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Red Ginger: The Birth of A Quillo

Quillos have given me an outlet to create art. I’ve alway been creative in some form or another, but never considered myself as an artist. When I started making quillos, something opened inside of me. I was like a kid in a candy store. When I look into the sea of fabric in front of me, I see a canvas of colors for my quillos. Each quillo is a reflection of my experience. When I make art, I feel alive. I cannot stop. I transform this creative energy into each quillo in order to share a healing power through Quiloha, spreading Aloha one quillo at a time.

This quillo was inspired by the flowers and plants blooming in Hawaii...bougainvillea, red ginger and the the red Ti plant. Notice the repeating spiral patterns, the mimicry of the leaves, and the way the colors compliment each other. All of these elements contribute to the ‘birth of a quillo.’

Once I have selected the quillo fabric, I choose complementary thread and then decide on the placement of the fabric. As I work, the process becomes more organic and the design may change. I ‘listen’ to the fabric as I feel it during the washing, ironing, pinning and sewing process. We become intimate friends. Sometimes “The Muse” inverts the pocket fabrics in a way that turns out better than I planned it!

The creation of the quillo is a meditation. Oftentimes, I focus my thoughts on the particular recipient and send healing energy into every thread that I sew. My husband calls them Maui Medicine Blankets. During this process, I enter the well of creativity. My Muse, myself and the creativity of the universe join forces to give birth to a new life.

Many of the fabrics that I use in making a quillo are Batiks. Maybe it is reminiscent of my college days when I hung cotton tapestries from India on the wall for decoration. I am really drawn to the color and the designs. Batiks compliment the Hawaiian flower and plant fabrics very nicely. Batiks tend to bleed and therefore it is critical to wash the fabric to get rid of excess dye. Many people use different products but I use good old fashioned white vinegar.

The final step in the quillo process is ironing. This allows you to go over the entire piece with a fine tooth comb. It is also when I give the quillo its name. This quillo will be named Red Ginger after the flowers that inspired her. It is during the ironing process that the once lowly quillo is transformed into a Maui Medicine blanket through the transfer of creative, healing energy. Quillos are born to heal those who receive them.

The combination of the batik leaves and paisley design invoke the symbolism of the oneness of Mother Nature in our lives. Paisley represents the totality of life within a single drop -- fertility, creation, abundance, all of what is necessary to bring something into being. A quillo is born!

The Red Ginger Quillo was part of my 7 Days of Social Media Project Giveaway. I am delighted to announce the winner: Pamela Turner!!

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