Mandolin Case

mandolin case

Just a simple mandolin case, that shouldn’t be too difficult to design and make. I quickly became disillusioned of that idea after getting started.

My son has added a mandolin to the growing collection of music instruments that he plays. But, it came without a case. That should be easy enough to make, I thought.

First, I traced the outline of the mandolin and measured the maximum depth so I could make a pattern. Then I rounded up materials.

The fabric for front and back pieces, the zippers and the strap are from recycled luggage. A couple garment bags were purchased at a thrift store and then disassembled for their fabric and hardware. Lots of zippers in a garment bag. It was an inexpensive way to get a long double slider zipper and some heavy duty fabric.

But it required some extra effort of seam ripping and done carefully so as to not ruin the zippers. There was just enough of the dark blue fabric for the front and back fabrics. I was even able to cut out the front piece so that it included a zippered pocket from the original garment bag.

For the side pieces, I was going to use fabric from the black bag, but the fabric has a fairly open weave, which did not seem like a good choice.

I needed less than a 1/4 yard of fabric for the side pieces, but did not have any leftover scraps that would do. This meant a trip to a fabric store. I went shopping with a friend to a fabric store closing sale where I found several yards of a brown fabric that would work nicely. Didn’t need or want that much, but the whole thing cost about the same as buying a 1/4 yard of fabric at regular price and it was suitable for the project.

There was one more material to find and purchase, which was 1/2″ thick foam for padding. The rest of materials needed was just thread, needles, inner fabric and stabilizer; all of which I already had.

patches in her box of fabric

The inner fabric was a scrap that had migrated to the box of fuzzy fabrics that my dog likes to sleep in. It got washed, cut up and stitched into the case. Don’t worry about my dog, she has plenty of fluffy fabrics in her box.

To give the bag some rigidity, a layer of heavy duty stabilizer was added to the bag. The foam was stitched to the stabilizer and trimmed to the same size as the stabilizer.The stabilizer and foam had to be cut to a tad less than the finished size with no seam allowance so that they would not add bulk to the seams.

mandolin padding

Trying to cram stiff stabilizer and 1/2″ thick foam through the machine took patience and a shorter presser foot. The need for a shorter presser foot was an idea that came to me after a long struggle with a regular foot. I used a free-motion embroidery foot since it is a little shorter. Even then, I had to compress the materials to get them through the machine.

The hardware was stitched to the outer fabric pieces. Should be simple enough.

mandolin case handle

Nope, I mistakenly attached the handle to the hinge side of the case instead of the zipper side. That would have not only been inconvenient form my son to have to set the case down and turn it around to unzip it, it could have been disastrous. If the case was not zipped all the way shut when picked up (which might not be noticed since not on handle side), then the mandolin could have fallen out.

mandolin case handle on wrong side

So, back to seam ripping again. This time I had to carefully remove the handle and D-rings (for strap that got omitted from final product), then figure out where to locate handle on the other side and reattach it.

Next, the stabilizer/foam pieces were stitched to the fabric pieces. First to the liner and then to the outer fabrics for the front and back pieces and in the reverse order for the side pieces.

What I did not realize was that the stabilizer in addition to the foam would make the pieces rather stiff. That was a good thing for the finished product to protect the mandolin, but for construction, it made assembling on the sewing machine a physically challenging step in the process.

Flat pieces were not difficult to sew together, but once the thing starting to take shape it was becoming a monster to handle. In the picture below, I had just started to sew the side to the back piece and it was relatively easy going at this point.

mandolin case assembly

I am pleased with the finished product and more importantly, so is my son.

If I had to do this over again, it would be a little easier for the lessons learned and much easier if it could be made on an industrial sewing machine that was built for this type of sewing. This is not a project I would volunteer to do again even though it was worth the effort of making the mandolin bag, both so the mandolin could have a case and for the value of the learning experience.

Of course, there is all those leftover zippers that I am sure will find their way into future projects. Hmmm, I’m thinking of one of my zippered bags which is going into self-destruct mode after many years of service and needs replacing. With all those zippers, there could be different compartments and there could be….

Felt Leaves and Flowers Temari

Looking forward to spring, this temari was inspired by my love of gardening.

illicium floridanum in snow

There is a wonderful bush in our backyard, Illicium Floridanum, also known as Star Anise.  It is a Florida native that is not supposed to do well outside its deep south native area, but for some reason it does well in our yard in Virginia. The picture above was taken this morning and the one below was take in May a few years ago while it was blooming.

illicium floridanum

It has small dark red blooms that are mostly hidden beneath the canopy of the bush’s leaves. The flowers are charming, but not showy. This bush was the original inspiration for this temari.

illicium floridanum

The first set of felt leaves just looked too big for the ball, so I made them narrower. This, of course, made the triangular areas between the leaves larger, and would thus make the flowers more exposed. With the new leaves, the design no longer reflected the idea of Star Anise flowers being mostly obscured by leaves.

temari 91 c8 felt leaves and flowers

With the design change due to the leaves, it seemed appropriate to change the flowers to suit the new open space.The flowers became a brighter, more stylized and more showy rather than representational of star anise flowers.

This is a C8 division temari. The felt is a hand dyed rayon/wool blend and the threads are hand dyed perle cotton in sizes 5 and 8.

Those too wide leaves that were set aside have a new destiny in another temari, which will be in an upcoming post, if I can work out a couple technical issues.

Making a New Cover for a Tailor’s Sleeve Press Tutorial

While cleaning up the sewing room today, I got side tracked by two projects. Both related to the cleaning up. In putting away spools of thread and bobbins, I realized that I could make another shelf for the bookcase where most of my thread is stored. After getting that done, and the shelf contents tidied up, I decided to tackle the top of the bookcase where ironing tools are stored.

tailor's sleeve board 1

I’m sure you see the connection to the tailor’s sleeve press, which resides on top of the bookcase. How I got sidetracked was seeing the pitiful condition of the cover on the old pressing tool. Every time I see it, I think that one day I should make a new cover for it, then forget. But when I do use it, I wish I had already made a new cover.

tailor's sleeve board 2

I rarely sew clothing, but it is a wonderful tool for pressing seams on things like a bag.

So, my cleaning was temporarily suspended for the lure of a new project. Now the tailor’s sleeve press has a new cover and you have a new tutorial.

Tucked away in a box of specialty fabrics under my work table is a large piece of ironing board fabric. This is a 100%-cotton fabric with an aluminized coating. I have used this for making ironing pads as well as quilting it for oven mitts. You can buy already quilted ironing board fabric, but for an ironing surface, I prefer a smooth surface with no quilting.

I took off the cover on one side, placed the uncovered wood on top of the fabric, which was placed wrong side up on my sewing table. The shape of the form was traced onto the fabric. Next, 1″ was added all around. Then this was cut out.

tailor's sleeve board 3

Note: If I had to do the project over again, I would have added about a 1/4″ more all around so that the fabric neatly covered the sides rather than just barely covered the sides.

Fold the fabric in half down the length and finger press a crease on the wide end. This is where the stitching starts and stops so the tie will be at the back.

tailor's sleeve board 4

Thread a cord or heavy crochet thread through a cording foot on your sewing machine. Then, using, zigzag stitch all the way around the piece of fabric, starting and stopping at the crease with a little bit of gap (about 1/4″) between start and stop. The zigzag stitch will create a casing for the cord. Leave several inches of cord at each end for tying off.

tailor's sleeve board 5

In the next picture, you can see that one side has been recovered. The original padding, which I kept, can be seen on the other side. Next to the press is the second cover ready to be slipped on and cinched into place by pulling on each cord end to gather up the excess in the curves and tying off the ends.

tailor's sleeve board 6

So that the sides of the cover does not slip back and forth and to create more tension on the fabric and thus a flatter work surface, the fabric is laced into place on the back side of the board.

tailor's sleeve board 7

The next time I use my tailor’s sleeve press, I will be glad it has been recovered. It was a short project, taking about an hour, so there is still plenty of time to finish cleaning up the sewing room. That is if there isn’t another project which draws me away from restoring order to the sewing room.

tailor's sleeve board 8


Hawiian Quilt Inspired Temari

With a Hawaiian name and being a quilter, I thought for many years it would be fitting if I made a quilt in the Hawaiian applique style. Never got around to it.

temari 89 view 1

Traditional Hawaiian quilts are usually a radially symmetric design created by folding the fabric (or paper template) into eighths and then cut along the edges, like making paper snowflakes.

temari 89 view 2

For this temari, a paper template was made to fit the size of the ball. Next, two pieces of hand dyed rayon/wool felt were cut from the template. The felt pieces were appliqued to the ball and then outlined using stem stitch. The thread is a hand dyed 5/2 perle cotton. Little bullion stitches were used in the cut slits for accents in the leaves and seed head.

temari 89 view 3

This temari, #89, is an S8 division with no markings.

A Half Dozen New Temari

version #3 of temari tote In my eagerness to share pictures of the glass float temari in my last post, the half dozen temari that preceded it got passed over. Now they will have a chance to be seen too.

After photographing these temari, I noticed that there was a pattern of repeating an idea once before moving on to another idea. There were two pincushion temari, then two temari where points of interest were the intersections of shapes, and then two temari with offset pentagons.

Both of the pincushion temari are simple divisions with most of the stitching on the equator. This is because I prefer to have open space on  the tops and bottoms for pins. Each of the two pincushion temari were made to coordinate with a temari project tote.

For temari #82, some of the thread from version #3 of temari tote bag’s fabric was used as the accent in the center of the band. temari 82

And for temari #83, I experimented with layering the thread in the band a little differently than the previous one. This is the pincushion for temari tote bag version #4.

temari 83

The next two temari are C10 divisions.

The first one, temari #85,  is based on the rhombic tiacontahedron, with the surface divided into 30 diamonds. A little extra blue and dark pink thread is stitched at the intersection where the points of the diamonds meet, creating five pointed stars and triangles.  

temari 85


The second one, temari #84, is based on a dodecahedron with the pentagons outlined in blue green thread. Then the intersections where the points of three pentagons overlap are outlined in peach and orange, creating hexagons at the intersections and stars in the pentagons.

temari 84


The last two temari are also C10 divisions, but the designs are based on the snub dodecahedron. Both of these were time intensive to make.

This temari, # 86, features stars that are needle woven.

temari 86

The second one, temari # 88, is a bolder design that features bands created with stem stitching and chain stitching.

temari 88

All of six of these temari use hand dyed perle cotton threads, except the first pincushion temari.

Glass Float Temari

This S9 temari was inspired by glass floats, which used to be used to keep fishing nets afloat. Many are found with barnacles attached. This one also has a starfish (or sea star) adorning it.

glass float temari 87 side 2

Side view


In reading about the history of glass fishing floats, they were first produced in Norway around 1840 and other countries followed, with Japan starting around 1910. Even though glass floats have been replaced by materials such as plastic and Styrofoam, many of the Japanese floats are still being found washed up on the Pacific coast.

glass float temari 87 bottom 4

Bottom view


Glass floats are netted then secured to fishing nets. Looking on internet, one can see several different styles of float nets. Some are simple and others more complex. There are even tutorials on how to tie a glass float net. That is how I learned to make one for this temari. The netting just happens to be a simple division, with a north and south pole.

glass float temari 87 top 3

Top view


The starfish was made after the ball was netted. It is made of some of my hand dyed rayon/wool felt and loosely stuffed with scraps of yarn. The surface is stitched with matt glass seed beads in a pattern that was inspired by pictures of real starfish. The red color for the starfish was also inspired real starfish.

glass float temari 87 6

Each barnacle on this temari was machine embroidered on little pieces of stabilizer.  The ends were hand stitched together to create a tube, some stitching over the join was added to disguise the seam and the bottom circles were stitched to the tube to finish the barnacle forms.

glass float temari 87 in progress 1

Next, the barnacles were pinned to the netted ball along with the starfish. After they were arranged, then each one was stitched into place. A curved needle was a necessity in order to stitch the barnacles to the ball.

glass float temari 87 5

I discovered that taking a group off the ball and pinning them to my work surface in the same order helped me to keep them in order and out of the way while stitching each one on. I left all the other barnacle clusters pinned to the ball while working on a group.

This was a good project to finish up on a snow bound day.

bird in snow

Thread, Felt and Fabric Dyed and a Couple Lessons Learned

A couple cones of thread, a couple yards of felt and a couple yards of flannel sat in a pile waiting for days for a time of transformation, which was yesterday. Dyeing day.

dyeing 9

Winding all that thread (3,00 to 4,000 yards) into hanks (or skeins) took a couple days. My sweet canine companion kept me company for much of the laborious process of thread winding. One of her favorite places to nap is in a box half filled with fabric which she can fluff and rearrange to make the perfect bed. The box gets moved around the house so she can be with me in comfort.

Fortunately, all that was needed to prepare the fabric was to cut it into smaller pieces, so that took minutes instead of days.

The first half of dye day was preparation time with presoaking the threads and fabrics and mixing dye concentrate colors. The second half of the day was actual dyeing of fibers.

dyeing 1

The fibers that were dyed are cotton perle thread in sizes 8/2 and 5/2, cotton flannel and 35% wool/65% rayon felt. They were all dyed with procion MX dyes, a fiber reactive dye for cellulose fibers. Although the felt contains wool, a protein fiber, the rayon takes the dye very well.

Since there were many dye baths of different colors, a low water immersion method using plastic zip lock bags is an efficient use of small space. I do think that after experiencing two of the bags springing a leak, that I will switch over to using small plastic reusable containers for dyeing thread in the future. Fortunately, the leaky bags were on a plastic tray, so the escaped dye did not get very far, making clean up easy. And none dripped on the floor or on my furry buddy tucked in her box under the table.dyeing 10

Another lesson learned from this round of dyeing was in making hanks. After each hank is wound, then they are tied at intervals all around with yarn that weaves through the threads and is tied to keep all the threads from tangling while being dyed and subsequently washed. For this, I prefer to use a synthetic yarn for a couple reasons: it does not hold dye so does not leave a dark stripe of color on the thread or yarn being dyed and it does not bleed color and effect the color of the thread or yarn.

dyeing 6

Well, at least that was what was supposed to be used, but somehow I accidentally used a wool yarn on some of the hanks and found a third reason to use a synthetic yarn for tyeing the hanks- the wool shrinks and acts as a resist leaving little white marks on the thread where the dye could not reach the thread. In the picture above, you can see I have pulled the top few threads to the right to show how the thread remained white where yarn acted as a resist.

dyeing 3

Today was wash and cleanup day. All those lovely dyed goods had to be washed and dried, and either folded or wound into twisted hanks.

So, after all these years of dyeing different fibers, I still had something to learn and from that, a couple tips to share: zip lock bags spring leaks and can make a mess so consider a more durable container for dyeing and check the yarn used to tie off the hanks to make sure it is a good choice.

dyeing 5

The two pieces of fabric above are flannel that will be used for making pillowcases.  The picture below shows the folded edges of the felt pieces.

dyeing 2

Dyeing mottled fabrics always yields interesting and unpredictable results. In the pictures below, the one on the left is a full view of one piece and the picture on the right is a close up of a small area about 2″ x 3″.

dyeing 7

And in the next picture, a black dye applied to wadded up felt causes the dye colors to separate, creating areas of interest. This is a close up of a small area. Notice how the felt has a heathered appearance where the rayon took the dye well and the wool did not.

dyeing 8

As inspiring as white thread or fabric is for dyeing, the resulting dyed goods with all their luscious colors are even more inspiring for possible creative endeavors.

dyeing 4


Temari Tote Bag #4- final version

temari tote version 4 pic 1Version 4 of the temari project tote bag was made to improve a couple design details.

The  eyelets for thread guides and buttonholes to close the pockets were good design ideas that had problems.

In the first two versions, the eyelets were too small to be easy to pass the thread through. The third version solved this problem by using larger eyelets.  And in all three of the previous versions, the eyelets were below the buttonholes. This meant reaching into pocket to get to eyelet hole, making it more difficult to  thread the thread through the holes. Although, not much of an issue with the larger eyelets in third version.

Then there were all those buttonholes. They are time consuming to make tricky to have come out looking nice on course fabric that has a loose weave like the linen.

So, the solutions to both problems was to eliminate them: no eyelets and no buttonholes.  The eyelet thread guide were replaced with V notch at the top of each pocket. The buttons were kept, as a means of securing the thread, but not for closing the pocket.

temari tote version 4 pic 2

The previous version used a heavy weight fabric which made sewing seams challenging, especially when sewing the sides to the bottom. Trying to sew the sides and base together with a heavy weight fabric was a bit of a challenge.

To make construction a little easier, a lighter weight fabric was used in this version. Lighter weight means less bulky seams. The outer fabric in this bag looks like it would be a heavy weight, but it is actually not, so it was easier to sew.

The first two bags had a tendency to slouch since, which made it a little difficult see and access the inside. So the 3rd and 4th versions have a stabilizer to back the sides of the outer bag. With a lighter weight fabric, it was essential to have the stabilizer to give shape to the bag.

Adding stabilizer did not add bulk to the seams since the stabilizer was cut slightly smaller to avoid being added to the seams.

Also,  with a stabilizer backing the fabric, pulling the thread down against the V notch does not collapse the bag sides.

Without buttonholes, the buttons now serve only to secure the thread, not to close the pockets. The pockets do not really need to be closed. Besides, having the button closures meant that the depth of the pockets was limited by the placement of the closures.

To make the outer pockets a little more accommodating, the inner bag fabric was made with a stretch sportswear fabric and elastic was used instead of twill tape for reinforcement. The fabric stretches to hold more and it also helps hold things in the pocket. The fabric was a little challenging to work with, but the results were worth the effort.

temari tote version 4 pic 4

The inner pockets are made like in the 3rd version, but decided on three large pockets instead of two large and two small like in the 3rd version. The stretch sportswear fabric was used for the inner pockets too. The hems on the top of the inner pockets have elastic inside so that it will stretch and then return to its original shape.

Another change that was made was size. The first two bags have a hexagon with 3 1/2′ sides and the third has 4 1/2″ sides. The smaller size was just a tad too small and the overall size of the third bag was to big for most of my temari projects. The obvious solution was to compromise and try a 4″ sided hexagon base. It has turned out to be a nice size.

temari tote version 4 pic 3


temari tote version 4 pic 5

In summary, the “improvements” are:

1. no buttonholes- means less bag construction time,

2. no eyelets- means don’t have to buy or install them and no fussing with threading thread through hole,

3. V notch replaces eyelets- easy to make,

4. stretch fabric for inner bag- helps hold thread in pockets so don’t need to have button pocket closure and stretches to accommodate larger balls of thread,

5. hexagon base with 4″ sides- this is just a different size option from previous 3 1/2″ sides, not necessarily an improvement,

6. lighter weight outer fabric- less bulk to sew in seams,

7. stabilizer in outer bag- gives bag shape so does not slouch (also in version #3), and

8. inner pockets- the addition of inner pockets means somewhere to put tools and supplies such as scissors, paper strips,  needle book, thimble, graph paper, hand warmer, etc. (also in version #3),

Another change in this bag is the type of handle. It is not necessarily an improvement, just different. Paracord was used to make a 6 strand flat braid handle and to make the drawstrings.

Unfortunately, the coordinating temari pincushion was finished before I realized that the lobster claw intended to attach it to the bag was too small for the D-rings already sewn on the handle. So, a split ring was added to connect the two.

I have been using this tote bag version for a while now and really like its features. It was worth the time to make another version to address different design details.

The temari that is seen in the pictures is the current one in progress with the thread that is being used to stitch the pattern. The finished temari will be in an upcoming post, so come back soon.


Ring Thimble with Plate Tutorial

This tutorial is for a ring thimble with plate. This type of thimble is often used for sashiko stitching, but can also be used for stitching temari or when stitching through thick or difficult fabric. The thimble is worn as a ring, but the plate that rests on the palm at the base of the finger is what pushes the needle. This allows greater force to be used than just the strength of fingers, making stitching easier.

temari thimble 1

You might wonder why anyone would want to make a ring thimble with plate when an adjustable metal or leather ones can be purchased inexpensively? Well, if you are like me, and allergic to various metals, then a metal one is not a good option. The leather ones are usually colored with dyes that often contain metal, so that is not a good option either for the same reason. Also, I find the soft plate of the leather still allows my palm to get sore.

I find my handmade thimbles to be much more comfortable than either the metal or the leather ones, which I did try. I even wrapped the metal one in fabric, to make it usable. But the time spent make that one useable could have been spent making a better one. These also have a slightly larger plate than the metal one, which I find easier to use.

Making your own thimble also allows you to have one with a custom fit size.


temari thimble 2

The tools, materials and supplies you will need are in the picture above. They include:

  • Scissors – for cutting thread and for cutting plastic and fabric
  • Thread, general purpose – one to match felt color and one matching ribbon color
  • Small needle– for stitching with the general purpose thread
  • Large needle – for stitching with the perle cotton  or embroidery thead
  • Perle cotton thread (or embroidery thread)- color that coordinates with felt color
  • Template plastic – or equivalent cut to 1/4″ wide by the circumference of your finger (where you would wear a ring) plus 1/2″
  • 3/8″ grosgrain ribbon – one at 2 1/2″ long
  • 3/8″ grosgrain ribbon – one at 2 times the length of the strip of template plastic plus 1/2″
  • A pull ring seal from a milk or other carton – this one is from an almond milk or coconut milk container
  •  Felt – a small piece that is slightly longer than the plastic strip and a little wider than the width of plastic strip plus the width of the pull seal. A polyester felt was used for this project due to an allergy to wool.


temari thimble 3

L to R: seal with ring, seal with ring cut off, and seal with an edge cut off

Cut the ring off the pull seal. Next, cut a sliver off the edge of the circle so that it includes the little nub where the ring was attached.

temari thimble 4

Align the long piece of ribbon just inside the long straight edge of the piece of felt and place the seal with the cut edge near (with a small gap between) the ribbon. With a pen, trace along ribbon and around pull seal. Next, cut just outside the marked line, being more generous around the seal.

temari thimble 5


With the leftover piece of felt, lay the pull seal on the fabric with a gap (about 3/16″ to 1/4″) between the cut edge of the circle and the edge of the felt. Trace the curved edge with a pen and then connect the line up to the edge of the felt. See picture above. Cut outside the marked line.

temari thimble 6

From the remaining felt piece, cut a small circle that just fits inside the concave side of pull seal. Baste in place with a couple stitches.

temari thimble 7

Place the pull seal convex side up on top of back of felt so it fits inside circular area. Stitch pull seal to felt so that the stitches are small random stitches on the concave felt side. See pictures above.

temari thimble 8

Trim felt around the pull seal so that it is even with edge of plastic.

temari thimble 15

Take the longer piece of ribbon and fold it in half so that a 1/2″ of one end extends beyond the other end. Starting at the fold end, whip stitch down one side, insert the strip of plastic and then stitch down the other side to enclose the plastic. Don’t cut the thread yet.

If the ribbon is stiff like the metallic grosgrain that is used here, then the plastic probably is not necessary, but is recommended for a softer ribbon such as a satin or non-metallic ribbon. The metallic was used for this project as it was what was on hand at the time.

temari thimble 16

Wrap the ribbon around the finger you would use it on. I find the ring finger, next to smallest, one works best for me. Wrap so that the folded end is underneath and the cut end on top. Mark the ribbon where the overlap starts. The thread tale shows where the folded end is under the other end. Don’t make the fit snug. You want to be able to slide it on and off easily.

I had to pin the ribbon in order to take a picture.

temari thimble 17


Stitch the ring closed along both sides of the overlap. When you get to the cut end, fold it under and continue sewing across the fold, then down the other side.


temari thimble 9

Take the short piece of ribbon, fold it in half and slide over the overlapped section of the ribbon ring. Stitch it to the top of the seal. In the picture on the right, you can see where the felt has been flipped down to show stitches that go through the pull seal. Trim the ribbon.

This ribbon connector provides more support so the felt between the ring and the plate does not get stretched and worn.

There are little holes in the edge of the plastic because I forgot this step and had to unstitch the felt backing from the pull seal, attach the ring and restitch backing.


temari thimble 10

Baste backing in place.


temari thimble 11

Wrap felt strip ends around ribbon ring and trim so the ends just meet. Stitch ends together with thread that matches felt.

temari thimble 12

Using a buttonhole stitch, stitch around the plate, around the bottom edge of ring and the top edge of the ring.

temari thimble 13Using a stab stitch, stitch across the space between the plate and bottom of the ring, then go back the other direction and with stab stitches, fill in the spaces. This stitches the plate backing to the felt and the ribbon connector.

temari thimble 14

Your custom made ring thimble with plate is ready to use.

Library Temari Display

Beautiful things should be shared, not hoarded or stored where they can’t be appreciated. Temari by their nature are things of beauty: an art form based on geometry. They are artistic interpretations of spherical polyhedron structures, using line and color of thread to redefine the surface of a sphere.

Many of my temari creations have been temporarily freed from hiding in storage, to be displayed at our local library, for others to enjoy.

library temari display 1

Three display cases at our local library are filled with many of my temari creation and will be on display for the whole month of December. It took a little longer to set up the display than anticipated since about a dozen people stopped by to ask questions and make comments. They all thought they were beautiful, but only one knew what they were and had made one before.

library temari display 2

The display case in the picture above is the one on the left in the first picture. The top shelf has simple division temari, including a temari that measures only 3/8″ in diameter.

The middle shelf also has simple division temari. The three black temari with white thread are marked with simple, combination 8 (C8) and combination 10 (C10) markings with an explanation of markings to go with them.

On the bottom shelf in the front are the stages of producing a ball with written explanation to go with them. The temari behind them are some of my more adventuresome temari which experiment with different materials such as felt, lace, thread scraps as well as altered temari form such as a pumpkin form and a pollen grain form.

library temari display 3

The tall middle cabinet houses C10 temari on all the shelves and on the bottom are three kimekomi balls that have temari stitching added to them.

A temari the size of a basketball sits alone on the next to bottom shelf.

The C10s on the top two shelves range in size from a 7″ diameter ball (on center of middle shelf) to a 1/2″ diameter ball (center front of top shelf).

The 7″ temari has a black background on which seven different knot patterns worked in the  pentagons and triangles. This temari is actually a scaled down version of a temari that is three times the size in diameter. The larger version was about 1/2″ too large to squeeze into the case.

library temari display 4

The last display case contains C8 temari. The one on the top shelf, left hand side in purple, white and gold was the first temari I made.

Also on the top shelf, in the center, is one of my favorites because of the challenge presented by using several different types of embroidery stitches to create the flowers. Many stitches are difficult when stitching on a ball because it is three dimensional. Stitches that are easy on fabric do not necessarily translate to easy on a ball. In fact, they are usually more challenging. The French knot was a real pain to work on the surface, but worth it for the effect.

With each new temari, there is always something new to explore: a different marking of the ball, different color combinations, different kind of thread, different stitches, new materials, different arrangement of design elements,etc. The possibilities seem endless, so my explorations in temari continues. Who knows, maybe I will have a whole new set of temari for display in a year or two.