Tomoko Fuse Origami Quilts #2

I love every chance I get to fold Tomoko Fuse’s work.  Recently my wife suggested that I fold an origami quilt for both of our mothers.  Both of our moms are avid quilters (amazing ones too).  Something fairly unique to their quilting style is that they are part of a dying breed that still hand quilts the final products (the more common option is to have a quilt machine quilted).  I love that they hand quilt; it gives it a decidedly personal touch.  I see origami as something similar – something hand-made and personally made.  So, of course I jumped at the chance to do more of Tomoko’s work and at the same time honor in a small way the incredible work that our mother’s have done for us.  Tomoko Fuse’s book is Origami Quilts.  Here are some of my recent origami quilts with the mothers’ quilts last:

Tomoko Fuse Origami Quilts Windmills + Joints of 180 Orange Black White framed

My little sister-in-law just graduated from high school (with honors). As a graduation present we help put together a freshman “survival” kit; we included this quilt made in her high school’s colors (as a way to take a small part of her high school pride with her). This quilt is titled “Windmills + Joints of 180 degrees”. I used regular origami paper.

With any model that I try the first time (most especially the ones that I will being giving away as gifts), I like to practice the model (so I can see the size, try a color pattern, and simply to practice the actual folding so that the final product will look better). In this case, I found that using colored copy paper made the final model larger than I wanted. Each of the lighter blue are individual pieces of paper, with each of the dark yellow windmills and dark blue windmills being individual pieces as well.

Tomoko Fuse Origami Quilts Star 3-4

This quilt is titled “Star 3” (so as to differentiate it from Star 1 or Star 2 :-). I folded this as a thank you to one of the sets of grandparents of my wife’s. They spend their winter months in the desert, so we figured these colors would work nicely (origami paper).

Here is the practice version of the quilt I folded for my mother-in-law. One of the other advantages to folding practice versions of models is to try out color combinations. I try to find combinations that I think will look fairly good (for the instances that the practice version is good enough to hold on to or give away), but don’t always succeed. This combination is fine, but seems a little busy to the eye. This is probably the main reason that I enlist my wonderful wife’s help in picking out colors; she has a great talent for it. Another point I learned with this model is that by using colored copy paper there are points in the model that become very thick and difficult assembly (specifically the final step of adding the orange units). The CD is there for a size reference; the final quilt is right at 12 inches square. Once again, the CD is from Oriland (Yuri and Katrin Shumakov) and is fantastic; I highly recommend their work.
This is the final quilt folded for my mother-in-law (prior to framing it); again with a CD for size reference. My wife chose the colors for this and succeeded where I think I fell short. The colors were chosen to coordinate with the quilt/craft room my mother-in-law has. By using origami paper instead of colored copy paper (my favorite choice) I was able to make it a size that was easier to frame; this is 9 inches square as opposed to the 12 inches squared in the last one. However, by going with smaller paper it did make some of the units fairly small and a little more difficult for my large hands to work with.
The final framed version of my mother-in-law's quilt. This design is titled "Double Crosses + Joints". Something that I've found that I love about these most recent quilts that I've folded is that they can be framed and hung either on the diagonal (as the quilt is pictured here) or on the horizontal (as in the previous picture). (If you look closely, you can see the reflection of me holding the camera as I take the picture :-)

The final framed version of my mother-in-law’s quilt. This design is titled “Double Crosses + Joints”. Something that I’ve found that I love about these most recent quilts that I’ve folded is that they can be framed and hung either on the diagonal (as the quilt is pictured here) or on the horizontal (as in the previous picture). (If you look closely, you can see the reflection of me holding the camera as I take the picture :-)

This is the quilt that I folded for my mom. Its titled "Flower Crosses + Crosses". Again, my wife chose the colors (with the knowledge of my mom's favorite colors). Sadly, I don't have a picture of this quilt arranged on the diagonal; I think it looks even better that way personally. This was folded out of origami paper and is framed in a 12 inch x 12 inch frame.

This is the quilt that I folded for my mom. Its titled “Flower Crosses + Crosses”. Again, my wife chose the colors (with the knowledge of my mom’s favorite colors). Sadly, I don’t have a picture of this quilt arranged on the diagonal; I think it looks even better that way personally. This was folded out of origami paper and is framed in a 12 inch x 12 inch frame.

Another shot of the quilt for size reference.

Another shot of the quilt for size reference.

Tomoko Fuse Origami Quilts Flower Crosses + Crosse Green Blue Purple back

This is the “back” side of the quilt. One of the biggest problems that I have at times with folding origami quilts is that the reverse side often looks every bit as amazing as the front. In this case there is a pointedly designated front and back. Since origami paper was used all of the green and blue units have the same white back, so the coloring isn’t nearly as impressive. However, if you look at the actual design of the unit there is a fantastic twisted pinwheel design that I love. I’ll definitely need to fold this one again with colored copy paper with the intent of having this side be the predominant one.

Folding origami quilts is something particularly special to me.  These were folded as gifts for Mother’s Day (although they were belated in their reception).  My mom is amazing.  She has and continues to teach me more than I’ll ever be able to express.  She is the best mom that myself and 3 sisters could have ever had.  She continues to be amazing as an awesome grandmother to my children (she knows just how to “spoil” them :-).  My mother-in-law is also fantastic.  She raised an amazing daughter to be an incredible wife (along with 4 other great children).  She is a wonderful second mom to me and is also an awesome grandmother.  Quilting is one of the largest (if not the largest) hobbies for these great women.  Origami is mine.  The ability to combine the two is a great treat for me.  I look forward to continuing to fold all of the quilts I can.  Until next time, Enjoy!

Origami Quilts by Tomoko Fuse

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