Books by Barb

Book Temari Techniques

Book Japanese Temari

Japanese Kimekomi BOOK


Reviews of Japanese Temari, A Colorful Spin on an Ancient Craft

Book Japanese Temari

Have you read Japanese Temari, A Colorful Spin on an Ancient Craft? I would love to see your review. Send it to and feel free to ask questions. I'll try to post it here as soon as I can.

10-15-07 - Library Journal - The crafting of temari—colorful balls wrapped in thread and embroidered with geometric designs—is relatively new to North America. Temari gives embroiderers rare experience working with three-dimensional forms. A teacher with her own temari business, Suess offers step-by-step instructions for basic techniques and 20 projects with American themes. The designs, however, look the same as those on traditional Japanese temari. Recommended for public library crafts collections.

8-6-07- Midwest Book Review - A welcome, unusual, and thoroughly 'user friendly' addition - The needlework art of Japanese handballs is a craft that goes back centuries. All that is required is a needle and a batch of colorful embroidery threads -- and Barbara Suess' profusely illustrated, step-by-step instruction manual "Japanese Temari: A Colorful Spin On An Ancient Craft, A consummate master of this distinctively Japanese needlecraft, Barbara shares the secrets to creating twenty-five different temari designs -- each one showcased with full color photography. These are needlecraft creations that are perfect 'carry-along projects' that result in appreciated gifts and lovely home-decor interior design accents with a unique Japanese flavor. From ball-prep basics, to simple designs that can be accomplished in a couple of hours, to complex and intricate designs that demonstrate a true mastery of this unusual needlecraft project, "Japanese Temari" is a welcome, unusual, and thoroughly 'user friendly' addition to personal and community library Needlecraft reference collections.

December, 2007, Volume XXXVIII, Number 4, edition of Needle Arts, - "This book has excellent illustrations so that even a novice can work a temari successfully. There are simple designs with more intricate ones as you progress. Once you get hooked, you are tempted by the names - Autumn Moon, Cranes and Bamboo, Bellflower, and Trillium - and by the rest of the two dozen designs. There are special instructions to stitch a five-point star, a triangle, a layered trefoil, and an interlocked trefoil. A special feature is a guide for Temari teachers, which includes three levels of plans for classes. Concluding the book is; Temari glossary and stitch directory. Barbara is teaching Temari next year at Seminar 2008." by Rosemary Kostansek, Buckingham, Pennsylvania.

July/August, 2008. Piecework Magazine. Review by Michelle Mach. "The instructions for twenty-five thread-wrapped balls, a traditional gift in Japan, are presented in order of difficulty. Each project begins with an appropriate haiku and contains a full-page color photograph, clear  step-by-step illustrations, and sources for the threads used in the samples. The first project can be completed in an hour, and many others can be made in an evening or two. An experienced temari instructor, Suess includes timesaving techniques, a quick stitch guide, and brief lessons on stitching particular shapes, allowing you to create your own designs. A beautiful and appealing book."

1-31-08 CraftyPod Blog by Diane - I’m really excited about Barbara’s book, because most of the Temari references I’ve found suffer a bit in the production values. This one looks gorgeous. I like my education with a side of eye-candy, you know?

1-20-2012 Having been making temari since 1984, I've seen most of the books and have often been disappointed. This one is the tops. Wonderful photography, well done illustrations and excellent, clear, step by step instructions. I teach temari and this is the book I always recommend. By Julep on

3.3.2011 - 5.0 out of 5 stars - Fabulous for Beginners and Teachers! Nancy (Richmond, VA) - This review is from: Japanese Temari: A Colorful Spin on an Ancient Craft (Paperback) I absolutely LOVE this book! This is a modern book with great photos throughout, making it fun to flip through and pick your next project. The instructions are very clearly and carefully written with plenty of photos to help you through most of the project. What I especially appreciated was in the back portion of the book: How to Teach Temari. If you teach needlework at all, often you find the most difficult part is deciding where to start your students. This book breaks it down for you, and makes it possible for beginners to teach other beginners. Using this book, I've made about 10 Temari, with each of them taking about 2 nights to complete.

3.8.2011 - Ornament Designs - The first time I ever saw temari was way back in 2002 when I first moved to Japan. A friend gave me one for my birthday that year and it became one of my most prized possessions. I often wondered how it was made but convinced myself that it was too complicated for me to learn. I was so wrong. Today I made my first temari ball with the help of Barbara Suess’ book Japanese Temari. I bought this book because I had such wonderful success with her other book Japanese Kimekomi. Similar to her other book, Barbara includes a short history of temari, a list of tools and supplies you will need, basic temari instruction, including everything you need to know about making the base thread ball and the different types of stitches used to create each of her beautiful designs. The book contains 25 designs you can recreate yourself, in order of difficulty. The instructions are straightforward and include colored illustrations to aid in the reader’understanding. I’ve never embroidered in my life but Barbara’s easy to follow stitch guide taught me the basics. I highly recommend this book to beginners.

8-14-07 - from Vicki, Virginia Wow! I received my book today and I’m speechless. You should be so proud. Even though we’ve never met, I feel I “know you” and am tickled pink to have your book. It’s the most comprehensive, easy to follow book written – gorgeous pictures and drawings. Congratulations on a job well done! I can’t wait to show it to the residents where I work – we meet each Saturday to make Temari, and I have been telling them about the book for some time. Unfortunately, we lost a member a few weeks ago; and she was so looking forward to seeing it. I’m honored to add this to my collection!

8-16-07- from Kathy, Washington: Barb, your book is everything I expected it to be - classy, concise and creative. I know how much your heart and soul went into each page and I’m sure others will see it too. The instructions are so easy to follow for all skill levels and temari teachers will gain a lot from reading your book too. The diagrams are terrific but I wouldn’t expect anything different from you. My favorite part of the book is how you have pulled each design together in such an artful way by titling each work, adding wonderful photos, clear graphics, Peggy’s lovely watercolors, Haiku and splashes of Japanese culture. I truly believe this will become the book that English speaking people mention as their favorite. I hope your dreams come true and the number of temari enthusiasts grow from your efforts. You are a gem to temari – and a gem to me too! You scored a knockout on this one, girl! Congrats!

8-16-07 from K.J., Alabama: I got my copy of your book today! It's even more beautiful than I thought it'd be! The photos are spectacular - I love the size. You can really see the details of each ball so clearly. I know I have a few books where I wished for bigger pics because the directions were a "bit lacking". The whole book is just gorgeous and I can hardly wait to show it to some folks that are interested in learning temari. I think it's the best starter book available. I'm still so honored that you let me proofread the manuscript! I love the dedication for Judy. It honestly gave me goose bumps when I read it. I think it was a wonderful idea. Thanks again so much! I love my book!

8-16-07 from Mallary, Massachusetts:I don't know where to begin. I got your book today and have only gotten through the first couple of pages. It's gorgeous! Can't wait to settle everyone for the evening, dinner etc., sit down and read every word. The pictures (I haven't cheated and skimmed the book) so far are amazing.  Congratulations on such a wonderful achievement! And thank you so much for your kind words and signing my makes it so much more special! Best Wishes.

8-16-07 from Judy, New York: I've just spent an hour with Barb's new book and I love it! The photos are great and the directions very clear -- good job, Barb!!

8-16-07 from Barbara, Ohio: For those teaching beginning classes. Barb's new book will make a great recommendation. Most students like to have printed material to have at home to use for a review of what they learned. The projects follow a perfect sequence. I had an advanced order from Barb for it. I just got it a few days ago. If people order from her she autographed them. It is a beginners book, but the best I have seen. Barb writes fabulous directions. Plus she has info on Japanese culture at the beginning of each pattern. I think it may revive interest in Temari. I understand that she and Kathy have a book in the works. I am so happy for her !!

8-17-07 - fromDeb B., Georgia: I received Barb's book and read it from cover to cover and I absolutely love it! It's a wonderful addition to my library!

8-20-07 - from Doris, Texas Thank you---thank you-thank you for such a lovely book--mine is on my coffee table where I can see it often. What a great addition to our English Temari books--great for teachers too--along with Mary Woods that is all one needs. So glad to see Judy Shorten's temari there---Ii really miss her--luckily I purchased two of hers (and she JUST gave me a temari egg along with the two!!!) I often e-mailed her, copied a lot of her temari pictures to look at and purchased two of her patterns.

8-24-07 - from Ellen, Florida: Your book was waiting for me when I returned from vacation. Words do not describe what a great job you did in creating this book. The pictures are just amazing. You can actually see where you are going with a design. No need to get the magnify glass to see the stitches. I do this for quilt patterns sometimes. Thanks for a great book!

8-29-07 - from Sue, Missouri: I am a needleart student, teacher, and designer. If you are a student wanting to learn the art of temari at any level or wanting to teach temari; this book is for you. It has clear concise information, beautiful photos of the temari, clear instructions with easy to understand diagrams, and a class outline with suggest learning order. There are instructions for right or left handed stitchers. This book will be a wonderful addition to any needlework or temari art library. This book is a must for any temari ball enthusiast at whatever level you are stitching.

8-31-07 - Carolyn, Georgia - I love this book! Having looked at many temari books, I think I can safely say that this would be the easiest book to learn from. The author has excellent and clear instructions, which she has carefully organized through a series of projects that build up skills in sequence. The patterns are gorgeous. Further, the book has many nice details, such as beautiful pictures and haiku.

12-31-07 - C. Anderson, Kentucky(posted on - I saw this book on display at my local library and checked it out on a whim. I wanted to renew it, but someone had a "hold" on it, so here I am at Amazon because I had to have my own copy! I had never seen or heard of Temari and now I am hooked. This book is beautiful and the instructions are clear enough for a complete beginner like me. The pages are durable and the book lays flat for easy access. i just finished my 7th ball and my sister and daughter made their own balls when they saw mine. I enthusiastically recommend this book, but prepare to be addicted.

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