Talking with my friends recently at lunch at my house, I was showing them my Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt saying I made it during my ‘Japanese phase’. I did a whole month of Japanese Inspired posts last February, including quilting, gardening, tablescapes and recipes with a Japanese inspired theme. Carin started laughing and said “aren’t you STILL in a Japanese phase?” I had to laugh too, as I realized she was right. I still crave Japanese food. I got all those Asian fabrics, and started the Teacups Quilt Along just so I could use them. Then I ran across a charming paper pieced block. Alyce (pronounced Ah-lease) at Blossom Heart Quilts did a paper pieced quilt block of an origami crane that I just fell in love with. The price is really inexpensive, just $3 for the pattern that includes cranes looking both left and right. Click on Tsuru Crane Paper Piece Pattern to get it from Craftsy. I ordered it and got out some Asian fabrics. I colored in the pattern and the fabric key too. The pattern has squares and rectangles to cut to make it easy to do several at a time.
Since this isn’t my pattern, I won’t show the step by step, but I have done a post on Basic Paper Piecing that will show you how. The first one done, I thought the value of the background was too similar to the crane fabric. But I was impressed with the crispness of the design, and the accuracy on how it went together.
So I started over and made another one with a white background.
I really liked it, so I made a second one facing the other way.
Then like eating potato chips, I couldn’t stop.
Three wasn’t enough for a wall hanging, so I made one more.
I love these!! With the darker second fabric, the contrast and shading is perfect.
So now, how to arrange the cranes? Top row facing left and bottom facing right?
Or both rows facing each other?
Or top row facing right and bottom row facing left?
Or maybe all facing the outer edge?
Ultimately, after playing with even more arrangements, I decided on top row facing each other and bottom facing away.
I put the first border on one side, then immediately had to rip it out as I hadn’t paid enough attention and clipped a corner off one wing. I really wanted this little quilt to have my very best effort.
Looking at the fabric for the outer border, I liked the lighter motif better than the darker. This was two sections of the same fabric, which meant fussy cutting the borders. OK, I can do that.
I arranged each border so the flowers were in the center of the strip.
Tsuru is the word for crane, and putting Ori in front means folded, like Origami means folded paper. Orizuru is the Japanese word for origami cranes, so that is what I will call the wall hanging as it reminds me of the Japanese legend of making 1000 origami cranes to receive a wish from the gods or happiness and eternal good luck. The quilting plan I had in mind was quite extensive. I’ll show you that soon.
If you are a beginner at paper piecing, the book Show Me How To Paper Piece by Carol Doak is a great resource to add to your library. For the foundation paper, you can use lightweight newsprint papers, June Taylor Perfect Foundation Papers, or Carol Doak’s Foundation Papers. Thank you for using my affiliate links when you can. If you are more of a video learner, Craftsy has some good classes and patterns on sale now – Paper Piecing on Craftsy. Check out the Carol Doak video Mastering Foundation Piecing that includes 8 video lessons plus an ebook of 50 blocks!
See the next part of this project – Starting the Quilting of Orizuru
What do you think of this little project so far?