First quilt museum in the state opens in Kona

  • Wahine Warning, a quilt by Phyllis Cullen is displayed in the Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum and Gallery.

  • Right: The quilt Manta Ray Bay is displayed at the Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum and Gallery.

  • Karen Barry stands by a quilt displayed at the grand opening of the Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum and Gallery on Saturday. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Above: Inspired by news reports, Catherine Wynne’s quilt “Tutu Pele Cleans out the Garage” shows the depiction of cows, busses, refrigerators and boulders exploding from the volcano at the Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum and Gallery. (Photos by Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Louise Wagner, left and Barbie Koncher admire quilts displayed at the grand opening of Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum and Gallery on Saturday. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Nicole Lui blesses the Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum and Gallery at Saturdays Grand Opening.

KAILUA-KONA — The only Hawaiian quilt museum in the state opened with a blessing Saturday morning at Hanama Place.

Museum founder Karen Barry started with the concept of a museum in 2016, obtaining nonprofit 501(c)(3) status and opening the Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum and Gallery, displaying nearly 60 Hawaiian quilts, some more than 100 years old.

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“People were extremely generous,” Barry said of the quilts displayed. “They were bringing in quilts that had been stored in their attic for years.”

Barry went on to say that even though Hawaiian quilts have been displayed in museums across the state, this is the first museum dedicated to Hawaiian quilts.

In addition to historical quilts on display, there are pieces available for sale. Barry promises an ever-changing exhibit as well as a home for traveling quilt shows, popular on the mainland.

There are activities and scavenger hunts for the keiki, making the museum a family-friendly destination.

The museum will be offering an outreach program with schools, teaching the art and historical significance of Hawaiian quilting. Volunteers are needed to teach these programs, as well as staff the museum.

Barry summed it up by saying, “Our main mission is to tell the story of Hawaiian Quilting.”

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The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information visit www.konahqm.org or call 331-2958.