I suggest you spend some time learning how to make unusual Christmas toys called Temari Balls.
- mouline threads or fine cotton yarn (Iris, Rosa trademark, and so on);
- metallized threads;
- threads for base;
- narrow stripes of fabric;
- long needle with large eye;
- Kinder Surprise or overshoes container;
- a few seed beads, pieces of rice or other filling for our «rattle».
There are some tutorials on Livemaster about how to make a Temari Base and embroider the kiku pattern, but I decided to describe the process from the very beginning to an end the way I do it myself as everyone has own favourite methods and nuances :)
1. You can make a Temari base by different methods. One would make it completely of fabric scraps, another would use a 3.5-4.5 cm ball of foam plastic. I prefer «rattles». For that, several seed beads are put inside a container.
Then evenly wrap up the heart with fabric stripes of 1.5-2 cm width.
Cloth stripes may be unequal and of different length. It’s good when the cloth is stretching: it covers the ball tighter and makes its surface smoother. It’s good when the fabric colour of the upper layer matches Temari threads.
2.After that, wrap up the ball with threads evenly. These may be simple sewing threads, like fine acrylic yarn.
It’s important that the threads are thin, then the base would be smooth and provide a proper surface for embroidery. The size is up to you. I usually make it of 5-6 cm diameter.
3. Line pattern
Insert a pin into the ball. Take a narrow strip of paper, cut out an angle at the edge of the strip close to its end. Hook it at the pin and wrap around the ball along its central line.
Fold the strip in the place where it meets the pin. Cut out an angle in the place of the fold. The space between the angles should be divided in two and each of the parts in two again. So, make 3 more angles.
Hook the strip at the pin and wrap it around the ball again.
Stuck other pins into each of the edges. Thus, 2 poles and 2 points on the equator are pinned. Leave only one pin hooked and turn the strip athwart to the first meridian. Mark 2 more points of the equator. Then check if all is symmetrized. Re-pin the points, if necessary.
Now make the marking with threads. If you don’t want the marks to be seen on the ready item, take threads of a similar colour. It is important that you still could distinguish the threads on the ball. Such marking can also be an element of your pattern; one could use, for example, fine metallized thread.
Insert the needle at the distance of 2-2.5 cm from a pole and pull it up out of the pole.
The knot should remain between the threads of the base. Wrap the thread around the ball along the pointed meridians, fix it on the poles.
Divide the appeared sectors in two once again (you can pin them by eye). Thus, 8 rays should branch out from each pole at the same distance.
Wrap the equator fixing your thread in two points. You needn’t knot the thread, just pull it up 3-4 cm higher from the last stitch and cut it off. Take the pins away.
As threads consumption is not large, you can use remains of thread hanks. 4-5 shades would be enough. If you want your ball shine, add metallized thread.
If you’ll embroider with mouline, see that your thread isn’t twisted, make sure you’ve straightened it — then your work will be smooth. As dry fingers won’t do it right, prepare a wet cotton disk in advance.
Insert the needle 2-3 cm from a pole. Pull it up 0.5 cm at the left from a meridian.
Fix the knot inside the ball. Go to the next meridian moving to the right. In your mind, divide the distance from the pole to the equator into three parts and fix your thread at ⅓ from the equator; for that, insert the needle at the right of the marking line.
Then move to the next meridien and repeat all steps.
A four-pointed star should come out.
At the last step, pull the needle up near a meridian which is found to the left and stitch the second star.
Take a thread of a different colour and do all the same, but this time stitch closer to the first row.
Make 7-8 rows this way.
Then pull up your thread and embroider a little star on the top.
Do the same with the opposite pole. You can keep to the usual order of threads or change it.
Then wind a thread 2-3 times around the equator and fix it in two opposite points. Make a loop on one of them — you’ll use it for hanging.