Did you know that when our na kupuna started to learn and quilt in Hawaii they only made the larger king and queen size quilts. Today there are so many sizes to choose from, while most beginner quilters prefer to learn on the smaller 22″ x 22″ quilts many quilters today love the 45″ x 45″ quilts which I like to call Art On The Wall. The 45″ x 60″ size patterns are also popular for those baby cribs and one of the most requested patterns are the table runners. Recently many quilters have requested Bed Runners. Congratulations to Judy who just finished her Monsterra Bed Runner. Mahalo for letting me share your amazing quilt.
…Aloha Quilting Family I pray all of you are safe and healthy. Time has just flown by and I’m wondering what happened to the first three months of the year. Our Hawaiian Quilting classes are still closed but we’re hoping to start back soon. In my correspondence with the Iolani Palace they are looking for ways for us to return that is safe. So there is hope. I know some of our quilters are busy at home with their quilting pieces and I hope we can meet soon and share our quilting projects with each other. I am working on getting some classes on Zoom or not even classes just a time where we can get together to say hello. Until then everyone please stay safe and have a Blessed Easter.
Aloha Quilting Family,
I realize it’s been a while since I last posted, actually more than a while but Rae and I want you to know that while we miss the quilting classes we miss all of you more. Many people have called and e-mailed but sorry to say as long as the palace is closed so are our classes. Let’s just hope this vaccine works and we all can get back to the Palace soon.
I can’t believe that it’s already 2021 and I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and New Year. I also pray that you and your families are safe and healthy.
My family is doing fine. I’ve been working from home remotely with my day job since March 2020 and according to my manager it’ll be a while before we’ll return to the office. Life has truly thrown us a curve.
For most of the year life was uneventful, which is a good thing. Without the quilting classes I also got a little lazy hence the very few updates on my website but this Christmas I received an amazing surprise which I just had to share with all of you. When I thought there were no more of John’s quilt designs to be found… to my surprise I was wrong.
Apparently my cousin Kaeleneʻs Aunty Donna was cleaning out some of her treasures and came across 39 of John’s original designs.(There were 40 but alas one is missing). She received it from Kaeleneʻs mom, Aunty Leilani. Poakalani and Aunty Leilani grew up together, best of friends and inseparable. While they were not related by blood they were true sisters of the heart.
So apparently before John designed the 30 cushion patterns that I knew of he also designed 40 patterns prior to that. The way the story goes Poakalani had such a difficult time with the original 40 patterns John designed that he tossed it out and designed 30 new ones and made them easier. What I didn’t know was that copies of the original 40 patterns were made and I guess my mom gave one set to Aunty Leilani who gave it to Aunty Donna. 50 years later Aunty Donna returns it to Kaylene, who then gives me back a copy over the Christmas holiday. After 50 years the circle is complete and John’s original 40 cushions patterns have returned home and now back in my possession.
The designs are intricate and the sizes range from 18″ x 18″ to 22″ x 22″. A few of the patterns are part of his second set of 30. I hope to share some of those patterns with you I may need to tweak it just to make them easier.
The design above is probably John’s first Tulip pattern. Just click on the photo and you can download the pattern. I didn’t change the pattern. It’s all John’s from his handwriting to the pattern. You may need to enlarge the pattern.
Mahalo Kaylene, Aunty Donna, Aunty Leilani, Poakalani and John. It was a wonderful Christmas Surprise.
Everyone Stay Safe and God Bless.
Our Poakalani Quilting Family has gathered every Saturday from 9:30 – 12:00pm for 18 years to teach, learn, and enjoy the art of Hawaiian Quilting in the Kanaina building on the grounds of the Iolani Palace.
The Iolani Palace has always been generous, kind and instrumental in helping us to continue our weekly classes. It’s not only been our home every Saturday but it’s also the home of all Hawaii’s people. It’s a historical site filled with culture and history. We are always thankful to the Iolani Palace for given us a home to teach this treasured textile art.
That said I have a humble request. I know and understand many businesses, families and friends have been hit hard by the Covid19 lock down and so has our home the Iolani Palace.
I know many of you are struggling as I am but I’m hoping some how you can dig deep and either make a donation to the Iolani Palace or make a reservation to visit the palace on either Friday or Saturday for a very nominal fee.
Today I made my donation to the palace and I hope that if any of you have visited our class, taken a class with us, or just love to quilt please help us keep the palace open. When making a donation please reference the Poakalani Quilting Class or you can make it in Memory of John Serrao.
Below is the link for the donation & membership. (The Blue Iolani Palace Word just click on it)
The Donation button for the palace can be found in the top right hand corner of the linked page. Also if you shop on Amazon as much as I do please follow the link on the membership page when making any purchases. A portion of your purchase will go to the Palace.
Mahalo for helping us to save the Palace and keeping Hawaiian Quilting strong. Enjoy just a few pictures of our quilters
I know everyone has missed our weekly classes and Tuffy and I miss all of you. We pray everyday that this virus will end so we can get back to our classes. Until Then Malama Pono(Take Care).
Yes it’s been awhile since I posted. I’ve been having the most difficult time deciding which pattern to share with you. With the COVID19 crisis and now the tragic death of a man at the hands of a rogue police officer the world in which I was raised in is unrecognizable.
I don’t have any words of wisdom with everything that is going on right now but during the next few month I believe all of us needs to be patient with one another. Let’s all just be kind and respectful to each another.
Today’s pattern I’m sharing is actually one of my favorites. It’s from John’s original 30 cushion patterns he designed back in 1972 called the Ahonui, which in English means Patience. How appropriate is the pattern during these difficult times. Poakalani always said if you can applique this design you can applique any Hawaiian Quilt Pattern. Everyone please be safe.
I ka ‘ōlelo no ke ola, I ka, ‘ōlelo no ka make
Life is in speech, Death is in speech
Words can heal, Words can destroy
I love roses not just for their beautiful blossoms and fragrant scent but for the memory that comes to mind of my mom Poakalani and the Rose Bush story she often told us.
Poakalani was raised by her grandmother Caroline Correa, a master quilter during her time, and she would often tell us many stories of what she called her “hanna buttah” (childhood) days. One story she often told us was that she never learned how to crawl. She went from being carried everywhere by her family to walking because of being born with only one hand. But the one story that my mom often told and will forever live in my memory of when she asked her Grandmother where she came from and her grandmother told her they found her under the Rose bush in the front yard. Many a babies where found under that Rose bush in the front yard.
This pattern was designed by John inspired by that rose bush story. Mom and Dad I miss you and dad Happy heavenly birthday (May 14th).
We have available a large selection of cushion patterns in our quilting classes and we try to encourage our students to choose patterns that symbolizes the culture and history of Hawaii. We’ll go through many designs such as the Ulu(Breadfruit), Ti Leaf, Kukui Nut, Mokihana, Ginger, Monsterra and even Sea Life designs but many of the quilters tend to choose the Pineapple pattern. The pattern is not only easy to applique and quilt but it also symbolizes friendship, and the friendship of friends and family formed in our quilting classes is one of reasons the quilters return every week for classes.
I am blessed and I give thanks every day on how lucky I am to see my quilting family every Saturday at our quilting classes. We may all not be related by blood but we’re all related by our quilting spirit of aloha.
Our classes are gatherings of sharing and encouragement and sometimes a place to just get away. We always hope that when the classes end everyone goes home feeling better not only about their quilting ability but also themselves.
Thank you to all the Poakalani quilters who comes to class every week to share themselves and their quilts with others. It’s all of you who makes our classes special and unique. We miss all of you and hope to get back to the classes soon. Enjoy this weeks pattern.
Certain colors, scents, flowers and even songs evokes memories of days gone by and for me the plumeria blossoms brings back memories of my hula days and my Grandma Serrao’s home on Kam IV Road.
Grandma’s property was home to an abundance of plumeria trees that was picked daily and taken to her lei shop- Harriet’s Lei stand at the airport to be strung into beautiful leis.
The plumeria lei was also the lei of choice when I danced hula during my High School summer breaks. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning dad would take me to Grandma’s house and I would pick and sew the plumeria flowers into beautiful leis and later in the afternoon danced the hula at the Ala Moana Center Stage. Those were wonderful and amazing days. Today Grandma’s house is no longer there but those memories lives on in my heart every time I see a plumeria lei.
Also, the plumeria was one of John’s favorite flowers he would design into beautiful Hawaiian quilt patterns because in his growing up days he was the one that picked all the plumeria blossoms to be delivered to the lei stand. Today, Harriet’s lei stand is still there but now owned and operated by my cousin Leimomi.
Did you know that Hawaii has only two seasons. Unlike our mainland states who have the four seasons of Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring Hawaii has only two seasons, a wet season from November to March and a dry season from April to October.
These days I believe we’re all between two new seasons, before lock down and after lock down and while we’re locked in our homes nature has taken over… the flowers are still blooming through out the islands. …and like the Hawaiian flowers which blooms all year long we will soon bloom from our homes.
Until then I miss our quilting classes and all the quilters. I miss my co-workers. I miss being outside enjoying the sun and flowers, moon and evening stars.
My heart goes out to everyone especially the seniors and their cancelled graduations and proms, cancelled Festivals, sports and music events, missed vacations, special anniversaries and birthdays. The birth of new family members, marriages and especially special heartfelt send offs to our recently departed family,
…and while I’m missing everyone I firmly believe that this will all end soon, but we will not be the same I believe we will be stronger and wiser.
Prayers to all of you… my family and friends. Enjoy the Lock Down pattern.
Sometimes finding the straight path toward your passion is never easy. Be strong and preserver your success is right around the corner. This is what Poakalani always believed. Born with only a right hand she learned to applique and quilt by watching her grandmother quilt during her quilting circles.
Her passion led her to teaching the art of Hawaiian Quilting because she believed if she could quilt with one hand how much more can a person do with two hands.
While Poakalani had difficulty making the larger quilts because of her handicap she always told her quilters I can’t make the larger quilts but I can teach you how and she did. It was by teaching she was able to share her passion to all the students that passed through her classes.
Poakalani Althea Ku Serrao was an amazing quilter, wife and mother. She never let her disability stop her. Like the buds of the Silversword she was a rare one among us and her legacy lives on in the the classes she started now being taught by her daughters Rae and Cissy.
John always spoke of everyone having an inner light and inner light that makes us shine as good parents, amazing co-workers, dependable siblings, and even Hawaiian quilters. How is your light shining during this difficult time.
A few ways we can make our light and everyone’s light shine:
Go out only when you really need to and practice Social Distancing
Call a friend who lives alone and have a joyful conversation
Clean your windows… that’ll make your light shine(lol)
Write a letter to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while
When you see a First Responder….. Say Thank You
Quilt and Pray because God Really Listens
…. I bet you can think of many more ways
To All Hawaiian Quilters….
Are you quilting everyday? Is your light shining through your beautiful hand made quilts. Send me a photo at email@example.com of your completed quilts or quilts in progress so we can share your light with other Hawaiian quilting enthusiasts. If your not quilting send a picture of what you’re doing with your time.
It’s been two weeks since our last class and Tuffy and I are hoping everyone and their families are home safe and healthy. Yes, we would rather be at quilting classes but until the Covid-19 situation gets better classes are on hiatus. So today we leave you with this memory of our mom Poakalani who started the quilting classes. She was amazing and it was during times like this that her quilting became more meditative and prayerful. Every applique stitch and every quilting stitch became an affirmation or prayer to God for healing and hope.
So when you applique or quilt today today or at anytime… with every stitch you make in your mind send a prayer request to the heavens. Ask God or your spiritual guide to…
Heal the world and its people
Keep us safe and make us strong
Give us hope that this will end soon
Pray for those who are currently ill
Pray for those who are now home with you
Pray for those who are mourning the lost of their loved ones
Pray for our first responders and their families
Pray for our world leaders that they do what is right
….and the list goes one. Again lets be prayerful and meditative while we quilt during this time. Quilting is an amazing tool to center us and gather our thoughts.
Until next time everyone please stay home and be safe and for any reason if you need anything or help please call Tuffy or myself at (808) 524-0394
Just a Reminder class is cancelled until further notice. Everyone please have a care. We will miss the weekly classes but this will pass and we will return to our daily lives. We want everyone to be safe and healthy when we return. If any of you need anything please call or text me at 808-223-1108.
It was an beautiful day even the sun decided to shine on us. For just a few hours we forgot about the worlds concerns and just enjoyed each others company and celebrated everyone’s accomplishment for the past year. Many of the quilts didn’t make it to Honolulu because of the cancellation of the Festival but hopefully next year and some of the quilts made it to the show but not the quilters, Ah Well! I’ve posted some of the quilts. The photo’s are not the best but remember it was a show and tell. Thank you to the quilters. All of you are awesome, pat yourself on the back for a your amazing quilts. It would have been one of our best quilt shows. If I missed your quilt it was not intentional. Some photo’s just didn’t come out clear. Love you All. Enjoy
Another Pat Masterpiece. Remember she also does commissioned quilts. so if you’re interested in a quilt made in Hawaii please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
…and what a class we had. The ladies showing their completed quilts for our Honolulu Festival Exhibit…. It’s going to be great March 7 & 8 at the Honolulu Convention Center.