Posts filed under ‘Patterns’

What I Did on My Summer Vacation


I’ve been noticeably absent from my blog for the summer: too caught up in living intentionally to keep up with good intentions to post regularly. Here’s how life along the way has played out for the last few months: providence


Our little church blessed us by sending us to the beautiful Laurentian area of Quebec for three days of prayer, praise and preparation for moving forward together with the other churches in our fellowship. Blessed by the astounding young worship leaders who led us in familiar hymns and choruses in both languages: a favourite English hymn with a French cadence becomes uniquely meaningful all over again. Blessed by time spent sharing with fellow pastors: common struggles and shared joys.

God provided all we needed and then, for full measure, blessed us with three more days for laughter and splashing and getting wet and sunburned and very happy with our grandkids and their parents.



A week cat-sitting for friends gave me the quiet restful time I needed after the hustle of travel and adventure. Right in the centre of  downtown Vancouver, July is a wonderful time to sit in the park people-watching and enjoying summer and sunshine in a beautiful city. Sunday, I wandered into the nearest service: a large [by our standards!] Baptist Church. There, my soul was refreshed by the clear streams of music sung full voice: I still smile thinking of the enthusiastic tenor behind me

Bless the Lord, oh my soul OH MY SOUL!   


When I first determined that this would be a year of living intentionally, I foolish thought that meant I’d make a plan and stick to it. Not so! Summer had its challenges too: a teenager refusing to accept responsibility; a precious daughter-of-my-heart facing health problems while trying to cope with a new baby; a friend navigating the shoals of family discord;  an apartment to clear and and a funeral to prepare. All were exercises in living intentionally!  

Turns out, intentional means being alert to God’s calling and following him on the path of righteousness: occasionally stretched almost to breaking, trusting in His leading, seeking to discern his direction. [Mostly] I curbed my sarcasm, kept my temper, focused on His goals and trusted that His goodness and hesed  is continuing to chase me down. 

As for MY plans…., not so much.


That’s been my intentional summer: trials and laughter and frustrations and sheer unadulterated joy.

Before the clouds sock in and the months of drizzle begin,  summer gave us one last Hurrah!

My friend and fellow pastor Don Weston asked me to “do the quilt thing” for the dear folks in his church. When we agreed on the 23rd Psalm message, I found the impetus I’ve been lacking for [ahem] EIGHT years while I claimed to be trying to figure out how to quilt the Shepherd’s Light  top. Determined to finish it before I preached, I put the last stitches in the binding on Saturday night and, after our own church service, headed down-Island through the pouring rain into a brief blaze of sunlight just as we began to set up.

We pinned the quilt to the wall and I stepped back to look  for the first time. The Shepherd’s Light glows against the darkness of the shadows: more powerful than I had ever imagined. So, I spoke about the Shepherd and His care and I talked to the people about ministering to one another out of the overflow of His love and mercy, feeling as though my own cup was running over…

Bless the Lord oh my soul, OH MY SOUL!


Click on the photo and scroll down to order

original mini-s

Focus on the 23 Psalm in depth  through the seven lessons in this stunning quilt designed to finish approximately 62″ square.

BONUS: Includes a step-by-step guide to mastering set-in-points from Quilter’s Neighbourhood library of Basic blocks.

 $12 *        *US funds


October 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

Free Pattern: AUNT DINAH



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.

March 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm 8 comments

Life along the way: DENYING DINAH

Sarah BesseyRachel Held Evans and others have been speaking up on the issue of sexual abuse in the aftermath of recent news stories. In my own small way I want to add my voice and encourage others to break the silence.

Aunt Dinah

Gospel Singer Gaye Kurtz [left] and I presenting “Aunt Dinah” during Patchwork and Song. [Displayed by Ucluelet “Vanna”s Nikki and Carina Gee]

In 2007, when I was working on the Genesis to Job series of Bible quilt block patterns, I followed my heart’s prompting and tackled the story of Dinah with the “Aunt Dinah” block. Knowing that this message might cause some controversy, I brought my first draft to one of my former pastors for his input. His reponse: “Well, Kim, it’s sound Biblical teaching, but I don’t think it’s relevant to church women. There might be one or two who come from a rough background who might relate, but most church ladies don’t think about things like this.”

A pastor for upwards of 50 years thinking “good church ladies don’t know anything about rape!”

Within minutes of publishing the pattern, my inbox began to fill with heart breaking emails. Later, as we travelled Western Canada with Patchwork and Song, I learned to brace myself whenever I saw a woman standing off to the side after my presentation, waiting for the crowd to disburse. More women than I can count would approach me hesitantly saying “I have never told anyone but…I am Dinah” or “my sister (daughter, mother, friend) is Dinah.”  These ‘good church ladies’ knew all about rape, but they held their pain in their hearts, afraid of the consequences of telling their stories. It was safe to tell me: I was travelling through and would not be around to betray their shame. Then and now, my counsel is a heartfelt:

My friends, my sisters, find courage: it’s time to speak up!

Here’s the text of my original message. Over the next day or two, I’ll give you the pattern again with a challenge to use it to make a quilt for a Dinah in your life – friend, sister, yourself or someone in a local women’s shelter.

UPDATE: the Aunt Dinah pattern is now available HERE

Bible Block: Aunt Dinah

Now Dinah, the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land…
…Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”

Genesis 34:1 and 35:1

That’s the beginning and ending of Dinah’s story in Genesis 34. It’s a passage we seldom hear. Not surprising: it’s a sordid tale of rape, manipulation and violent revenge. When we do consider it, there’s a temptation to make this a love story featuring Dinah and Shechem. It’s not romance: it’s violation. There is nothing to suggest that Dinah was a willing participant. There’s no upside to this story, no pat solution.

Neither is there anything that suggests that Jacob’s way of dealing with sexual sin is appropriate: giving his daughter in marriage to her rapist as a way of cementing political alliance is yet one more example of Jacob’s conniving nature. Simeon and Levi have a different response: they twist God’s holy rite of circumcision into revenge, and the bloodbath that results is truly horrific. Overshadowed by the machinations of her family, Dinah is mentioned in passing: the two brothers “took Dinah from Shechem’s house.” Scripture doesn’t tell us what happened to her. It’s likely she would have remained unmarried: as a “fallen” woman, her prospects for marriage were not good. Perhaps she stayed in Simeon or Levi’s family, the maiden aunt in the background of the family life; helping with the children and the household, but never having a family or home of her own.

Why should we even consider this ugly story today? Haven’t we moved past revenge or political manipulation as a way of dealing with sexual sin? True, we don’t condone violent revenge and we don’t try to turn a sexual violation to advantage. But, each one of us knows [or is] a Dinah. We’ve never really figured out what to do with that knowledge: when we emphasize purity and chastity, we unwittingly condemn  women who already feel impure and devalued. If we minimize the pain, exhorting wounded women to “forgive and forget,” we shame those who cannot forget into keeping silent. The results are all around us: self-mutilation, eating disorders, promiscuity, substance abuse. If we would have strong families, emotionally healthy women [and men] and lasting marriages, the church must find a way to help men and women deal with the consequences of sexual sin and move toward restoration.

Did you notice the crucial omission in Genesis 34? There is absolutely no mention of God. In Jacob’s time, and in the 21st century, when God is discounted in our plans and our response to sin, there is no healthy resolution. Genesis 35 offers a starting point to deal courageously with the Dinahs among us: turn back to Him, put away the things which separate us from His guidance, purify ourselves and allow Him to restore us. It is not easy; there are no quick solutions, but  healing begins by speaking up and out in the presence of our loving God and in the company of believers determined to walk through the mess together.

We have the promise: And we know that God causes ALL THINGS [including our confessed and repented sin and the sin of those who harmed us] to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

March 18, 2013 at 11:26 am 3 comments

Free Pattern: BASIC BEAR

ETHAN QUILTIt’s been a hilarious, hectic month or so for us:  three weeks in Quebec to welcome our new grandson Ethan; home to prepare for a visit from our newly expanded family. In all the frantic energy of four young kids plus visitors eager to cuddle the littlest one and wrestle with the older girls, living intentionally has meant life in the moment!  As always when family comes together, there are wonderful snapshots for my aging memory bank: my son James comparing noses with his niece; Grandpa Frank on the bottom of a “dogpile” of kids; Hannah and I cuddled up in the big chair practising knitting [more on that in another post.]

The quilt room became a refuge for the cats since it’s out-of-bounds for children: no time for sewing! Now the family’s gone, and quiet has returned, I’ve drawn up the basics of the teddy bear block for those of you who “do EQ” or who can figure out the math for yourselves. I’m leaving you to calculate your own measurements: my block finished at 8″x9″, scaled down from the inspiration block at Quilter’s Cache.

As you can see, my construction layout is very different from the inspiration block, too: I chose to do “sew and flip” corners for most of the triangles, eliminating some seams entirely.  Assemble units in numerical order: press in the direction of the arrows.

I hope that helps those of you who are interested in your own Teddy quilt.

Type to you soon. God bless!


Looking for more detailed instructions? Drop us a line or add a comment below. If there is enough interest, I’ll offer the complete pattern for the Teddy Grahams quilt for sale as a PDF. You can see the completed quilt HERE

Please note that I will NOT be answering queries about patch sizes and yardage requirements at this time: that information will be included in the pattern PDF.

March 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm 5 comments

Teddy Grahams!

ImageYay! Last post, I shared an EQ sketch for the Teddy Bear quilt I’ve been making for our grandson due in February.

The amazing Quilter’s Cache was the starting point for this pattern, but Marcia Hahn’s oversized original was way bigger than I wanted. I redrafted it, changed the piecing method, simplified the block somewhat and added 3-D bowties for 8×9″ blocks.  After much debate and discussion with my quilting friends,  the final version is a bit simplified with quilted bear outlines replacing the patchwork in the block corners. For my version, the stars are part of pieced sashing strips.

Our grandkids drag their quilts around, use them in the car and at pre-school, so I added inked eyes and mouths instead of embroidery, recognizing that stitching wouldn’t stand up to hard loving.

I had so much fun choosing the browns and blues for this quilt and seeing each bear develop its personality as I completed him. I’m thinking of working this up a class and pattern for intermediate quilters, perhaps with a companion “girly” version with pink and purple hearts and bows instead of the stars. What do you think?

LIVING INTENTIONALLY month-end check in

As well as the quilt [entirely from stash!], I’ve finished and gifted a hooded baby sweater this month. Check out the great, easy pattern here! I’m 2/3 of the way through another one for our grandson. Pinterest and Facebook still occasionally suck me into the vortex, but I’m already seeing the first results of living life Intentionally.

God Bless


January 28, 2013 at 7:53 pm 4 comments

Free Tutorial and Pattern: Temple Court


When I do trunk shows, I explain that the temple court block illustrates the Old Testament temple with its many different courts all leading to the  Holy of Holies. At Christ’s death, the thick curtain that kept ordinary people at a distance was torn from top to bottom: in that moment, every believer becomes a member of the holy priesthood, able to approach the Throne of God for himself! (see Matthew 27:51)

I’m really excited about this quilt: to my mind, the rich colours glowing against a dark background point to the opulence of Solomon’s Temple with its  precious metals and jewels. This is a controlled scrappy quilt: each block is different, although the gorgeous floral border print remains the focus in all 12.

If you use EQ7 and would like to explore your own versions of this wonderful pattern, drop me a line. I’m happy to share my EQ files with you, but please do remember to “give credit where credit is due.”

Cutting directions are  in a PDF for you to download by clicking on this link: CUTTING DIRECTIONS.

Note that I chose to piece the centre patch Stack ‘n Whack style.

  • If you want a similar look from your print, cut 8 identical 2 5/8″ squares [F and G in the in cutting directions diagram.]
  • Four of the squares are sewn together 4-patch style to make the centre  F patch.
  • (HINT: If Stack ‘n Whack is new to you, here’s a video demonstration of Bethany Reynold’s popular technique.)

A little daunted by partial seams? There’s a simplified version of this block in The Word in Patchwork. You can order from us directly by emailing us.

The photo-tutorial follows. Click on the thumbnail photos for full size pictures and navigate through the lesson using the arrows on the pictures. (more…)

November 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1 comment

Now for something completely different….

A break from Temple Court to tackle a different kind of UFO.

Begun more than a decade ago, here’s an example of  “second sock syndrome”. Sock #1 was complete [but a little too big for me.] Sock #2 was half done. With cold damp weather upon us, I sat down on Tuesday to watch Mythbusters blow stuff up while I frogstitched and reknit the toe of sock 1 and finished off sock 2.

I mostly knit toe-up socks these days, so I had to rely on StitchDiva for help with Kitchener stitch grafting for the toes, but I’m done and ready to  wear these to Curves Bootcamp tonight: I’ll be walking [running, jumping, hopping, squatting and stretching] on the wild side for sure!

Temple Court Update: Despite my best intentions to work only from stash, I decided to purchase fabric for setting triangles. The solid black originally planned proved to be a magnet for cat hair and lint. The black/grey print is washed and ready to iron, so I’m excited to start cutting triangles and assembling blocks into row tomorrow.

Meanwhile, my daughter-in-law tells me she’s planning a teddy bear theme for our Grandson due in February. I redesigned a pattern from Quilter’s Cache and am playing with fabric choices in EQ7.  Here’s what we have so far: Bre-Anne likes the brown/blue version, so that’s what I’m hoping to have on the design wall before Christmas.



October 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm Leave a comment

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