Amish Segment Ball





Introduction: Amish Segment Ball

About: I have been sewing and crafting for several years, my children are grown so now I have lots of time to be creative. I enjoy photography, cooking, cake decorating, painting and sharing my projects with others.

Everything old is new again! Some people call this an Amish Puzzle Ball. This unique colorful ball makes a wonderful toy for kids and cats. It's got 12 different sections that can all be made out of the same fabric or use your scraps and make one with different colors and patterns. I tucked "jingle bells" into each segment along with the stuffing so it rattles when shaken.

This cute ball does take a while to make, approximately 6 or 7 hours total, but the finished product is worth it.

Since this ball is made out of small pieces, this is a good scrap buster project.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Supplies Needed

For this project you will need the following:

sewing machine

cotton fabric scraps- solids and prints

Poly-fil stuffing

needle and thread

24 jingle bells



Paper for pattern

12" piece of 1/8" or 1/4" wide elastic

Small package of catnip (optional)

Step 2: Cut Out Pieces

For the pattern, cut a 7" circle out of paper.

Fold the circle in fourths and draw a line on the fold lines. Cut on the lines into 4 pieces.

Toss 2 of these pieces.

One of the quarters will be the pattern for the sides of the segments. Cut 24 out of the print fabric.

On the remaining paper triangle, draw a line from one of the corners on the rounded edge to the other.

Fold the paper on this line. Trace around the rounded edge. Open the paper and cut out on the rounded edges.

Cut 12 out of the solid fabric, I had 6 colors so I cut 2 of each color.

Step 3: Sew Pieces Together

For one segment you will need 3 pieces, 2 of the print triangle pieces and 1 of the long narrow solid pieces.

Place one of the triangle shapes on the narrow solid piece, right sides together. Sew along the curved edge with a 1/4" seam allowance. Open this and place the other triangle shape on the other side of the long solid shape, sew the curved edge.

Sew one of the sides.

Turn right side out.

Repeat with remaining segments.

Step 4: Jingle Bells

Tie 2 jingle bells together with strong thread. Repeat with remaining bells. There will be 2 bells in each segment.

Step 5: Stuff the Sections With Poly-fil

Place the poly-fil in each section, placing a pair of bells in each one. Add more poly-fil. Hand stitch the side with needle and thread sewing with very small stitches and reinforcing.

If you want to put a small amount of catnip in each segment, roll it up in a 3" square of cotton fabric first and then put it in each segment along with the stuffing and bells.

Step 6: Sew Sections Together

Sew the sections together in pairs.

Sew two pairs together in the center as shown. You will now have 3 sections with 4 segments each.

Step 7: Tie Groups Together

Place one group of 4 segments on top of another. Bring a piece of elastic underneath. Bring the elastic up between segments. Lay the 3rd group of 4 segments on top and bring the elastic up and in between segments.

Tie the elastic very tightly into a knot, connecting all 3 groups together.

Trim excess elastic.

Step 8: Sew the Pointed Ends Together

Bring 4 pointed ends together. With needle and thread, stitch these together.

On opposite side, bring 4 pointed ends together and stitch together.

On the sides of the ball, continue to bring 4 pointed ends together until there are no more loose segments.

Step 9: Finished Product

You can make these toys in many different color combinations and with or without the jingle bells.

If the ball gets dirty, you can just toss it in the washing machine!

You can make a slightly smaller ball using a 6" circle for the pattern or a slightly larger ball with an 8" circle.

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    13 Discussions

    My mother has been making them for years. Great gifts for when a baby is born. I want to make a larger 1 out of leather for dodge ball.

    2 replies

    They do make good baby toys because they are easy for a baby to grab. Good idea for a leather dodge ball, let me know how that turns out, maybe you could find a lightweight leather jacket at a thrift shop that would be easy to sew.

    I have plenty of leather. My last purchase was of a hide bigger than a queen size bed. I also have the tools to work with very thick leather, so no problem there. Just need to figure out the right size.

    Too cool! I love all the colors. And the bells are a great idea! I sometimes make balls from a three panel footbag pattern. I over-stuff as much as possible with fiberfill salvaged from old pillows and stitch them with upholstery thread. The cats and dogs seem to appreciate them :) Next one gets the bell upgrade!

    1 reply

    I decided to place 2 jingle bells in each one because I could barely hear it with just one in each. Trial and error. Gotta love pets, they are easily entertained!

    "Sew" much work! Wow. I love your choice of solid & Bali fabrics. Add it to the cat contest since you included bells & mentioned "cat toy"!

    1 reply

    It is a lot of work but I've made several over the years and it goes pretty fast if you're watching TV, yes I like the way this one turned out also.


    2 years ago

    One hint, at least here in Germany cheap pillows (from IKEA for example) are much cheaper than poly-fil stuffing. We use them for dog toys and beds.

    1 reply

    That's an excellent idea, anything to save a bit here and there! Thanks!

    I first heard about this several years ago it was a pin cushion! It was made with only 8 sections so the bottom was flat.

    This is excellent. The world needs more "scrap buster" projects like this!

    1 reply

    I know, right? I love small sewing projects like this.