Temari, after a Nana Akua design

July 1, 2017


I’ve explored some possibilities of a design by Nana Akua, experimenting with ball size, colour palette and thread size along the way.

From left: 28cm circumference, pearl cotton 8 in white and orange and a tan ball; 26.5cm circumference, pearl cotton 8 in white and pale green on a bright yellow ball; 34cm circumference, pearl cotton 5 in purple and white on a burgundy ball and a 41.5cm circumference, pearl cotton 8 in orange and white on a red ball.

The most obvious feature to note is tonality and the need to get sufficient contrast between the background colour and the white thread. The yellow ball fails in this regard, but in the others the white stands out sufficiently. What I found interesting is the need in the red multi-centre ball to use very bright orange and very bright red threads, far stronger colour than I thought necessary. Optically, the orange and red in the border mix to form a general mid-tone orange, which fits the bill tonally.

To make my point about tonality, look what happens when I take the colour out. The contrast between light, mid-tone and dark tones works well with the multicenter; the others are more distinctly dark and light with no contrasting mid-tones.

Of course, if I was submitting any ball for JTA certification, I’d want to stitch it and take a desaturated, black-and-white photo first to check tonality was the best it could be!


One not so obvious feature is the sequence of stitching. After experimenting with stitching the coloured borders first, I found it easier to stitch all the white thread flax-leaf first. That involved stitching the flax-leaf motifs within each boundary, then joining the motifs via a series of triangles and diamonds. Most often, the stitching of the triangles and diamonds sorts out any geometrical issues with the motifs, but (as you can see the photo of my multi-center) care needs to be taken with the hexagons (!).

The next fun part of this journey with this Nana Akua design is an online stitchalong with TemariChallenge. I look forward to seeing what my colleagues come up with!







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