Saturday, October 5, 2013

Caohagan Quilts - More from AQS QuiltWeek

Special exhibit program cover - click to enlarge...
It is always wonderful when a learning experience presents itself in an unexpected way...Wednesday, when I visited the AQS QuiltWeek show in Des Moines, not only was I inspired, but I was educated along the way. "Celebrating Quilts the Caohagan Way" was one of the special exhibits at the show - and these beautiful and bright quilts were quite a treat to see in person.

After viewing my photographs from the show and looking through the show book, I decided I wanted to do a little reading and research on Caohagan and these colorful island quilts....there was just something special and inviting about these one-of-a-kind quilts and I needed to know more...

Caohagan is an extremely small island in the Philippines located between Cebu and Bohol - it is just over 31 square miles and is home to 600 people - it is known for it's scenic beaches and amazing marine life. Katsuhiko Sakiyama purchased the island in 1987, and settled there with his wife 1991.  His wife Junko taught quilting in Japan, so it was no surprise when she decided to teach the women from Caohagan about the craft of handwork. Caohagan is a quiet village whose main source of income has always been fishing; however, today the residents are earning bigger profits from the art of quilting - as the men thrive on the bounty of the sea, the women (and some men) are stitching quilts.

Today more than 120 of the island's 600 residents are quilters...and their earnings make up 1/3 of the island's total income. Proceeds from quilt sales help support the needs of the island residents, with focus on healthcare ad education. Caohagan quilts are handmade and individually created without any rough sketches or planning. Using vivid colors and island images, each artisan cuts and sews to create pieces/blocks for their quilt. Each quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted and takes from three to four months to complete...and each one is completely unique.

Here are just a few of the cheerful quilts on display...each quilt had a tag with details and a photo of the creator(s)...

Image from show program - click to enlarge...
Caohagan Quilts has a website with quilts available for purchase that contains wonderful photographs of each masterpiece - visit: a look at these bright, beautiful, and creative quilts - they just might inspire you too!


  1. What lovely quilts, I sure hope to learn to quilt when I retire next year.
    Thank-you for sharing the pictures and web site on purchasing the quilts.


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