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Hawaiian quilting with the Backroads Quilters

On Saturday, October 18th, I was fortunate to be able to teach Hawaiian Quilting by Machine to the Backroads Quilters in Gardiner, Maine.  The Backroads Quilters are a wonderful, active and experienced group of quilters.  Similar to my local chapter, the Coastal Quilters, Backroads is a chapter of the Pine Tree Quilt Guild, Maine’s state-wide guild (which rocks!).

Taro, 6 inch block

I taught my paper-snowflake variation on the theme of Hawaiian quilting.  It is easier on the hands when cutting, lets you get stems and narrow bits that are equal (or nearly) in size (if you do the traditional fold the cloth into eighths the stems can range from narrow to blobby), and–if you do fusible applique and satin stitch–gives you two blocks from one fused-up square of cloth.  For this class, I did up a new 6-inch block.  Students get two choices of small blocks, turtle or taro plant, plus they can also select one of the five designs from Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul–you can see that quilt here. Here is the taro block with two colors of satin stitching and assorted outlining stiches:

I always love to see students take my patterns then reinterpret them in their own color choices.  The small blocks are offered because it allows a student to apply the adhesive web, cut the pattern, cut out the motifs, fuse and sew a block in one class.  Other students prefer to dive right in with a full size block, but often don’t get a lot of the satin stitching done during class because the larger blocks take more time to  pre

pare and cut.  Here is a lot of eye candy!

Ann’s block being cut out:

Ann’s block, being cut

and fused and ready for checking out thread choices:

Ann’s Ulu / Breadfruit block

Nena used a contrasting lavender thread for a nice bold outline on her taro block:

Nena’s 6 inch taro block

At first, this student wanted to use orange thread, but after doing several stitchouts, decided she liked the soft look of the navy.  By using the navy thread, she “popped” the small sprigged flowers in her print fabric and still gave a subtle framing to the edges of the pattern.  I LOVE this one! (OK..I love ALL of them….)

Pineapple…the subtle navy stitching is PERFECT

Here’s how that block looks straight on, before stitching–compare with the upper left pineapple in the photo above:

Pineapple–the one with navy

Another small taro block ready to be stitched…this is reverse applique.  I like to fuse dark on top of light so the lighter fabrics keep their light, clear tones.  Her other block has a navy taro leaf on the aqua print.

Another small taro

Sometimes busy prints can be challenging in Hawaiian quilts, but this one works so well… the Wedgwood  blue  thread picks up the lighter color in the print, yet provides a solid line to separate the print from the background.  AND she managed a few PERFECTLY mitered points!

A great paisley turtle, a 6 inch block

Another pineapple block…this is the reverse applique…the bright blue is fused onto the white:

Blue-white pineapple

Often variegated thread doesn’t work so well for satin stitching unless you WANT a really striped look.  But this thread, Blendables by YLI, is a heavy cotton with longer, and more gradually blended, color changes.  I really like how it stitched out:

Taro with variegated thread

I hope you enjoyed the class as much as I did!  Thanks to the ladies of Backroads Quilters, and to Ann and Nena who invited me up to teach and made all the arrangements.

One Response to “Hawaiian quilting with the Backroads Quilters”

  1. LoieJ Says:

    I’ve always loved the look of Hawaiian quilting, but I’ve never tried it. Maybe I could try your method.