Temari Stitches on a Kimekomi Ball

My latest idea was to add some simple temari stitches to a kimekomi ball. I had to use a double layer of quilt batting between the foam and the fabric so that I could actually sew the design while the fabric was on the ball. A more flexible needle might have made it a little easier, but I think in the end it turned out pretty well.

The thread I used for the stitches was specifically made for temari and it’s very appropriately called “temari thread” in Japanese. It’s 100% polyester which gives it a nice sheen. You will probably have a hard time finding this exact stuff outside of Japan.

In both Suess’ and Vandervoort’s books on Temari, they suggest Pearl Cotton #5 thread. I suggest you use whatever you think will be pretty. This is not an exact science.

I referred to Suess’ Stitch Directory in the back of her book, to make my stitches. It’s a variation of the starburst stitch.

Now, I’m off to buy an embroidery hoop and some thread. I’m going to teach myself to stitch some simple flowers and use them in a picture window ornament. This should be fun.
Until next time. 🙂

Book Review: Japanese Temari by Barbara B. Suess

The first time I ever saw temari was way back in 2002 when I first moved to Japan. A friend gave me one for my birthday that year and it became one of my most prized possessions. I often wondered how it was made but convinced myself that it was too complicated for me to learn. I was so wrong.

Today I made my first temari ball with the help of Barbara Suess’ book Japanese Temari. I bought this book because I had such wonderful success with her other book Japanese Kimekomi. Similar to her other book, Barbara includes a short history of temari, a list of tools and supplies you will need, basic temari instruction, including everything you need to know about making the base thread ball and the different types of stitches used to create each of her beautiful designs. The book contains 25 designs you can recreate yourself, in order of difficulty. The instructions are straightforward and include colored illustrations to aid in the reader’s understanding.

I’ve never embroidered in my life but Barbara’s easy to follow stitch guide taught me the basics. I highly recommend this book to beginners.

Here is my first temari!

I used the Autumn Moon design for this ball. It’s the 2nd design in the book. I made a few changes as I went along just for the fun of it.

If you already have this book, what do you think? Let’s discuss it in the comments!

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