Pacific Piecemakers Quilt Guild

Bits and Pieces

January 2002, Volume 7 Issue 1

Jackie Morse, Editor



Round up your scrap material, bring your sewing machines, and join us for January’s Comfort Quilt Workshop!  We’ll gather on Friday, January 18, from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.  You may have seen the pictures in the ICO of our donations of quilts to various organizations; since then we’ve given away many more, depleting the supplies.  So we really need a big turnout in January to replenish our stock!


This is one of the most visible contributions we make to the community at large, and an important component of the Guild’s outreach program.  The joy these quilts bring to those who may be at a low point in their lives is incalculable.  So treat yourself to a “feel good” day and spend some time bringing comfort to others.  You’ll be glad you did!



COLOR ME GREEN!  That’s Angie Woolman’s workshop on February 16.  We’ll make a patchwork called “Snail’s Trail” all from various shades of green!

NINE PATCH LANDSCAPE will be Judy Sisnernos’ workshop on March 16.  You won’t want to miss this opportunity to interact with this gifted quilter/teacher.


Guild Membership Renewal Checks Due Now!

    January is an important month for our Guild. It is membership renewal month and it is also the month in which our new program committee begins to plan for the new year. They attend the Northern California Quilt Council’s special teachers’ meeting. It is there that our program committee decides who to hire as speakers and teachers for the coming year. The sooner we have your membership check, the sooner we know how much money we have to

spend on our programs. So before reading any further, please take a moment to write out your check for the Guild. The cost of membership is $35. If cost is an issue for you, please speak to membership chairperson Pam Wilson about our anonymous scholarships.


      We are an extraordinary and talented Guild with a track record for great programs, wonderful classes, superior library resources, and

camaraderie. Help us to continue on this road of excellence in education and community sharing. Support the Pacific Piecemakers Quilt Guild by sending your membership check to:

          Pam Wilson, P.O. Box 53, The Sea Ranch, CA 95497


      Checks will also be accepted at the January meeting. The new roster is being compiled, so renew today and make sure you’re included.  We thank you in advance for sending in your check today.


Nominating Committee in the Works

The Nominating Committee will meet this month. It consists of Anita Kaplan, Jeri Taylor, Joyce Gaudet, Miriam Littlejohn and Jenny Rexon. Anyone who would like to join us please call Anita at  785-3671. Please think about how you can help the Guild and volunteer when someone calls you to take on a small job for the coming year. It takes the cooperation of many people to keep our Guild vibrant.


January Birthday Wishes

Pat Ditzler - 1st

Annie Beckett - 2nd

Dianne Cunningham - 10th

Elaine Anderson - 19th

Linda Cotton - 20th

Kathye Hitt - 20th

Theresa Kohlmeister - 21st

Marilyn Limbaugh - 21st

 Gloria Frost - 29th


Guild Glimmers

It has been said that those who can sew can also cook. This was evident in spades at the Annual Holiday Pot Luck Luncheon held on Friday, December 14th. The forty members and guests went home sated with joyful camaraderie and awed by the variety of beautiful quilts decorating the walls . The food was sumptuous and hailed from all corners of the world.

Once again, Anita Kaplan and her committee created beautifully decorated tables replete with lovely blooming flowers in holiday colors and gaily wrapped napkins bedecked with metallic-laced ribbons.

Since this lunch was in honor of our dear friend Gayle Stewart, all who had taken her classes and made quilts brought them to adorn the walls of the auditorium. They ranged across the rainbow in colors and inspired us to pull out the various blocks we have stuffed into our closets and drawers unfinished. It was a beautiful presentation and a remarkable tribute to Gayle, who leaves for Costa Rica in late January. Former students and dear friends rose in turn to tell stories of Gayle’s classes, her skills and the warmth of her teaching abilities. Cynthia Chilton also drew our attention to Gayle’s work in the health care field and noted the same patience and understanding so evident in her quilting classes. Gayle will be sorely missed, and there was talk of holding next year’s holiday luncheon in Costa Rica!

Before the afternoon came to an end, green fabrics of every type & color were exchanged for use in the upcoming workshop!





“Quilts in Hawaii?”you may ask.

 “Sounds like an oxymoron.”

Adapted from an article written by K.A.M. in the Coffee Times

- A Cultural, Environmental & Historical Magazine

on the Big Island of Hawaii.


While at sea level, summer temperatures average 85 degrees and winter temperatures 78 degrees; with each 1000 foot rise in elevation, temperatures can drop 3.5 degrees. A cozy Hawaiian quilt can be just the ticket if you live in the mountains.

      Hawaiians were making cloth well before Captain James Cook’s discovery of the islands in 1778. Tapa, a paperlike fabric, had a variety of uses including clothing, bed coverings, burial wrappings, ceremonial flags, streamers for masts and outrigger canoes, and lamp wicks. This tapa was made from the inner bark of the paper mulberry plant, wauke. Women used wooden mallets to pound the strips of bark together to form sheets of various sizes, textures and thickness. The sheets were sewn together using bird bone or hardwood needles and a thread twisted from bits of natural bark fiber. They could be colored with natural dyes and decorated with designs from the natural world. Brushes and bamboo stamps were used and leaves dipped in pigment could be pressed on the cloth. Layers were attached to each other by beating along one edge of the tapa and gluing them together with diluted poi, a food made from taro root.

      Bedding consisted of multilayered mats piled on the floor, undecorated inner sheets of kapa moe, and topped by a colored or decorated sheet called kilohana.

      It is believed that the missionary influence of the 1800’s was significant on the evolution of Hawaiian quilts. Explorers, whalers, fur traders and merchants also frequented the Hawaiian shores. Oriental and Russian ships brought goods to and from China. Ships from Britian, France and Spain also came to trade. Hawaiians were fascinated by these visitors and observed them closely, often incorporating their new ways of life into their own.

      When missionaries from New England arrived in 1820, the women brought their quilts, prized for their sentimental value rather than for necessity. Missionary women believed it important for Hawaiian women to learn to sew in the European style and used patchwork techniques to illustrate different sewing skills. The first Hawaiian quilting circle was held on the decks of the Thaddeus with the royal wives of two reigning chiefs in attendance. Sewing was  first taught informally in homes, and in 1830 was added to school curriculums.

      It is uncertain how the unique style of Hawaiian quilting emerged, but perhaps local women thought it odd to cut cloth into pieces just to sew it together again. Hawaiians were raised to never waste anything they used, and time was precious to them. However, the cut paper art known as “scherenschnitte” was brought to the islands by German-American missionaries in the 1860’s. By the late 1870’s the Hawaiians had developed their own approach to quilt making.

      A Hawaiian quilt is usually made of a single large applique, symmetrical and cut from a folded piece of solid colored cloth and appliqued to a contrasting cloth. Originally the applique cloth was folded into eighths and a freehand design was drawn on the folded fabric. Later paper and cloth patterns were used. Common colors for the applique included red, deep blue, yellow, orange, pastel green and pastel purple, usually on a white or cream colored background. Some experimented with a light color applique on a dark background. At first, the designs were fairly simple, but became progressively more complex; and the quilting styles were largely geometric as taught by the missionaries. Eventually their stitching forms more closely resembled their old craft forms - weaves in lauhala mats and tapa designs. Echo or contour stitching, called kuiki lau, was also used to quilt their pieces.

      The ulu, breadfruit, is often the subject of a quilt because of its importance in traditional Hawaiian life. It is the first piece put on a quilt to insure the quilter will continue to make quilts. Some believe it will also insure the quilter of adequate food and a lifetime of prosperity. Common flower motifs include the iris, orchid, calla lily fuschia, plumeria, torch ginger, hydrangea, morning glory, carnation, tuberrose, chrysanthemum, pineapple and hibiscus. Vines, leaves and sea animals also provided patterns, as did important winds and rains.

      Quilts were often named for loved ones, though it  was considered a personal matter, and some names had totally private meanings. One highly prized quilt is the Kuu Hae Aoha, which means ‘my beloved flag’. It pictures the flag of the Hawaiian kingdom and may date back to 1843, serving as a reminder of a kingdom that ended in 1893.

      Historically, Hawaiian quilts were not sold. They were usually made as gifts for friends or family members, to commemorate an event or to honor someone, for personal fulfillment, to be a shroud, or to express patriotism or aloha.

      Hawaiian quiltmaking has also been shrouded in mystery, taboos and superstition. Occasionally a quiltmaker who became too connected with her quilt would ask that it be destroyed or buried with her out of fear that her spirit would be forced to wander after death. Some quilters sleep with a new quilt for one night before giving it as a gift. It has been said that when a person is ill, if they sleep with their quilt, all the love from that quilt will heal them. It is believed that human figures should never appear on a quilt because those figures will walk and visit you at night. Some of these superstitions have resulted in old quilts being destroyed and patterns being strictly guarded. Fortunately many of these works of art remain today for us to enjoy, and patterns are available to modern quilters.

            The Hawaiian Quilt Research Project  (HQRP) celebrates Hawaii’s heritage in quilts, and quilt days are held throughout the islands. Over 900 Hawaiian quilts made in Hawaii before 1959 have been registered with HQRP.