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The Wilcox Quilts: 01/10/07

The Wilcox Quilts

Some of my favorites books come my way with help from serendipity; The Wilcox Quilts in Hawaii is one of those books. It is a history of the Wilcox family and their influence over the years in Kauai. It is also a pictorial catalogue of the family's quilts, sewn and collected over the last hundred or so years until the museum's opening in 1985 after the death of the last surviving Wilcox.

The Wilcox family came to Hawaii from the midwest as missionaries and ended up becoming one of the founding families of modern day Hawaii. The Wilcox name is still a part of many institutions, especially on Kauai. It is on schools, hospitals, and all sorts of other businesses. The Wilcox family is to Kauai what the Sammis family is to Huntington Long Island.

I am not a quilter but I enjoy the art of quilting. The Wilcox Quilts in Hawaii explains the different techniques in making what would be considered a quilt: applique, patchwork and quilting. Before reading the book I knew the words but never thought about them as they applied to the actual process. The traditional Hawaiian quilt is a combination of applique and quilting in contrast to what would be considered the traditional American quilt of patchwork and quilting.

The Hawaiian quilts for the most part resemble snowflakes of circular patterns except that the shapes radiating from the center are mostly floral patterns. Bread fruit and pineapples and other foliage. A couple of the more colorful quilts are made up of the Hawaiian flag and coat of arms.

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