Hawaiian Quilts

Written by Rebecca Russell
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While the process of quilting has remained largely unchanged throughout the years, the designs and patterns used vary greatly depending upon the location and nationality of the quilt maker. Such is the case with Hawaiian quilts. In the early 19th century, New England missionaries set out to Hawaii to spread the Christian word. In the process, they also taught the island natives the technique of quilting.

The History of Hawaiian Quilts

Hawaiian quilts have adapted over time and are now recognized by their subject matter. They typically reflect the stunning tropical flowers native to the islands or commemorate an event. Rather than using small, patchwork pieces, Hawaiian quilts are made with large pieces of brightly colored material, which are fastened onto a light-colored, solid background piece.

The Hawaiian quilting tradition incorporates a fair amount of superstition and custom. For instance, it is considered impolite to sit on a Hawaiian quilt. The quilt is a reflection of the quilt maker and to sit on it implies disrespect. A quilt is always folded back or hung on a quilt rack before anyone sits upon or lies in a bed.

There are many examples of Hawaiian quilts on the Internet. You can choose from a variety of block patterns or become inspired by the photos to create your own personal design. Traditionally, due to the warm climate, Hawaiian quilts are made of light and airy fabrics. If you live in a colder climate, consider creating a Hawaiian quilt as your summer covering.


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