Temari is an ancient Japanese art form that literally means, "thread ball." When their kimonos would become worn, they would unravel them and wrap the thread to form balls, on which they would stitch decorative patterns. It is a very enjoyable, quick and easy art form! For more information, please visit the link below!

Visit Judy's Temari Web Site in Japanese (Judy used to have wonderful resources in English, but she received so much harassment from people who said she wasn't doing things the "right" way that she had to take it down)
Visit the Temarikai website (lots of patterns, resources, tips, and a mailing list)

Woven Diamonds

Merry Go Round

Judy Shorten

My adaptation

Started/Completed 2000

Started/Completed 2001

These four were made for my mother and sisters for Christmas. It's interesting to see what the same pattern looks like worked up in four different color combinations! The first two balls were made with pearl cotton #5. The third ball was made with DMC embroidery floss, and the last ball was made with DMC metallic floss. I will never do that again!!! I thought it would be easier to work with the metallic by doubling three strands through the needle and anchoring the loose ends in the ball. I probably never would have finished it if I hadn't done that! It was bad enough having eight threaded needles dangle from the ball at all times until I finished it!

This ornament was worked for the CATS holiday ornament contest, sponsored by Kreinik. For more information and a larger view of the ornament, click the picture above.


Woven Diamonds

Diana Vandevoort

Judy Shorten

Started/Completed 2001

Started/Completed 2001

This is a design from Diana's first book. I changed the colors a bit from what she recommended. It uses the classic "Kiku," or Chrysamthemum stitch. Just another way of doing Herringbone stitch!

I did the Temari on the left while on a "retreat" with two of my friends where I taught them how to make Temari. I couldn't resist this pretty variagated rayon Sulky thread, so I thought I would experiment with a variagated base wrap. I call it my "Crayon Ball." :)

The Temari on the right was done with floss instead of my normal pearl cotton, in preparation for teaching my stitching group. I realized I didn't have a model around done with floss.

Puzzle Spindles

Christmas Chrysanthemum

Susan's Free Temari Patterns

Diana Vandervoort (with color changes/modified obi by me)

Started 2001?/Completed July, 2004

Started/Completed December, 2004

Free Pattern from Susan's free temari patterns, and I can't remember the real name! So I invented one. I picked this pattern because I had used a pretty peacock metallic to do the C-8 division and I wanted a pattern that let the division lines show through...actually a tough order! I started it and it sat around for a long time getting a stitch put in it here and there. Finally I finished it on a beach trip with my sister and niece. The only difficult thing about the pattern was that it was written by color ("go over the red spindle, under the yellow one") and I had changed all the colors! :)

When Michael's aunt and uncle visited in May, his aunt admired the Kiku above and said, jokingly, "My colors are..." I hope I remembered them correctly! The left is the first side I did, and I thought it might have too much yellow, so I did another side so she could decide which she wanted to display.


"Stained Glass" Temari


Temarikai talktemari list stitchalong


Started January? 2006/Completed March 2006


I had always wanted to try an "all over" design (where the stitching completely covers the mari wrap), so when the list began a stitchalong, I decided to join. The main point of the stitchalong was to learn to decipher the diagrams in Japanese temari books, so we started from a diagram. I'm not sure if I'm ready to tackle any of the lovely designs in the books I brought home from Japan, though! Next time I will do my mari thread wrap in the color of the final round (black here). I did so much "nudging" to these threads that if this were a pinball machine, it would have TILTed!!