Suzanne Tswei

Local Color
Sunday, May 6, 2001


Chris Piper's quilt, "Butterfly Optical Illusion,"
is made from hand-dyed fabrics.

Amateurs, masters
come together in shows
of talent

EVERY YEAR, the Hawaii Quilt Guild's exhibit gets bigger, better and more colorful. Just when you're wondering what else can be done with little strips of fabric, these quilters come up with something new.

Joan Masaki took the cotton towels handed out at summer's bon dances to form the basis of her "Obon" quilt. The white towels are printed with dancers and the names of the Buddhist temples. Then she used red, white and blue fabric to form blocks of Japanese lantern patterns to complete the quilt.

Chris Stengle presented a puzzle with her quilt. Playing on this year's theme of "One Singular Sensation," Stengle repeated the Arabic number "1" with fabric strips, color variations, stitches and other techniques.


On display: Academy Art Center at Linekona
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays, through May 13
Admission: Free
Call: 532-8741

Viewers are invited to count how many times "1" appears in her 28-by-28-inch quilt. We won't reveal the answer here; you have to go see the show. The answer is hidden behind a piece of paper next to the quilt.

One of the loveliest and most endearing quilt, titled "Millie's Window," comes from M.J. Matsushita. The rambunctious family cat, whose full name is Millennium, was the inspiration.

The quilt shows Millie in three stages of bird hunting: peeking out the window, sneaking up on the birds and devouring a bird. Millie's black fur face with embroidered green eyes looks absolutely content as a little fuzzy bird foot dangles from her mouth.

Matsushita learned to sew at her grandmother's knees and is passing the tradition on to her two daughters, Raven, 9, and Starr, 11, who are the youngest guild members. Both girls have quilts in the show.

Susan McKenna's "One Is All It Takes to Celebrate."

"What's exciting is the show has more diversity, more styles, everything from Hawaiian quilts to traditional quilts to wild and cutting-edge quilts," says Carol Khwehok, director of the Academy Art Center at Linekona, which has hosted the show for several years. This year there are 176 quilts by 58 quilters on display.

"What's really nice is you have all these different styles in one place, and you can compare all the different styles," Khwehok says.

And if you don't know anything about quilting, this show is a good place to start learning. Mother's Day is the last day to view the free exhibit.

The guild welcomes quilters of all ages and skill levels. The guild holds its monthly meetings on the fourth Monday monthly at the YWCA on Richards Street. Meetings are from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Free parking is available at Iolani Palace across the street.

Yachi Chun's "Stars in the Garden."

Membership is $15 a year and includes monthly newsletters and other benefits. Call 456-3007 for more information or write to the guild, P.O. Box 30423, Honolulu, HI 96820.

Master lauhala weaver Esther Westmoreland may be 89, but she's not your typical retired auntie, says Michael Schuster, folk art coordinator for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. Maybe it's Westmoreland's craft, lauhala weaving, that keeps her young.

Schuster has organized the "Master to Apprentice" exhibit at Kapiolani's Community College's Koa Gallery as a special tribute to Westmoreland.

The exhibit features the work of four pairs of masters and apprentices in the SFCA folk art program: Westmoreland and her student Wendy Hee; master saddle maker Albert Moniz and David Fuertes; master canoe maker and wood worker Wright Bowman Sr. and Ka'ili Chun; and braided obi cords master Noriko Sand and Carol Nagano.

The show is open free to public, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, through May 24.

Ibby Jenkins' "Margaret and Vincent, Two Heroes" honors
the artist's grandmother and Vincent Van Gogh.

Among participants in the quilt show are, from left, Chris Stengle,
Susan McKenna and Hiroko Ono. Behind them, to the right,
is a quilt to be given away as a prize.

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Suzanne Tswei's art column runs Sundays in Today.
You can write her at the Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, Suite 7-210, Honolulu, HI, 96813
or email

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