Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hawaiian Quilt Making

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.

Laurie

30 comments:

Helen said...

Wow, it looks amazing! The glue is a fantastic idea...can't wait to see it develop!

Debby said...

Great tutorial!! But how do you trace a line for the seam allowances to applique? Hope you show us.

Greetings from Debby

Sharon S said...

Thanks for the great tips!

Robin said...

Lovely lovely lovely. You never cease to amaze me.

Pookie said...

Holy cow, that's going to be gorgeous!

Also gorgeous? American Banner Rose. Boomer got her fat quarter bundle of it this weekend and there was much oohing and aahing! I love the Chinese red with the almost robin's egg blue. And the prints are stunning! You and Polly knocked that line out of the park, as you baseball fans would say. :D

Sharon said...

Wow!
Ive done smaller blocks like this but seeing yours makes me want to get my hands on that book and try something larger.....Thanks for the inspiration!

laurie said...

Debby,

There isn't a drawn line - except for the one I drew on 1/8th of the fabric - the top layer of folded fabric. If you cut an accurate 1/8" away from this line - you just need to sew 1/8" in. It's unsettling at first, but it works. Also, this kind of a design is very forgiving. If your stitching wavers a teeny bit - no one will notice.

Laurie

Hotquilts said...

Looks good. Can you get the quilt top up off the floor to glue baste it? That looks like it would make anyone's knees crack! I feel for you...

Glenn Dragone said...

2,000 years ago when I started working in the textile industry.. those staplers were a must!

We use to make our own waterfall color card sample boards. Starting at the top and working our way down, stapling on either side of the each swatch. The body of the card would move nicely along under the long folded arm.

You brought back a fun memory.

The quilt is stunning!

supermom said...

I love Hawaiian quilts and hope to make one some day.

That is going to be a gorgeous quilt.

Betweens said...

Wow that is going to be a lovely quilt. You designed a beauty now to wait for your flowers. Have fun stitching.
Is that a queen you said? it looks smaller than a queen did you sew 2 backgrounds together? or were you able to get a big background piece (wideback?)

izzyquilts said...

It looks lovely I learned with elizabeth akana hawaiian quilt in the early 90s on TV but I forgot how to fold the fabric !

SharoninStitches said...

I am verklempt! What a beauty!

Miriam said...

I love your design and the shade of blue you chose is gorgeous!
Thank you for sharing all those steps and hints.

Hope you knee is OK.

SueB said...

WOW that is amazing. I love it. The way that you cut it was awesome. Cant wait to see it as you sew along.

Janet said...

I think your top is gorgeous!! Queen sized - that will keep you in handwork for a while :0)

Fiesta said...

wow, it loks amazing!

moosecraft said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Love how this looks! I can almost hear the ocean! :-)

Anonymous said...

It's beautiful, Laurie!
~Joyce in MI

Asiyah said...

That is going to be one fantastic quilt! I didn't realize that Hawaiian style quilts were raw-edged. Hope you'll share more.

laurie said...

Asiyah,

It's not raw edged. I am needle turning the applique as I go. That is the traditional way, and the way I prefer. Thanks

Laurie

Vicky said...

I figured you'd have thread basted it. I love Roxanne's. Much faster than basting with a needle. It's absolutely gorgeous, Laurie.

And I agree with Pookie. American Rose Banner *might* replace Prairie Paisley as my favorite of your lines! Congrats on both the wonderful new fabric and your gorgeous new applique project!

Sarah said...

Wow! I can't wait to see your progress on this piece. Please keep us updated. I am taking a Quilt University class to make Hawaiian quilt block and I am really enjoying it. The method is a little different, but that is what learning is all about! BTW, in the fall issue of Keepsake Quilting they have the book, That Perfect Stitch. I knew I'd seen that cover recently!
And, another BTW: I'm organizing my quilting fabric and ran across two Minick & Simpson lines that spell your name Lauri! I will need to hold on to these as they are sure to become collector's items in the quilting world!

Mark Lipinski said...

I'm drooling here! And, for once, it's not over chocolate. Love this blog! xoxom

Bonny said...

Holy Guacamole! You designed this quilt?
WOW! I can't wait to see the finished quilt:)
Very inspiring indeed!

Jeanne (RED) said...

You are one talented lady, has anyone told you that?! I have done one Hawaiian pillow from a kit I got in Maui. It was solid red and white. I enjoyed the process, but I can't imagine doing a queen size one! Thanks so much for the tutorial, it sounds like a wonderful project for winter!

Will be looking forward to your new book and I LOVE the "American Banner Rose."

Quilts And Pieces said...

I"ve always wanted to do one of these but have been too chicken! I enjoyed reading how you started yours.

Anonymous said...

all I can say is WOW!!! I want to do that too!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this 'How to' The result is great!
Barbara M

lorrwill said...

Two thoughts:

Micro Stitch Tool instead of stapler and 28 mm rotary cutter instead of scissors?

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