Hawaiian quilts are unique to the world, a birth of beauty from the blending of Hawaiian and American tradition and culture. Tapa cloth, made from bark of the Wauke tree, was the only cloth available to the early Hawaiians. Making this cloth was an intricate part of Hawaiian culture. It took many days of hard work for the Hawaiian women to make and design tapa, which was stacked to make bedding.The first recorded introduction of quilting to Hawaii was in 1820 when the first missionaries arrived in Hawaii. A group of royal Hawaiian ladies sat on the deck of the sailing ship Thadeus, dressed only in wrapped tapa, where missionary ladies gently showed the art of quilting. The very creative and innovative Hawaiians soon developed a unique quilting style which closely reflected their own culture and traditions, giving birth to the beautiful, more intricate Hawaiian quilt.Hawaiian quilting patterns traditionally reflect objects of nature or everyday household items that evoke the memory of loved ones. Things such as Plumeria blossoms, hair combs worn by Princess Kaiulani, or a Ginger lei. In general, Hawaiian quilt patterns do not use humans or animals in their designs.Hawaiian families treasure their quilts as possessions of great significance. It was traditional for a new quilt to be made for a bride or as a present for a new grandchild. The Hawaiian quilt symbolizes an attachment and a love for Hawaii shared by people throughout the world.