Friday, January 15, 2010

Turtles Rule

This is a small Hawaiian quilt I'm making for a friend to give as a baby gift. It's about 36" square.

The Hawaiian green sea turtle, or honu, as it is called here, is a popular design element in recent Hawaiian quilts. The traditional Hawaiian quilts did not include images of animals or people but the more recent ones often include turtles and a few other sea creatures. I did use a traditional solid color light green for the background but a non-traditional green and purple batik for the design. I started this because I needed a project for my Monday morning Hawaiian quilting group and I just pulled two fabrics from my stash that looked good together. However the colors seem to speak to everyone who sees it so it must have been a good choice. I decided to do the traditional echo quilting in a light blue thread. I'm not a big fan of white thread on colored fabric and usually try to match the thread color to the fabric. In this case, this was the closest color quilting thread I had on hand, I wanted to start right away and it added just a subtle hint of color to the quilting. I used wool batting by Hobbs because it's nice and soft and it makes it really easy to quilt. The backing is the same batik fabric I used for the design. However because it's a print and the quilting thread is a similar color, the quilting on the back doesn't really show.

The pattern for this design came from Kathy Nakajima Hawaiian Quilt Story. This is a soft cover book published in Japan in 2005 and the text is in Japanese with a few English words in some of the captions. Kathy's books usually include patterns for some, if not all, of the quilts in the photographs and usually step by step illustrated instructions for first-time Hawaiian quilters. The words are in Japanese but are usually pretty easy to figure out if you follow the pictures.

You can find a lot of her books online at Shades Textiles in Georgia or sometimes on eBay from one of the Japanese sellers.


sonja said...

your choice of color is super. i like the way the baby turtles seem to be swimming in the shallow water!

Susan said...

love the baby quilt!! Wonderful colors.