Temari 107 to 110: being patient

Being Patient. For me, temari #107 to 108 represented the state of being patient.

For these temari, I was patient by both commonly used definitions: “Able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” and “A person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment.” Not surprisingly, the origin of the word patient means suffering.

Temari #107 was begun in May, before a series of surgeries. It went with me to quite a few doctors’ appointments. This is a C8 temari stitched with hand dyed #8 perle cotton threads and a silk/bamboo yarn.

I am very pleased by the effect of contrasting the light/heavy threads and delicate/bold design elements.

You can see part of my temari project bag to the right of the picture. This is a newer style of my temari tote bags. Maybe this will be the subject of a future post. My original style of temari tote bag had a hexagon base and a drawstring closure which went through a several revisions.

When I finished this temari at one of my appointments, I was so excited that I took a picture and texted it to a friend. I never did rephotograph it with a better background, hence the hospital gown as the background.

Then, I started another temari so that I would have something to work on while recovering from surgery. I was excited about the diamond design and looking forward to finishing it.

Then there was a long gap of a couple months before another temari was finished.

During a period of a month, I had four surgeries and an emergency room visit with hospital stay. During that time and for weeks afterwards, I did not feel like sewing, nor much of anything else, not even even read a book nor listen to music. Pain, lack of energy and just not feeling well were not good motivators for even favorite activities. The not feeling well was in part due to a mystery infection that prompted an emergency room visit and subsequent several day hospital stay between a couple of the surgeries.

But, in the thick of it all, I did find a couple days where I was inspired to and had enough energy to make a small temari. The diamond temari had to wait for a while longer.

Temari # 108 is a mini. It is a C10 temari with a diameter of about an inch or a little less. The design is the same as temari #100, but in a different color scheme. The threads are: perle cotton #10, three strand embroidery floss, two strand embroidery floss and single strand embroidery floss. Only the perle cotton threads are hand dyed.

It was made under a magnifying glass and made for one of my surgeons. He is a microsurgeon who uses a microscope to perform surgery. My work was not nearly as complicated nor as challenging as his was, but the gift was well received.

I think my next mini temari challenge will be to work in finer thread to achieve greater detail.

After quite a few weeks of waiting, mostly sleeping and trying to be patient and not get frustrated by a lack of energy to do anything, I finally picked up the diamond temari and started stitching again.

The diamond temari, # 110, was actually finished before #109, but I forgot to photograph it and number it before its predecessor. My temari are numbered by order of finishing, otherwise it would get confusing since I often have several in progress at the same time.

Unlike the previous temari design, this one was completely unplanned from the beginning.

The threads are all hand dyed perle cotton. When I first started this diamond, my vision of the design did not go beyond the larger diamonds. Next the smaller diamonds were stitched. At this point, the design was missing a critical element to visually tie the diamonds together, which turned out to be the hexagons. Lastly, little diamond were stitched since the hexagons needed a connecting element and something to finish the diamond spaces. 

With the diamond temari done, another temari project was needed to keep me occupied at upcoming doctor’s appointments. Thinking to make a simple design, I embarked on a C8 temari with large and small squares that woven together with triangles. I thought I had come up with an easy design that would not require much concentration, but nope. I kept messing up the under/over start of a band and would have to rip it out and start over. Doctor’s offices can be rather distracting. It could have been a real trial of patience but I never did get frustrated.

Temari #109 is a C8 stitched with hand dyed perle cotton threads.

Before and between surgeries there were a few sewing projects on the sewing machine that demanded my attention. These were projects that I felt could not be ignored, things that made my life a little easier or less painful such as making a comfortable surgical drain holder, a seat belt pillow and altering post-surgical garments.

I used to wish I was a more patient person. I know better now. For me, developing patience means trials that will challenge me to develop patience. That type of challenge is often not very pleasant. Overall, I have been a patient patient, and since I must go on being a patient with many more doctor’s appointments to go, I might as well continue to practice patience about being one. 

With the distractions of health issues, it would be easy for that to become the focus of my life, rather than a distracting part of it. Admittedly a very distracting and disruptive part of my life. Most of the time, I remain patient with where I am at in my recovery and work towards being able to fully return to my normal activities that are central to who I am.

Fortunately, temari making is a good activity for me to indulge in while waiting until I am able to do more physically demanding activities.

Currently, I have another temari almost done, and plans for many more. And then there are other non-temari sewing projects too, which I will write about another time.



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.


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.


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.

A Dozen (minus one) More Temari

Since I have been busy making things, not just temari, I have not taken the time to write a post about what I have been making. So, I am taking a short break from creating to get caught up on reporting on the creations. This post focuses on the latest temari. Next I will write about some other fiber things such as more bags, some pin cushions, and felt pins.

Temari 50:

For this temari, I combined several different embroidery stitches to create the stitched design.

The outer purple row of the triangles is a chain stitch to give a little different texture to the border.

French knots were used to get the polka dots in the triangle borders. The French knots are a bit challenging to stitch on a surface for which there is not “back” of a fabric to pass the needle to, but instead the needle has to be brought back up to the surface where the next stitch is to go. Here, I found the curved needle to be my friend.

Temari 50

Temari 50

Hand dyed variegated thread was used for the knots, giving the appearance of different colored threads for each knot. The same thread was used in a bullion stitch to create the stamens in the center of the Trillium flowers.

For the leaves, needle weaving was used to create leaves that actually lay on the surface of the ball.

This was a challenging temari to make and not just because I was trying a couple embroidery stitches that were new to me. One difficulty I had was getting good figure/ground contrast. The flower did not contrast well with the background. Originally, the triangles in the background were just the dark outline with no filling, so the flower did not show up well against the solid light blue in the triangle centers. When the French knot dots and the purple inner triangle were added, then the flower had a darker background to contrast with and therefore showed up better.

I am pleased with the solution and the end product.

Temari 51:

This temari was made for and given to a good friend’s son as a college graduation present.

Since I was told that he like earth tones, I chose a three threads in the brown family to contrast with a rich blue background. The lightest color thread is a silk thread that turned out to be easier to work with that I thought and adds a nice luster that goes well with the other threads which are perle cotton threads.

temari 51 (Robbie's)

Temari 51

One of the things that I find attractive about this temari is the two distinct layers adding depth to the design.

This temari is similar to another one which I made before this one but not shown on the blog yet. I just realized when I was writing this post that I forgot to take a picture of it and forgot to number it too. So, it will get a half number (rather than renumber all the subsequent temari) when I figure out when it was made and then hopefully I’ll remember to post it on the blog.

Temari 52

Sigh, I forgot to take a picture of this beautiful temari before gifting it to someone.

Temari 53:

This is a relatively simple design that utilizes variegated threads to add interest. Another feature is the purple thread is actually three strands of thread braided together. It takes a little more time and care to work with stitching a braid to keep the braid laying flat and not twist on the surface, but it was worth the effort for the added detail. Another small, almost not visible detail is the black square embroidered inside the square formed by the intersecting purple threads. It is one of those up close surprise details.

Temari 53

Temari 53

Temari 53 view 2

Temari 53 view 2

Temari 54:

For some reason, I was in a blue mood when this temari was made. Or at least mostly blue as there is a little green and purple mixed into the “blue” variegated thread.

The design is essentially three zigzag bands that go around the ball, two wide bands and one narrow one sandwich between the wider ones.

The striped cord that is between the two wider bands was  made by stitching the “blue” thread in a stem stitch and then stitching the white in a stem stitch over the blue.

Temari 54

Temari 54

Temari 54 view 2

Temari 54 view 2

Temari 55:

While making #54, I got the idea to make a design of interlocking diamonds that go around a ball. There are two separate sets of five interlocking diamonds: a purple set and a pink set. Both are outlined with a pale aqua colored thread.

Temari 55

Temari 55

Temari 55 view 2

Temari 55 view 2

Temari 56:

This is one of those temari that is more interesting in person rather than a 2D picture of it. Like #55, this one also has an interlocking design that runs around the ball. But a big difference between them is larger open space left at the top and bottom poles, which was perfect for adding some smaller detail stitching.

The thread used for marking the ball and stitching the design at the poles is a crochet thread with a gold metallic strand plied into it.

Temari 56 view 1

Temari 56 view 1

Temari 56 view 2

Temari 56 view 2

Temari 56 view 3

Temari 56 view 3

To outline the green thread, used a white thread, which on one side of the band is plain and on the other side is plied with a gold thread to echo the crochet thread.

Temari 57:

This is a tiny temari. It is only about 1/2″ in diameter. I used single strands of rayon embroidery floss to do the stitching.

I also used a magnifying glass to be able to see what I was doing.

Temari 57

Temari 57

Temari 58:

The cross shape on this temari is a stitch called Maltese Cross found in the book, The Complete Stitch Encyclopedia, by Jan Eaton. I am not sure why it is called a Maltese Cross as it does not look like one but rather more like a Cross Bottony, Budded Cross, or a Cross Crosslet, but not a Maltese Cross. Regardless of the name, it is a beautiful form and fun to stitch.

Temari 58

Temari 58

Temari 58 view 2

Temari 58 view 2

Temari 59:

The stars on this ball are formed by lines that zigzag around the ball and cross each other at the star points.

Temari 59

Temari 59

Temari 59 view 2

Temari 59 view 2

Temari 60:

This temari is unusual in that I used only one color of thread to stitch the design. By stitching concentric pentagons, the overall effect is a spider web. With the threads getting denser towards the centers, it makes the green glow.

Temari 60

Temari 60

Temari 61:

Interlocking hexagons create both hexagons in the open spaces inside the hexagons and create five pointed stars in the open space between five hexagons. The five pointed stars is something that would not happen with interlocking hexagons tiling a plane in the 2D world.

In # 42, #44, and #53 the design used interlocking triangles, in #41 and # 43 it is interlocking squares and in #55 it is interlocking diamonds.  I am sure if I went through all my temari, I would find more interlocking shapes.

Interlocking shapes is a fun design concept to explore, so I have a feeling that some of my future temari will have interlocking shapes.

Temari 61

Temari 61

Since I am not sure where my adventure in temari will take me next, then you will have to wait until I my next temari post to find out. Meanwhile, my next post will probably be of some of my other non-temari stitching projects that have been keeping me busy.