Monday, July 30, 2007

Lauhala Hat--Fabric Postcard

(Lauhala Hat, Fabric Postcard, 4" x 6")

This will be donated to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. It is a photograph of a lauhala (dried leaves from the Hala tree) hat that was transferred to fabric. My mother wove this hat for me in 1998. The brim of the hat is encircled by a lei made of numerous mini roses my mother crafted from t-leaves, the green leaves from which hula skirts are made. The postcard is machine quilted and embellished with a wooden button that reads "Home Sweet Home."

Hala or Pandanus tree

Dried lauhala are woven into many items including floor mats, hats, bracelets and baskets.

As a young girl, my mother helped supplement their family income by weaving hats for the sugar plantation workers on the island of Hawaii. She also wove coffee baskets for the local coffee pickers in Kona, Hawaii. These coffee baskets were bound to the coffee pickers waists with an adjustable belt, which helped the workers quickly pick the ripe coffee using both hands and conveniently drop them into their baskets. When their baskets were full, they would empty them into 100-pound bags. At that time, a picker earned $2.25 for each 100-pound bag. The average picker was able to pick four to six bags a day.

When I was a young girl, I wore one of these coffee baskets my mother wove for me, and like my mom, I helped supplement my family's income during the summers. However, the colorful red and blue birds and friendly butterflies flying around the coffee trees often lured me into playing. The coffee trees were also home to brown lizards, about three to four inches in length. One day while playing among the trees, one of these lizards fell onto my head, and I tried my best to dance it off my head because I did not want to touch it. My mother quietly watched my frenzied, panic-stricken dance, and when it was over, all she said was, "Where's your hat?" Fun memories of "Home, Sweet Home."


Ku'ulei said...

Yea! I love the story too. Nice posts mom. =D

Fannie said...

Thanks, Ku'ulei. I no like lizards. :B

su said...

I have a similar just doesn't come with such an interesting story!!! Love the postcard....and my little ATC . Did you get my PM? thanks again, fannie!

Fannie said...

Hi, Su,

Thanks for your comments. You make me feel special!

I went to ST and got your message. Thanks, Su!

Are you participating in the next ATC project?