Origami & Henry…

From Janet Clare…

Flowers open and heaven reveals it’s essence’- selvedge quote

Our youngest son Henry had a fleeting obsession with origami, patiently teaching himself how to fold paper fortune-tellers, rabbits, cranes, flowers and boxes.

Whilst our house was gradually filling up with pretty papers and folded creatures I visited the Japanese galleries at the British Museum and had an inspiring and happy morning studying exquisite prints, calligraphy, kimono and ceramics taking notes and drawing in my sketchbook as I went along.

The idea for an origami fabric collection came to me on the train home – as good ideas often do -and once back in my studio I started collecting images on my Pinterest board.

I decided to draw and create all the imagery for the fabric collection by painting with bleach on an indigo ink surface. This is so much fun to do and gives you fluid, interesting lines and textures.

After a few days simply playing and experimenting you have to start refining your many ideas into a cohesive collection with the balanced variety of scale, texture and colour patchwork requires.

I like to create blender prints, for ‘Origami’ these were inspired by folds and pleats.

And of course, pretty dots which blend and compliment everything!

Other designs are perfect for telling the story of the collection…

There are also some fun larger scale prints which are perfect for backing fabrics and larger pieced blocks.

Drawing the step-by-step illustrations for how to fold an origami crane was quite a challenge I can tell you!

These sketches became this fabric.

I designed a new quilt called ‘Emi’ for the Origimi fabric collection.

It was inspired by fanned sheets of pretty origami papers. The blocks are simple enough for everyone to piece but the quilts’ careful attention to fabric placement makes ‘Emi’ enough of a challenge to be interesting for the more experienced quilter too.

After Emi was finished, she wanted a “glamour shot”. Or perhaps it was Betty that wanted one.

One last note, as ever Origami plays nicely with all my other fabric collections!

I hope you like Origami as much as I do.



All images used with permission of Janet Clare – All Rights Reserved. 

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24 thoughts on “Origami & Henry…

  1. Oh!!! I LOVE these new fabrics!! AND the quilt, too!! We, too, had children that went through an ‘origami season’. I even gave a book with papers to my granddaughter last Christmas. I see another project on my to do list!!!

  2. Fascinating! Loved hearing about the inspiration for this fabric line and seeing the harmonious fabrics. And, who knew there is bleach painting?!

  3. I love the Storm At Sea pattern but have not yet made one. When I saw this collection I just see a gorgeous “storm at sea” quilt in my mind! Time to find a pattern in my collection and buy a little of everything (lol) in this lovely collection. Have a great day!

    1. I’d sure love to see it. Storm At Sea is one of my favorite quilts. I think it will look great in this fabric.

  4. I love the restful simplicity of your fabrics with their playful prints. You have a good eye. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I, too, enjoy origami and love your themes as I lived in Japan as an exchange student ~ often saw blues in the European-inspired glazes, indigos, and Mt. Fuji prints. I recall such bright and vivid colors with traditional origami (thinking of students’ strands of cranes at the memorial), so even with a subdued palette I miss that you didn’t include a faint pink (cherry blossoms), pale green (bamboo) and some type of red (celebration hue) in this collection.

  6. Very, very nice. Any idea when & where these may become commercially available? I would certainly buy some I could afford and I do not even sew. Yet.

  7. I like this so very much!! And I loved reading about the collection’s creation! I’m surprised you didn’t call it Henry, or at least name a quilt for him… since he was the one that started the process. Sort of. Grin. Loved the photo addition of Betty. I have a particular fondness for big black dogs (Mister Gibbs is our black lab mix who owns the king bed in the master bedroom). Thanks for a very fun read! I’ll look for your collection, as it would be perfect for a baby boy quilt! 🙂 Warmly, Mama_Pris (IG)

  8. Oh Janet – All the fabrics are lovely. Easily recognizable as your designs with your signature colors and organic motifs. The quilt is quite beautiful. So is your sweet Betty.

  9. I love this fabric line & yes, it does play nicely with all of Janet’s other collections. Now I need to be brave enough to cut into my beautiful Origami Fat Quarter bundle!

  10. These fabrics are so calming! I would love to use these to make a quilt just for me, to snuggle under while reading, or maybe take a nap! The color combination in this collection is just amazing!
    Thanks for telling us about the design process that brought this from idea to bolts of fabric… Gives me a new appreciation for all that goes on before we even see the fabrics in our favorite local quilt shop. I will definitely be on the lookout for this collection!!

  11. Thank you! My son is a mathematician. He’s been doing and designing origami since he could fold paper. First project is likely to be a Hawaiian shirt!

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