What makes a Hawaiian quilt Hawaiian?

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Quilting was introduced to the women of Hawaii in the 1820’s by visiting missionary women and from these teachings, the women of Hawaii adapted their own techniques, styles and designs. Prior to quilting, the women of Hawaii also learned embroidery and many of the older quilts you see in private collections or museums shows embroidery stitches on the quilt such as the “Chicken feet stitch“.

What makes a Hawaiian quilt Hawaiian is the designs and the way it is cut on a 1/8 fold like a snowflake. Most people believe or are misled in believing that an authentic Hawaiian quilt must be made in Hawaii by native Hawaiians. This I can honestly say is untrue. We do not have warehouses in Hawaii with Hawaiian women sitting and quilting all day. In fact, not many Hawaiian’s or locals quilt at all. Those of us that do quilt very rarely sell our work. Instead, we choose to share our art by educating people about its history and teaching them to make their own.

Today, many Hawaiian quilts are being produced in the Philippines and China by expert quilters so that our original designs can be enjoyed and offered to the public at a reasonable cost. This does not make the product "fake" or “not Hawaiian” It is still a Hawaiian quilt no matter where it is being made and its all hand sewn.

The price of these kits and products differ grately for example:

If I decided to sell an original 22x22 quilt hand made by me it would cost $100-$150. The same pattern made by hand in China or the Phillipines by a personally trained quilter will cost you $35 - $65.

People buy quilt kits from Hawaii and take it back to Japan, Paris, Australia you name it. Once they finish it, it is still a Hawaiian quilt. My Grandmother and I have designed quilts for many people all over the world and our mana or spirit is in each of those designs. These quilts are seldom sewn in Hawaii.

What makes a Hawaiian quilt Hawaiian?

Simple - It’s the style, techniques and designs of the Hawaiian quilt and that is what makes Hawaiian quilts Hawaiian.

Every Hawaiian quilter has her own techniques, style and beliefs. I am here to educate you in our own beliefs and what my Grandmother has taught to me. Regardless of our style, techniques of beliefs the art of Hawaiian quilting in the end is still a treasured and beautiful art. (C) Nalani Goard 2007