Kirigami Flake Block – A Closer Look at My Method


The Project QUILTING Challenge 'My Favorite Color' was a difficult one for me.  I'm not really a 'white' makes me nervous.  I don't want to get it dirty and ruin the whole thing (although I do realize you could technically stain ANY fabric on a quilt...but white just makes me extra nervous I guess).  I was so not into it, in fact, that I challenged my mother-in-law, Diane, aka, the challenge giver to do this challenge as well...she obviously didn't have a problem with it...see her quilt HERE.

After thinking over it for a bit, I did finally come up with something that I had been wanting to try for awhile.  It wasn't super 'outside the square' for me but it's something I wanted to do and it was a great opportunity for me to try it.

In November I read the book 'The Aloha Quilt' by Jennifer Chiaverini. Ever since then I wanted to try to make a Hawaiian-like quilt. I realize what I made isn't one but it was inspired by their technique.kirigami

I gave my daughter, Capri, a Kirigami day by day calendar for Christmas 2012 because she loves to use her scissors to cut things. Well...we didn't cut everyday so I tried all the different cuts to decide what to do for my quilt pattern. After practicing a bit I finally decided on the one you can see on my pillow.  I made two pillows – one in purple, my old favorite color and one in turquoise, my newest favorite color.

wip pictures of my kiragami pillowAfter trying all the folds in Capri’s calendar I finally decided on doing the Starburst Fold for my quilt block.   wip pictures of my kiragami pillowThe first thing I did was fuse on iron on fusible to the backside of my fabrics.   wip pictures of my kiragami pillow

Next, I folded a piece of paper using the starburst folding technique and drew my design idea on it.   wip pictures of my kiragami pillow The tallest points were too tall for my prepared fused fabrics so I trimmed them down so it would fit nicely on the pillow.wip pictures of my kiragami pillow With the purple ‘practice block’ I did all the folding, sketching, and cutting right onto the fusible…it was way too thick to do that and my scissors just couldn’t handle it.  wip pictures of my kiragami pillowI just didn’t get the details I wanted…which is why I switched to drawing it on a separate piece of paper and then tracing the pattern onto my fused side of the fabric.   wip pictures of my kiragami pillow

Using my smallest rotary cutter I was able to cut out the intricate snowflake pattern I had created.

wip pictures of my kiragami pillow  I really liked taking pictures of the piece as it was getting cut out.wip pictures of my kiragami pillow You can see the pattern emerging…like a sculpture. wip pictures of my kiragami pillow

Here’s the final cut out fabric piece.   wip pictures of my kiragami pillow Next, I peeled the paper off leaving the fusible there (see it’s shiny…)

wip pictures of my kiragami pillow

Next, I placed the fusible cut out kirigami flake and ironed it onto my kona white fabric.  (Since I’m working on two white quilts at the moment I recently stocked up on this…)

 wip pictures of my kiragami pillow Once it was fused I sandwhiched it together with another piece of white fabric and a layer of batting.  Using a turquoise metallic thread I blanket stitched around my whole snowflake.  wip pictures of my kiragami pillow It was slightly tedious but I really like how it looked in the end.wip pictures of my kiragami pillow Originally I thought I’d make this just into a small wall hanging.  Kiragami Flake Pillow But then realized it would make a really cute pillowcase.  I bound it mostly with white but with a few chunks of my turquoise stripe just to add a bit more movement to the piece.  Kiragami Flake Pillow

My final project used just two fabrics – very rare for me.  I’m really happy with the drama that was created with this and I will probably do this technique again in the future.

Finished size; 12.5" x 12.5"

Trial Project Quilting Pillow

Oh - and here's a pictuer of my 'trial can see it definitely was not as 'crisp' as the other one...definitely cut on seperate paper and trace.

All the Project QUILTING Quilts have been submitted – head over to the flickr site to see the amazing work done!  I’ll be posting the prize winners tomorrow and showing ‘closer looks’ at all the projects throughout the week.


  1. Thanks for sharing your technique. I love it. I really like your binding on both pillows. Great idea!

  2. Thanks for reading! And thanks for the compliment on the binding! I couldn't just do it all white - it wasn't in me ;)

  3. wow, that pillow is absolutely superb! i started some winter snowflake pillows just like that awhile ago, but then i had a baby and christmas passed, lol. maybe next year :)


Thank you for your comments! I do my best to reply but life sometimes gets in the way. I do read and appreciate each and every comment!

*some posts on this blog contain affiliate links to vendors such as Amazon - at no additional cost to you. The small amount of affiliate income I earn allows me to bring you free patterns and DIY tutorials, as well as pay for domain fees. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Statement and Advertising Policies page.