18 in x 18 in x 0.25 in

US Hawaiian Quilt: "'Ulu" Design

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North America

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‘Ulu translates to breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis). The breadfruit serves many functions. It is used for shade, food (the fruit when cooked tastes something like sweet potato), wooden objects and is a significant design source for Hawaiian quilting. In reference to the beginnings of Hawaiian quilting, one often hears the story of a woman who upon seeing the shadow of breadfruit leaves cast upon a sheet, traced the outlines, cut it out, and appliquéd the pattern to a plain backing. It is believed that from this prototype, the bold, vegetative Hawaiian quilt designs flourished. It is also told that if the first quilt one makes is of the ‘ulu pattern, one’s talents will be abundant.