Betsey Telford-Goodwin's Rocky Mountain Quilts 130 York Street York Village, Maine 03909 207-363-6800

About Vintage & Antique Hawaiian Quilts

Patchwork quilting was first brought to the Hawaiian Islands in 1820 by New England missionaries who proceeded to teach the native women the art of quilt making. Hawaiian quilt making design and execution have become something uniquely their own and most recognize the large scale yet elegant 'papercut' applique as the traditional Hawaiian quilt.

The usual method of creating the applique design was to fold one large square of fabric into eighths, with the last fold forming a triangle. The border was cut first; then the center motif was cut from the remaining fabric. Sometimes paper patterns were used, but often the designs were cut freehand. The cutouts were then unfolded, pinned to the background fabric, and appliqued into place with fine, tiny stitches. The hand quilting was typically echo outlining of the organic applique shape. Hawaiian women drew upon their garden for many of their designs. The actual leaves of the breadfruit, of the pumpkin and papaya, fig leaves and ferns were used as patterns. The widespread tentacles of the octopus, the outlines of the turtle and Mahina - The Crescent Moon - were very oldtime themes for quilt patterns.

Hawaiian quilts are most often found in one of the following three classifications: quilts with naturalistic motifs, those associated with a place, or those with historical themes. A few patterns do fall outside this classification such as the Saw pattern, and the Press Gently pattern.

Hawaiian Quilts

Click on the pictures below to see more views. Shading is due to lighting, not representative of the quilt. Call for the availability.

Hawaiian Applique Quilt
Please view the detail photos (click image above) for more accurate colors.
CON GG6 Hawaiian Applique Quilt
1920-30
75 x 76 (190.5 x 193 cm)
Hawaii
$4,900

The usual method of creating the applique design of a Hawaiian quilt was to fold one large square of fabric into eighths, with the last fold forming a triangle. The border was cut first; then the center motif was cut from the remaining fabric. Sometimes paper patterns were used, but often the designs were cut freehand. The cutouts were then unfolded, pinned to the background fabric, and appliqued into place with fine, tiny stitches. The hand quilting was typically echo outlining of the organic applique shape.

This gorgeous Hawaiian applique quilt in excellent condition showcases the quilter's choice of intricate and delicate foliage and yellow blooms for her naturalistic design - an early theme in Hawaiian applique quilts. Hawaiian women drew upon their garden for many of their designs, using actual leaves and ferns as patterns. Solid medium green and yellow cottons combine for a stunning presentation.

Wonderful echo outline quilting follows the organic shape of the design throughout. Hand applique stitches are fine and the pattern is intricately cut. The backing is white cotton and the 3/8 inch applied binding is the same soft yellow found on the blooms and shows a bit of wear on the fold. Professionally hand washed by Betsey this quilt is being sold on behalf of a private collector. This quilt is available to ship to you on approval for private viewing.

Hawaiian Applique Quilt in Green & White
Please view the detail photos (click image above) for more accurate colors.
CON GG4 Hawaiian Applique in Green & White
c.1950
93 x 95 (236.2 x 241.3 cm)
Hawaii
$5,600

Missionaries from New England brought patchwork quilting, reflecting their own learned style and techniques, to the Hawaiian Islands in the 1820's. Fabric scraps, flour sacks, and feed sacks the missionaries brought with them were distributed to Hawaiian women for use in their quilting bees. But Hawaiian clothing, cut straight and full, did not lend itself to scraps for saving to make quilts. Cutting new yardage into little scraps to sew back together into a quilt seemed futile and a wasted effort. It was a natural progression for these creative, artistic women to develop patterns of their own. Drawing on Hawaiian culture their quilt making became more individualistic and a reflection of their lives, history, and natural surroundings. Hawaiian women developed their own technique of cutting designs out of a large piece of folded fabric (similar technique to cutting out paper snowflakes), sometimes using a paper pattern of their creation, other times the designs were cut freehand. The cut fabric was then basted onto the background fabric, appliqued using tiny stitches, and hand quilted following the outline of their design.

This gorgeous Hawaiian quilt was created using the most commonly used style; a square design with either a broken or unbroken border, cut from fabric folded diaper-wise, eightfold. Once the border was cut the remaining large center piece was similarly cut folded to create the center medallion. Solid leaf green on a slightly off white ground, this intricate pattern's name is unknown, however it is similar to the 'Lei Mamo' pattern - the feather of the mamo bird favored by Hawaiian royalty. Graceful and quite elegant, this is a lovely example of the classic Hawaiian quilt.

Applique stitches are tiny and the hand quilting is executed beautifully in the traditional echo outlining of the design. The applied half inch binding is the same medium leaf green used for the interior design. The backing is the same off white used for the front. For sale on behalf of a private collector, this wonderful Hawaiian applique quilt can be sent to you on approval for private viewing.

Hawaiian Applique Quilt in Taupe & Red
Please view the detail photos (click image above) for more accurate colors.
CON GG8 Hawaiian Applique in Taupe & Red
c.1885
75 x 78 (190.5 x 198.1 cm)
Hawaii
$5,200

This lovely quilt utilizes the second style of pattern prevalent in Hawaiian quilts - the first being the center medallion style shown in CON GG4 Green & White Applique. In this style a motif is cut using the entire piece of folded fabric. This produces four repetitions that radiate out from the center of the quilt to the corners. An ethereal and lacey effect is achieved by the quilter of this early piece.

A beautiful presentation of this design in a soft palette; taupe interspersed with red blooms on a soft off white ground. The quilter added Herringbone embellishment stitching around the edges of the red blooms using off white thread. Applique stitches are small and even with hand quilting done in the echo outlining of the design inside the appliques and in the off white ground.

The applied half inch binding is the same taupe used for the interior design and is treadle sewing machine topstitched. There is a bit of wear on the folded edge of the binding in areas. The backing is the same off white used for the front. This quilt was used and lovingly cared for and is in excellent condition. For sale on behalf of a private collector, this Hawaiian applique can be sent to you on approval for private viewing.

Hawaiian Flag Quilt 'Ku'U Hae Aloha' (My Beloved Flag)
Please view the detail photos (click image above) for more accurate colors.
CON GG3 Hawaiian Flag Quilt 'Ku'U Hae Aloha' (My Beloved Flag)
c.1905
81 x 81 (205.7 x 205.7 cm)
Hawaii

The most loved design among the Hawaiian people is Ku'u Hae Aloha (My Beloved Flag). Upon abdication of the Queen in 1895 and consequent lowering of their flag many of the Hawaiian people feared that they would not again be permitted to fly the emblem of their kingdom. They turned to the quilt as a means of perpetuating the flag and the coat-of-arms. The result was My Beloved Flag, a design held so sacred as never to be put to everyday use.

This wonderful example of the Royal Hawaiian Quilt is in excellent condition and is accompanied by family history to be passed on to the buyer. Comprised of vibrant solid red, blue and white cottons. The flags are each treadle machine pieced with white piping and treadle machine topstitching of the Union Jack in each canton. Extremely fine hand applique stitching was executed on the coat-of-arms and Hawaiian lettering below. The phrase translates to "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness" .

Hand quilted with cross hatch stitching in the white ground and outline and parallel line stitching in the flags. The backing is a loose weave white cotton, and the applied 3/8 inch binding is the same solid blue as the flags' stripes.

As a fascinating piece of history, as well as tremendous graphic textile art, this quilt is an American treasure. Please call Betsey with any questions or to express interest in this quilt being sold on behalf of a private collector.

Rocky Mountain Quilts Shop Hours

Our York, Maine antique quilt shop hours

Summer (May 1 to Oct 31)
Monday-Saturday 10-5, Sunday 12-5

Winter (Nov 1 to Apr 30)
Monday-Saturday 10-4, Sunday by chance or appointment

Or call for other times -- we are usually available

Payment Methods:

Rocky Mountain Quilts gladly accepts cash, checks, Visa, Master Card and American Express. Bank wire transfers are an easy method of payment for both domestic and international sales. If you are traveling, we will be happy to ship your purchases via FedEx at your convenience.

Contact Us

Telephone - for orders or questions -
1-207-363-6800
Email - betsey@rockymountainquilts.com
Shipping FedEx address -
130 York Street
York, Maine 03909

Link To Top Of Quilts