Sunday, February 26, 2017

scrap quilt from Honolulu

Hawaiian scrap quilt, unknown maker, Honolulu, c. 1975-2017, 46" x 61"
This cheerful Hawaiian scrap quilt came from a vintage shop in Honolulu. It was one of many great pieces I found during my vintage shopping spree on Oahu in January.

When I first picked it up, it was an unfinished top, one of four or five tops needing simple finishes for display. In that regard, they would become time-span pieces, but they would also be much easier to exhibit.

I asked my friend Gail Weiss if she would have time for the job. Lucky for me, she said yes. First, we sat down together and looked at several examples of Hawaiian scrap quilts in my collection. Most of the edge finishes were done by machine, and they varied from pillow-edge to applied binding to reverse facing.

Gail and I enjoyed looking at the various edge finishes together. Details matter, and I felt it was important to finish these tops the way they might have been finished by their original makers. It was specific, but nothing fancy.

Of course, there would be a few creative decisions, but we made sure to shake things up a bit. One top would get an applied edge finish but no back fabric. The foundation fabric was too interesting to cover up. Another top would be backed with vintage muslin and bound with some blue Hawaiian fabric I got in Kailua.

A third top, slightly larger, needed a binding. Luckily, I discovered a beautiful piece of vintage Hawaiian fabric online, and it arrived quickly.

I was happy with the finish on the first one when I picked it up yesterday, and I think Gail enjoyed trying something different. It got a pillow-edge or knife-edge finish because it didn't really need anything more.

pillow-edge or knife-edge finish with top stitching
The others are now done and I'll see them some time today. I will make sure to post photos during the week, so stay tuned...


  1. I love it when you find these 1960's (?) era quilts and I see prints that I recognize in childhood garments made by my mother... who made all our clothes until the late 60's (when we were old enough to start to protest!)...those little blue and white "Marimekko" style flowers in the 3rd picture down, are very, VERY familiar to me... I may have to root through the box of MomScraps that I have here to find that print... or it's very, VERY similar. Thanks for another trip down memory lane, Biil!

  2. What is a pillow edge finish? What is a knife edge finish?

    1. best google it, you'll find lots of tutorials, it's not hard, I'm just not a sewing instructor :)