Flowers on a C10 temari

I have been asked to talk about my thought processes and decisions when stitching a temari that is a personal creation (not from a pattern). I thought that this  temari would be a good one to talk about because I got a few inquiries about it when I first posted the photo.

After deciding what kind of pattern I am going to stitch I think about mari color. I like dark green for flower patterns so that is what I choose for this ball.

Next I think about the colors of thread I will use. There are a lot of factors that go into color choices. Experience limits many color combo’s. (I have learned that green and blue on a ball is a tricky combo. They tend to blend together and look alike from a distance.)  I choose a bright green because I like to have leaves represented when stitching flower patterns and I needed a color that would show up against the background. I also like to outline my stitching so I knew I would also need a dark green; by laying several shades of green against the ball I could be sure that I got colors that would have enough contrast to show up after stitching, but would still remain pleasing to the eye on the background. I choose 2 or 3 green combos and set them aside. The final decision was made after I chose the flower colors.

Choosing flower colors is usually a tough decision. I have some favorite combos, but I don’t want to get into a rut so I try to change it up. I have learned to look at flower colors in stores, gardens and magazines for inspiration.  When I find a color combo in nature that I like I often force myself to use it. For this temari I choose 3 different color combos, keeping in mind that I needed highly contrasting colors. Next I compared them to my green possibilities and made the final choices.

At first glance this temari looks like the classic kiku on a C10, but there are a few differences. The green was stitched as an HHG. (HHG is a way of stitching half the shapes from north pole to south pole and then come back stitching the other half from south pole to north pole.) It allowed me to stitch without the need to keep track of the stitching order of each individual shape, because all the stars are stitched as one stitching element. I had originally planned to have the “cone” part of the kiku (Uwagake Chidori stitch) covered by the flower but I found that the ball wasn’t large enough to allow it so I adapted and stitched the green kiku right up close to the center of each shape.

Once the green was done it was time to stitch the flower. This was the second layer of stitching. It is a normal 5 pointed kiku element. The most difficult part of this element was getting the stitches up close to the center of each pentagon. It took me years to learn enough needle control to stitch in such limited spaces.

The third layer was one that had been planned right from the beginning. I had experimented with stitching different kiku elements on a C8 and knew I wanted to transfer it to a C10. Space was limited so to get my extra petal points I added rows to the cone part of my stitch but started new rows for the petal points. I had to modify to a “braid” on every other cone to save space.

When I finished the flowers the temari did not pop the way I wanted it too. That is when I decided to add the pentagon frames. I choose a lighter shade of purple then used on the flowers, to set the frames apart, and outlined them in the dark purple. I had to pass my thread under all the green diamonds, but if I were to stitch this temari again I would do it in the same sequence as the frames would have interfered with the HHG if I had stitched them first.

I hope you enjoyed reading this. Questions and comments are welcomed.


About joanztemari

My hobby is temari, a Japanese art form of embroidery on a ball. I have been stitching temari for approximately 11 years and I am still as interested in exploring this beautiful art as I was the day I discovered it.
This entry was posted in HHG, Temari C10, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Flowers on a C10 temari

  1. Sandy Dittmer says:

    This is soooooo totally amazing. I felt bewildered reading what you wrote so I can imagine what would happen if I actually tried something like this! LOL

  2. Julie M says:

    Thank you so much Joan. I love the explaination you have given about your thought process. I am relatively new – about 18 months – and that sure helps me. I love your colors. Thanks for sharing your expertise

  3. Wow thanks for letting us inside your head and sharing your decision making process. Now I see how your colour selections are always just right.

    • joanztemari says:

      Thanks temari addict,
      I do make mistakes with color sometimes. It is just that those temari usually get ripped out and new colors are chosen. Over the years I have learned what colors work on a ball and what ones don’t. Some combos look great in hand but the light just doesn’t play well with them on a ball.

  4. Gloria says:

    Congratulations, Joan…this is a beautiful site and your comments are well appreciated. I have always regretted not being able to sit with you and absorb your teachings. This is well done and I look forward to more postings.

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