Aunt Dinah Quilt Block Free Pattern

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Today let's look at the Aunt Dinah quilt block. The traditional quilt block only uses two colors of fabric - light and dark - but of course I had to make it my own by using a light for the background, 2 medium tones, and a dark. I would consider this an easy intermediate block pattern to sew. Let's get started!

aunt dinah small

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Aunt Dinah Quilt Block:

  • Light/White: 1 - 5.5" squares, 2 - 5" squares, 1 - 4.5" square, and 8 - 2.5" squares (Oops! I got mixed up when cutting and the picture shows 2 - 5.5" and 1 - 5" squares!)
  • Medium 1/Orange: 4 - 2.5" squares
  • Medium 2/Blue & Orange Print: 4 - 4.5" squares
  • Dark/Navy: 1 - 5.5" square

aunt dinah fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Corner Unit:

Step 1:

This unit is similar to the Birds in the Air quilt block. The only difference from the Birds in the Air block is the use of a Half Square Triangle instead of the Medium 1/Orange 2.5" square. You can find a more detailed tutorial for making this unit at

aunt dinah 1

Using a Medium 1/Orange 2.5" square, 2 - Light/White 2.5" squares, and a Medium 2/Blue & Orange Print 4.5" square, sew together four Corner units as shown in the picture below.

aunt dinah 2


This unit is also used in the Another Morning Star quilt block (which you can find by clicking here).

Quarter and a Half Unit:

Step 2:

I had to come up with a name for this unit and since it is similar to the Quarter Square and Half Square Triangle - Quarter and a Half it is!

Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of the Light/White 5.5" square and match it up with the Dark/Navy 5.5" square as shown below.

aunt dinah 3

Step 3:

With right sides together, sew 1/4" on each side of the marked line and then cut on the marked line as shown in the picture below. Open up and press the seam allowance toward the Dark/Navy fabric. You will have two Half Square Triangle units.

aunt dinah 4

Step 4:

Now you can pair up one of the Step 3 units with one of the Light/White 5" squares that you have marked with a diagonal line from corner to corner. They won't be the same size but it doesn't matter as we will be squaring them up later. In hindsight, I think it would be better to mark the line on the back of the Step 3 unit perpendicular to the seam line. 

aunt dinah 5

Step 5:

Now you can sew 1/4" on both sides of the marked line and cut the unit apart on the marked line as shown below. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 for a total of four units.

aunt dinah 6

Step 6:

Open up the units and press the seam allowance toward the Light/White large triangle. Square up the units to a 4.5" square.

aunt dinah 7

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Putting It All Together:

Step 7:

Lay out the Corner units, the Quarter and a Half units, and the Light/White 4.5" square in a typical Nine Patch block layout as shown in the picture below.

aunt dinah 8

Step 8:

Now sew the units together into three rows as shown below and...

aunt dinah 9

Step 9:

Press the seam allowances away from the Quarter and a Half units as shown in the picture below.

aunt dinah 10

Step 10:

Now you can sew the three rows together and you're done!

aunt dinah 11

Step 11:

Except for the pressing! Press the seam allowances toward the center of the Aunt Dinah quilt block as shown in the picture below.

aunt dinah 12

Layout Ideas:

Here's the basic 4 x 4 layout. I love the secondary design that shows up!

quilt 1

And this is the same 4 x 4 layout but with sashing and cornerstones added.

quilt 2

This example shows an on-point layout with every other block plain and plain setting triangles.

quilt 3

This on-point layout has a narrow sashing and cornerstones added plus plain setting triangles.

quilt 4

For a two-block quilt I added in a 6-Grid Chain block for the alternating blocks.

quilt 5

And for this design, a large Hourglass block is the alternating block.

quilt 6


While I got confused when cutting out the pieces, the Aunt Dinah quilt block wasn't too hard to do. The seams nested nicely which made getting those points easy! I like my version of three prints and a background but I've seen this block done scrappy (a light and lots of mediums and darks) and it looked very nice that way too. When blocks are joined, a secondary Square in a Square in a Square design will show up where four blocks come together.

I usually use a tone on tone fabric for the background fabric but decided to try something new with the white and navy print. What do you think - yay or nay?

I hope you've enjoyed this Aunt Dinah quilt block! (I wonder who Aunt Dinah was.)

Happy Quilting!


P.S. If you liked this post and want to see more quilting tutorials like this, simply click HERE to sign up for my newsletter and also receive a free PDF quilt pattern called "Chained Weathervane".

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