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.

temari-106-in-progress-4

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.

temari-106-in-progress-7jpg

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.

temari-106-in-progress-8

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 96- a gift

temari 96 view 1

This temari was made to be a gift for my father. It is a C8 division that is made of six units of interwoven pairs of spindles that make X’s and 8 units of 3 spindles that interweave to make stars.

The dark X’s were stitched with three different hand dyed perle cotton #5 threads, from light blue/green in the center to dark blue on the outside.

The X’s were stitched first, knowing there would be some design element in the almost hexagon spaces, but not know what. After the dark spindle X’s were done, making spindle stars in the remaining spaces seemed like the logical solution.

Three different hand dyed perle cotton #8 threads were used, a different one for each spindle, to stitch the stars. Lighter colors were used for the stars so they would be a secondary design element as they contrast less with the background.  Each spindle color traces a line around the ball, which gives some movement to an otherwise almost static design.

An ecru color was used to outline all the spindles, which helped to emphasize the weaving, at least on the dark X’s.

temari 96 view 2

I am pleased with the finished temari and I am sure my father, a mathematician, will enjoy it too.

Temari 95- blooming

Observing the energy and beauty of Spring season is always a source of inspiration; both to work in the garden and to create art that reflects what I see in the garden.

The last temari, #94, was inspired by ferns unfurling. This temari, #95, is obviously about flowers blooming, with no reference to a particular flower, just symbolic of flowers blooming in general.

temari 95 view 1

This is a C8 division temari, so there are 6 faces that are “square” and the tips of each leaf go to the corners of the squares. See where three leaves meet? That would be a corner on cube.

temari 95 wip 1

The leaves are really just two overlapping pointed ovals.

temari 95 wip 2

An X was stitched across the center of both. The X marks the spot that will be the center of the flower. A pin through the flower and into the center of the X made alignment easy.

temari 95 wip 3

Next,  a long stem lazy daisy stitch was used to create stamens and to secure the flower to the ball.

temari 95 wip 4

An X was stitched in the center of the flower as stitching guidelines.

temari 95 wip 5

The flower center was stitched.

temari 95 wip 6

And the last little finishing detail is the little triangle stitching at the intersection of the leaves.

temari 95 view 2

Hand dyed perle cotton #5 thread was used to stitch the leaves and to embellish the flowers. The flowers are made of hand dyed rayon/wool felt.

Three Purple Temari

Purple: it is a color that tends to show up in my creations quite frequently. These three were not made consecutively. There was another temari that featured felt flowers and leaves which was made after the first one shown, then the next two purples were finished.

There are usually at least two temari in progress concurrently, but mine get numbered according to the order in which they are finished.

temari 90 view 1

This S8 is temari #90. It was designed and created for a demonstration that I gave for the quilt guild chapter for which I am a member. For the demo, it was a work in progress so that people could see how the stitching was done. There were examples of temari in all the stages up to finished to further illustrate the process.

temari 90 view 2

Although this is a traditional appearing temari, various embroidery stitches that are not typical for temari were used in addition to traditional stitching. For example the little flower in the middle of the star utilizes a long stem daisy stitch.

temari 92 view 1

I am not entirely sure of what was my motivation for making this S8 temari, which is #92.

temari 92 view 2

The next temari, #93, is a C8. This one helped pass time while waiting at a couple of doctor’s appointments and was finished this morning. It is always fun to see if anyone will ask what I am making or comment on it when I stitch on a temari to while away waiting time. They usually provoke at least one comment or question.

temari 93 view 1

The open network created by the stitches created a delicate appearance compared to many of my bolder designs. A double thread border was added between the squares and triangle to create better definition of the spaces and eliminated an awkward space between them.

temari 93 view 2

All three of these are made with #8 perle cotton thread that I hand dyed. I just found out yesterday that my source for cones of white mercerized #8 perle cotton thread is out of stock with none in the foreseeable future as their supplier does not have it anymore. I hope to find more  as there are a few colors that I would like to dye to round out my color palette in the weight thread.

The three current temari in progress all have green in them. Each one is taking much longer to make than most of other ones I have made of comparable size. They are labor intensive. One is getting near done, the other two will be much longer until finished.

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 49

Temari 49 is another experiment. I had been wanting to try an embroidered tulle fabric on a temari and found two very nice pieces at the fabric store a couple days ago.

temari 49

temari 49

After marking the ball, the fabric was appliqued to the surface. The purple bands were stitched with a dark purple bamboo/silk yarn, covering the edges of the tulle fabric. Next, French knots were added to the center of each of the flowers using a salmon pink perle cotton thread.  Then, each square was outlined with a chain stitch and a triangle within each triangle were stitched using a salmon pink bamboo/silk yarn.

There is always something new to learn when experimenting. The lesson I learned from using tulle on temari is that the edges of the tulle needs to be carefully sewn stitches close together so that edge is tight against the ball so it won’t poke up through any threads laid over it.

I am looking forward to trying the other tulle fabric that has a ribbon yarn stitched to the surface. With what I learned on this one, hopefully the next one with tulle will be a little easier.

Temari: 47 & 48

Both temari 47 and 48 were wrapped with serger threads that I recently bought.

The pale green used for 48 is similar but not the same as another color I already have, but a better match to one of my hand dyed perle cotton thread, so I was happy to add it to my collection of serger threads.

temari 47 view 1

temari #47

Temari 47 is a C8 division using 5 perle cotton threads that I hand dyed. It is approximately 3 7/8″  in diameter.

For this temari,  I was playing with spindles, the shape that is thick in the middle and tapers at both ends. It is a type of embroidery stitch that does not work on a flat surface as it is the curvature of the ball that allows the threads between stitches to lay next to each other rather than stacking up along the line that they are stitched on. I have a feeling that spindles will be something that I continue to explore the possibilities of for a while.

The both spindles forming an X were stitched alternately so that the intersection would form concentric squares unlike the spindle Xs in 40, 42 and 35 for which one spindle weaves through the other spindle. So in this one, the threads weave separately whereas in the 40, 42, and 35, the threads on each side of a spindle weave together. You might want to go look at the pictures of the others to see what I mean.

temari 47 view 2

temari #47

The  white thread that outlines the purple bands and the spindles is an important design element that gives the shapes more definition, otherwise the lavender (it really is lavender but near the green and with my camera it reads more like pink) and the green spindles tend not to show up well against the background color since they are close in value. It also brightens up the design which would tend to dull down without the white outlining.

temari 48 view 1

temari #48

 

Temari #48 is also a C8 division that is approximately 4 3/4″ in diameter. The ball is wrapped with a wonderful teal colored serger thread that was very difficult to work with. It is a bit slippery so it would slide off the ball or the ball would shoot out of my hands and there would go a lot of work that had to be redone. But it was worth it for the color is wonderful.

This temari was made with #5 perle cotton threads that I had dyed plus a creamy white silk/bamboo yarn and a teal crochet thread. The yarn was is too thick, so I split the four ply in half to use stitching on temari. The crochet thread is a three ply that is also thicker than I wanted, but the right color. So, I removed one ply to get the right size to use for both marking threads and for outlining the stitched shapes.

Like the spindle Xs in 47, the four point purple and pale teal shapes were stitched alternately so that the shapes would merger rather than be one shape on top of another.

temari 48 view 2

temari #48

The four point shapes are the same as used in temari 38, but here I have used two together to form an eight pointed star like in temari 36. The difference between the eight pointed star on this temari and temari 36 is that the star on temari 36 is spread out over a hemisphere with the points of the two stars interlocking at the equator. Same star design but very different look.

One of the things I enjoy most about the design process, taking an element such as a shape, technique, color, etc. and exploring its potential by finding different way of using it by changing how it is used. Everything in design can be considered a variable and the question becomes “how can it be varied?”

 

Temari 35 and Hand Dyed Threads

temari 35

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

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

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

hand dyed cotton and bamboo threads

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

Several More Temari

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

temari 31 pole view

temari 31 pole view

temari 31 side view

temari 31 side view

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

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

temari 32 side view

temari 32 side view

temari 32 pole view

temari 32 pole view

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

temari 33 view 2

temari 33 view 2

temari 33

temari 33

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

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

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

temari 34 view 1

temari 34 view 1

temari 34 view 2

temari 34 view 2

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

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

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

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