Paulette Meldrum – Nature – Nikau

The Nikau Palm is the only palm species endemic to mainland New Zealand.  The Nikau grows to 15 m tall, with a stout trunk which bears leaf scars  Nikau is a Maori word; in the closely related Eastern Polynesian languages of the tropical Pacific, it refers to the fronds or the midrib of the coconut palm.

My inspiration was a photo taken on a recent walk through the Nikau Reserve not far from home.


The fabric is totally my own hand dyed fabric, with the exception of the backing fabric.   I  pencilled the palms onto the background fabric, and then stitched in the fronds with different colours, before adding the fabric fronds in front with fusible web.  Some were hand painted on to white fabric, as was the trunk of the middle palm.  The other ferns and vegetation were adhered in the same manner before quilting.  I was delighted to find that I had what appeared to be a ray of light from the top of the quilt, and this was enhanced with paler thread. The tiny berries were inked on with a red fabric pen.  The berries are a preferred food of the Kereru, the native wood pigeon.

The backing fabric, a NZ feature fabric, was used in a quilt challenge many years ago.  I thought it was just the right fabric to back this quilt.

Paulette 1


Close up view:





Backing fabric:


  1. A big wow for the back ing ,,a quilt with a prehistoric feel to it ,lovely !

  2. marginmirror

    Living in a corner of the northern hemisphere almost diametrically opposite NZ, I am fascinated not only by the subject matter but by your interpretation…and I love the light beam in the centre. as if the Creator was adding blessing to your piece!

  3. You really “captured” the beauty of the palms.

  4. I too like the way you have created the palms, with the light flowing through. Diana

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