Saturday, November 29, 2014


11/29/2014 6:49 PM

We had a wonderful 8 days in Hawaii! I know this year hasn’t been all that cold yet, but it was still nice to take a break in the never ending sun and enjoy some sand =)
While there, we were lucky enough to visit 5 quilt shops, including a shop that actually sells traditional, hand-sewn Hawaiian quilts. I was good and didn’t buy too much fabric, but what I did buy was very fitting.

First was Hawaiian Quilt Collection, which had a few traditional Hawaiian quilt kits, but mostly sold Hawaiian quilted products.

The technique they use is pretty amazing, and the end product is absolutely awe-inspiring every time.

When missionaries first visited the Hawaiian Islands, the natives had never had access to genuine fabric like we see today. For their bed coverings, they turned the inner bark of trees into a soft bed covering. As for clothes, fabric wasn’t really necessary with their tropical climate. So they learned how to quilt from the missionaries visited.

However, they didn’t understand the point of cutting up fabric, sewing it together, then cutting it up and sewing it again, etc. It didn’t make sense to them, as it seemed like a waste of fabric and a very counterproductive process.  So instead, they made quilting their own! Rather than cutting up a bunch of fabric, they used only two pieces of fabric. The background was usually white-ish, but the main fabric is what’s really fun.

Just like we make snowflakes around the holidays, the Hawaiian women would fold up the main fabric a few times, and cut out random shapes and curves through all the layers. Once that’s done, they’d open the fabric back up and needle-turn the applique onto the background. Here's some examples of what they look like when they're done:
(Found on
Obviously, in the beginning, they looked nothing like this. But over time, they created a unique style that became a main staple of Hawaiian culture. They mostly found inspiration in the nature around them, but oftentimes they also created pieces based on everyday household objects or even dreams. Really, they took inspiration from wherever they could get it, and made it into something fantastic. Here’s a site with a little more info on it:

I scheduled myself to take a class at Hawaiian Quilt Collection in Queens’ Marketplace on the Big Island (Kona, where we visited), but unfortunately, the teacher was injured and unable to teach the class before I left :(

However, I still got a kit for a traditional Hawaiian pillow at another store, which I will be sewing as soon as I get a few Christmas presents done! I actually attempted to take a similar class at that store, but not enough people signed up before the class date, so I just gave up and bought said kit instead =P

That store was Quilt Passions, which was just a few minutes away from our hotel room. Needless to say, we visited it at least 3 times while we were there.

 I got this super cute Hawaiian-style fabric that I figured would go perfectly with my USA quilt, especially with the Washington fabric I got a couple weeks back:

Of course, later we went over to Hilo on the other side of the island, and found a shop called Fabric Impressions.

It was a tiny shop, but they had an awesome collection of Hawaiian-inspired fabrics. My mom got me this half-yard pack as my birthday present from last month, cause she’s an enabler that way =P

She also got this blue one, which she was going to give me in exchange for the first fabric I got at Quilt Passions, before we bought more fabric and decided to just put this one and the first one in our “community stash”:

The main reason we added them to the stash, however, is because we visited another shop that had even MORE fabric, called Fabric and Quilting Delights.

They recently changed their name from Fabric Gift Shoppe, because everyone thought it was just a gift shop rather than a quilt/fabric store, so it might be hard to find the new shop name on maps. Anyways, I loved all the shops we visited, but this one I loved just a little bit more. Not only did it have the most fabric out of the ones we visited, but it had an entire WALL of metallic fabric! METALLIC! That’s one of my absolute favorite fabric types, right next to Batiks.

I can never find a lot at one store, though, unless it’s a fabric monster like Fabric Depot in Portland, OR. This one had more than I’d ever seen in one place, and it also had a different entire wall full of Batiks. So yeah, this one was at the top of my list =P

Here's the fabric I got here, which is what I decided on for my quilt:

The print is a lot smaller, and since Hawaii is such a small state, I figured this would be best to get maximum graphics.

And the last one we went to was a little shop in Waimea called Topstitch.

My husband is on the right, showing off one of their cute turtle stuffies - hand made!

This is where we found out about the Kona shop hop, and she had a lot of info on all the other shops and such. I didn’t get anything for me at that one, just a polka dot fat quarter pack for my mom (I know, you could find that anywhere, but I owed her and she liked the fabric, so there!)

At the beginning of the month of February every year, Quilt Passions has an awesome quilting retreat with a ton of fun classes and sewing time. I’m not going to make it in 2015, but I figured I’d mention it here in case anyone else can :) It definitely looks like a ton of fun, and they’ve got cheap room discounts for anyone participating. There’s also a lot of free demonstrations and little crafts and such, as well as a few guest stars. I recommend checking it out, I know I’d definitely go if I could.

So we’re back on the road, but we haven’t gotten very far yet. And because of the way our data plan is set up, I might not be able to post again anytime soon, but if I get to another shop in a new state I’ll definitely try! I’ll also keep everyone updated on my projects, I’m ashamed to say I didn’t work on much when we were in Hawaii :) That’s all for now, hope everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travels on Black Friday!

States I’ve purchased fabric from:
New York

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