Photo credit: Jason Vondersmith of the Portland Tribune

Story originally published in the Portland Tribune.

Three years ago, Portland resident Mike Floyd set out to stitch 1,000 8"-square quilt blocks with an origami crane on each of them. His plan was to work on one per day, make each as distinct as possible, and number and date the squares at the finish.

"A Thousand Quilted Cranes Project" would pay homage to the Japanese Senbazuru 1,000 Origami Cranes legend, although using stitched blocks, and would celebrate 1,000 people who have affected Floyd's life in some way. In the Senbazuru legend, 1,000 origami cranes strung together bring good luck or fortune. Floyd envisions stringing the quilts together by color and through chronological order of people who impacted his life. "For the legend to work, you have to put them together as a flock," says Floyd.

In April 2016, Floyd stitched his 1,000th quilted origami crane. While Floyd repeated color combinations, he carefully made sure not to use the same fabric combos. In the next few years, Floyd plans to finish the project, which will include stitching the names of 1,000 people onto the squares and writing about what impact they made on his life. A blanket with 1,000 squares would be about 13x33 feet, which Floyd says is much too big for his Portland apartment, so he's planning on stringing them together to complete his project.

Currently, Floyd only has 722 names of people on his list, although that leaves lots of room for any people he meets in the future who affect his life. As Floyd writes in his blog, referring to the project theme, "I needed to remember I wasn't alone back in February 2013," when he started the project. "On April 19, 2016, I was given proof that I wasn't - and have never been - alone."

Photo credit: Jason Vondersmith of the Portland Tribune