A Love Of Quilting Has Guild In Stitches

Members of the Kaua’i Quilt Guild, going strong after 10 years, say they’re in it for the fun, as well as learning from one another

Kaua’i Quilt Guild celebrated its 10th anniversary in June. The group has been going strong for more than a decade thanks to founder Linda Kobayashi’s continued service and dedication to the creative craft circle.

“I love quilting. For me, it’s the sharing of knowledge,” she says, when asked why she started the group in 2003.

In fact, the whole purpose of the guild’s monthly gatherings is to exchange quilting ideas as well as learn new patterns and techniques as a class.

“We have fun. That’s the object,” says Kobayashi. “Don’t take it seriously; then you’re not going to enjoy yourself.”

The meetings always are accompanied by a class, and beginners to advanced-level quilters of all ages are welcome to attend. There currently are some 60 members with approximately 20 to 30 people who meet on the second Sunday of each month at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School. The quilting students learn how to fashion new styles such as landscapes and various popular designs, and they leave with a finished block.

“And if you’re really conscientious and good, you’ll finish the quilt and bring it to the next meeting,” says Kobayashi.

Jenny Conley has been a member of the guild since its inception and has enjoyed the art of quilting since the 1990s.

“I get to be creative,” says Conley, who will serve as the club’s new president.

The Kilauea resident journeys to Lihue once a month to participate in the meetings, as she appreciates the classroom setting the guild provides.

“You actually come home with something,” she says.

Conley is looking forward to taking the reins of Kaua’i Quilt Guild and is thankful for Kobayashi’s continued guidance.

“We’re very lucky,” she says. “We’re very blessed that we have her.”

Kobayashi also has a long-term relationship with fabric, as she is a former employee of Vicky’s Fabrics and Kapaia Stitchery. She eventually turned to quilting. Community members began taking notice of her sewing skills many years ago and inquired about quilting classes. Kobayashi realized there was a need for a group in the Lihue and Kapaa district in particular, and so she founded the organization. Now, folks from around the island attend classes that are not only taught by Kaua’i teachers, but by quilters off-island who regularly fly in to coach, as well.

In addition to finding time to organize the group, Kobayashi also is responsible for Kaua’i Quilt Guild’s regular donations to various nonprofits, such as Child Protective Services and the YWCA’s women’s shelter. The group recently donated 50 quilts to Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital to brighten up their rooms.

“Once you make one, that’s it, you’re hooked,” says guild member Cobina Pimental, who made her first quilt many years ago for family members and has stitched hundreds since.

“You are proud of yourself,” she says of her finished products.

“It’s just really nice once a month to get together with all these good women,” says Conley, regarding why she’s a longstanding member.

Kobayashi is proud to be the one to bring people together for a crafty common cause.

“I know that when we do leave this earth there is going to be a bunch of good quilters,” she jokes.

To join or for more information, call Conley at 828-1541.