Given that origami has been around for over a thousand years, origami quilts is a relatively new branch of origami. Here, paper is folded into units and many units join to form beautiful, planar mosaics. These can then be displayed on a tabletop or hung up against a wall.
Origami quilts may be considered a subset of modular origami. In modular origami, the models are usually polyhedra or stars. In contrast, origami quilts are flat and, in principle, can expand indefinitely. Because origami quilts are composed of many units joined side by side, they are reminiscent of tessellations. [Photo: origami quilt by R Gurkewitz.]
Origami quilts can be a good group-project for children. [Photo: origami quilt made by Science Club for Girls - design by K Fan.]
- the units are made of paper and therefore more affordable than traditional fabric quilts,
- the units are relatively easy to fold,
- the project can be made large or small depending on the children's enthusiasm,
- the project promotes cooperation & working together, and
- the project can be incorporated into math and social study lessons.
Origami Quilt Diagrams and Books
Fabric Origami Quilts
Recently, quiltmakers have started to fold fabric, origami style, to use in their quilts. The folded fabric can be added onto a quilt like an appliqué, or the folded fabric itself is a block within the quilt. Read more about fabric folding here.
To avoid confusion, we differentiate the two kinds of folding by using the term "origami quilts" to mean those quilts made of paper similar to modular origami. The term "fabric origami quilts" is used to mean true quilts which have origami-style folds within them.
Most folded fabric quilting books have instructions for simple origami patterns that can be found on the internet. However, the beauty of the fabric origami pieces can be seen in the context of the entire quilt. The simple origami folds give quilts a classic, elegant look. [Photo from Fantastic Fabric Folding by Rebecca Wat.]
Particularly noteworthy are the quilts made by Kumiko Sudo. She is an internationally acclaimed quilt and fiber artist and her books show an array of unique folds, some starting from a circular piece of fabric! See her books in: USA. Canada, UK, Germany, France
Books about Fabric Origami Quilts