Quilt Shop Tours

Hawaiian Quilt Exhibit: Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

According to Wikipedia:

A Hawaiian quilt is a distinctive quilting style of the Hawaiian Islands that uses large radially symmetric applique patterns. Motifs often work stylized botanical designs in bold colors on a white background.

Hawaiian quilt applique is made from a single cut on folded fabric.Quilting stitches normally follow the contours of the applique design

The other day I paid a visit to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado for the first time, and saw an incredible exhibit of Hawaiian Quilts.

Most of the quilts were from the 1930s and 1940s but there were several from the late 1800s.


Here are photos of many of the quilts in the exhibit. Most of them were Queen-bed sized, though a several appeared to be King-sized bed quilts and there were several wallhanging sized pieces.


The quilts were absolutely amazing!

After wandering around the exhibit, I stopped in the gift shop which was also a miniature quilt shop.


While browsing the gift shop, I discovered this book – an exhibition catalog for the show Rooted in Tradition: Art Quilts from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.


I ended up buying the book as not only did it contain amazing art quilts and profiles of quilters, but there were also at least three renown quilters in it that I’ve met and admired for a while:

  • Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi
  • Ed Johnetta Miller
  • Wendy Hill

I am so lucky in my art quilting journey so far I’ve had such fortunate brushes with greatness and inspirational talent in the quilting medium!

If you are a quilter, or someone who loves quilts, if you happen to be in the Denver area, I highly recommend a visit to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum!


25 thoughts on “Hawaiian Quilt Exhibit: Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum”

  1. Interesting trip to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum; thanks for all those beautiful examples of Hawaiian quilts. I have utmost respect for the expertise to do those. You said you bought a book at the museum; I’m sure you will enjoy it. I’m just curious about something. I should have the paperwork on this but don’t. Sometime in the 1990s I got a request from SOMEONE at SOME museum in Colorado–asking to display my Campfire quilt in an exhibit she was curating about scenes settlers would have seen on the Oregon Trail going westward. She saw the picture of this quilt on my website and contacted me. After making inquiries to determine the request was legitimate and my quilt would be safe, I did send it and it did come home to me. It was quite an honor knowing the quilt was on exhibit and enjoyed by travelers to the museum. But I can’t find any documentation in my files and have not pursued the matter further. So, just in case it was at the RMQM and is mentioned in the book you bought, I wanted you to know about it! I’ll see if I can locate a picture for you. It’s about 22-23″. I do find in my database that I won a 2nd place ribbon and $50 in our South Mississippi Art Association show for it. So the 1990s probably should have been early 2000s. This can be filed under “strangest email I got today.”


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Well it did not show up on e-mail Martha – just on the blog comments, so no strange e-mail – ha! You might want to e-mail directly next time on this type of situation 🙂 Congrats on the ribbon you won!


  2. I d not particularly like Hawaiian quilts but these are amazing. I’m glad you have this museum in your new backyard. Sounds like will be calling your name for more visits.


  3. Large Hawaiian quilts are not the easiest applique to accomplish! I have patterns and have not attempted one yet! A 40″ x 40″ would be my limit. I have done a 2 Color one. Fun!
    I love the American Flag quilt! What a novel way to show off our wonderful Flag!


  4. These quilts are stunning! I was not aware of this museum but will definitely keep it on my list of places to go! I think your creativity will flourish in Colorado, so much inspiration in places like this AND surrounding the Denver area.


  5. Hawaiian quilts have long been a favorite of mine.  The bold colors, designs and mostly botanical representations are just stunning!  We visit the Hawaiian Quilt Museum in Lihue during our trips to Kauai.  A true highlight🌴🌴🌴

    ⁣Sent from BlueMail ​


  6. Such fun, browsing photos! I envy your proximity to that museum! It is one I’ve not gotten to yet. I love looking at Hawaiian quilts, but only have tried the technique in a pillow.


  7. What amazing quilts! I love Hawaiian quilting, and there is Tahitian quilting that is similar, but there are marked differences. A woman I knew in Phoenix did Tahitian and it was beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing these amazing beauties. Great pictures you took!


  8. Stunning quilts. I especially like the yellow one, where the coconut palm trees merge to become, as I see it, a hibiscus. I also find it interesting that artists from tropical areas tend to use much brighter colours than those of us further away.

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  9. I’ve only come across Hawaiian quilts in Hawaii (go figure). I can’t say they’re my favorite, but I can fully appreciate the work that goes into them. Still, I always wonder how quilting became popular enough to develop its own style in a place where you hardly even need a single bedsheet at night!

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  10. Oh wow, these are incredible! I’d never seen this style of quilting before, and it’s fascinating – the precision you’d need to place the appliqué correctly must be off the charts! You’re so lucky to have this great museum close by, enjoy it!

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