When we were in California last week for IQF/Long Beach show, we stayed with Margaret's brother Bill and his wife Susie. They have the most beautiful home in Huntington Beach near the ocean. Susie is such a gracious host and talented decorator that we felt very spoiled by their hospitality.
Many years ago, Bill served an LDS mission to Tahiti. While he was there, he was so beloved that several of the families showered him with gifts, including "Tifaifai" or Tahitian bed quilts.
Susie and Ricci
We each had Tifaifai on our beds. Susie also brought out more that she keeps in her linen closet.
Tifaifai are handmade, and usually crafted from the traditional designs of the island.
Most are made by the matriarchs of "mammas".
They love to use brightly colored fabrics with themes that might include Tahitian Floral motifs such as "Uru" (breadfruit), palm leaves, and ocean life.
Tifaifai is often made with large bold overall designs, and has been around for over 200 years.
Early Christian missionaries taught the Tahitian women the art of quilting.
The style is different than Hawaiian quilting because they do not pad with batting. They have an appliqued pieced front, backed with a complementary colored cloth.
They are lightweight, easy to wash and considered more practical.
The bedsheets are perfect for Tahiti's warm weather.
You can see the stitching on the back shows the beautiful hand applique work.
I tried to get an up close shot of the perfect stitches, and although this isn't the best photograph, you can get the general idea of how well these quilts are made.
Thank you again Susie for welcoming us into your home, and for the delight of being able to sleep under an authentic Tifaifai.