Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Despite the stress of too many Christmas presents to make not enough time! What I did all day Tuesday was oddly relaxing.
Open up a lovely old book named Fun with Fabrics. -Pernelle Sevy
Take one bucket of scrap fabric collected throughout the year. Lot's of fond memories in those scraps!
I didn't have much time to sit and read so I just did my own thing so I'm not sure if the way I did it was different to what the instructions actually were. But my process went along the lines of...
Scan and reduce the size of the pentagon shapes from the book. (because I thought their finished ball was way, way too big.)
Sit down play some tunes and cut, cut, cut and more cut until you've produced a hefty Pile of pentagons and a hefty pile of tiny scraps. The tiny scraps can be used to stuff the balls if you start running out of fibre fill like I did today!
Sort the big pentagons into piles that go together with the small pentagons.
I sorted them a hundred different ways from sunday and then still changed them when I was sewing them together. My brain hurt trying to work out how to place them together without placing two of the same colour touching, so in the end I chose mostly completely different fabric pentagons to go together in each ball that way it would never be an issue when sewing together later.
Now comes the hard part, ironing all the little pentagons and folding their edges over neatly.

To fold and iron the edges over on the small pentagons, I use a thick piece of paper to fold the fabric edge over and iron it down and a skewer to poke any uncooperative bits to make sure my fingers survive.
Theres a pentagon under there!
Yes I iron over the paper, the heat penetrates it, just don't hold it on for long enough to flame!

I then give them another iron over the edge to flatten each one as I go.
Once all the edges are folded under iron them again and then fuse them to the centre of the large pentagons.
The next part involves sewing the small pentagons to the large ones, it's easy once they are fused down they don't move. I used an open toe embroidery foot even though it was just a straight stitch so I could easily see where I was stitching.
I like to embroider something personal for the intended on one of the pentagons on each ball.
Next Sew 6 large pentagons together. Choose One central pentagon and start stitching the other 5 to each edge of the central pentagon. Don't start joining the sides to each other until the 5 are sewn to the central one. Also as you sew, do not begin to sew right from the edge and don't sew right to the end. I measured from the centre of my machines needle, to the edge of my foot and marked it on each of my pentagons to remind me not to stitch past the red lines, then I used the edge of my foot to line up the the edge of the pentagons when sewing the seams.

This way, when you join the edges of the pentagons next to each other it it wont buckle up on the edges.
It should look like this when all 6 are sewn together, a bit like a bowl.
Sew another 6 together in the same way.
Turn one inside out and put the two halves together right sides facing, the best way to describe it is, like putting together a puzzle, the points go into the valleys. Sew the 6 to the 6 in the same way you sewed the first 6. I also stitch in a loop of ribbon so the ball can be attached to elastic for games, or hung from a ribbon or hook. For smaller bubs you can also add in more looped ribbons into the seams so they can grab hold of them easily.
Do not sew the last remaining gap. Leave this so you can turn it out and stuff. I also like to pop into the centre of the stuffing, a cheap cat toy like a rolling ball with a bell inside. They are much cheaper than the official softie ones from craft stores.
Once stuffed within an inch of it's life, Ladder stitch the last opening closed and admire your work.
And here is the first finished pentagon ball from a few sides.
It's very stuffed and still bigger than I expected
So many of this years projects in there
Many fabrics from mums stash in there too
I also finished off some booties for my husbands cousin whos expecting a bub soon.
Time for sleeping now, tomorrow will bring the beginnings of 4 more balls for the youngest girls and one for the youngest boy. (mums great grand children)

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