Introduction: Fabric Origami Quilt Block

I saw this on a Simply Quilts episode featuring author Rebecca Wat, who's written a book about adapting origami techniques for fabric and then using them in quilt making. Here is the fold/block she showed us. I think she called it an "inside out flower".

Step 1: Start With a Square

Here is a 6" square. Be precise in your measuring whatever size you choose. Just make sure it is square.

Step 2: Fold 1 and 2

Wrong side up, fold your square in half (I think it's called a valley fold), turn and fold again. Finger press the edges as you go and then open it back up. You'll see the fold intersection making a "t" through the center of your square.

Step 3: Folds 3

Opened back into a square, spin the fabric so that it's facing you as a diamond. Fold the points/corners into the center one at a time so that they just touch the center intersection. Finger crease the edges.

Step 4: Turn It Over

Turn your square over keeping the triangle folds folded and underneath. With right side up turn it so it's sitting in front of you as a square rather than a diamond again.

Step 5: Fold Again

Now fold edges in a valley fold up to the center point. Crease as you go all around the square.

Step 6: Making the Ears

Now here's the tricky part, or at least it's trick to try to explain. You take on corner and fold it up like a little ear. The way I think of it is to take two perpendicular sides and valley fold them toward the center. This make the ear naturally.

Step 7: Tacky

Tack that ear in place with matching thread.

Step 8: Four Tacked Ears

Go around the whole thing creating four ears and tacking each as you go along. Sort of like a crab rangood or a fortune cookie thing. See?

Step 9: Inside Out

Now turn the ears inside out and voila!

Step 10: A Finished Block

Here is a picture of a block I threw together with these little practice flowers. It is flawed in that I used a cheap weight fabric and wasn't careful to sew on the bias, but you get the idea.

PLEASE NOTE: Not pictured-to sew the flower blocks you must first press them IN toward the center of themselves so that when you stitch or quilt you don't sew over the tips. You'll see what I mean, I think when you put it together.

Happy folding!