Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just checking in from Hawaii. Bored. Going home tomorrow, and it's not soon enough, though I am not enthusiastic to be spending 16 hours to get from hotel to home. (I leave here Wednesday afternoon and arrive late Thursday morning. If only I could keep the 6 hours time difference I gained on coming here.)
Remember those lovely photos I used in my last blog? Well, this is the 'actual' view from my room. I didn't bother to open the sheers. The Hilton Hawaiian Village is much like Disneyworld only not as nice, and for a Hilton, the service and staffing leave a lot to be desired. (And we won't even talk about $5.00 per Coke on the property/$9.00 per beer.) I would like to check out 1.5 hous late tomorrow and so far no one will approve that (the hotel is full, we need you gone, you can sit in the lobby with your suitcase and wait an hour and half for your airport transport) I swear, I'm sure Conrad Hilton is spinning in his grave--like a bad ride at the State Fair.

Back to all things quilty. I know a lot of you cringe at the 'A' word, but that is the traditional Hawaiian style of quilting. There is a most beautiful Hawaiian applique quilt displayed in our hotel that I'm heading down to photograph momentarily. I did seriously consider picking up some reasonably priced pattern books but decided against it, when I couldn't make a decision as to which patterns I would like to make. I'm sure I'll regret that decision later.

I was able to get to one fabric store and they had a very interesting selection of Hawaiian print fabric. I walked out with 11 yards to make a throw and a tote bag. It took me the longest time to make a selection, and I was really surprised to see that the majority of the fabric was a poly/cotton blend. I was able to get cotton, and the prices were excellent...$4.25 per yard. The overall shop experience was quite awkward as the fabrics were on rolls and you had to have some serious muscles to reach back 3 rows and heft a full 4' tall roll of fabric up off of a steel tube holding it erect. Fortunately they had a couple gentlemen working and I assume that their sole purpose is to hand you fabric as they were most accommodating.

They had Japanese fabric, but it was just straight cotton print, nothing special, and as a quilter I wasn't looking for silks, which they had an abundance of.

This was the first shop I was in that had all of the Hawaiian applique bags and pillow covers (and eyeglass cases, tissue holders, coin purses, coasters, placemats, slipppers, breadbaskets......). I started to wonder when I saw the sheer volume of stock. While prices were good, I walked away wondering about their authenticity (not to mention the cardboard shipping boxes the employee was emptying onto the shelves. I left emptyhanded in the Hawaiian quilt department.

For the last few days I made it my mission to visit all the little advertised 'native quilt' shops (trust me, I have walked miles on this Island in doing so), and they all seem to carry the same merchandise that was in the fabric store, though at quite a higher price, depending on which shopping plaza/hotel they are located in. And in my travels I have been able to confirm the fact that all of the Hawaiian quilt applique products sold on this Island are made in the Philippines.

Some of those items are now machine appliqued, which really turned me off. I suspect that eventually there will be no more hand-stitched items, which is why I opted to at least buy one piece, regardless of it's origin.

Bargain hunter that I am, today I did find the best price and I also managed to contain myself and purchase only one large pillow cover that I intend to mat and frame. There was a bounty of patterns, and multiple colors used within a single pattern, but I opted to be truly traditional and chose a pattern with a single color. 18x18m hand appliqued, hand quilted, $19.99 you can't go wrong.

Well, I'm off to take some pictures around the Disney-esque property. We've got a final party in a couple of hours, so that means free drinks and appetizers, though you have to fight your way through a few hundred student plant scientists to get to them.

I'll post a photo of my Hawaiian fabrics when I return. My media card doesn't fit this laptop and it's quite the pain to use the cellphone camera, send to email, download to laptop and post to blog.


  1. Susan, I'm so sorry your trip was a disappointment especially after your high hopes. Are you safely home now?

  2. Yes, I am, thanks so much for asking. That's the good thing about traveling....you get to come home.


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