Temari #105- frost

Temari #105 is finally done after 4 weeks in the making.  It started with couching silver cording to the ball. This temarii does not have any geometric division of the surface, The embroidery is free form.temari-105-detail-in-progress

So that the couching thread would be less noticeable, a fine silver thread was used. Because the thread is not smooth like an embroidery or perle cotton thread, the thread would snag on threads in the ball when stitching. This would lead to the thread shredding and breaking. Very annoying. But the effect was worth the extra effort.

Each spiral is crested with a ridge of silver and turquoise beads, like the hoar frost.
temari-105-detail-in-progress-2  The leaves were frosted too.temari-105-finished-3

 

And then sequins and beads were added to the background, creating the glitter of sunshine being refracted from all the frost in the area surrounding the leaves and tendrils.temari-105-finished-4

 

This was a difficult temari to photograph. The ball looked dull with indirect lighting, or there was glare with direct lighting reflecting off of the beads. The glare is much like sun on the snow in our yard now.snow

Do you see the glitter of sun on the snow in the picture above?the-gate-in-snow

The picture above was taken yesterday.

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snow-on-patio

By this morning, there was about 6″ accumulation.

 

 

Temari #106: a snowman temari with a mini snowball temari

temari-106-snowman-with-mini

 

Temari #106 was inspired by the current season. We have not had a snow yet this winter in our area, but there is still plenty of time in the season for snow.

This temari is really four balls wrapped in white thread, of which only one is stitched as a traditional temari. Three are stitched together to make a snowman. The fourth separate ball is a miniature traditional temari.

Making the snowman and his snowball presented interesting challenges and learning experiences.

four-ball-temari-in-progress

In the previous post, a hint of a snowman to be was given in the picture above. If I had shown them arranged as in the picture below, it would have been obvious what was to become of the three balls.temari-106-in-progress

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As you can see in the horizontal picture above, the third ball is an unwrapped polystyrene ball. The core of all three are open cell polystyrene balls. Normally, I do not use foam balls for the core of my temari, but this is one of the few exceptions.

The reasons for using polystyrene balls is that they are deformable. I wanted to balls to be slightly flattened so they would “fit” together and so the base of the bottom ball would be flat enough for the snowman to stand without any support.

temari-106-in-progress-3

As for the the use of open cell versus closed cell, the open cell is easier to deform and keep its shape and with the rough surface, the layer of batting and thread sticks nicely to the ball rather than sliding off a smooth surface.

To give a little more stitching room between the foam and the thread, a single layer of polyester batting was wrapped around the sides of the deformed balls. Only on the sides of the middle and bottom balls, as I did not want the batting to round out the flat surfaces.

temari-106-in-progress-2

The third ball for the head was a bit too tiny, so the whole thing got two layers of batting.

The fourth ball does not have a foam core. There is a tiny bell in the center.

Using plastic canvas, an X shape was cut out and the bell tied to the center of the X.

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Opposite ends were brought together and sewn, creating a cage for the bell.

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A little thread was wrapped around the cage to prevent the layer of batting from getting inside the cage and dampening the sound of the bell.

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Finally, more thread was wrapped around the tiny ball to give it a finished layer for stitching into.

The final wrapping also helps to round out the rather lumpy ball. It is still a bit lumpy in the picture below as the wrapping is not quite finished.

temari-106-in-progress-6

The mini snowball temari was marked and stitched as a C8 division. The marking and the snowflakes were stitched using single strand silver embroidery floss. The metallic floss was an incredible challenge to work with. It likes to shred as it is not smooth and does not like to lay flat either since it is not smooth. So the little snowflakes have a bit more character than was intended, making each one more unique.

Working with the metallic thread was rough. So was trying to stick pins in the ball to mark it. The pins kept falling out as I could not stick them in very far due to the bell cage and size of ball. Eventually, I gave up on the pins and just marked it by eye.

temari-106-mini-without-its-snowman

When it came time for assembly and embroidery, I got so wrapped up in the project, I forgot to take more in-progress pictures.

The temari snowman needed some”stick” arms that are posable so he can hold his mini snowball temari. Separate stick arms made of thread wrapped wire bent into arms with three fingers. The thread was white,  a little bit of brown acrylic craft paint transformed them to stick color. To stick arms into the ball, a large needle was used to ream a hole into the ball from the shoulder all the way through towards the waist for each arm and excess wire shoved back into the ball.

The little felt hat and scarf set started off being a crocheted set. My patience for crocheting and the fact that the hat just did not look right, made me switch to felt.

The first felt scarf was a single piece of felt. It was stiff and looked stiff. So, I cut it into three narrow strips to braid. Nice idea, but not long enough. I was working from a small leftover scrap of felt, so I had to cut three more pieces and stitch them to the other three to have three longer ones, ones long enough to braid. And the connection had to be done carefully so as to not be visible. That made a softer scarf and one with more character, especially after adding bells to go with the one on the tip of the hat.

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For some reason, the cute grin in the front view ends up looking slightly mischievous in this side view, almost as if he is contemplating throwing the snowball at someone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing, Finishing and Starting: three concurrent projects

In the previous post, a preview of  a winter themed temari showed the start of the temari in the picture below. The couching is finished and now I am continuing with beading. It is slow going, so it will be a while before a picture of the finished temari is posted.

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Stitching and things fiber are not my only skills or medium I work in. Occasionally, a drawing gets produced. It has been too long, so I had forgotten how much I enjoy working with graphite pencils and drawing. Now, with a new pad of paper I received as a Christmas gift today, there might just be more drawing in my near future.

Our wonderful dog was the subject of the drawing below and a gift for my husband. With being unable to do much with my dominant hand for over a month, my plans on getting this drawing and several other projects finished well before Christmas was impossible. So, the drawing got top priority when my hand was ready to draw, finishing it just in time. The other projects will just have to wait on my to-do list.

drawing-of-our-dog

Although I have not finished the turquoise winter temari, I have started another one. Yes, one even though the picture below shows three balls. In fact, a fourth ball and smallest one is missing from the picture. No, I will not tell you what it will be until it is done. And work in progress pictures would probably give away what it is supposed to be. Anyway, it is coming along quickly enough that it should be posted soon.

four-ball-temari-in-progress

Can you guess what the four temari balls will be?

Temari #104- colors of autumn

The colors of autumn inspired the color theme of this temari, which is #104.

We have two Japanese red maple trees in our yard that are a joy to watch their colors change with the changes of the seasons. One stays red from spring to autumn, just changing to a deep, dark red and the other is a bit more dramatic in its color changes. The second tree starts red in spring. Next, the the leaf canopy of the taller oaks and hickory trees fills out and shades the little red maple tree. Then, the red maple tree turns green until autumn when the leaves turn a lovely deep red to burgundy, like in temari #104.

temari-104

I just finished this temari. It has been over a month since I started to stitch the pattern. It would not have taken so long except I had to take a break from stitching and other fun stuff that required the use of my dominant hand.

Compression of nerves and tendons at the wrist caused much irritation of nerves and tendons, requiring a brace and resting the arm. The arm is almost well. The tendons are still a bit tight, so range of motion still has not recovered yet, but it is slowly improving with gentle stretching exercises.

What was begun in autumn was finished in winter. The trees are bare now and we have had subfreezing temperatures at night and frost. So it looks and feels like winter too.

My next temari, the one I am currently working on, is winter inspired. The colors are turquoise and silver.

I keep a basket of what I call temari blanks. They are temari balls that have been wrapped and are ready for stitching. I don’t measure and mark a blank ball until I have a general idea of what kind of design I am planning on stitching. So, they really are blanks.

This temari is a rare departure from my typical temari designs which are usually based on geometric division of the ball surface. The design is being freehand embroidered, so there was not need for measuring and marking the ball.

A turquoise ball in the basket and some recently purchased silver colored cording are turning into a winter temari. A winter theme was the perfect excuse to try out couching the new cording on a temari.

temari-105-detail-in-progress

Here is a preview of the start. To see how it looks finished, you will need to come back soon.

Temari: #102 & #103

Temari #102 and #103 represent all my temari production for the past couple months.

 

The one above is #102, a C8 division. If it looks suspiciously familiar, it is because it is a C8 version of my temari #101, which is a C10.

There are less Shasta daisies on this one, but the flowers are a bit fuller appearing since there are more petals per flower.

The perle cotton threads on this ball are ones I hand dyed.

The next temari, #103, is a C10 division. There are six bands that make up the wider nine thread bands. The sixth band is a zigzag that circumscribes the ball instead of a straight line.

The remaining negative spaces were highlighted with narrow three thread bands.

A pastel variegated thread alternates with black in the wide bands. Although this might no show well on the computer screen, in person, this creates a subtle dynamic quality to the design.

Only the pale peach thread used in the diamonds and to tack down intersections is one of my hand dyed threads.

Only two temari to show for over two months is very low production for  me. With a number of health issues that are as tangled as a ball of thread after a cat has played with it, I am pleased to have achieved this much.

There is another temari in the works that is going with me to doctors appointments. Lately, the wait times have been relatively short, so not much progress at appointments.

A new C10 temari, maroon background with twelve stars, is going with me today to an appointment. What will go in the hexagon negative spaces between the stars is yet to be decided. Postponing that decision gives me something to look forward to.

 

Temari #101- a dozen daisies

This is temari #101, just finished. It is a reflection of our yard garden, with brightly colored  summer flowers in bloom.

temari 101 view 2

There are twelve daisies on this ball, in six different colors. The pair of each color is on polar opposite sides of the ball, so that only one of each color can be seen at a time.

temari 101 view 1

This is a C10 temari that is 4″ (10.2cm) in diameter. It is stitched with hand dyed #5 perle cotton thread.

Revisiting Unfinished Quilts

There are a couple quilts that were started a few years ago that got put on hold for a couple reasons. Having an injured elbow was an excuse to procrastinate revisiting a quilt project that was being difficult.

A quite legitimate excuse because free-motion quilting was not something I could do. Now that the elbow is better, I have to get past the reasons why they were set aside before the elbow became another reason.

trimming quilt blocks

For this quilt, I tried several quilting patterns and ripped out several before deciding to just have several different quilting patterns in the quilt. Using a quilt-as-you-go method means each piece can be quilted differently. Plus, I was one block shy of having enough for a 5×6 block quilt. It was always easier to find something else to work on than to plow through scraps to see if there was something for that last block.

When I pulled it out of the pile of things to get done a couple days ago, I found that it needed the one block plus a total of ten blocks needed to be quilted.

Yes, this is a quilt-as-you-go type of quilt. I call the method Unit Quilting. It is a construction method that I developed over 25 years ago. It has since been published in an article I authored, titled A New Curve to Quilt-As-You-Go in American Quilter’s Society magazine American Quilter, summer 2003, vol. XIX No.2.

One of the things that is special about this technique is not even taken advantage of in this quilt. With Unit Quilting, quilt-as-you-go is not limited to standard block construction, but can accommodate curves and irregular shapes. The banner photo at the top of the home page for this blog is a close up of a quilt made using Unit Quilting method. Here is a picture of the whole quilt:

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Each color area was quilting as a separate unit. The term unit better describes these non-block shapes. Then they were trimmed, sewn together and seams were bound. Much easier than trying to quilt a large quilt.

Unlike the quilt that is in progress, all the units in this quilt all have the same quilting pattern.

Hopefully, in a few days there will be more progress to share.

Temari #100- a mini c10

This is my 100th temari that I have made.

temari 100 view 2

It is a mini c10 stitched with embroidery floss (single, double and triple strands) and perle cotton #8. The perle cotton is hand dyed.

temari 100 view 1

It is 1 1/4″ in diameter.

 

 

 

 

 

Temari #99

This is the 99th temari I have made since I first discovered temari and started making them three years ago.

 

temari 99

I think it was the lure of geometry in the round and the seemingly endless design possibilities were irresistible and hooked me in spite of my anti-hand sewing bent. I have since been reformed and enjoy hand sewing, at least in some applications (still not fond of hemming or mending).

Polyhedrons are fascinating and a sphere is such a perfect form, so I find designing and creating embroidered works based on spherical polyhedrons to be very rewarding.

This temari is a C8 with asanoha stitching inside the 8 hexagon areas and the 6 four-pointed stars include stem stitch and chain stitching. Asanoha stitching is a traditional Japanese pattern that is named for resemblance to the hemp leaf.

All the threads used for stitching are hand dyed perle cotton in sizes #5 and #8.

temari 99 close up of asanoha pattern

 

Temari #98- Black Trillium

What? You think there is no such thing as Black Trillium?

temari 98 black trillium view 2

A Trillium in a woodland plant that is native in temperate regions of North America and Asia. The flowers have only three petals. There is much variety in the shape of the flowers and the colors of the petals range in shades of red, purple, pink, white, yellow, or green,  but no black.

temari 98 black trillium view 1

At least no black Trillium flowers in nature, so I created a cluster of them on a temari. This is a C10 division temari that is stitched with hand dyed perle cotton thread in sizes 5 and 8.

Sadly, there are no Trillium in my yard garden, of any color. Maybe one of these days, my garden will be graced with a Trillium, and any color would be fine with me as they are all lovely.