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Sew & Sew Retreats are purposeful getaways that are aimed at

rescuing you from your everyday routine and whisking you off to an

exceptional location to bask in the happiness you find in creating with textiles.

All levels of experience will enjoy the workshops, from beginners to advanced!

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Hawaiian Quilting with Poakalani & Co.

We will learn Hawaiian quilting and feel the spirit of Aloha that is found throughout the islands of Hawaii.

Althea POAKALANI Serrao, January 18, 1935 – February 2, 2012, was born with only one hand. She was raised by her grandmother Caroline “Tutu” Correa. Tutu was a master quilter and held many quilting circles in her home and shared her Hawaiian quilt patterns. After watching her grandmother in her quilting circles Poakalani wanted to learn too but her grandmother would not allow it thinking that she would hurt herself with the needles. In 1972, four years after her grandmother had passed away, Poakalani looked at the quilt patterns she inherited from her grandmother. Her hope was to start her own quilt remembering the lessons her grandmother taught. Poakalani and her husband John Serrao viewed the quilt patterns and realized they were all for large quilts. They believed it would be easier to learn on a smaller size, so they decided to create a smaller cushion pattern that conformed to the traditional and cultural aspects of old Hawaii. John created 30 cushion patterns and Poakalani began to sew. She found, to her great pleasure, that even with only one hand she could do what others did – applique and quilt with the skill of an accomplished quilter.

John became Hawaii’s top quilt designer. He designed well over 1,000 quilt patterns. His designs can be see locally but also worldwide. John became a Hawaiian quilt consultant, historian and cultural artist. John’s designs are based on Hawaiian floral, culture and history.

Over the next 35 years Poakalani and John conducted workshops, seminars and quilt exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally. They became instrumental in helping countless others in trying their hand at Hawaiian quilting. Today, their daughters Cissy and Rae continue the tradition and offer quilting classes every Saturday in Honolulu. We will be having our workshop with them!

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Poakalani expressed her feeling about teaching the art of Hawaiian quilting, stating that "the art should be taught to all who were interested whether they are Hawaiian or at least Hawaiian at heart."

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Jane Sassaman

Nature is an endless source of inspiration – especially on the lush islands of Hawaii!

Abstracting from Nature Workshop

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In this workshop we will examine a wide variety of artists’ interpretations of nature before beginning to manipulate natural forms ourselves. Through a series of exercises we will experiment with abstraction and exaggeration to capture the essence and energy of your favorite flora to achieve dramatic visual effects. We will then translate these ideas with fabric during the workshop.


You may want to consider Hawaiian foliage – orchid, plumeria, palm, jasmine, hibiscus and bird-of-paradise are just a few to consider.

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After a varied career in the design world, Jane began to quilt in 1980. She found that these “soft paintings” satisfied the draftsman, the craftsman and the artist in her.  Consequently, she is now a dedicated, some say “obsessed,” quilt artist and fabric designer. Her art quilts have been shown in many national and international exhibits, including Quilt National 1989 through 2005 and Contemporary American Quilts, the first major exhibit of American art quilts in England. Her quilt Willow was named as One of the One Hundred Best American Quilts of the Century.

Jane is also the author of The Quilted Garden. The book includes twenty years of her work and exercises for making nature-inspired quilts. Jane’s love for historic decorative arts can be seen in all facets of her work, but it is especially evident in the exuberant fabric she is currently designing for FreeSpirit. Her designs are oversized and colorful. They are created for quilts, wearables and home decorating. Her latest book, Patchwork Sassaman Style, beautifully illustrates her fabric “in action.”

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Honu Sea
Turtle & Wave

The art of
sashiko and appliqué!

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Turtles are symbols of good luck and long life in many cultures. In Hawaii they are considered family protectors and the embodiment of ancestors called ‘aumakua. The wave pattern is a traditional Japanese Kamon design. The waves are appliquéd and hand stitched sashiko outlines the waves.

The local quilt shop in Kona - Quilt Passions, will hold a workshop for us using a kit that includes design, transfer instructions, select fabrics, appliqué ideas, sashiko how-to's and finishing techniques. 

Sew & Sew Retreats brings together people with a similar interest and then offers the opportunity to spend memorable moments creating, learning, exploring, relaxing and laughing with like-minded people. I hope you will join us!

Sew and Sew Retreats, LLC

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