Friday, June 10, 2011

Peace Crane: a journal quilt

    Recently I joined two journal quilt groups, both creating 12" x 12" memories of special events or moments not to be forgotten. You have kept up with my smaller 8" x 8" journal quilt sketches. The size change could make me too serious since I have more time to complete them. Change and growth are good. I may still make the little ones.
    As some of you know, I filmed six-year-old Hannah demonstrating folding an origami crane. Wanting to commemorate that fun in a journal quilt, I looked on-line and found that Margaret Rolfe in Australia had created a beautiful quilt incorporating an origami crane. I could not find her pattern so I drew up my own. By the time I finished I had located it at ShiboriDragon where I purchased the pattern. Using it would have been easier, but I enjoyed exploring two different techniques...that of Katie P-M and my own crippled paper piecing. 
     When I Googled "origami crane quilts," I found the Quilting Board and inspiring samples of Margaret Rolfe's peace quilt put up by Alpha39 of North Texas. Check it out!  Now that I have bought the pattern, I  hope, in the future, to have a little traveling bag of smaller cranes to put together. Small handwork is supposed to be good for one on trips.
     I usually don't add a special backing to my journal quilts, but I didn't want the other bird to languish in my stash, so I sandwiched it with the batting and front side crane. Quilting it to attach created marks on the front which I covered with hand embroidery. This added to the meaning...holding things in flight together with the homey hand touch. Still, the journal quilt needed more quilting so I used a decorative sewing stitch on my machine to make the little waves going to the corners, another layer of meaning. Other efforts new to me were spray basting (from a can), making a mini audition board from a bulletin board with flannel atop, using invisible thread basting, and finishing a two-sided journal quilt. I made mistakes every step of the way, which are visible, but I so enjoyed doing this. Very relaxing.
Front side  ~ click to enlarge photos
Back side


  1. Both of these are lovely. That machine embroidery stitch around the crane's square in the first one is called feather stitch, I think. If so, how appropriate! You are off to such a wonderful start with this new group doing the `12" x 12" quilts. I wish the TX group were as far along as that one, but I must be patient.

  2. The origami cranes are always fascinating, I think. I loved watching Hannah make the paper crane, and now you've captured that in this journal. The woman in North Texas has such a wonderfully colored origami quilt. Amazing! Your post and that one I'll be sure to share with Sharon.

  3. Beautiful and clever, as always. Green is my favorite color, so these birds and their habitat are especially pleasing to MY eye. s

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