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Behind the Scenes : Hawaiian Quilting

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Lisa, her quilt, me and my mother

This is the Hawaiian quilt featured in this months Martha Stewart Living. In preparation for the story I had to find a traditional Hawaiian Quilt, I wanted to show the inspiration for all of the quilt inspired projects we feature in the magazine. After a few e-mails I found out my mother's freind Lisa received a quilt as a wedding gift. Her aunt, Avies Corpuz, made it with the help of friends over many many many months. On a trip home I met Lisa and saw the quilt, it was perfect. She was kind enough to let me ship it to Manhattan and borrow it for a few weeks! I was nervous about having it for such a long time but it all worked out and the quilt is back in Hawaii. Thanks Lisa!

See the full quilt and get links to more projects here.

Comments (12)

  • Looking at Lisa's quilt took me back to her sunset wedding reception by the beach, and to that one day afterschool, when Lisa delicately unfolded the quilt to reveal her aunt's loving handiwork. My friends and I stood in awe of the beautiful quilt. Mahalo ~ for sharing one of the many memories of her quilt.

  • I really loved this article in the magazine. The Hawaiian quilt projects seemed particularly well suited to our Australian climate and it was beautifully photographed. My cousins wedding is in October (spring here) so the quilt will make the perfect gift. Thanks Craft team!

  • We visited Hawaii last summer and I brought home a quilt, in the breadfruit pattern. It's displayed on a quilt rack in my bedroom. There were so many beautiful quilts everywhere we went. It is an amazing art form and I was thrilled to see it in the magazine.

  • My mom had a quilt made for my sister's wedding last September and they are the best gift. I still have one that my grandmother gave me 10 years ago and I love it.

  • Just absolutely lovely. Would love to have it in my home one day.

  • I was a little disappointed to see that you did not mention that historically it is thought that the first Hawaiian quilt designs were inspired by the shadow of the leaves from the trees above as Hawaiian women spread their fabrics out to look at.

    also that you did not mention the symbolism of many common quilt motifs, such as the breadfruit which is often the first design a quilter will attempt. It represents abundance and signifies that the quilter will go on to make many more quilts.

  • As an International Hawaiian Quilting teacher, I am thrilled to see this style featured in your magazine! Traditionally, a hand appliqué, and hand quilted project, I have mastered the art of Hawaiian quilting by machine. I have even gone as far as to have the applique pre-cut, with fusible web applied... this technique allows me to finish a cushion sized block in about 2 hours. Aloha Ya'll Stacy Michell, Atlanta Georgia.

  • Of all the things I've learned about quilting over the years... what sticks with me most and is deepest in my heart... are the lessons of love, kindness, Ohana, beauty, nature and on and on - that I learned through Hawaiian quilting and Hawaiian quilts. I love that Hawaiian quilts are being featured in this month's issue!

  • I am a Hawaiian Hawaiian Quilter. I've made several pillows, and am working on my third quilt. This article makes the magazine a keeper. I hope to see more on quilting and sewing. Thank you so much for this article.

  • Great article. The photographs are beautiful. I have been wanting to make a Hawaiian quilt and will likely use the technique Stacy mentioned above with fusible web. How many younger people in Hawaii quilt?

  • where can find the pattern for it?

  • Crafter Comment:

    Hi Kelly-
    We don't offer a pattern for the quilt shown in this post. That was Nick's inspiration. Go to for plenty of Hawaiian Quilt inspired projects and templates.

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