Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

I didn’t go to Hawaii looking for quilts…

on July 6, 2013

We spent the last week or so in Kauai, Hawaii. This was my aunt’s 75th birthday trip. While we have planned it for a year and had most of it paid, it really turned out to be poor timing for us. I have also been very stressed about taking the baby on a plane trip. He requires so much stuff. It was not fun or easy, but he was a perfect angel both directions. I was not – complete with screaming at my husband our second (of four!) times through ticketing in Lihue. I will never never never do this again. When he can sit in a seat and is potty trained and cup trained and can carry his own crap, maybe then I will consider it. Maybe. Until then, we are sticking to road trips.

We stayed in what can best be described as a compound. We had 5 houses around a pool and courtyard. I am convinced we all need to set something like this up here. It was great. We shared resources, entered each other’s houses as needed, left the baby when needed, prepared meals together, hung out in the public areas, played games at night… I saw family members I haven’t seen in years. Some we picked up right where we left off, others… were disappointing.

I did a little sightseeing. One day while out with my sister and BIL we made a stop at the Kauai Museum, at my request, and I walked in to see this:

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I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me that Hawaii had quilts… Of course they do. A very specific style. But it was the last thing on my mind in the packing, house repair, money bleeding whirlwind I have been in. I got excited thinking the museum would be full of quilts. Which it really wasn’t. There were a few. Here are some…

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Patchwork quilt in missionary room.

Patchwork quilt in missionary room.

I picked up a book on the quilts of the museum collection (There are others not on display) which, unfortunately, is not in color, so it is lacking something.

Another day we were out shopping and I found a selection of quilt books…


I decided I needed to find a quilt shop. This was a bit of drama because we were sharing cars and I wanted to go alone, but my father wouldn’t release the car to me. Like I am 16 again. I finally won out and found Kapaia Stitchery. They had a large selection of Asian and Hawaiian fabric. For very very reasonable prices.

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Here are my quilty purchases:

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I love the look of the Hawaiian quilts. I love the symmetry and the snowflake nature of assembly. I am not into applique myself (I gather they needle turn them). I am very very interested in the history of the quilt in general, and, in this case, of its migration to Hawaii. I tend to think of the quilt as an historically east coast craft, and I know that is flawed. I hope to become more educated from these books. Who knows, maybe one day I will tackle one. I think the designing and cutting would be tons of fun, but not so much the sewing. šŸ™‚

I also am not into the big (what I call “scary flower”) floral prints, but I managed to find several Hawaiian fabrics that appealed to me. I also couldn’t resist the matryoshka dolls or the anime. The rolls are half yards and the flatter pieces are yards.

I leave you with my other favorite object on the island…

Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree


One response to “I didn’t go to Hawaii looking for quilts…

  1. Marcia R says:

    The compound idea sounds fantastic! I would have loved that when I was raising my children. Now I would want it to be full of quilters. Can you imagine Stash Bash all the time?

    Denyse Scmidt’s most recent book has a couple of Hawaiian quilt patterns. They do look beautiful and very difficult. Not sure I have the patience.

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