I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Saturday, January 18, 2014

This week I am trying something new and foreign in my embroidery work..............

and I really mean foreign.............
I want to learn the Japanese art of making
these beautiful embroidered balls known as


Temari balls are a folk art form that originated in China and was introduced to Japan around the 7th century A.D. "Temari" means "hand ball" in Japanese.

The stitches and the colors are endless.
Temari are highly valued and cherished gifts, symbolizing deep friendship and loyalty. Also, the brilliant colors and threads used are symbolic of wishing the recipient a brilliant and happy life. Traditionally, becoming a craftsman in Japan was a tedious process. Becoming a temari artist in Japan today requires specific training, and one must be tested on one's skills and technique before being acknowledged as a crafter of temari.

Traditionally, temari were often given to children from their parents on New Year's Day. Inside the tightly wrapped layers of each ball, the mother would have placed a small piece of paper with a goodwill wish for her child. The child would never be told what wish his or her mother had made while making the ball.

Alternately, some balls contained "noisemakers" consisting of rice grains or bells to add to the play value. It is said that traditional temari were wrapped so tightly they would bounce.

I have spent time watching many videos and I have researched countless books on the subject. One name seemed to stand out when it comes to great teaching of this art and that is the name of Diana Vandervoort. It seems that her books are easy to follow and understand. I chose this book and it just arrived today.

Although Styrofoam balls are used in many of these balls, I also learned that balls made of yarn are easier to stitch on. So I decided to give it a try.

Once the yarn ball is made, sewing thread of your color choice is used to wrap around the ball until it is completely covered.

The ball is then marked and measured with pins and then with string guidelines.
This is as far as I have gotten. I will show more as I learn along the way.
How about you?
Have you heard of this beautiful art form?
Have you created Temari balls?
I would love to hear.............and see!


Patty H. said...

those are beautiful!

Sandra said...

Have never heard of these before but they look gorgous.

Cindy said...

Wow, is all I can say! I remember seeing this on Carol Duvall years ago. The balls are just beautiful. I wish you luck with it and can't wait to see how it turns out.

lil red hen said...

This term is new to me. I'm sure you'll master the technique and before long will have something wonderful to share with us.

mica said...

I am looking forward to seeing your progress! I have tried making temari only once. Although it was a lot of fun to make, I have not picked it up yet. It's something I keep saying I should try again though. I had also decided to prepare my own mari rather than use a styrofoam ball.

Bev said...

Have never heard of them... looks hard to me:))

Dragonfly Treasure said...

I've never seen those before. They are so unique and so pretty. Looks like you're on the way to make a gorgeous one

Gina E. said...

I know of Temari balls, and have seen books on them, but I won't be trying to make them - too much else to do around here! Did you see all those vintage linens on my blog last week? I'm having a wonderful time soaking, hanging out in the sun, and pressing them!

Marie said...

What a delightful new skill to learn! Could you make them into Christmas ornaments too? I have so many things on my Pinterest Board "Things I Want to Learn/Do" that I need about five lifetimes to be able to do it all. But, I just love beautiful needlework so much!

Melody Brown said...

My Art School teacher was from main land China and she showed me these many years ago. I wish I had the patience for it. You've got a good start.

Preeti said...

I too got a book on temari balls and it's on my todo list as well. They are so beautiful!!

ina said...

This art is new to me but it looks tedious, isn't it?

Jane Smith said...

I'm looking forward to seeing them when you are done. Those are so pretty.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of this before, but I'll be interested to see what you do with it. I'm sure it will be remarkable. I think even wrapping the yarn into a ball is difficult to keep it a perfect sphere.

Marianne xo