Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Quilting in Hawaii

Quilting has developed in Hawaii in a way that is particularly Hawaiian. Introduced in the 1820’s by missionaries, the women adapted this new craft to reflect the symbols of their past. I saw the relationship of the designs with those that were tattooed on many people in Hawaii, but they apparently hark back to tapa cloth, and the quilts use only a couple of colours and it is the motifs that form the impact.

I managed to pick up a book, ‘The Hawaiian Quilt: the Tradition Continues’ in Hanapepe, a lovely town on the island of Kauai in ‘ Talk Story’ the ‘western-most bookstore in  the United States’ Who could argue with that! Imagine reading in Hawaii, sheer luxury! Lazy days, warm weather, long sunny days, too hot to do anything else.

Of course I couldn’t pick up a quilt, like quilts all over the world, they’re made for love not money!

Amongst the treasures I picked up in Hawaii, is a little book on basketweaving. I didn’t find much evidence of traditional work, there must have been some. However, our friends from the US introduced us to the most amazing Hawaiian basket weaver, Mika McCann. She is of renown and we were lucky enough to meet her at the market under the Banyan tree in Lahaina. She’s self taught and creative and quirky and I should have bought one of her baskets.

A few regrets at the end of the trip. Not buying a Mika McCann basket, snorkelling at Mohaina reef and doing a proper canyon walk in Waimea canyon, and, should have had our own snorkelling gear, which would have taken care of a few other moments missed!

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