Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cranes Project Update - Cranes Spectrum Plus

Good Day,

All Cranes for the first color of our Cranes Spectrum have been constructed. The first color is Red.

All color fabrics will be Batik fabric, from Sew Batik in North Dakota. All their batiks are produced in Indonesia.

Andy and I are attempting to create 40 Crane Quilts to complete our Cranes Spectrum.

Each Cranes Quilt will be created with a singular shade based on the 3 Primary and the 3 Secondary colors. In other words, we’re attempting to compose at least 6 or 8 Cranes Quilts that will represent a shade of the 6 colors: Red; Orange; Yellow; Green; Blue; and Purple.

To date, we’ve cut and constructed 153 Crane blocks for the Red Cranes set. These Cranes will be incorporated into the first 6 Cranes Quilts. The first 6 are grouped under the Red.

Our intention is to create an individual and unique quilting pattern/design for each individual Cranes Quilt in the Cranes Spectrum. This is a challenge and should prove interesting.

And if you’re counting, apart from the 40 Crane Quilts in the Cranes Spectrum Andy and I have completed and almost completed the following Cranes Quilts:

1. Not A Partridge (30 Cranes)
2. The End of the Cold War (258 Cranes)
3. Sunrise (51 Cranes)
4. Rainbow Cranes (24 Cranes)
5. Cranes Symposium 25 Cranes, Kimberly Einmo's Solid-ish
6. Vivaldi’s Cranes (20 Cranes)
7. A Flock of Cranes (24 Cranes)
8. WOW! (top completed) (100 White Cranes) 

9. Monster Crane (design completed) (1 Crane)
Three other Cranes quilt pieces are being added to the collection created by Marijke van Welzen, the NetherlandsMadhu Mathur, Rajasthan; and Peg Green, Florida.

Check out our Cranes Obsession at

Stay-tuned to our updates at our site, Quilts SB and on Facebook and Google+.


Jim and Andy
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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Origami Cranes - Our Obsession

Good Day,

I have been asked how the “improvisational process plays out in the creation” of Andy’s and my work, specifically for our Cranes Project.

Here goes.

Our Cranes Project has been some time in the making.

A couple of years ago a Facebook connection was making Cranes quilt blocks, and I learned that he was making 1,000 Crane Blocks. I asked him about his idea and why did he feel inclined to make the 1,000 Cranes.

I had read about the young Japanese Hiroshima victim, Sadako Sasaki  and her challenge to herself about attempting to fold 1,000 Origami Cranes. The tale spins in different directions whether she survived her goal before she passed away from complications attributed to the nuclear explosion and sickness.

I also found out that 1,000 Origami Cranes had/has become a complimentary touch and decoration for weddings.

There is also a turn that one is seeking health, or one is seeking a new love. You get the picture.

I asked my FB friend why he was making his Cranes and whether I could borrow his idea. He would not tell me his reason until he completed his 1,000th Crane. He also mentioned that there were many thoughts and ideas on the Internet regarding paper-piecing Origami Cranes. He mentioned that it wasn't his idea, that I should be able to easily create a paper-piecing design from the work found on the Internet.

I then asked Andy if he was willing to, between quilt projects, to possibly create Crane paper-pieced blocks from leftover scraps. I told him that I had an idea of designing and creating, once we reached 1,000 Cranes, a possible series of Cranes Quilt panels that we could donate to a children's hospital.

Andy agreed. I created a pattern.

Andy began creating paper-pieced Crane blocks. Each individual paper-pieced Crane block took him approximately 3 hours to make. I calculated that at the 3-hour rate it would take approximately 125 24-hour days to complete the task. (You get the picture.)

At the time we were asked by a friend of ours, Melissa Helms, to design a quilt for the 25th Anniversary for a children's cancer society. It just so happens that this friend owns a quilt store in Tampa, Keep Me in Stitches, and she is one of the original founders of the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Also, at the time my son, Joel, who is a Banker with The Bank of Tampa was considering representing his bank with the cancer organization. It was kismet.

In my working and creating of the design of a new quilt, Hope Cures! (, Melissa introduced me to AccuQuilt. I designed a "flame" fabric die with AccuQuilt to be used as pieces to create the Foundation's sun logo.

Back to our Cranes.

When I saw that it was taking Andy 3 hours to create each individual Crane block, I put two and two together I designed a pattern to create a fabric die. I contacted AccuQuilt and worked with the associated designers to create a 6-inch and a 5-inch Crane.

The new Crane dies came. In our test run it took Andy about 30 minutes to create a Cranes block. Hurrah! Out went the paper-piecing.

I then came up with an idea about creating a series a Cranes quilts of various sizes to create an exhibition at a local church which has an auditorium in the shape of an octagon. We have done two combined shows there in the past few years. When I present my idea of a "circular" display of Cranes, displaying a spectrum of colors, the Curator and the Pastor of the church were thrilled with the idea. (Of course, I may have bitten of more than Andy or I could chew.

I contacted SewBatik, in North Dakota, and have been working with them at getting the correct batik colors to create the Cranes. Also our friend Kimberly Einmo has created a fabric line, Solid-ish! which we have incorporated into some of our Crane blocks and quilts. Apart from a current portfolio of  10 Cranes Quilts, I have also created 40 Cranes Quilt designs to be included in the Crane Spectrum.

But I didn't stop there. I then created a 3-inch and a 4-inch fabric AccuQuilt die. We now have 4 sizes of Crane die cutters - 3"; 4", 5", and 6". (I have approached AccuQuilt about my design, but they have not followed up, as yet, with me as to the possibility of creating an AccuQuilt line of Origami Cranes.)

While waiting for fabric delivery, I have created and designed a number of other Cranes Quilts, apart from the Cranes Rainbow Spectrum.

The UU of Clearwater has now set a showing venue of our Cranes Quilts portfolio for late 2018, early 2019. The total number of Cranes Quilts is now in the vicinity of 45+.

Also, a friend, Marijke van Welzen, of ours, who lives in The Netherlands asked if she could create a Cranes Quilt Coat. We sent several Cranes that we created with Kimberly Einmo's new fabric line, Solid-ish This will be included in our show. Another friend of ours Peg Green, from Sarasota, has also joined our Cranes group. And a third Madhu Mathur in India will join our small group. We cannot wait to see their compositions.

All our Cranes Quilts will be colored Cranes on a white background. We have also created one Cranes Quilt that is white-on-white, WOW! I have created a number of new Cranes Quilts, inspired by ideas, at times just placing Cranes on a table in front of me and letting them “flock together” in a manner that may be attributed to a piece of music or photograph or spark of an idea. Some have been inspired by the works of other artists whom I have always contacted in order to ensure that that they are okay with our thought process and designs, at time preliminary. I am overwhelmed at the positive "go-aheads" I have received. Our portfolio will now include plus 1,500 Cranes.

And now it takes Andy about 15 minutes to create a Cranes block.

Oh yeah, and my FB friend who was creating the 1,000 Cranes, actually gave his Cranes blocks away to people who have touched his life over the years.

And to Linda Syverson and Sherri Lynn Wood, thank you for getting me to jot down a few thoughts regarding our Cranes’ Project.

Stay-tuned to our updates at our site, Quilts SB and on Facebook and Google+.


Jim and Andy
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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Q157 – CQ – New Quilt – Redo

Good Day,

Today’s new quilt is Andy’s and my redo of one of our original quilts, CQ.

Pieced 2009 - Quilted 2018
Jim Smith and Andy Brunhammer

CQ was one of the only 2 quilts that Andy and I did which was created from a kit. IT was a part of our learning experience and from when we started our quilt journey in 2009.

We have come a distance since then.

CQ, the first attempt had remained in the closet since then and when we took it out to examine it we were astonished at the degree of immaturity in our quilting work.

It was then that we decided to redo and redesign a new quilting design.

The dimensions of our new CQ are: width 59” (150 cm) and length 76” (193 cm). The workmanship of the top was fine, but we decided to replace the binding. We did have to add some additional fabric to the backing as we did have to shore up the sandwich. In the first make, we had no clue about blocking quilts.

Our new CQ has already been spoken for and is now at its new home in Georgia.

Here are some images of our redo work and our progress.

Follow our work and updates at both our Quilts SB site and our Quilts SB Facebook page.

To see previously posted quilts, there is a visual grid presentation at the bottom of the Quilts SB page. Move your cursor over any mini-picture found there and click to see an enlargement. Move your cursor to the "Q#" link to see the quilt's details. If the quilt’s title is highlighted in yellow, it has found a home in a collection and is no longer available.

Please let me know if anything on the Blog site does not properly work. I’m always striving to make sure an ease of use.

If you are interested and would like some more information of the available quilts, regarding costs, shipping, and insurance, please get in touch with us Quilts SB, at


Jim and Andy
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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Yes, Our Quilts Travel


Yes, our Quilts travel.

June 19th
Jim Smith and Andy Brunhammer
October 2017

Thank you to the many persons and organizations that have assisted Andy and me, both as mentors and wise sages, as we continue our journey in this world of fabric art and quilting.

One of our goals is to try and include as many venues and exhibitions as possible. We're not necessarily looking for the prizes and winnings, but we are just trying to include those who join us in our fabric journey.

As you may be aware we are currently on a journey including the Japanese Origami Crane.

Our current and recent tracking of several of our quilts. Check out the links –

Apollo 1, The Beginning – On tour with “Fly Me To The Moon” Collection.

Betwixt and Between – On tour with “Fly Me To The Moon” Collection.

Cosmo’s Moon 2.5 – On tour with “Fly Me To The Moon” Collection.

Lee Miller – On tour with “Herstory” Collection.

June 19th – On show/tour with Patchwork Europe 2017 “Trip to The End of The World” Collection

OPOY – On Show with the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum “Boys Just Wanna Have Fun Too!” Collection

Elation – On Show with the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum “Boys Just Wanna Have Fun Too!” Collection

Not A Partridge  (To be written up shortly at Quilts SB)– Accepted for display at Utah Quilting & Sewing Marketplace.

Not A Partridge
Jim Smith and Andy Brunhammer
November 2017

Rainbow Cranes (To be written up shortly at Quilts SB)– Accepted for display at Utah Quilting & Sewing Marketplace.

Rainbow Cranes
Jim Smith and Andy Brunhammer
November 2017

A-Mazed – Just arrived at its new home in North Carolina.

EssbeeCon – Will be on display and available for auction at 2018 St. Pete Gala Equality Florida.

You can also check out immediate updates at our Quilts SB Facebook page. Also, you can see occasional updates at Twitter @jklsmith and Linkedin .

Check out the links.


Jim and Andy
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Friday, January 26, 2018

"Boys Just Wanna Have Fun"

Good Day,

Andy and I are very pleased that our quilts Elation and OPOY have been accepted as a part of the "Boys Just Wanna Have Fun Too!" 14th Biennial Exhibit, February 5 through May 25, 2018 at The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado.

August 2016

September 2017

We won't be able to make the trip from Tampa, so here's hoping that there will be a number of images of this tremendous exhibit.


Jim And Andy
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