The time-honored tradition of Hawaiian quilt making has deep roots here in Hawaiʻi, as treasured family heirlooms. Whether you grew up with one in your
ʻohana or admired them from afar, these keepsakes are a recognizable art form mastered by few but appreciated by all. Though we did not grow up with a Hawaiian quilt in our childhood home, we had a deep respect and appreciation for them and dreamed of one day creating a modern Hawaiian quilt created specifically with baby in mind.
In fact, it was this very idea that sparked the idea for Coco Moon over four years ago. It was the first idea and design inspiration we dreamed of and though we knew the vision could be a great one, we took careful time to find the perfect
person to help us bring it to life. We knew that in order to approach the concept with genuine respect and aloha, Coco Moon needed to partner with a master quilter who could guide us with knowledge and firsthand experience.
Enter master quilter Patricia Lei-Murray, who has been stitching stories into nuanced textiles for over 30 years. She has authored 2 books on the art of Hawaiian quilting, taught countless workshops and has created over 125 quilts for the likes of local families, quilt aficionados and even sentimental pieces like the Hawaiian flag quilt dedicated to Queen Liliʻuokalani which hangs in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
While her talent for traditional quilting is revered, we faced the unique challenge in partnership with Patricia on how we could adapt this traditional aesthetic into a contemporary application. It was a daunting notion for a master of this tactile skill to translate her visual design into a graphic vision which was then interpreted by our talented graphic designer Cassandra. Due to the nature of what we were creating as a keiki blanket for growing families, Patricia chose the traditional ʻulu or breadfruit to be the focus of the print.
In Hawaiian language, ʻulu can also mean growth and abundance, and is often a foundational print for beginning quilters. For these reasons, we knew that the symbolic nature of the visual, itʻs cultural significance as well as the sentiment for families who welcome it into their home would make it a profound print for this blanket. Each printed stitch and texture of breadfruit was thoughtfully designed by Patricia in homage to the Hawaiian quilt tradition utilizing the modern method of graphic design. And true to our Coco Moon commitment to quality, it is artfully printed on 8 layers of our signature, butter-soft bamboo fabric to give it that perfect, snuggly feel.
We are so grateful to Patricia for her impeccable design eye and for generously sharing her knowledge with us to navigate the process of creating such a sentimental piece. It is an honor to have worked with such a master to innovate the tradition of Hawaiian quilting with a contemporary application and to give it that baby soft feel of childhood that makes keiki blankets such a novelty to be treasured for generations to come.
Learn more about Patricia's impeccable design eye and the inspiration behind 'Ulu Nani from our exclusive interview with the designer. Click HERE to watch the full video on YouTube!