Grace Hawley and her Hawaiian quilts

grace hawley: born to hawaiian quilt

by Patricia Belyea

LA CONNER WA  Living on a 3.5 mile-long island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for over a dozen years sounds a little confining. Or, if you’re Grace Hawley, it’s a perfect place to learn a new skill. Grace took a Hawaiian Quilting adult education class in 1985 and, since then, hasn't stopped appliquing and quilting by hand.

Grace Hawley: Ka Ipu Kaukui O Kahukui

I met Grace last month at the Busy Bees Quilter’s Guild meeting in Snohomish. Grace beamed as she announced to the group that La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum would be displaying her Hawaiian quilts from October 9 through December 28.

Grace Hawley: Hawaiian Quilts

Not a professional quilter, Grace has been creating quilts for family and friends for almost 30 years. Grace let Kathleen Kok, curator of LCQTM, know about her work and her hope of showing them at the Museum. So this exhibit is a dream come true.

Grace Hawley: Tribute To Tina

Only once has Grace used a pattern for her quilt making—one given to her by a friend. Generally she works from photos in books or develops compositions using graphic motifs. It’s Grace’s hand-stitching that really shines in her designs.

Grace Hawley: Hawaiian Quilts

A fascinating fact that Grace shared with me at the opening of her show—married for 46 years, she was given a pair of Singer scissors as a wedding present. Grace uses those scissors to cut out all her applique forms and has never sharpened them!

Grace Hawley: Dressforms

It’s been a real pleasure to meet Grace and learn about her passion for Hawaiian quilting. She may not be Hawaiian by birth but she’s the real deal when it comes to Hawaiian quilting.

 


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5 comments


  • Patricia Belyea
    Nancy—It was lovely to meet Grace and see her amazing Hawaiian quilts. Lucky you to own one! PB

  • Bonnie Whitley
    Grace the quilts are beautiful. All the time we spent on Kwaj I did not know you did this. You are a talented lady. These are artwork. This something I have always wanted to do.

  • Nancy Maze
    I believe I have Grace’s first Hawaiian Quilt pillow done in tones of coral. I was so happy when she gave it to me and it is a great reminder of my friend Grace and our time on Kwajalein Atoll. Sure miss the afternoon dives…

  • .Patricia Belyea
    Betsy—You caught my typo that my twin sister just called me up about. Of course, I meant, Singer scissors. I sew on a machine that once belonged to my beloved mentor, Maurine Noble. That brings a part of her into my quilts, as well.

  • Betsy Donahue
    Wow! Beautiful! I love the hand stitching ! Amazing! And the Singer singers!

    I am still sewing only mother’s 1950 Singer machine. For me it brings my very talented loving mother into the piece.


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