Free Pattern: AUNT DINAH

March 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm 8 comments



UPDATE:  I lost some of the printed directions for shaded four-patches during the upload. If you printed this pattern before March 21, please reprint the corrected version below. So sorry for the inconvenience!

As promised in our last post, DENYING DINAH,  here’s the free pattern for the Aunt Dinah block originally presented as part of the Genesis to Job series at Quilter’s Neighbourhood.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if women’s shelters everywhere could be “blanketed” with quilts to remind victims of violence that they are loved and cherished by our Saviour? If you know [or have been] a Dinah, here’s my challenge to honour her by making a dozen of these blocks in scrappy fabrics and using them to make a quilt for a shelter near you. That gift of love can be the first step on the road to restoration for a hurting woman and her family.

NOTE: as with all the patterns in the Genesis to Job series, we offered Aunt Dinah in two sizes: 6″ and 12″. You will find it easiest to highlight the instructions for your chosen size: 6″ blocks are in italic; 12″ in regular.

blankdinahStep 1 Choose fabrics: Lots of potential here: this is a great block to experiment with value and transparency. See how different it looks with the same darker fabric in the e and f positions?

For my Aunt Dinah quilt, I made 6 blocks with blue B and E, six with cream in those positions. I added two different focus fabrics for G plus a variety of reds, greens, browns and beiges  for all the other patches. To my eye, the variations in value and in the placement of light, dark and bright fabrics in a controlled scrap palette really make this quilt special.

Step 2 Cutting:

Fabric  Patch # to cut 6″ Block  12″ Block
Dark/medium a 4 1 ½” 2 ½”
Background b 4 1 ½” x 2 ½” 2 ½” x 3½”
Background/dark e 1 3 ¼” 5 ¼”
Dark/medium/focus c 2 2 ½” x 3 ½” 4½” x 5½”
Medium/light d 2 3 ¼” 5 ¼”
Medium/light/ bright f 1 3 ¼” 5 ¼”
Focus g 1 2 ½” 4½”
Step 3 Shaded four-patch units
I’ve never been a big fan of sewing bias edges. This method, adapted from Billie Lauder’s excellent technique for Shaded four-patch units, avoids the problems with bias. As a bonus, you’ll make two four-patch units at one time.
  • Sew a b rectangle to each a square. Pay close attention to the shading. Press seams toward the B rectangles
  • Sew these units together to make an elongated 4-patch. Don’t worry! The seams aren’t supposed to match in the centre!
  • Clip the long seam in the middle almost to the stitching at the point marked X on the diagram, then press each half of the seam toward the B rectangle. Set this unit face up on the top of your table or cutting board – be sure it looks exactly like the diagram– the a squares should be on the upper right and the lower left.

Hint: I prefer to use a square ruler for this step, but you may certainly use a long one if that’s all you have – just be sure you can identify the 45° line.

  • Align the diagonal line of your square ruler (or the 45° line if you’re using a long ruler) with the short edge of the C rectangle (wrong side up), so that the top corner of the ruler is on the upper left corner of the rectangle.
  • Using an erasable pen, or a fine pen or pencil, draw a line from the corner to the opposite long side of the rectangle – it won’t be on the corner! This will be your stitching line, so be sure you use something that will either wash out or not show through to the front.
  • Turn the rectangle around, realign the diagonal of the ruler along the other short edge, again matching the corner of the ruler to the corner of the rectangle. Draw another line. The two lines will be almost (but not quite) parallel. (See the sketch.)
  • Place the rectangle on top of the 4-patch unit, being sure you keep the fabrics in the direction of the diagrams.
  • Sew ON the lines. Cut between the stitching lines. Lay the 1/4″ mark of your ruler along the seam line and sliver trim the seams to an accurate 1/4″
  • Press units open. You will have two shaded 4-patch units. Square them up to 4 1/2″; [2 1/2″]

hourglassStep 4 Hourglass Units

  • qsquarePlace the e square right sides together with a d square. Draw a diagonal line corner to corner on the lighter fabric Sew 1/4″ away from both sides of the drawn line. Cut on the line to make two half-square triangle units. Press seams toward the d.
  • Repeat with the remaining d square and the f square.
  • Place a d/f half-square triangle right sides together with a d/e unit being sure the d triangles face the e and f triangles and the seams butt. Draw a diagonal line crossing the seams as in the diagram. Sew on either side of the diagonal line. Cut on the line and press to make two hourglass units. Repeat with remaining d/e and d/f units. Square up hourglass units to 4 1/2″; [2 1/2″ ]

assembleStep 5- Assemble block

  • Paying close attention to the direction of the triangles, lay the units out in three rows, with the g square in the centre and the f triangles facing it as shown. Sew together in rows, pressing seams away from the hourglass units.
  • Butting seams, sew the rows together.
  • Press carefully. Your completed block should measure 12 1/2″ [6 1/2″]

©2008 : Kimberley I. Graham. No portion may be reproduced or redistributed without express written consent

I hope you enjoy making this block: please take a moment to share a photo of your project. God bless you! Thanks for your notes of support and encouragement!


PLEASE NOTE: The Genesis to Job series is no longer available at Quilter’s Neighbourhood. If you’re interested in this series of 21 blocks, please drop me a line or comment below. If enough people are interested, I’ll prepare a PDF for purchase.

Entry filed under: Kim Graham's Quilter's Neighbourhood, Patterns, Quilt lessons, The Word in Patchwork. Tags: , , , , , .


8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Susan  |  March 20, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Thank you for this block and the story behind it.

  • 2. Elizabeth Barnett  |  March 21, 2013 at 7:31 am

    late arrival to your blog … but are there steps missing in making the shaded four-patch before getting to marking piece C??

    • 3. wordinpatchwork  |  March 21, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Well spotted, Elizabeth…you’re quite right! In putzing about trying to get the graphics to fit, I managed to overwrite the instructions! Grr. It’s fixed now.

  • 4. Elizabeth Barnett  |  March 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

    thanks sweetie – you’re da best!!

  • 5. Janis Meek  |  January 25, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I would love to know more about the Genesis to Job series, see the quilt designs that accompany it, and also read the story behind “Dinah.”

    • 6. wordinpatchwork  |  January 25, 2014 at 9:22 am

      There are a few photos of quilts made from the Genesis to Job series at Click on the ‘gallery’ icon and choose 12-inch blocks. The series was presented over the course of a couple of years quite some time ago, but is no longer available. My Aunt Dinah quilt and Bible message is here: the original story is in Genesis.

  • 7. Marilyn G Chason  |  August 5, 2019 at 2:07 am

    I have lost my Flash Drive that had my Genesis to Job series. Would very much like to see repeat

    • 8. wordinpatchwork  |  August 5, 2019 at 8:13 am

      I’m slowly tackling the challenge of trying to resurrect the files from the old web page after our web provider downed the servers. I’ll keep your request in mind: if there is enough interest, I may offer this series on a subscription basis.


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March 2013

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