(516) Create the Mystical “Swirl” Temari

One of the most iconic patterns in Japanese temari is the “swirl” ball, and we are going to unlock its secrets together. Starting with a simple 4-division ball, we will cover how to build the “14 face” division that is the foundation for this design. Then we will cover how to fill the entire ball with the swirling stitches that transform this temari into an optical illusion. Everything will be demonstrated in this class, and the video will be available for students to watch at their own pace. Supplemental instructions will also be emailed (right- or left- handed directions). If you can make a temari base, mark a simple division, and stitch basic patterns, you can learn to swirl!

To work along with the demonstration, students should have a temari base prepared. Details will be specified before class, but will consist of a Simple 4-division on a 24 to 28 cm (9.5- 12.5″) diameter base.

Questions can be submitted and will be moderated, but time may be limited. It will not be possible for the student to use their camera to show their work to the instructor for personalized critique or assistance. However, the demo will cover the complete process, and can be viewed again later.


Jen Weber

Experience Level:


Class Length:

Two-hour Class

Class Day/Time:

Friday Evening

Maximum Class Size:


Student Supplies:

  • A 24-28 cm temari base, see instructions below.
  • 30+ yards of pearl cotton size 5 (or 5/2), in a single bright color that contrasts STRONGLY with the temari base color.
  • Temari needle, scissors, tape measure in centimeters, sewing pins

Homework: Prepare a temari base before class.

  • Wrap a ball of size 24 – 28 cm (9.5- 12.5) in diameter, using a very dark thread color. (Black or near blacks are best).
  • Mark the ball in a simple 4 division, using a high contrast color scrap thread. (We will build another division off this simple 4, but the threads of the simple 4 will be removed afterwards). A contrasting color thread works well for this.

*Hint: Tack the simple 4 intersections with the same thread that the base is wrapped in. That way the tacks do not need to be removed, only the division thread that is laid on the ball.