Tuesday, May 7, 2024



Aloha friends!

May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage month in the USA.  

I thought I would dig through the newspapers to find out more about Hawaiian quilts.  Many of the earliest quilts referenced were Hawaiian Flag quilts.  This motif was chosen often after 1893 when settlers removed the monarchy and Queen Lili'uokalani was forced from her throne.  It was a symbol of loyalty to the queen.  Below is a flag bedspread from Etsy:

Similar motif from a 1949 article:

One of my favorite images of these flag quilts is here at the Smithsonian website.

Queen Lili'uokalani was also a quilter and made an amazing crazy quilt while imprisoned.  The best photos I have seen of this quilt can be found at whipstitch here.

It's touching how many Hawaiians still pay deference to their queen.  There is even a quilt pattern that refers to her favorite flowers (see here).

Most sources indicate that missionaries taught quilting to native Hawaiians as early as 1820.  I love that the Hawaiians made quilting their own by using motifs of their own life.  

Since we have a whole month to celebrate these wonderful quilters, I'll have more later this month.

Have a safe and happy day!

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