The next #wisecraftstitchalong is starting soon! Hawaiian Quilting

(photo by Stephanie Congdon Barnes)

We will soon be starting our 4th stitch along in the Wise Craft Quilts Facebook Group (now archived, but look for the video from this stitch along on the Wise Craft Youtube channel). We’ve had great fun stitching these projects together (you can see some of the projects in the #wisecraftstitchalong hashtag on Instagram. Our stitch alongs are casual, and focus on or expand on techniques from my book Wise Craft Quilts. Its been a great way to give myself a little permission to just stitch something new, revisit the projects from that book, and sew up new versions.
For this next one, I was inspired a bit by the sunny skies and warmer temperatures we are having in Seattle right now. I’m thinking tropical!
Vintage Hawaiian quilt photo

Part of my inspiration, as it often does, comes from my vintage fabric collection, #vintagepeopleonquilts. The above image is  from 1933. A group of women hand quilting a Hawaiian quilt. I’m intrigued by so many things, their wonderful hats, the large commanding presence of this quilt in such a stately room. Someone in the FB group told me this was likely taken at the Mokihana Club of Kauai, Hawaii. Its a treasure.
lady in muumuu
This is another vintage photo I found when I was forming projects for the book, a woman in a muumuu. Isn’t it fascinating where inspiration can lead you creatively? The muumuu is typically a casual, loose-fitting dress, often brightly colored and patterned, and worn by Hawaiian women. I became very interested in the idea of the muumuu when I remembered how, growing up in North Carolina, women would often wear what we all referred to as a “housecoat” at home. These were also casual and loose-fitting, but always in cheery patterns. I remember women, like my mother, putting one on as soon as they got home from work.
So, I guess these muumuus and housecoats are equivalent to what I wear as “soft pants” these days. Only theirs were much brighter and happier looking than my soft pants (black).

The project using the technique of Hawaiian quilting in my book is a wall hanging size made using a bold peacock blue base cloth, with an appliqué of a vintage Hawaiian muumuu. The colors were chosen to really play the whole idea of the muumuus usually being so bright and colorful.
The technique used was traditional needle turn appliqué, and the motif was created as the traditional method of creating motifs for Hawaiian quilts. It was such a fun quilt to make and I’m excited to share my own version of this technique. Needle turn appliqué is not as hard or intimidating to do as some might think. Another one of those techniques that, once you learn, leave you saying “why did I wait so long to learn?”.
Muumuu stitch detail

(photo by Stephanie Congdon Barnes)

For this #wisecraftstitchalong
I will be making a quilt version similar to the original Muumuu quilt from my book. This new version will be four blocks instead of two, and I plan to use men’s dress shirts into the quilt. Each block will have a slightly different color combination. The layout will be something like this:
muumuu layout
I will be cutting new templates for the appliqué in this new quilt I’ll be making, but the idea is the same. The only supply required for the stitchalong is my book, Wise Craft Quilts. In it you will find needed information on finishing and optional hanging sleeve that I will not cover during the stitchalong. All of the other supplies are likely things you already have.
Supplies needed to make this new version of Muumuu from Wise Craft Quilts:

  • A copy of my book, Wise Craft Quilts
  • Four- 20 1/2″ squares of base fabric (these could be all the same color, or different)
  • Four- 16″ square pieces of fabric to become the appliqué motifs, one for each square of base fabric (look for good value contrast between this fabric and the base fabric, if you need a tool to help you decide fabric values, my Ruby Ruler is an excellent tool to have)
  • One piece of paper 16″ square, like newspaper
  • Paper Scissors
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Cotton sewing thread in a color that coordinates with the appliqué fabric (not the base fabric).
  • Size 10 hand sewing needle
  • Two pairs of sharp fabric scissors, one regular sized pair, and one smaller pair. I will share what I use on during our Facebook Live sessions.
  • A water soluble fabric marker, Frixon pen, or some type of fabric marker
  • A pencil or pen for marking paper
  • Applique pins and/or applique glue

Here’s our FB Live schedule (all times are Seattle, PDT. Convert to your time zone and join us!)-

  • Monday, May 14th, 5pm – Discuss overall plan for quilt top, supplies, fabric choices
  • Wednesday, May 16th, 5pm– Create the template, cutting it out, preparing fabric, tracing template onto fabric, cutting it out, laying out cut template fabric onto the base cloth, options for securing it down.
  • Monday, May 21, 5pm-Needleturn appliqué basics- Inside and Outside curves, Inside and outside points
  • Wednesday, May 23, 5pm– How to appliqué tricky curves and points, checking in on progress
  • Friday, May 25 5pm– Show finished appliqué block(s), layout, quilting options.

These videos will all be uploaded to my YouTube channel at a later time, once the stitchalong is over on Facebook.
I hope you will join us to ask questions and chime in during the FB Live sessions (whether you are actually stitching during it or just watching). I have really come to love needle turn appliqué in all forms, and look forward to making a brand new beautiful quilt with you, using techniques from the tradition of Hawaiian quilting.


Hawaiian quilting. This project is available anytime, anywhere you can access it.

How can I show off my version of this project?

Please share, we’d love to see! Post photos of your work, in progress and finished, on the Facebook Page, on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, wherever you like to hang out online. Be sure to use the hashtag #wisecraftstitchalong so we can find your posts! (Also feel free to tag me in the photo to make sure I see it, @blairs)
Any questions please post a comment on this post!

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