A soccer ball (or football if you're from Europe) is a spherical polyhedron or spherical truncated icosahedron. It is a shape made up of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons. It has 32 flat sides, but because of the elasticity of the material, the air pressure inside pushes the flat sides outwards so that it appears round.
So why would I be interested in the shape of a football?
Everybody who follow football will know that the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be held in South Africa in June and that football fever has gripped the country. As expats we often feel left out of national celebrations like this, and therefore I decided to do something to make me (us) feel part of the hype.
Because craft is my thing I am planning to make soccer balls in all the different mediums that I love to work with. So far I have a quilted, crocheted and embroidered ball planned...
Before I can start with the actual balls I had to make a test ball to try out different methods of doing the seams and to make sure I have the size right. (The straight edges of the hexagons and pentagons has to be 4.5cm to make a size 3 ball.)
I first tried to sew the sides together with the sewing machine, but the corners were a mess, so I ended up sewing them together by hand. It looks much better.
I used a contrasting colour thread for the test run, but for the real thing I will use something less obvious. The fabric for the first ball is ready for cutting, so watch this space...