Posts filed under ‘The Word in Patchwork’

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 6 comments

Kim’s Design Wall: Rebuilding the Temple


I love the Temple Court pattern: deceptively simple, changes in value and fabric placement drastically change the way this block appears. For The Word in Patchwork, I simplified the block by adding a couple of lines to turn the centre into a square-on-point surrounded by flying geese units. This allowed newer patchworkers to learn simple, accurate techniques for creating flying geese and squares-in-squares, matching points, and constructing blocks by building units then combining them.

But, for this gorgeous floral border stripe, I needed to go back to the traditional version of  Temple Court. I chose to substitute a  “stack-and-whack” style four-patch for a kaleidoscope effect in the centre, while the stripe portion of my print is cut carefully for the rectangles.

Construction of these blocks has proven challenging. My original plan to use set in seams was better in theory than in practice: the various units went together smoothly, but, even with y seaming, I found myself ripping and resewing so often I was afraid the fabric would be in shreds. Achieving crisp points while maintaining straight seams along the striped units was difficult, to say the least. Eventually, I decided that close is good enough.

Clearly, if I was going to make a dozen of these blocks, I’d have to reconsider my technique. Once again, a tilt of the head gave me the solution. This method would require a different tool from the patchwork toolbox: partial seaming.

TaDa! In less than half the time I spent fiddling with the set-in version, the partial seam version went together smoothly and easily.  I expect to finish all the blocks by the end of the month. Stay tuned to see the rest!


Here are the first three blocks for this quilt, together with the border stripe. I’m thinking about a diagonal set with the border print between strips of blocks.

A simpler version of this block is included in The Word in Patchwork available to purchase from Quilter’s Neighbourhood. If  you’d like instructions for our partial-seam version [maybe you have your own drop-dead-gorgeous border print], add a note below. If enough people ask for it, I’ll post a tutorial and PDF with the Electric Quilt rotary cutting instructions.

God bless



September 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm 6 comments

From my mailbox: Tennessee

Perhaps some day I’ll be able to visit and meet with everyone who has used my patterns [at least, those in the US and Canada.] Wouldn’t that be an amazing journey? While I dream of travels, I’m able to get a little glimpse into the adventures my little self-published book has encountered when I meet teachers and ministry leaders like Betty Smith on-line. Here’s our email conversation and her photos of beautiful quilt tops from The Word in Patchwork.

Just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed making this quilt top. I got a couple of ladies from my church to join me and each Tues. for several months now we would meet in one of the classrooms and quilt. The end results were 4 completely unique and beautiful quilt tops. We showed the tops off on Sunday before service began and got many compliments on them, several women now want to join our class and are bringing friends who do not go to a church, Praise God, what a wonderful way to plant seeds for the Lord. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful pattern. I will try to post pics but not sure how they will come out. (only have 2 pics to send, the other pics I’ll have to take again). Thank you again and God Bless.
Betty Smith
Betty: you don’t mention where you are writing from? I loved the photos of your quilt tops, and always enjoy hearing from groups using the patterns in the way I have prayed God will work. How lovely the quilts are! May I share them on my blog?  – Kim
Yes, you may share them in your blog, I would be honored. I’m writing from Greeneville, TN. I love your quilt patterns and really enjoy sharing them with others, the stories they tell can plant seeds in hearts for years and even generations to come. There are so many ways we can reach the lost, who would have thought that a quilt would be one of them? Who knows in years to come who will be telling the stories and who will hear. Love that! Thank you Thank you for sharing! This is truly a gift. – Betty
I love both these quilts, but I’m particularly taken with the grey/black/white one! I will keep this in mind for the next time I teach the sampler series for my teacher’s version.
God Bless

June 16, 2012 at 11:25 am Leave a comment

Sunshine Beyond…Remembering Judy

Beyond Beginners pieced by Judy Lawlor, quilted by Kim Graham: twin sized.

When we moved to Nanaimo, a chance post on RCTQ [the newsgroup rec.crafts.textiles.quilting] brought a great group of quilters into my life. For the last decade, most Tuesday afternoons found us gathered in someone’s sewing room to share ideas, laughs and bits of our fabric stashes. Two of our small group were “product oriented”: Dot and Ann focused on finishing projects, most often as gifts for family and friends. The other pair of us, Judy and I were “process oriented” – we loved the interplay of colour and pattern, had a dozen [or more] quilts in the works at any given time, and constantly flitted from one idea to another, inspired by a beautiful piece of fabric or an intriguing new technique.

Road trips quickly revealed this dichotomy: Ann and Dot usually had a specific project in mind – Ann wanted something to match a fabric she’s bought on-line; Dot was uncertain about her choices and looked to the group for help pulling fabrics. Judy and I would head straight to the sale bin in search of the elusive unusual print or striking tone-on-tone. Most often we both reached for an interesting fabric other quilters passed over: “Shall we split it?” Judy said. “I shouldn’t be buying fabric, but…” I would respond, as I reached for my portion. “Oh, buy the bolt,” Judy urged if  I dithered about another find. “You can always use it as a backing.” That’s how I ended up with a stash that’s threatening to oust the china from the cabinet in the dining room.

A retired school teacher, Judy rose at dawn each day and went to her sewing room to work on quilts: her huge collection of scraps and donated fabrics was put to good use in charity quilts destined for Esperanza.  Judy’s own quilts often were set aside in favour of a gift or a charity project: she also donated quilts to be raffled or auctioned for Old English Sheepdog organizations in honour of her beloved show dogs. But, even so, Judy’s distinctive flair for rich colour combinations meant she had some spectacular quilt tops and finished quilts for her own home. (more…)

June 11, 2012 at 11:21 am 4 comments

Beyond Beginners: free quilt pattern

Teatime with Hope and Sarah

Teatime with Hope and Sarah is the first version of Beyond Beginners I completed as a store sample.

I originally designed this version for a wallhanging or baby quilt:  measuring 36″ square, it’s the perfect size for a table topper. It’s a great backdrop for my grandma’s teacups and my mom’s tiered server. Add some scones, a few cookies, friendship and laughter, and you have a wonderful old-fashioned afternoon tea!

For a closer look at this quilt and more about the fabrics I chose, check the design wall. While you’re there, scroll down to see some other EQ sketches of possible variations of this quilt.

Now you’ve seen my versions of Beyond Beginners, here’s your chance to start your own quilt: blogbeyond is the PDF version of my class handouts. You’re welcome to use the pattern for your own quilts, but if you wish to teach this pattern or share it with others, please ask permission first! email me at

FOR THOSE WHO MISSED IT in the paragraph above: the pattern is HERE

I’ll be sharing one more version as soon as I’m finished the quilting. I’d love to see pictures of your projects too.

God bless!


June 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

From my mailbox: Japan

Every now and then, I still get photos or emails from people all around the world who have used The Word in Patchwork or other patterns from Quilter’s Neighbourhood. Thanks to everyone who takes time to write, and especially to those who share their photos!

Dear Kimberley Graham,
Thank you very much for sending your wonderful CD and The Book I ordered the other day. I am so happy to receive your Bible Quilt PDF and CD and Book.
I am a member of Oshika ( Japan Evangelical Lutheran ) Church. I lead Bible Quilt class in my church since 2010.I had almost no information about Bible Quilt text for the Class except your web site.
This year I started with your “ cup”pattern for the very beginners. I asked them to make one” cup” to make a small quilt for their first experience.2 of the experienced member almost finished big Bible Quilt sampler. Now I am planning to follow your “Shepherd’s Light” .
I am the one in red sweater in the picture of lunch table after my class. I hope you enjoy my pictures from Japan. : )
Yukika Wada

God Bless you,and all your quilting friends, Yukika


Potluck Japanese style Japanese class

May 29, 2012 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

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