Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hawaiian Quilt Makes It Home


I'm guessing it's been about 8 years since I started the Hawaiian quilt on the bed in this picture. I designed the applique myself. Since my knees are so bad and I couldn't baste the quilt on the floor, my dad made an 8 foot square platform on a couple of tables in his basement for us to baste on. The applique is cut out like a paper snowflake so all the edges are bias. It took several days for friends and family to help baste the applique to the background. While we were working away one day, the neighbors had given my dad some garden tomatoes. He was so excited as he bit into one while standing there watching us work. Yep, you guessed it. Tomato went everywhere! My poor dad felt so bad. He ran to the store for cleaning products and we got the mess out but that was just the first of many mishaps for this poor quilt. At one point so many disasters had happened to this quilt top that I wasn't sure if it was ever meant to be a quilt.
It took over a year of working off and on for me to finish the hand turned applique. It took even longer to quilt. Tradidtionally a Hawaiian quilt is hand quilted in echoing lines around the applique design. Since my quilt wasn't a true Hawaiian I decided that the area between the border and the center would be perfect for a trapunto feather design. I started hand quilting and after thinking I had really accomplished a lot I realized I had only done about one foot square. It sat for quite awhile because I was so discouraged and I finally decided to machine quilt it for a show. I gave the quilt to Jeanie Knudson to quilt and had it finished in time to hang at the show.
Between the time of the tomato incident in my Dad's basement and the hanging in the show, my Dad had a stroke and had been in the Long Term Care Center. My father-in-law had one too and was his roommate. I had asked the LTCC if they could bring the dad's to the show for me so that my dad could see the finished Hawaiian quilt that had started it's life in his basement so long ago. They brought my dad's and several others to the show that day. I was so excited for my dad to be there that when a TV News Crew wanted to interview me about the quilt hanging above on the wall, I refused because my dad was there. Jeanie Knudson did the interview for me and I had my picture taken with my dad in front of the Hawaiian quilt by Jeff Banks. Both quilts won first place in their categories by the way but nothing compared to having my dad see that quilt.
The quilt had still not been on a bed when Michelle Quick asked for quilts to be hung in a crisis center type place where the police take children of abuse for intervewing. I offered this quilt since I thought it had a calming effect and it hung in the interrogation room for over a year. Michelle brought it back today after I told her I finally had a place for it. I am so happy to have it home. She told me it had been very loved where it was hanging.
I'm so amazed that a quilt that had yet to be on a bed can hold so many dear memories for me. No other quilt I have ever made, and there are over 300 of them, has had the impact on my life that this quilt has. I hope the stories of this quilt will live on and grow for my family forever.

4 comments:

Beth said...

I absolutely love your quilt! It is georgous! I had a friend from years ago that was doing a Hawaiian quilt and was so impressed by it back then. There is definitely a lot of work that goes into one and it shows. I love the whole evolving story about the quilt - definitely need to keep the story with the quilt for the future.

Jeanie Kieft said...

It is so good to see this quilt again and know it is home for real. I remember the day that you had your picture taken and you winning with this quilt. What a story and this quilt is like an old friend now. Keep the story with this quilt forever.

Where are the pictures of the Grands from Easter?

Chris said...

It is so beautiful! You need to print out the story you posted on fabric and attach it to he back of this quilt for your great grand children!

KATHI C said...

BEAUTIFUL - BEAUTIFUL - BEAUTIFUL
THAT IS ALL I CAN SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!