Hawaii Quilt Guild
When you take the time to look closely at quilting patterns it is mind boggling. The art of quilting is alive and well in Hawaii and thanks to the Honolulu Academy of Arts – Linekona show this past spring, an array of beautiful craftsmanship was evident in the diversity of styles and materials used to create these works of art. Some whimsical, others just stunning. My great grandmother left us quilts that have since been passed down to ensuring generations of newborns. In other families a quilt is so cherished that it is no longer used nor displayed, but treasured as an heirloom recognized as objet d’art, a work of art. It is wonderful to see that there are people devoted to continuing this tradition.
I am reminded of a story that was shared by Dr. Isabella Aiona Abbott, the first Native Hawaiian woman to receive a PhD in science, former Stanford professor for 30 years, author of 8 books and over 150 scientific publications. Dr. Abbott was born in Hana, Maui and she credits her mother’s knowledge of Hawaiian plants and reef life with inspiring her to become the world’s foremost expert on limu (seaweed). In her home there hangs a large Hawaiian quilt. It is the Hawaiian flag pattern sewn by her mother and friends. Dr. Abbott points to the stitching and when you look closely every stitch is a cross, she says, “sewn in protest” of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Imagine the women who sewed Hawaiian flag motifs on their quilts during that time. They must have sat together, month after month, in quiet conversation or perhaps no conversation at all, sewing cross stitches that were their muted cries of protest.
The show at Linekona was taken down but you can see more on the Arts Channel at PacificNetwork.tv. Visit http://ARTS.pacificnetwork.tv/HotPicks/
And if you’re inspired (why not!) contact the Hawaii Quilt Guild at their website, http://hawaiiquiltguild.org/show.htm.