How to Make a Hawaiian Quilt

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Make a Hawaiian Quilt
Make a Hawaiian Quilt (Image: http://www.makehawaiianquilts.com,http://www.quilthawaiian.com)

The missionaries brought quilting to the Hawaiian Islands in the early 1880's. They created a special type of quilt pattern similar to folding and cutting out paper snowflakes. Hawaiian designs make nice baby blankets, wallhangings, pillows and sofa throws. Because Hawaiian quilts are so large, the best way to learn how to make one is to start off making a sampler, which is a small block about 22 x 22 inches.

Things You'll Need

  • Light colored fabric
  • Darker or print fabric
  • Applique needle
  • Applique thread
  • Sturdy paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

Choose two colors in the quilt. The background color is usually very pale or white. Once the pattern design is cut out, open it out and center it on top of the background color. The entire design should be basted to the background about ½-inch from the raw edge. The edges are not turned under.

Make your pattern by using a strong paper the size of your design. Fold the paper in half, then in half the opposite way. Fold this in half on the diagonal, bringing fold to fold. Draw your design on the triangle, then cut it out and unfold the paper carefully. This is very similar to making a "snowflake." Retrace your design onto sturdy paper.

Fold a square of fabric as the paper was folded and press each fold. Pin securely. Match the pattern that you made on he fabric, lining up all the folds and points. Pin the pattern to the fabric and cut. Open the fabric and press it flat.

Cut out a square for your block. Use a lighter color for this background block. Put the pattern (applique) on the top of the square of fabric.

Baste the applique to the block about ½-inch in from the raw edge of the block. As you begin appliqueing the design to the block, turn in the edges about ¼-inch with your applique needle.

Sew a border on your finished sampler about 15 ½ inches wide or a size that suits you. Use a darker color for the border or use the same color for the border that you used for the design. You can also leave the edges without a border, if you prefer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Actual quilting on the sampler follows the contours of the design and extends to the background as well as the applique.
  • When making a pattern, try to not use too many sharp cuts.
  • Be careful not to cut on the folds when cutting out your pattern.

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