Hand sewing is my new knitting

As I’m tired of knitting I’m turning to handsewing for the first time, as a craft. And I like it a lot. Stitching those tiny stitches to attach pieces of fabric to another one is as meditative and repetitive as knitting.

Patchwork ball

It has proven this last week that handsewing is great on quilt meetings, waiting for the meat to grill on the BBQ, sitting in the sun listening to a podcast and also a wonderful TV-craft! Handsewing is my new knitting, definitely!

I started with a blue ball made from honeycomb looking patches. All stripes and checked pattern, except for a tiny bug I happened to sew in, but I think it’s kind of cute. Blue for mom, then a pink romantic one for me.

I could make a tutorial for these patchwork balls if you want to try it out?

Having a ball
Having a ball.

What will I do with them you ask? Well, anything! Squeezing to reduce stress. Throwing to practice your girl throw and then catching to practice your balance. Children’s toys. Dog or cat toys. Beautiful decoration in a basket. Taking a brake from work to play ball.

Having a ball
They fly great and land softly. No one will get hurt.

What I like about making these:

  • Picking out matching fabrics
  • That it produces a small, manageable project that is easy to bring
  • The meditation of sewing small stitches, one at a time
  • The fact that I’ve felt so calm making them, not in a rush at all
  • I don’t need them, I won’t have to fit into them, I don’t have a deadline and I haven’t decide how many to make.

I’m now sewing together my third one which will be in “happy warm” colors. The blue one is already given to my mom.

I’ve been looking through this amazingly beautiful quilt book that mom bought recently. It is called Sy med lappar and is written by Hilde Lien and Tina Eckeroth, published in Swedish by Ica bokförlag 2008 (original title: Lappedrömmer that you can get though Lapp-Elisa internationally). It is filled with happy colors that make me think of spring, summer and romance.

I want to make the first quilt, Romantica, but I’m not starting another quilt right now. So instead I browsed on until I spotted very cute kittens in there together with a pattern for a basket and these patchwork balls in three different sizes. Everything is just so adorable and I love the patchwork look of the balls so I decided to make one. I’m now sewing together my third one, by hand!

The title of this post was inspired by the News Tribune post Sewing is the new knitting [found via the Sewer-sewist that I found via Craftypod, in an interview with men who is crafting where I also found the quilter Michael who has started a very cool project called Quilting up a storm 2008.]

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26 Responses to Hand sewing is my new knitting

  1. Jennifer says:

    A tutorial would be great!

  2. Jessie Mae says:

    If you made a tutorial for the patchwork balls, I would love to try it. Yours look amazing!

  3. Sister Diane says:


    They are lovely – I love your fabric choices. These remind me of a book I had as a kid, about patchwork toys. I wish I’d kept it – and I wish I could find one online now!

  4. Rachel L says:

    They are so pretty! A tutorial would be great, I’d definitely like to try that out.

  5. Chris says:


    I have lots of fun fabrics and could start early to learn how to do fabricky stuff!

    So cute.

  6. MissKoolAid says:

    Definitely something I would try. They are fun and unique!

  7. Serena says:

    A tutorial? YES, please! They look wonderful, Hanna ~ :)

  8. Susan Tuttle says:

    I adore these balls! They remind me of Christmas ornaments my mother used to make when I was a little girl.

    Great photo of the ball in mid air!


  9. I love these balls, Hanna! What do you fill them with?

  10. iHanna says:

    Alison, just ordinary stuffing from the fabric shop; it’s white and look like cotton but it’s not organic. I use it for all softies and now balls! :-)

  11. Yvonne says:

    I`ve also made these balls, and have also fallen in love with them. And as you, surprised that I actually loved making them. I stopped at two.. Great balls and great fabric.

  12. Anne says:

    Those little balls are so cute! If you made a tutorial, I’d definitely use it to make some of my own.

    Though I’ve never been able to knit, I’m finding a love for handsewing lately, and for exactly the same reasons you describe. Although for me the time to kill is while I’m watching my daughter play at the park or swimming pool.

  13. toni says:

    Very pretty balls! You should give a tutorial :)

  14. suzi blu says:

    ooh ooh ooh. it looks like you did them on the machine the stiches are so tight. i would love a tutorial if you post one!

  15. P?itseoga says:

    hi! i made some of these when i was a teenager, for the children i was babysitting. i mostly machine sewed though. i’ve been thinking about them lately, i have a lot of baby presents to make… i used to put a small bell into the centre. if you make them with different fabric textures and patterns, like corduroy, cotton, linen, velvet; dots, stripes, solids… they keep babies entertained for ages!

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  17. Suzanne says:

    I am here from CraftyPod and soooo happy to find your blog! Your space and projects are just lovely. I would love a tut for the patchwork balls. Handwork of all kinds has long been my favorite form of relaxation, especially when the project involves happy fabric and colors.
    Thanks for sharing, Hanna.
    Suzanne G in NC

  18. McKayla says:

    Wow! I would love the tutorial, they are so creative! Please email me when a tutorial is posted! Thanks!

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  20. judy hartman says:

    These balls are so sweet, I would love to learn how to make them.
    Lovely blog!!

  21. iHanna says:

    Thanks for your comments!

    if you’re interested in making these balls you should check out my tutorial! I hope you like it! It can be found in the tutorial archive and it’s called How to hand sew a patchwork ball!! Good luck!

  22. Amanda says:

    I’ve made several of these before using a book called Patchwork Puzzle Balls by Jinny Beyer.
    You should try to make Temari next. They are fun and a lot and much easier than they look!

  23. Trina Bell says:

    I love them! My boys will love them, i can imagine them flying around the house now. At least they are soft.

  24. Those are very cute and looks like a fun project! Thanks!

  25. TERRY Owenby says:

    I too would love a tutorial. I recently read the book “Slow Stitch” which ignited a return for me to the slower, “old-fashioned”, way of sewing. I love it because as you said, it is indeed meditative, relaxing, and with a small project, can be carried in a purse and done anywhere. Thank you for beautiful inspiration. You do gorgeous hand work!

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