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 #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.

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 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 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 3

temari #3

temari #3

This lovely ball is my third temari.

This C10 division temari was made on a 2 ½” Styrofoam core with three layers of
cotton/poly batting and then wrapped with a variegated ribbon yarn. The ball was
marked with red cotton perle then stitched with lavender and purple cotton perle
and a variegated hand dyed cotton thread.

There were some difficulties in making this ball.

One I should have expected is trouble with accuracy with marking lines. This should have been expected since: 1. I have never made a C10 ball and 2. C10 divisions are supposed to be more difficult than a C4 or C8. I had no problems with accuracy in measuring and marking intersections on the ball with pins, but the way I applied the thread made the intersection go off center of the pins. When presenting my problem to the Temari Challenge yahoo group, a member sent me a link to a video on accurate marking of a C10 division. Great video. For my next C10 division ball, I will follow the video while working on marking the ball.

Another difficulty I  encountered was working with a “z” twist thread. The beautiful hand dyed yellow/orang/fuchsia variegated thread has a tight “z” twist and as I was stitching, the thread kept tangling. Most of the threads I work with have an “s” twist, which is in the opposite direction, and I usually have the problem of the threads twist becoming untwisted. Here the tight twist was just getting twisted tighter. So, I learned that I need to train myself to sew without spinning the needle to prevent both problems.

The ribbon yarn was turned out to be easy to work with and gave the ball a unique background  for the stitching. The ribbon yarn is not slippery, so stays in place while marking the ball with thread. Also, it was easy to slide the needle under the edge of the ribbon to bury thread ends.

The end product is beautiful and one that I learned from the process of making it.

Kimekomi Temari Ball Hybrid

kimekomi temari ball hybrid

kimekomi temari ball hybrid

What if the techniques for making a kimekomi ball and a temari ball are combined? In my internet research, I could not find any, so I set out to make one. This kimekomi temari ball hybrid is the result.

This is a combination of a C4 kimekomi and a C8 temari. The base is a 3″ soft foam
ball with C4 grooves cut into the surface and each area separately covered in a
single layer of a cotton/polyester quilt batting. Two colors of hand dyed
fabric, purple and bronze, are used to cover the ball. Cream colored satin
ribbon covers the grooves. A C8 pattern is a marked with gold colored thread,
which is also used for most of the decorative stitching and a little cream colored
thread to finish it.

I enjoyed designing and making this kimekomi temari ball and I am pleased with the results. I will definitely be making more of these; exploring how to capitalize on
both techniques.

Temari and Kimekomi Balls

If you love to learn like I do, then you never have to worry about a shortage of new things to learn about. I particularly enjoy learning new skills. Internet is an excellent resource for sites with tutorials in both written and video format.

With internet, it is even easier to make discoveries. When searching for one thing, the search inevitably leads to other related topics that are intriguing. With the incredible amount of information available on internet, it is often difficult to pare down topics to pursue to just a few, the most compelling.

I forgot what I was looking up a few days ago when I came across Japanese Temari balls. There is plenty of information on the internet about their history and how to make them, so I will not go into either. I found many websites with images of these beautiful embroidered thread balls, including one by Barbara Suess, who has written a couple books on the subject. While on her site, I noticed that her list of books she has authored included one on kimekomi balls.

temari ball 1

temari ball 1

This lead to more internet research on this new topic.

I had just finished my first temari ball, which has a base layer of white on which two shades of purple, gold and silver threads are added to create the geometric designs. Although the design is my own, I don’t doubt that there is probably one similar to it somewhere since this is an ancient traditional folk art that has become popular.

As I literally finished wrapping up the temari ball, I started a kimekomi ball. The designs on Kimekomi balls are made with fabric instead of thread. For this one, black yarn was used to accent the “seams” or lines between color areas to give it a stained glass appearance. Again, this is my own design, but it has probably been done by some else.

kimekomi ball 1

kimekomi ball 1

The design qualities for both temari balls and kimekomi balls are similar to patchwork quilt designs with geometric division of areas that are filled with different colors, but in 3D.