Note: Hale Pai is no longer being published. These archives of passed issues will remain available as long as there is interest. - Courtesy of San Jose Web


Hale Pai
Pacific American-News Journal

Iulai-July 1996 Volume 2 Issue 7

 Kapa History

by Kalina Johnson

Last year, after a lecture that I had given for The Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County, I met a young woman who offered me a very special treasure....She told me about how several years previous, an older woman had donated a box of old Kapa Patterns to the Guild and that they were quite old and done on newspaper. I was thrilled! Several months went by and when the box arrived and I opened it up, I was in total amazement. The box contained a smaller box inside, tattered with age. When I opened it up, I saw folded newsprint, brittle and yellowed with age. The headlines were of The Honolulu Star-Bulletin...dated 1933 and 1934! Kapa patterns had been scrawled on the backs as well as folded up inside cut of muslin and butcher patterns in all. Because the paper was so fragile, I hesitated opening the folded newspapers up, but I saw articles that spoke about President Roosevelt who would be going to Kona for a deep sea fishing trip... May West and Clark Gable Movie advertisements...lace up bra & girdle ad... an apartment in downtown Honolulu for $43 per month... Hitler was just beginning his reign of terror... Will Rogers articles and so on.

I could Almost feel the presence of the woman who so tenderly traced and lovingly kept those patterns for all those years. It was a wonderful gift to me but one I could not keep to myself...their rightful home was Hawaii, where they could be preserved and appreciated by all. I contacted The Mission House Museum in Hawaii, and sent 4 of the Kapa patterns to them, as well as Kauai Museum, where I sent the other three. They were delighted, and promised to send back the copies of the Kapa patterns so that I could share them all with you. Elizabeth Akana in coordination with the Hawaii Quilt Research Project, in Hawaii, was in the process of determining the origin of the patterns if possible and hopefully get to know more of their history. What a treasure indeed, and again, my heart felt thanks to the Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County in Concord for thoughtfulness in donating them to me... my words cannot express my feelings. I'll keep you informed as more develops and hopefully I'll hear from The Mission House and Kauai museum soon. I get "chicken skin" just thinking about it.

If you would like to receive more information on Hawaiian Quilting on the Mainland, or to receive The Hawaiian Quilting Club Newsletter, write to Kalina Johnson, 1341 West Monache Ave, Porterville, Ca 93257 PH: (209) 784-6147

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Copyright 1996 Hale Pai Pacific American-News Journal
Last modified: February 28, 1998

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