Monday, June 25, 2012

Stitch alongs are so much fun!

What's a stitch along? Well, join our group TemariChallenge and you'll find out. Joan led us in a stitch along to make this renzoku design simple 12 division temari. Now, she has challenged us to figure out another that is more intricate. Everyone is learning a lot and sharing their photos and ideas. Come join us!
TemariChallenge Yahoo Group

If you saw my post yesterday, you will recognize this as a continuous motif. Yes, renzoku (continuous). Yes, motif (one path creates the motif).

TemariChallenge Renzoku stitch along by Joan

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Continuous motif - a temari stitching term

An excerpt from my new book Temari Techniques

Do you remember drawing stars in elementary school? You put your pencil on the paper, draw five straight lines along a path without lifting the pencil, and end right back where you started with a five-point star. You can stitch a star on temari in much the same way by taking a basic stitch at each turn your pencil would make. You are not limited to stars, though; there are many other continuous motifs which can be created in the same manner. These are different than shapes like squares and triangles because the thread path will cross over other stitches in the same motif as you stitch.

The Japanese have a phrase, hito hude gake (one stroke of the brush), to describe a kanji character that can be drawn with a single stroke of the calligraphy brush. Temari artists have borrowed this phrase to describe these continuous paths where one single stitching path will create the entire figure. Some motifs have special names because they are so common: hoshi kagari (five-point star) and mitsubane kikkou kagari (triwing).  After exploring the individual hito hude gake motifs, try the “one stroke” technique to complete multiple motifs with just one stitching path. Setting up the path is an intriguing temari puzzle; stitching along the path is a relaxing, almost meditative, experience.

Practice by drawing the path for your first continuous motif on paper to get a feel for how it is created. You could also place pins in your temari and wind perle cotton along the path to visualize the completed motif. Typically, diagrams will have the stitches numbered to help you get started. You can pin numbered slips of paper to the guidelines on the ball to help you stitch the first row.

Note: Renzoku means continuous in Japanese. All of these motifs are stitched with a single, continuous path. The term continuous motif (or hito hude gake) simply adds the requirement that one path is used to complete an outline of the entire motif. It has the same starting and ending points.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Stitching temari in North Carolina

I've got an email list going just for people interested in stitching temari with us in North Carolina. Please let me know if you want to join. Here is what I sent out today...

Hi temari stitchers,

You've expressed an interest in stitching temari with us in North Carolina and I've created a separate email list just for locals and those who want to come and be a local for a while. This is it. Thanks so much for joining the list!

Here's what's on the schedule as of today:

Chapel Hill, NC, at Thimble Pleasures Quilt Store

Three sessions (July, August, and September). Click on the link above to get the details. If you are beginner, start with Dana to learn the basics and lots of fun temari designs.

Sign up for this class through Thimble Pleasures.

Raleigh, NC, at Barb's home

Saturdays, from 9:30 am until noon or so. June 23, July 21, August 18, September 15. This class is for experienced temari makers who are at the level where they are comfortable making a C8 division. If you're not there yet, let me know and I'll hook you up with Dana for the beginning classes. Each session is $15 payable to Barb. Bring your own stitching supplies. The deadline to sign up is Wednesday, midnight, before the Saturday class. Minimum is three students. Maximum is twelve students.

Sign up for each Saturday class individually by contacting Barb ( Please sign up as soon as you know you will come since seating is very limited.

Saturday, June 23 -  Let's play with asanoha (flax or hemp leaf) design. Bring a ball (any color, any size) marked in a C8. Bring extra thread (same color as marking thread) for stitching the design. This technique is described on pages 144-149 in Temari Techniques. Bring balls marked in other divisions if you want to keep going and be sure to bring your requests for future classes.

Temari Retreat in Raleigh, NC

Almost 40 people have expressed an interest in coming to stitch temari over a two or three day period. Wow! I'm so excited! I'm hoping to get this event organized for October, 2012, and will let you know which days as soon as I can.

Thanks again for your interest in coming to stitch with us!

Monday, June 11, 2012

And the winner is....

# 17 Laura Bezzeg is the lucky draw for a copy of Echiro Temari, given by Sensei Ozaki in Tokyo!

To everyone who left comments about temari, thank you so much for expressing your love of the craft. We all enjoyed reading them!

Laura, I'll put your book in the mail today.