Submitted by Liz M.
Last week, Dianne wrote about the shops she has visited during her time on the road. My husband and I traveled to Maui for two weeks in February and I had also planned a post on quilt shops for this week. I agree with her that it is so fun to explore new places and enjoy the personality of each shop!
As we planned the trip to Maui, my husband asked if there were any quilt shops on the island. A quick internet search turned up three shops. One each in Lahaina, Kihei and Kahului. I was able to visit the first two. Ruthann, an MPS member, presented a program to us in 2019 on Hawaiian Quilts and I was interested in learning more about these quilts during our trip.
First, we checked out the shop in Lahaina-Quilts N Fabric Land (click for website). This is a compact shop with batiks, Hawaiian and Asian fabrics located in the shopping center across from the Banyan Tree. They had some fun Hawaiian tea towels, small zipper bags and kits for pillows and we purchased a couple for souvenirs.
The second shop I visited, The Maui Quilt Shop (click for website), was in Kihei. This was a bit larger than the Lahaina shop with a larger variety of fabrics and more bags, pin cushions and kits. When I was researching the shops online, I learned this shop had a two-hour class each Friday on Hawaiian quilts. One phone call and I was registered for the class! I arrived early to select a kit to use and enjoyed meeting the five other quilters from around the US and Canada. Elyn, the teacher, has taught these classes for twenty years and creates the kits for students to choose from. Quilters start the project with her guidance and are able to baste their block and begin the appliqué in the first session. Instructions are given to complete the project or quilters who are on the island for a longer period of time, return on Friday afternoons as space and time allows to work on their block and finish the quilting.
I have done appliqué in the past: freezer paper needle-turned appliqué, wool appliqué, machine appliqué and enjoyed the differences in the Hawaiian style of appliqué. The stitches are more of a small whip stitch that barely shows and creates a bit of a “dimple” in the edge of the appliqué. The points are similar to other methods but the “valleys” are sewn with a very narrow seam allowance and a few extra stitches close together to reinforce the curve.
Elyn showed us the Hawaiian way to end your stitches was to stitch 2-3 stitches close together/on top of each other and then insert the needle and travel along the seam an inch or so before pulling the thread through the top appliqué fabric and clipping it off. No knots! This was a fun and relaxing way to spend a few hours and learn a new skill.
I have finished two of the leaves and one flower since I returned. I am pacing myself on my handwork so this will be a Work In Progress for awhile! The block will be made into a pillow when it is finished.
Do you explore quilt shops as you travel? Have you taken a quilt class while you were on vacation? What do you look for in a class-new technique, national teacher? Please share your comments below.