Dreaming of Hawaii -- Luka's Quilt

With snowflakes flying again today and the arctic cold coming back, it is time to dream of Hawaii again. Last week I posted our first Dreaming of Hawaii and introduced pu'ili. Today I am going to share another wonderful book and look at Hawaiian quilts.

Luka's Quilt by Georgia Guback is a wonderful tale about a young girl, Luka, and her Tutu, grandmother. Tutu takes care of Luka while her parents work and they have the best time together. Then one day, Tutu decides to make Luka a quilt. They go to the fabric store and Tutu has Luka pick one color. Luka assumes there will be more colors in her quilt since Tutu described it as her own garden and gardens are colorful. However Tutu is a traditional Hawaiian quilter and makes quilts in two colors. Luka is upset when she sees the finished quilt. Tutu is upset that Luka does not love the quilt that Tutu worked for so long and hard to make her. Finally one day a truce is called and they go to a festival. At the festival there is a place for children to make leis. Tutu tries to tell Luka to only use one color of flower, but Luka wants to do it her own way and use all the colors. This helps Tutu realize the Luka loves lots of colors and two colors were not enough for her. Tutu comes up with a solution to the quilt and both love it.

Hawaiian quilt, Na Kalaunu (Crowns),
Na Kalauna (Crowns) Hawaiian Quilt by Hiart [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

To go with this book, I thought we would look at Hawaiian quilts. Quilting was taught to the Hawaiians by missionaries. The Hawaiians thought it made no sense to cut bolts of fabric into small pieces to be sewn back together since they did not have scraps of fabric. Legions say the first Hawaiian quilt pattern was the breadfruit and it came about when women laid fabric on the grass to dry and noticed the breadfruit's shadow on the fabric. As a result the tradition is to always start with the breadfruit as your first pattern. This ensures a fruitful life, never hungering for wisdom or knowledge. (Source)

Our Paper Hawaiian Quilt Squares
When looking at Hawaiian quilt patterns, I found Extreme Cards and Paper Crafts: Hawaiian Quilt Block Cards and realized we could easily make a quilt square with paper so Hazel could benefit from the lesson. I used as a basis for our blocks one of the patterns on Hawaiian Quilting with Poakalani & Co.'s Resources Page. I simplified Hazel's so she could cut it out, but she was overtired and threw a tantrum and got Daddy to cut it out for her.

To make ours, we folded our paper (12"-square) along the diagonal and then in half again. I drew the design on it and the we cut them out. There are other ways of doing it, but I thought this would be relatively simple for Hazel.

After we cut out our designs, we glued them onto another piece of 12" scrapbook paper. We put them under books to make sure the folds were glued down well. I love how they came out and may play with this method some more. Maybe I'll actually try to make a Hawaiian quilt one of these days. For more on my quilting you can check out the posts here. And for more Hawaii posts check them out here

The solution Tutu came up with for Luka was to make her a colorful fabric lei for her quilt. So another wonderful project/craft would be to make a fabric lei or maybe even a paper one or even just paper or fabric flowers. Perhaps for another day.