Beyond Hawaii


  • 18 fabric squares each no smaller than 7½ x 7½ inches. These should be an equal number of light and dark fabrics to be used in six groups of three squares (two dark and one light or two light and one dark).
  • If you wish to make the blocks larger or use just two contracting fabrics you will need ½ meter of each fabric.
  • 6 squares of “Visofix” or similar bonding material (eg Bondaweb) 7½ x 7½ inches.
  • A range of threads to match the fabrics
  • Sewing machine with an open toed foot
  • Sharp pointed scissors to cut fabric
  • Paper scissors
  • Marking pencil
  • Three hair clips
  • General sewing supplies

Finished Size

The finished blocks measure 7 x 7 inches.

Skill Level


You can download a pdf copy of the original instructions for this project here, Beyond Hawaii

This is a quick and easy methods to create traditional Hawaiian style quilt designs using your sewing machine.
It is basically fusible appliqué with a slight twist. Blocks are made in pairs, (positive and negative), with little or no waste of fabric. The blocks can be used in a quilt, wall hanging or bag etc.
Hoffman fabrics “Bali Watercolours” were used in the quilt but there are many alternatives on the market.

Preparing the fabric

Select three fabric squares of equal size, two lights and one dark or two darks and one light.
Cut a square of “Visofix” or similar heat bonding material and fuse it to the wrong side of the single fabric piece. Allow this to cool before removing the backing paper.
After removing the backing paper, carefully fold the square into four with the right sides inside. Fold along the diagonal from the centre to the outside corners to create a triangle with eight thicknesses of fabric. Hold in place with spring clips. (Do not use pins)
Folding the square
Figure 1: Folding the square

Preparing the design

Select the design from the pattern sheet you wish to use and carefully cut the paper pattern along the outer line.
Place the pattern onto the folded fabric, making sure that the centre of the fabric and the centre point of the design are together.
Secure the paper pattern by repositioning the clips so that they hold the pattern in place.
Carefully draw around the outer edge of the pattern onto the fabric. Use a contrasting pencil so that the line is clear.
Preparing the design
Figure 2: Preparing the design

Cutting the fabric

Cut along the marked line through all eight thicknesses. Use the clips to hold the fabric in place whilst you cut.
Remember to cut only along the lines because you will be using both pieces of fabric in your blocks.
Unfold both pieces of fabric as shown below to give positive and negative designs.
Cutting the fabric Postive and Negative shapes
Figure 3: Cutting the fabric
Figure 4: Postive and Negative shapes

Fusing the fabric to create the blocks

Fusing the fabric Fusing the fabric
Figure 5: Fusing the fabric
Place the two contrasting fabric squares, right side up on the ironing board.
Carefully position the two design pieces right side up, one on each square, so that they are centred on the contrasting squares. It’s a good idea to mark the centre of the two fabric squares to help when positioning the design pieces.
Using a hot iron, fuse the design pieces to the fabric squares taking care to keep them in the set position.

Stitching the blocks

Stitching the blocks
Figure 6: Stitching the blocks
Choose a thread to match the design fabric. Attach an open toe foot to your sewing machine and select a fine blanket stitch. Stitch length and width approximately 2 mm.
Carefully stitch around the cut edge of the design fabric on both blocks making sure that the horizontal stitch swings into the design fabric and not the base fabric.
You can use your blocks in any way you wish. For example in cushions, bags or a small quilt

Published with kind permission from Brenda Dean. © Quilters Pty. Ltd. 2009. More lovely patterns available from