Wednesday | November 22, 2017
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Annual Hawaiian quilt show to be held Saturday

The 20th biennial Hawaiian Quilt Show is happening this coming weekend as part of the annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival.

For 40 years, the Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea has been gathering members in friendly fellowship and to preserve, perpetuate and encourage the art and culture of Hawaii through Hawaiian quilting.

These were the essential objectives for the formation of the Hawaiian quilt club in 1972.

What they really do is gather, have fun, get some quilting done, wala‘au, enjoy some potluck and spend time together. On festival days, they teach and encourage and spread good cheer and some techniques with those who want to learn; and each year after these “learn-hows,” they gain a few new members.

Over time, the membership core waxes and wanes. Only two of the founding members remain, but the club now has 41 active members, a lovely group of ladies and gentlemen.

Yes, there are male quilters.

This year’s 20th biennial Hawaiian Quilt Show will honor the memory of one of them, Kimo Balai. Kimo came to quilting through his talented wife, Sharon, whose graphic designs are well-known and loved.

Kimo loved life and with his curiosity and talent, turned to designing and then executing his own quilts. He had his own take on what he chose as subjects. One he chose to do required some research into the design patterns that were used on old Hawaiian quilts. Kimo designed a whole cloth quilt with no applique, just the quilting patterns in blocks across the whole yellow quilt.

This was quite an accomplishment and many of us learned of these old patterns and their Hawaiian names from that quilt. Asking Sharon to design for him, Kimo also finished a stunning swordfish quilt called Hana Pa‘a and a Hawaiian flag quilt that was donated to Kamehameha Schools.

We miss this talented quilter and want to honor his legacy. The quilt show will be in the Kahilu Community Hall across from Kahilu Theater on Saturday, Feb. 2. Kimo’s “Quilt of Many Quilting Patterns” will be on display. Please come to see it.

There will also be a free learn-how area where you can try your hand at Hawaiian quilting. For more experienced quilters, you can do a pattern tracing of selected patterns from our collection for a small fee. A Vendor’s Makeke (Market) will offer arts and crafts for sale. The quilt show will be open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.


Another favorite activity is also on the hana hou calendar for February: Braddah Smitty’s eighth annual Laupahoehoe Music Festival on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Malama Hawaii Nei presents the music fest to raise scholarship money for graduating Laupahoehoe-area seniors and to fund community projects. Organized in 2005 under the foresight of Laupahoehoe musician Braddah Smitty, the nonprofit Malama Hawaii Nei has awarded nearly $27,000 in scholarships to date. Under the current plan, every student who applies receives a scholarship.

This year’s Hawaiian-style event features some of Hawaii Island’s best music and hula entertainers and will be held at Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park, noted for its sacred and natural beauty. The point was a regular stopover for Kamehameha the Great in his canoe voyaging conquest of the islands.

Malama Hawaii Nei has partnered this year with nonprofit Hui Kaka‘o O Laupahoehoe, a nonprofit organization independent of Laupahoehoe Community Charter School, but with a mission of supporting the school and community. The auxiliary group will be holding a silent auction at the gym building to raise money to purchase new hybrid buses for the school.

Honoring founder Braddah Smitty, who passed away last year, will be performances by hula groups Halau O Mailelaulani and Halau O Ke Anuenue and music by the Laupahoehoe School Ukulele Band, Times 5, Darlene Ahuna, The Lim Family, Mark Yamanaka, Kainanai Kahounaele, Ho‘onanea, Kanakapila and Ira and Manny Varize. The event will be emceed by Tommy “Kahikina” Ching and Penny Vredenburg.

Tickets are available in advance for $12 at Hilo Guitars and Ukuleles and Music Exchange in Hilo, ’50s Highway Fountain and Sakado Store in Laupahoehoe, Hilo Shark’s Coffee in Honomu, Taro Patch in Honokaa, Music Exchange in Waimea and in Kona at Music Exchange. Cost is $15 at the gate. Age 10 and under will be admitted for free.

Thanks to event sponsors, who include Pacific Media Group (KAPA radio), Walter Electric, C&A Generator, Poncho’s Solar Service, C&A Generator Service, Hawaii Johns and the Laupahoehoe Train Museum. Ono grinds, crafts and drinks will be available on site. No coolers please. This is an alcohol- and drug-free event. For more info and updates, visit the website at


The North Hawaii Education & Research Center will be holding a free lecture on the “Archeology of Beachcombing.” Deacon Ritterbush, aka Dr. Beachcomb, will offer people a new way to wander a shoreline.

Learning the context of a stretch of shoreline (its history, ecology, geology and cultural influences) adds fascinating new dimensions to the beachcomb experience. His presentation will be at the Waikoloa Village Association Community Room on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 6:30 p.m. To RSVP for this event, or to learn about other Lifelong Learning opportunities, please call NHERC at 775-8890 or email the program coordinator at

Carol Yurth’s column is published every Sunday and spotlights activities on the Hilo-Hamakua coast. She welcomes items for her column. Reach her by mail (46-1250 Kalehua Road, Honokaa HI 96727) at least 10 days before the requested publication date, call her at 775-7101, or e-mail


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