Daisy Fujimoto shares life lessons and the art of Hawaiian quilting

Try quilting with her on Tuesdays at Royal Hawaiian Center

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Daisy Fujimoto is a country girl, born and raised in Kaʻū on Hawaii Island. Today, she lives on Oahu and teaches the art of quilting at Royal Hawaiian Center every Tuesday.

“I’ve been quilting my whole life and learned from my mother — who learned from her mother and so forth,” she explains. “I share about Hawaiian quilting with people from all over the world. Sometimes visitors come back again and again, so they quilt more things.”

Fujimoto says a mother and her daughters from Japan come for lessons every so often. The last time they were here, each of them was finishing a baby blanket.

“Quilting takes time and patience, especially if you want your end product to look beautiful. It’s handmade, so you need to be mindful of what you are doing,” Fujimoto explains. “Your mind has to be on your work, or it will show in your stitching. In this way, it’s good for building concentration.”

She says quilting is easy if you take your time. Otherwise, you may have to go back and undo a lot of your stitches. As you age, Fujimoto believes quilting helps to keep your fine motor skills going.

“You’ll work on a section and then look at it and say, ‘Oh my gosh, my line is crooked!’ Then you’ll have to undo it and start again. Your eyes and hands need time to develop these fine skills,” she says. “I share art and a skill. You can pass down something beautiful to your moʻopuna, like a quilted blanket, and you can pass down how to make something beautiful.”

Fujimoto believes that in life, you have to have the right attitude in anything you do.

“Happiness is a choice, so be happy. When something no go your way, take a breath and choose to be happy,” she says. “Get plenty things to be happy about.”

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