What are Hawaiian Quilts?

Do you remember cutting snowflakes out of paper when you were a child?  Making a Hawaiian quilt is very similar!  Hawaiian quilts are designed by a similar process, making a pattern from one large sheet of paper which has been folded.  Designs are cut from the folded paper, and the finished pattern is then transferred to one large piece of fabric.  A Hawaiian quilt is essentially a two-color quilt made from a backing fabric and a large whole-design applique placed on top.



Lili'uokalani  (1993). Hawaiian quilt by Deborah (Kepola) U Kakalia, Bishop Museum Honolulu


Some good books on Hawaiian Quilting:


A beautiful day

The Woodworker and I like to go walking in the early morning hours on Saturday. Today was a beautiful day to do that!  Sixty-five degrees out, not too humid, the sun was starting to come up, and the birds were talking to us all along the way.  We’ve had a lot of rain the past two days, which we really needed.  Near where we live, there is a creek that flows under one of the main roads.  In the summertime, the police have an extra job to keep the neighborhood teenagers from swimming in the creek.  We walked by the “swimming hole” this morning, and with the added rainwater, there was a pretty good eddy going. You could hear the water rushing; it actually was pretty loud!


My daylilies have been sluggish this summer, what with the lack of rain and all.  I finally got a few that wanted their pictures taken.

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I think I need to work on my garden beds to prepare them better for next spring. Add that to my list of “to do’s.”

What is an applique’ quilt?

An applique quilt is constructed totally differently than a patchwork quilt.  With a patchwork (or pieced) quilt, different pieces of fabric are stitched together at the edges, and the more pieces you put together, the larger the quilt becomes.  You are, in essence, creating the cloth top of the quilt one little piece at a time.

An applique quilt is somewhat more fussy to make.  With applique, you start with a background fabric. Then, following patterns you have purchased or designed yourself, separate designs are cut out of another piece of fabric (normally colored fabric); those pieces are then appliqued or sewn on to the top of the background fabric.  An applique quilt can be a two-color quilt, as in the blue and orange photo you see below, or it may be constructed of many different fabrics in many different colors.

The following are all examples of applique:


You can also combine patchwork (piecing) and applique in the same quilt, as seen here in “Floral Star of Bethlehem.”


What is a "patchwork quilt?"

There are many different kinds of quilts, and the term “patchwork quilt” is an old name for quilts which are pieced or “patched” together.  In the United States during pioneer times, the main purpose of making a quilt was to provide warmth for someone.  Quilts were often made by taking pieces of old clothing, scraps of fabric from aprons, old blankets and whatever fabric you could find.  The maker used what they had, cutting around worn areas and keeping those parts of the fabric that still had some life left in them.  These pieces of fabric that were still good were trimmed to a certain shape (square, rectangle, triangle, etc.) and then pieced together with other shapes to produce a piece of cloth that was a mixture of “patches” held together by stitching. 

An artistic person would often assemble all the scraps they could find and carefully create a pattern of the colors, rather than simply sew the bits of cloth randomly and quickly, paying no attention to design. 

The following are examples of some very basic, simple patchwork quilts.  Any of these patterns would be good for a beginning quilter!


Tomorrow we’ll take a look at applique’ quilts!

Learn How to Quilt

Have you ever wanted to learn how to quilt?  Perhaps you’re awe-struck looking at all the beautiful fabrics that are available to suit any taste.  Maybe you feel like you need a hobby that you will not only enjoy, but that will have a fabulous end result:  a beautiful quilt.

So where do you begin?  There are lots of places to begin, but here’s my suggestion for how to proceed.

1) Look through some quilting magazines, books and quilting websites.  Take some notes about the kinds of quilts you enjoy looking at.  Write down your favorite colors and styles of fabrics.  If you purchase books or magazines, put sticky note bookmarks where you see quilts you like and write a few words about what you like about them.

2) Visit a QUILT SHOP.  Do you notice that the words QUILT SHOP were written to catch your attention?  Don’t go to a discount store or “big box” sewing or craft store.  You really do want a quilt shop for several reasons.

a) A QUILT SHOP specializes in quilts and quilters.  They know what they are doing, and can answer any questions you might have about quiltmaking.

b) There is a vast difference in the quality of the fabric when you compare fabric from a QUILT SHOP and fabic from a “big box” sewing or craft store.  It will hold up better for you and be totally different to work with. 

3) Ask the people at the shop about upcoming classes for beginners.  They are sure to have a beginning class coming up soon!  If they don’t,

4) Find another quilt shop that DOES, or check the local quilt guilds for available instructors.

5) If you are interested in quilting, find a quilt guild in your area and join.  Attend meetings, even if you haven’t yet held a needle and thimble in your hand.  They will be happy to know you’re a beginner, and you’ll get lots of great help and advice.

Best wishes on making your first quilt!

Tumbling Blocks

Two Goals for Today

I haven’t posted in a few days.  I’ve been busy working on several different things outside of my normal work day.  I have all my pinwheels sewn, and the alternating blocks are now cut, ready and waiting.  I have laid out all the blocks on the bed and positioned them the way I want them. 

Goal #1 for the day: 

blocksSew the blocks together.  I don’t know if I’ll get ALL of them sewn together, but it’s a goal.  This is for Samantha’s twin size bed, but the blocks were laid out on my queen size.

Goal #2 for the day:

Greader2Catch up on my blog reading.  I use Google Reader, which I love, but when the number of items I need to read gets above 30, it puts me into a panic.  Why do I let it do that?  Over the past three days, I’ve been busy with other things and haven’t even scanned the blogs I love.   So to my dismay, this morning the number is three times what I’d like it to be.  But then, I turned around and saw that the Woodworker is on his own Google Reader, and his number is 1000+, so I guess I need to put things into perspective.  It’s not a race, right?  There’s no punishment for having a big number, except now that you know I haven’t read blogs in a few days you might think I’ve been ignoring you.  And in talking about this with the Woodworker, he’s sure I’m off my rocker.  Aren’t you glad YOU don’t live with me? 

Pinwheels are Moving Forward!

I purchased the fabric for the plain blocks and border for Samantha’s quilt, and a cute purple scroll for a very narrow flange that will go just inside the border on the edge of the quilt.  So here’s the plan, Stan:

pink and purple

I wanted the border fabric and the alternating plain blocks to have some color in them, yet not be so busy that the whole quilt gives you a headache to look at it.  So I found this textured pink and purple fabric that I love.  Samantha’s bedroom walls are a light lavender, so this will be perfect (and she loves pink).  And to look at some of the other blocks that are already pieced:

I think it’s going to turn out just fine!

Now for the weekend sewing blitz!

See ya later!