • Cut one at 2 1/2″ w. x 30″ w. (sleeve for drawstring)

Stabilizer for bag bottom- Pellon’s Peltex #70 Ultra firm stabilizer

  • Cut two at 8 3/4″ across (point to point)

6 buttons at 3/4″ diameter (for pocket closures)

6 eyelets at 1/4″ and eyelet tool (eyelets could be substituted with small buttonholes but there will be some friction on thread when thread is pulled through). NOTE: if I had larger eyelets, I would have used them as they would be easier to poke the thread through than these small ones.

3 D-rings at 3/4″

General purpose sewing thread– one to match inner fabric and one to match outer fabric

Twill tape at 1″ wide and 28″ long in a color to match inner fabric

Cording– #21 weight cotton cable cord (2mm craft cord is a comparable weight)

  • 4-6 yards (for braided handle)
  • 2 yards (for drawstrings)

Stencil material- a piece of heavy cardstock or stencil plastic that is at least 10″ x 10″.

Temari pillow– The temari pillow tutorial will be coming up soon but the following supply list is provided now so you can get your materials at the same time in case you wish to have the fabric match your bag.

for top: cut one hexagon 10″ across (point to point)- same fabric (or same weight) as inner bag

for bottom: cut one hexagon 8″ across (point to point)- same fabric (or same weight) as inner bag

Stabilizer for pillow bottom- Pellon’s Peltex #70 Ultra firm stabilizer

  • Cut two at 7″ across (point to point)

1 button at 3/4″ diameter (for temari pillow)

MAKING BAG:

Hexagon template

This pattern template is a half of a hexagon, cut to 10″ from point to point with a 9″ half hexagon inside. Click on this link for a printable pattern.

If you don’t wish to or are unable to print the hexagon template, then you will need to make one. Click on this link for printable instructions on how to draw your own.

me center point, draw a 9″ diameter circle inside the first circle. Use the comp

Hexagon base

temari tote v.2 2

Rough cut the hexagon outer fabric to slightly larger than the template.

temari tote v.2 3

Cut out hexagon inner fabric to slightly larger than the outer fabric. Here they are stacked together so you can see that I did not waste time cutting out the inner fabric, just tore a square to that is a little oversized.

temari tote v.2 4

Trim the template to 1/8″ smaller than the stitching line. It is easier to see what is meant in the next picture.

temari tote v.2 5

Note: The hexagon template gets cut to just a tad inside the stitching line because the stabilizer for the base needs to be slightly smaller than the finished size of the base. The seam that joins the top to bottom gets stitched close to but not right at the edge of the stabilizer. This makes it easier to stitch the two parts together and the end result looks nicer.

Use the resulting hexagon template to mark and cut two pieces of stabilizer. When tracing the template onto the stabilizer, I find it easier and more accurate to mark the template half on the stabilizer, then rotate the template and mark the other half, rather than trying to mark a folded stabilizer since it is so stiff.

temari tote v.2 6

Stack the two stabilizer hexagons with edges aligned and then stitch them together with an over-edge zigzag stitch.

temari tote v.2 7

Lay the stabilizer hexagon on top of the back of the inner fabric. Stitch them together with a smaller zigzag stitch than in previous step.

temari tote v.2 8

Flip over the stabilizer and inner fabric so that inner fabric is up and place on top of outer fabric. Use a straight stitch to baste them together. Notice that the stitching is close to, but not right against, the stabilizer. When stitching the hexagon base to the sides, you will be stitching a tad closer so this should not show. The edge of the lining fabric is turned up so you can see the outer fabric it is being stitched to.

Trim seam allowance to 1/2″ from edge of stabilizer. This will give a 3/8″ seam allowance. The extra 1/8″ is to keep the stitching off the stabilizer so it is not in the seam.

Outer Bag 

 temari tote v.2 9

Take the two pieces of fabric that are 7″ x 28″ and place right sides together. Stitch 1/2″ from edge along one long side.

note: I used the wrong side of the denim as the right side since I wanted a lighter colored denim bag.

temari tote v.2 10

Press the seam allowance towards the inner fabric side and then top stitch close to the seam. In the photo above, the edge is turned back so you can see the back too.

temari tote v.2 11

Fold the stitched together fabrics with right sides together and align seam and pin short side. Stitch 1/2″ from edge.

temari tote v.2 12

Press seam allowances open. Pressing the seam open rather than to one side, not only reduces bulk when stitching to base later, but looks nicer.

temari tote v.2 13

Fold along long seam so that wrong sides are together and pin along the folded side. Stitch 1/2″ from edge. This will be the top edge of outer bag.

Then pin together the other long edges and stitch about 1/4″ from edge. This will be the bottom edge of the bag. Stitching the two fabrics together makes it easier to manage them when pinning and stitching them to the bottom later.

temari tote v.2 14

Fold the resulting short tube in half so that the short seam is exactly at one of the two folds. Use a ruler and find center of the top edge of the bag and pin mark. Then pin mark edge at 2 1/4″ to each side of the center mark pin. This will give a space of 4 1/4″ between two pins.

temari tote v.2 15

Flip bag over and again pin mark edge at 2 1/4″ to each side of the center mark pin. Remove center pin.

temari tote v.2 16

Pin mark edge at each fold.

temari tote v.2 17Stitch buttonholes so that they are centered between pins and the top of the buttonhole is about 5/8″ from top edge. That way you don’t have to stitch a buttonhole through the bulky seam allowance along the top edge. The pink dots represent the pins that I forgot to leave in for the picture in my eagerness to move on to next step.

Inner Bag 

temari tote v.2 18

Measure up from bottom to center of button hole. Mine is 5 1/2″. This is the height at which to stitch the twill tape to the inner bag fabric.

Yours might be different if you placed the buttonholes down further or used a different size of button and therefore buttonhole.

OR…

temari tote v.2 19

Just line up the sides of outer bag with the short side of the inner bag fabric and use the distance from bottom of outer bag to center of button hole and mark both short sides of inner bag fabric. Lay the Twill tape so it is centered over marks, pin in place and then stitch it down to fabric along both sides of the tape. Put a small pencil mark in one of the corners at the bottom edge so you will know which is top and which is bottom in later step. See my little mark in lower right corner?

With the twill tape to the outside, line up the short sides of the outer bag and stitch with XXX” seam allowance, then stitch again with an over-edge stitch.

temari tote v.2 20

Along the length of the 2 1/2″ x 30″ piece, fold over 1/2″ seam allowance and press. Stitch folded edge down with a triple stitch zigzag stitch. Press seam to one side and then turn the tube of fabric right side out a

Note: It is difficult to see the edge of seam allowance in this picture because it is on the other side and just showing through the fabric. I don’t like to use pins and find that sewing it from the other side works well without pins.

temari tote v.2 21

Cut the strip into 2 1/2″ long pieces so there should be 6 at 2 1/2″ x 4″. Fold them in half along length and machine baste about 1/4″ from cut edge (not folded edge).

temari tote v.2 22

Pin all six of the sleeves to the top edge of the inner bag evenly spaced apart.

XXXXXXXXXXX make note of spacing of sleeves in relation to side seam of inner bag.

Then stitch at 1/2″ from edge.

temari tote v.2 23

Use an over edge zigzag stitch to finish the seam edge.

temari tote v.2 24

Fold sleeves back and press. Stitch seam allowance down using a triple stitch zigzag stitch.

Note: Don’t let the fact that the outer bag and the drawstring cords are in this picture mislead you. I had to redo this step after the bag was “done” since the original drawstring sleeve was too tight to allow the cords to cinch the bag closed.

temari tote v.2 25

Assembling Parts 

Pin together the inner and outer bags so that the little sleeves are spaced between the button holes. Machine baste them together about 1/4″ from edge.

temari tote v.2 26

Install an eyelet at about 3/8″ below each buttonhole.

temari tote v.2 27

In the next step, you are stitching the inner and outer bags together and creating pockets at the same time.

Use a narrow zigzag stitch and topstitch along outer bag seam up to the top stitching at top of bag, then switch zigzag settings to make a bar tack at top.

temari tote v.2 28

Lay bag flat and use a ruler to mark a vertical line that is centered between two button holes and stitch the same as the one on the seam in previous step. Repeat until all six are done. These

temari tote v.2 29

Pin hexagon base to bag bottom. The vertical pocket seams that you just stitched will be lined up with the corners of the hexagon.

Using a zipper foot, stitch 3/8″ from edge. A zipper foot works well, allowing the seam to be about 1/8″ from stabilizer. When working with the bag bottom facing up, it is important to constantly be adjusting the bulk of the bag underneath so it does not get caught up in the seam. If it does, a seam ripper is a handy solution.

temari tote v.2 30

Using an over edge zigzag stitch to finish the seam edge.

For this step, the bag bottom was at the bottom to make it easier to stitch without worrying about fabric getting caught up in seam. Notice that each corner is clipped to make the seam allowance lie flat while stitching.

temari tote v.2 31

Fold the 1 1/2″ x 3″ strips down the length so that cut edges are to center and press. Next, stitch down center with triple zigzag stitch.

temari tote v.2 32

Slip one D-ring onto one band and slip two D-rings on the other band. With right side out, whip the two ends together to form a loop.

temari tote v.2 33

Before stitching the D-ring loops onto bag, make sure inner bag in fold down into bag, and pin it to outer bag to keep it out of the way. That is what the pin in the picture below is for, not for pinning the loop.

For both loops, roll the seam to 1/2″ from the bottom fold and press.

For the loop with two D-rings, place loop on side seam with 1/4″ sticking above bag and both rings at the top fold. Remember to place the loop seam should be at bottom. Stitch loop in place at 1/2″ from bottom with a straight stitch to baste it in place and then secure it with a bar tack.

temari tote v.2 34

Slide one D-ring down and then stitch between the D-rings at 1/4″ from top of bag, first with straight stitch and then bar tack.

Attaching the loop with only one D-ring is the same, you just don’t have to deal with a second loop.

temari tote v.2 35

Drawstring Closure

Thread a length of cord through all six short sleeves so that two ends come out in space between two adjacent sleeves that lines up with one of the D-ring loops.

Thread the second length of cord so that it starts and ends at a space that is opposite the first one and lines up with the other D-ring loop. Tie ends and trim cords.

temari tote v.2 36

Now for the handle. The cording length was given as 4-6 feet since it depends on if you tend to braid tightly or loosely and if you use 3 or more strands to braid with. This handle is a four strand braid.

Cut the cord into two pieces and fold them both in half. Take the loop end of the cords and insert them into the top D-ring of the loop with two D-rings. Insert the cut ends through the cord loops and pull the cords through until the cords make a snug cow hitch (lanyard hitch) knot. Braid four strands together. There are plenty of tutorials on how to make a four strand braid on the internet. When the braid is long enough to wrap around one side of the bag to the other D-ring, split the braid end into two groups of two strands and insert on group through empty D-ring. continue to braid for a couple more inches and then tie off end and trim the cord ends about an inch from knot.

Note: you will want the handle to be long enough to wrap around one side of the bag so that it is out of the way when putting in or taking out the temari ball.

Your temari project tote bag is done.

Here are a couple of accessories for your bag. A peek inside the bag shows a temari resting on a removable pillow. The pillow can be taken out and placed on a table to rest your temari on so it does not roll away. As mentioned before, the temari pillow tutorial will be in an upcoming tutorial.

temari tote v.2 37

The next picture show the additional D-ring in use.

temari tote v.2 38

The Creation of a Chickweed Pollen Grain Temari

Chickweed, Stellaria Media, is common and widespread in both North America and Europe. A chickweed pollen grain has a beautiful geometric structure. Before the grain swells up, it looks like a dodecahedron with concave sides.

temari 76 chickweed pollen grain

How could I resist creating a chickweed pollen grain when it encompasses polyhedron structure (a long time interest), temari making (a relatively new interest, only 2 years), felt (a revived interest) and pollen (bane of my existence). Being able to combine several interests and poke fun of my allergies at the same time was a worthy challenge.

The temari developed quite naturally, with each element of the structure and techniques suggesting themselves. When looking at electron microscope pictures of chickweed pollen grains and reading about the structure of pollen grains, I could see the different parts as different materials or techniques.

The electron microscope images of pollen grains found on internet are rendered in grayscale then colored for visual clarity. Here, for my pollen grain temari, I have used “artistic license” for coloring without any extreme diversion from the natural color of pollen.

A chickweed pollen grain basically resembles a dodecahedron, a twelve regular pentagonal sides, except the sides are concave with a circular hole (pore) in the center of each. This outside skin that takes the shape of a dodecahedron, is called an exine (or exospore). Felt seemed like the obvious solution to creating this outside skin. A lovely warm yellow was hand dyed for this project.

pollen grain temari 7

Scattered across the surface of the exine of a chickweed pollen grain are little spines (spinuli) that could easily be represented by French knots.

pollen grain temari 8

Poking through the holes, or pores of the exine are cells that also look like French knots. These make slightly curved mounds in the circular pores. A temari ball as a base would make  a perfect base to create the slightly raised circular areas of knots and create a solid base on which to add the felt exine with its spines.

pollen grain temari 9

The only structural challenge was to figure out how to pad the cavity between the ball and the outer felt skin so that it would keep its polyhedron shape and not cave in with any pressure against it. I thought of couching down multiple strands of yarn, but realized it would be easier if it was a single large strand, which suggested upholstery cording. Then to smooth over the cord shapes, pieces of felt were stitched on top of them, giving it a nicer contour.

pollen grain temari 10

The following are pictures of the work in progress:

pollen grain temari 1

Temari marked as a C10 with felt pentagons- both ready to be stitched on

pollen grain temari 2

Building the dodecahedron shape with upholstery cording and felt on the ball

pollen grain temari 3

Stitching the felt exine together into two parts

pollen grain temari 4

Stitching French knot on ball using a felt template for circle placement

pollen grain temari 5

The two felt halves partially stitched together and adding a few more knots along opening

pollen grain temari 6

Felt exine on ball being stitched closed. A few more knots were added along the seam

temari 76 chickweed pollen grain

To finish the temari, the felt was tacked down to the ball near the circular openings to create the concavity of the sides

This was one of those projects that was very satisfying to make with it presenting an interesting challenge and then having all the ideas come together to create the intended form with a pleasing result.

Hand Dyed Felt

In the past year, felt has reentered my fiber world. During art school year, I dabbled in felt making, creating a number of interesting felt objects. Due to an allergy to lanolin, the oil in wool, I have shied away from working with wool.

But recently, I discovered that working with already felted wool, especially the rayon/wool blend, does not cause itching. Probably due to all the processing and reduced amount of wool.

Of course the selection of pre-dyed felt colors just does not quite meet my needs, so time to dye my own. What a great excuse to dye. I have just started with creating a stash of hand dyed 65% rayon / 35% wool blend felt, but decided to share pictures of the first batch.

hand dyed felt

That lovely warm yellow in the middle of the batch has already been cut up and only a tad bit remains.

An upcoming post will feature the temari that sports a coat of that gorgeous yellow felt. It is a most unusual and unique temari that represents something very common and abundant yet is seldom noticed. Come back soon for the answer to the mystery.

Temari Project Tote Bag- version two

Here is another temari project tote bag, but with some improvements on the original design. Before explaining the improvements, I should first admit that this post is a bit of a tease. You get to see the new, improved version before I post a tutorial on how you can make your own.

014Although this bag is made with different fabrics, only the inner fabrics are an improvement over the original one. The outer denim fabric was chosen to differentiate from the other bag.  Since I now have two temari tote bags, it would be nice at a glance to know which one to grab on the way out the door.

On a side note, the denim is from an old, castoff pair of my husbands jeans. The pants were worn until the fabric was nice and soft, but they had too many holes, and not just in the knees.

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The original bag had mesh inner fabric which made it possible to see what was in the pocket from the inside. But that advantage was offset by the fact that pin heads sticking out of the ball would catch in the holes of the mesh fabric when taking the ball in or out of the bag and then the pins would get pulled out of the ball. This would not be a big deal except that the pins on temari are usually are for marking. It is no fun trying to re-measure and re-pin randomly plucked out pins when the time could be spent stitching.

So this time, a lovely light weight linen was used for the inner fabric.

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The same linen fabric was used to make the little hexagon pillow for the temari. The pillow is not really necessary for the tote bag. But it is removable from the bag so that it can be used as a rest for the temari to sit on, which prevents the ball from rolling off a flat surface such a table.

This temari rest is more of a pillow in this version and more of a cushion in the original one. Knowing I would be writing a tutorial for this tote bag, I decided that the temari rest needed to be easier to make than the cushion, hence the pillow version. Although the pillow uses pellets to fill the form instead of foam, polyester fiber fill, like the kind used for pillows and stuffed animals, could be used instead.

This bag is a tad bit wider than the first one, so it will be reserved for slightly larger temari projects. Using the original bag for smaller temari will help prevent the pins from getting snagged and pulled out by the mesh since it is easier to wrap a small temari in my hand to keep the pins away from the mesh fabric.

This bag was made slightly larger so that the width of the pockets would be slightly more generous to fit my supplies easily. I noticed that the pockets in the original one were a bit of a tight fit for my larger thread balls and a snug fit for my needle book or my magnetic needle nest. The roomier pockets are more accommodating and easier to use.

The basic bag design is the same. The improvements include different fabric for the inner bag, larger pockets and an easier to make temari rest. Oh, and I moved  the eyelet holes up higher to make it easier to thread the thread through the eyelet holes. Of course this meant that the buttons and buttonholes had to be moved up too. I hope you like the new and improved version as much as I do.

In the upcoming tutorial, you will also get to see the temari pincushion made just for this bag and my homemade thread dispensers.

It will be a few days before the tutorial is posted, so come back soon or follow my blog so you get a notice when there is a new post.

Six Temari Plus Three More

For several months before and the couple months since surgery on my elbow, my temari production rate has been way down.

Currently, some days are better days for sewing than others, so I limit how many minutes I can sew each day to prevent inflammation making it get worse. The overall trend is improvement.

temari 64

Temari #64, is relatively simple C8 with minimal but has a dramatic impact visually. The thread is a bamboo silk blend for which the four ply yarn was split to reduce it to two ply yarn about the size of a #5 perle cotton thread.

temari 65

Temari #65 above, is very similar to #48, which a friend really liked, so it got remade in a different color scheme. This is a C10 division. The threads are all hand dyed except the white.

temari 66

Temari #66 is also a C10 division. This temari is unusual for me in that I used only one color for the embroidery, and one that is not even dyed.

temari 68

Temari #67 is a C8. I tried adding more stitching to this one, but the empty spaces needed to stay empty and uncluttered, so the stitching got removed. This uses more of my hand dyed thread.

temari 67

Temari #68 is similar to #64 but different. There will eventually be a third temari with black and white bands on a C8 division to go with these two to be displayed as a group. It just has not happened yet as other new ideas come up and distract me from finishing the triad.

temari 69 view 4

Temari #69 is one that I started back towards the beginning of last year for an online temari group, completed less than half and then set it aside for quite a few months. It is a small scale version of temari #26. With a diameter of 7″, it is 1/3 the size of #26.

I finally finished it before surgery. And then there was surgery. Since then, I have made only three temari.

temari 70

The little C10 above #70. It is only 1 3/8″ in diameter. The size was less of a challenge in making it than the limited use of my hand and arm which were in a brace at the time. The camera refused to accurately record the colors. The background thread is actually a rich emerald green.

temari 71

Temari #71 is a C8 with interlocking triangles and triangle knots. The two green threads are some of my hand dyed threads, but the blue is not. This is a variation on my temari #44.

temari 72 view 1

Temari #72 is represents the start of a new direction in temari for me. I had made a couple of felt pincushions with an embroidered design on the tops which were inspired by temari stitched designs. Those in turn inspired this temari.

temari 72 view 2

Above is another view of #72. In this picture, how much the stacked felt circles sit proud of the ball’s surface is more apparent than in the first picture.

This is a C8 with additional marking lines to change it to having 16 faces- 4 hexagons and 12 pentagons. Cutting out all the little circles was a bit tedious, but I enjoyed the process of making this temari and am pleased with the end result. The felt has created an unexpected tactile quality that makes the temari irresistible to handle.

Both this temari and the previous one are sporting threads from my latest batch of threads that I hand dyed. The latest batch includes some pastels to help round out the color pallet of threads.

By the way, this is the same pink ball that is pictured in my temari project tote bag blog post.

With a fresh new batch of hand dyed threads and an arm that is getting better, I am looking forward to making more temari soon.

Temari Project Tote Bag

This linen tote bag was designed and made especially for carrying a temari project. I got tired of fishing around in the bottom of a bag for tools, supplies or a temari. Pin heads sticking out of temari often tangled in thread and would get pulled out.

temari tote 1This was a challenging project for a couple of reasons. I started this project shortly after having surgery on my elbow of dominant hand. My arm was in a full arm splint that limited motion and pain also imposed limits. So, it progressed a little slowly, but this gave me time to think about steps rather than just plow through the project. The other challenge was designing the bag to have all the features that would make it easy to use.

The handle is a four strand rope braid. The rope was purchased from a hardware store years ago. Hanging off one of the handle straps is a temari pincushion, which is detachable.

temari pincushion

Notice the buttons and the eyelet holes. They are not decorations but are functional. The button close pockets that are on the inside which hold thread. The thread is threaded out the eyelet holes and pulled on when a length is needed. To secure the thread, it is wrapped around the button, similar to a button and string envelop where I got the idea from.

temari tote 2

In the picture above, one of the pockets is unbuttoned so you can see one of the pockets is used for a needle case and a pair of scissors.

The mesh pocket liner has a drawstring closure. Opened, it reveals a temari ball waiting to be stitched.

temari tote 3

Below, the ball has been removed to show the hexagon donut shaped pillow that the temari rests on. The pillow was made of a piece of foam covered in felt.

temari tote 4The base of the bag is a hexagon, but it does not show in the picture.

temari tote 5Taken out, the donut pillow makes a nice rest so the ball does not roll off a table.

temari tote 6

 

Knot Temari: a very large temari

temari 26 with ruler and small temari for size reference

Why Big:

Always looking to explore new challenges, I decided to make a large temari- a very large temari.

Most temari average 3″ to 4″ in diameter and larger ones that I have seen on internet are about 6″ to 7″ in diameter. The largest one that I had made was slightly larger than a basket ball at a little over 10″ in diameter. That size did not really present much in the way of technical or design challenges, so I decided to go even larger. Temari #26 (aka Knot Temari or Big Temari) is 21″ in diameter. That is about the size of a typical large beach ball.

Challenges with Big:

The biggest challenges in making a very large temari had to do with handling a beach ball sized ball. If the core was made with my usual materials such as scraps of fleece or batting wadded around a noise maker, as lightweight as those materials are, they would have made the ball too heavy to handle.

Wrapping the ball in yarn and thread was another challenge that required a new method for coping with size.

I decided to use a thicker thread that would be more proportionately pleasing on the large ball size and type of stitched designs that were going to cover the surface. Trying to find the right size thread was a challenge that was met by not finding it, but making it.

Thicker thread required a larger eyed needle. Stitching on a surface of a sphere for which the curve is closer to flat than on a small ball meant that short straight needles were not going to be as effective as a long curved needle. So, a large eyed, long curved needle was needed, but where could I find one?

creating designs suitable for a large scale ball, rather than an enlarged version of something appropriate for an average sized temari, was a challenge that provided an opportunity to explore more complex designs.

In the following section on how the temari was made, I explain how all these challenges were tackled.

filler

How made Big:

One of the most important things I had to consider before starting was determining what to materials to use for the core. It needed to be light weight so that as a large ball it could be reasonable to handle without causing fatigue. It also needed to be malleable that could be shaped into a sphere while being firm enough to retain its spherical form. I did not want to use a material that would degrade. And finally, cost and environmental impact were concerns.

Polystyrene packing peanuts fit all these requirements. Polystyrene is an inert material which does not break down, attract moths or other bugs, and is very lightweight.  As a bonus, it was free since it was donated by a friend and their use defers their destination to a landfill.

Using polystyrene packing peanuts meant a means of containing them had to be found. On internet, I noticed that temari makers who use loose fillings such as rice hulls, will fill the toe of a sock or stocking or wrap paper or plastic around the loose fill. I used two mesh laundry bags to hold the peanuts.

Making the core of this temari started with partially filling  two mesh laundry bags with polystyrene peanuts. One bag was not big enough, so I used two. They were not completely filled as a rectangular pillow shape would have been difficult to reshape into sphere. A bell was added to each bag. (A friend’s mother who is Japanese and used to make them when she was younger is disappointed when a temari is silent, so out of respect to her, I add a bell to each temari I make.)wrapping ball 1

Then just enough yarn was wrapped around the two bags of foam peanuts to make it roughly spherical in shape. Next, strips of batting were wound around the rough ball to smooth out the big lumps and provide a smoother surface for the yarn wrap. Three pounds of yarn was used for the next layer. For the final thread layer that would be stitched on,  four cones of black serger thread (3000 yards each) were used.

wrapping ball 2 At first, I used a chair to rest the core on while winding yarn. The height of the chair seat height was good for thumping the ball down to compact the foam peanuts while shaping it into a tight ball so they would not shift around and deform the shape later.

Once the ball was stable with no foam peanuts moving around, I found that winding the yarn was easier when I had the ball resting on a smooth table. My sewing machine table is a desk with plastic laminate at a good height to work at while standing. After some trial and error, I found a method of spinning the ball with one hand while guiding the yarn or thread with the other hand. Winding the yarn and thread on the core took a long time since I found it necessary to work in small time chunks each day to prevent repetitive motion injury.

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When I was done wrapping the ball in its final layer of black thread, I discovered that the solid black on that scale was not very pleasing as it gave the surface a dead flatness (for lack of better description) that was contrary to its physical shape. So, I added touches of color that would be used to embroider the surface later. Machine embroidery threads in purple, turquoise and dark pink were sparsely wrapped over surface of the black and then a sparse layer of black over the colors to visually integrate them with the black surface. The solid black on such a large surface made the ball remind me of a black hole, giving the whole thing a heavy appearance, so adding the colors near the surface tied the surface of the background into the stitched designs.

When I started this temari, I was unable to find a large eyed, long curved needle to purchase locally, so I made a couple. Later I found some which I bought. For larger curved needles, I prefer the shallower curve of the ones I made over the purchased ones.

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Small purchased needle and two large handmade needles

The surface of the ball was divided as a C10 in the usual way with a strip of paper. Actually tyvec was used here since I had a piece long enough. I don’t intend to use that again since it was a little stretchy therefore hard to keep marking accurate. The finished marking was close enough to true that it would not affect the stitched designs, so I left the marking.

measuring ball

Then the purple bands were marked and stitched based on the icosidodecahedron polyhedron, which is the tessellation of twelve pentagons and 20 triangles on the surface, for 32 faces. To do this, the bands went through the middle of adjacent sides of pentagons which creates a smaller pentagon on point inside each pentagon and the lobbed off corners of the larger pentagons become the triangles.

 stitching bands

I am very fond of variegated yarns and threads since they add a dynamic quality to what would otherwise be a static design, but I usually use them with a solid to show off their changing nature. I found the perfect colors, but not in the right size. The yarn for the purple in the bands was an eight ply cotton yarn which I split into 4 plies. The yarn used for the knot designs were 4 ply cotton crochet threads all of which I split into 2 plies. Splitting the yarns brought all of them down to about the size of #5 perle (pearl) cotton.

Each of the pentagon areas were embroidered with knot designs. For the triangle, I used the same pattern and colors for all 20 to have a constant throughout the ball. For the 12 pentagons, I created 6 knot designs to use as pairs on opposite poles so that no two alike are seen at the same time.

stitching triagle designs

At first, the ball was just placed on a round lipped waste basket (don’t worry- it was new and clean) while stitching the knots, but this required frequent lifting and turning of the ball. I found this to be really tiring and hard on the arms and shoulders. So I mounted the waste basket on a lazy susan (turntable with ball bearings) which I mounted on a piece of plywood (to stabilize the base). This was placed on the floor in front of my chair. The turntable significantly reduced the amount of turning necessary to stitch the designs, but it still had to be lifted occasionally.

temari 26 view 1-3

temari 26 view 4-6

Having Fun:

I have to fight a tendency to preplan projects down to the last detail in my head or on paper, leaving no room for spontaneity or happy accidents and once it is done in my head, then I get bored with the project long before it is completed. Consequently, I try to save some things for designing as I go.

Although I designed each knot pattern as I went, I had already determined the thread colors and made up some design rules to help guide the design process. Some of the rules I made up were things like: the number of threads wide for the bands of each color, each color occupied the center of two knot designs, the green thread was the main color and the other two played supporting roles, the main color must create a knot without the aid of the intertwining of the other colors. Then I deliberately bent or broke the rules to add interest created by inconsistency.

This was a fun and challenging project for which I found the entire process and end product to be very rewarding. I am certain there are more temari in the large to very large categories in my future as there is something about the scale that is just appealing to me.

waiting