I've made several Hawaiian quilts - or in the Hawaiian style. Making them is the best part about them. I know for the next several months, I will have a hand work project to work on. First, all the applique - and then the quilting. Over 25 years ago I took a class with Roxanne McElroy; She wrote the book That Perfect Stitch about her love of the genre and her version of them - Tahitian quilts. AND, That Perfect Stitch is a great book for hand quilters. It's always THE book I recommend. Sadly, Roxanne has passed away, but her daughter Dierdra McElroy had added to the book and it has now been re-printed.The first step was to make an original pattern. Once I got over all my hesitations and procrastinations and put pencil to paper - it went pretty fast. I copied that pattern (you only have to draw 1/8th of the design - much like a paper cut snowflake) onto tissue and then marked it on my snowflake folded fabric. This is my fabric folded 4 times (8 layers). I stapled through it every few inches to keep it in place as I cut. Yes, stapled. Roxanne said so and it works great. The only stapler I had in the house was a tiny desk stapler so off I went to Staples and found this.A regular desk stapler with a super deep throat. I don't know what the supposed use is for this stapler, but I can tell you - I stapled my fabric layers in a hot minute using it. You can't really see the staples, but take my word for it - it's stapled all over. Now, I cut. A good set of seamstress scissors - I used Gingher - went through these 8 layers like a hot knife through butter.My background fabric is folded the same way, it's just a few inches bigger all the way around than my cut fabric. OH, and make sure to press well after each fold. You want to see those creases really well.
At first I tried to do the basting of the two layers together on a table. Basting is easy, but takes a couple hours. Sitting in a chair while doing it seemed like the nicest way to tackle it. Alas, it didn't work out. My table was just too small and the working area just didn't take up enough of the surface area, but I tried. So now I knew I needed to work on the floor. NOT a fan of floor basting anymore. I cracked my patella a couple of years ago and there is just no way to get comfortable. You might remember the cracked knee story. It was when Bill and I refinished the floor and I chased a cat and fell and ruined my knee and the smooth shiny floor all in one motion. Anyway....Here is the backing laid out and taped to the floor. You can still see the creases that were ironed in. That blue mess is the top all cut out, staples removed.
It looks impossible, but it will work. All you have to do is line up the fold lines. There were fold lines ironed into the blue fabric too. Here is what it looks like after a few minutes. I am slowly unfolding and lining up the top and the bottom - fold lines matching.
Here it is a few minutes later. Lots of breaks were needed to accommodate the cracked knee.
Ater an hour and a half - this is what the "snowflake" cut top looks like unfolded onto the backing.
Now I needed to baste it. This is the easy part. I used Roxanne's Baste-It glue. Notice the ingenious bottle. The needle thin applicator lets me put the tip of the bottle underneath the edge of the the applique about 1" in. No picking up the fabric - no moving it at all. Just place the tip under the edge and squeeze a dot of glue. I put one dot every couple of inches. This glue basting of this queen size quilt top took under an hour. I starting stitching last night. It's all downhill now.
As for my pattern.... it's just something I drew that was inspired from antique Hawaiian quilts, and has a little Jane Sassaman thrown in for good measure. This is the foliage of the quilt top. There will be a few flowers on top of this, once this is sewn. Thanks for stopping by.
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