I really like the way quilting cottons look when paired with Minkee Blankee plush fabric. OK, and I'm partial to orange too. This one is a size Medium with a bright orange plaid for the MELONS.
I believe this is Cuddle fabric. I love how the pattern in the MELONS softly blends with the HALF-CIRCLES. I couldn't find purple floss so I used off-white which was more of a match to the MELONS. I rather like the slight contrast. Ah, the options! It's what makes it all so exciting. (And why I keep making Amazing Puzzle Balls!) It's a size large.
I made this ball just before the pattern was finished. I wanted to show how cute the Amazing Puzzle Balls look in "plain old ordinary" quilting fabrics. Not as soft as plush fabrics, but just as much fun with 24 different fabrics. (Great scrap bag project!)
Matching floss was impossible, so I used a light gray. (Size Medium.)
This size Small Amazing Puzzle Ball
features two shades of purple: a Minkee Gelato light purple on the MELONS and a darker solid Minkee for the HALF-CIRCLES.
This was one of my earlier balls as I was experimenting with the best way to sew them up. It's a size Small made of teal and black velveteen.
This one is orange flannel and purple velveteen. It's a size Small. (I did mention that I like orange, right?)
There used to be a smaller size Small. That nearly sent me around the bend. You'll be able to make the size Small in the pattern. Just practice on a larger size first. Really, it helps.
I've been making a lot of size Smalls (like this one) recently. I do the machine sewing at home and then turn the QUARTER-CIRCLES right side out, stuff, seal, and join them when I travel. I have limited space in my purse, actually JUST enough for a size Small. I've done size Mediums on the plane, but then I have to stuff little bags of fiberfill in my clothing to get all the pieces and parts on the plane.
Another Small. This is purple and black velveteen. I used purple floss and joined the QUARTER-CIRCLES right at the MELONS instead of 1/8" below. I don't like it nearly as well.
This size Small was my "Ah-ha" moment. I finally realized that with a great stabilizer I could even sew really stretchy fabrics. This is velvet (very stretchy) and Minkee Blankee (stretchy enough). Look at the sheen on that velvet! So glad Pellon 820 Quilter's Grid came into my life.
Another size Small. More airplane sewing. If I thread my needle with a long thread most seatmates will give up the armrest. I just have to rememeber to pull the needle through in their direction.
This one is bright peach and yellow Minkee Blankee.
This one is a Medium. I love the wild quilting fabric on the MELONS. That's an older piece of fabric from my stash, but I just love it. What a great stripe! I used plush for the HALF-CIRCLES.
This one is an X-Large. I felt the plaid flannel needed a large surface area as the scale was so large. The warm brown is Minkee Blankee. The flannel is also from Benartex.
Here's another X-Large. Do you recognize the fabrics? (I love leftovers.) I store all my Amazing Puzzle Balls
in a really big clear plastic tote. The only way I can get them all in is to start with the big balls first. Then, somehow, the little ones all fit in. Just like life. Start with the the big (most important) priorities first, and the little things will fit in to place afterwards.
This was a fun one. This size Medium was a late entry as I was finishing up the pattern. Twelve different Minkee Gelato fabrics for a "looks good enough to eat" Amazing Puzzle Ball. Yum!
Admittedly, this one looks a lot like one farther up on my list here, but that one had yellow MELONS and this one has green MELONS. In case you were wondering. HUGE difference. (Maybe not.)
This was my experiment with using sweatshirt material. (Size Large.) I fused the Quilter's Grid to the outside of the sweatshirt so the softer, fuzzier side would be on the outside of the Amazing Puzzle Ball. The quilting cotton on the MELONS was a gift from the Gold Coast Quilt Guild in Boca Raton, FL. They were one of the first guilds I taught for where I brought an Amazing Puzzle Ball to share.
One of my first experiments with stripes. Love them in MELONS. (They don't work so well in HALF-CIRCLES because of the directional change in in the stripe "on the other side.") This is a size Large. Oh so soft and cuddly. I don't mind the low contract either. Makes me want to take a nap.
This one cured me of any further desire to work with really hairy plush fabric. It was a constant struggle to pin the stuff out of the way. I wound up giving each piece a haircut 1/4" all the way around each patch to keep the fur out of the seam allowances. And, you can't really see where to hang on to it. The fur really fluffed it up. Still, it is the softest ball ever. OK, maybe one more some day.
This size Large has green Minkee Blankee MELONS and deep blue velour HALF-CIRCLES. Velour was a good stepping stone from quilting cottons to almost plush fabrics. It is very soft but has much shorter more densely packed "fur." There are limited colors available, at least where I went shopping.
Look carefully on this XL Amazing Puzzle Ball. Those aren't butterflies. They are....starts with the letter "M".....MOTHS! So, this is my (wait for it) MOTH BALL. My mother used to dye stamp and paint fabric and she loved moths. She had two lines of quilting fabric with Marcus Brothers, and this was one of the fabrics.
I've been making a lot of Amazing Puzzle Balls
on planes when I travel. I sew the QUARTER-CIRCLES on the machine at home, then turn and stuff them on the plane and sew them together. I can fit all the parts for a size small in my oversize purse/computer bag but I frequently push the limits and bring a Medium. As soon as I open the baggie of fiberfill I'm more or less committed to stuffing all 12 QUARTER-CIRCLES. Ain't no way I can get it all back in the bag.
I made this one after experimenting with Crumb Piecing. I sewed together leftover strips, some as narrow as 1/2" and most of them uneven into "new" fabric. Then I cut the Melons from my new striped cloth. It's an Extra Large.