Quilt Block Basics · Rose Cards · Tips and Tricks · villa rosa designs

Quilt Block Basics — Four Patch and Nine Patch

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday!

The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day here in my little corner of Pennsylvania! I hope your day is looking just as bright. Make sure you do something fun!

Today we are wrapping up our foray into the Basics of Quilt Blocks. There are, of course, more quilt block units out there, but the ones we’ve covered are the basic ones — at least in my opinion.

Any discussion of Quilt Block Basics would not be complete without Four Patches and Nine Patches.

Quilt Block Basics — Four Patches and Nine Patches

Four Patch and Nine Patch blocks are probably two of the easiest quilt blocks to make. That’s probably a good reason why these blocks have been some of the most loved quilt blocks in history! From beginners to advanced quilters — these blocks have stood the test of time for centuries.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I collect vintage and antique textiles. I do have antique quilts and tops, but my favorite part of my collection is the piles and piles of orphan quilt blocks (I consider any block not housed in a quilt to be an orphan quilt block).

Speaking of orphan quilt blocks — did you know I wrote a book about putting antique and vintage quilt blocks into new quilts? It was my very first quilt book! LOL!

Get Orphan Block Quilts HERE

Anyway, in my quilt block collection, I have tons of Four Patch and Nine Patch blocks dating from the mid 1800’s all the way to the mid 1900’s. 100 years of quilt blocks — that’s a lot of Four Patch and Nine Patch blocks!

Four Patches and Nine Patches can stand alone as individual quilt blocks, of course, but they are also fantastic quilt block units, too! AND they can act as frames where you can insert other block units into the squares to create even more blocks! The options are endless (OH NO! I hear my EQ8 calling me….again!).

Let’s take a look at some blocks featuring Four Patch and Nine Patch units.

Four Patch Blocks

Nine Patch Blocks

You can also mix Four Patch and Nine Patch units together into blocks!

Mixed Blocks

I am not going to reinvent the wheel by doing tutorials for assembling Four Patch and Nine Patch units as there are a lot of them out there on the Internet. Instead, here are some fun quilt designs using a few of the blocks above.

A Few Simple Four and Nine Patch Quilt Ideas for You

Now we’re going to move right into my curated Four and Nine Patch List of Villa Rosa Designs Rose Card Quilt Patterns. I anticipate there will be a lot, so stay with me all the way to the end or you might lost along the way.

VRD Rose Card Patterns Featuring Four Patches and Nine Patches

Get Akito HERE

Get Antique HERE

Get Bat Dance HERE

Get Be My Baby HERE

Get Beatrice HERE

Get Bee Charming HERE

Get Blizzard HERE

Get Blueberry Cobbler HERE

Get Carefree HERE

Get Carnival Glass HERE

Get Celebration HERE

Get Charismatic HERE

Get Charity HERE

Get Cidermill HERE

Get Color Box HERE

Get Columbia HERE

Get Country Life HERE

Get Crackers HERE

Get Daring Spirit HERE

Get Early Dawn HERE

Get Electron HERE

Get Elementary HERE

Get Giggles HERE

Get Gingersnap HERE

Get Grandmother HERE

Get Imperial HERE

Get Indigo Bay HERE

Get Jardena HERE

Get Kalinda HERE

Get King’s Ransom HERE

Get Kit & Caboodle HERE

Get Klondike HERE

Get Lollipop HERE

Get Love Notes HERE

Get Lovers Lane HERE

Get Macarons HERE

Get Malaysia HERE

Get Monterey HERE

Get Nana’s Aprons HERE

Get Night Light HERE

Get Oakmont HERE

Get Orange Waves HERE

Get Outback HERE

Get Peace HERE

Get Penny Candy HERE

Get Peppermint & Holly HERE

Get Phoebe HERE

Get Pinwheel Picnic HERE

Get Pixelation HERE

Get Polo HERE

Get Pride HERE

Get Raspberry Cream HERE

Get Ruby Road HERE

Get Saffron HERE

Get Salute HERE

Get Senior Prom HERE

Get Soul Mate HERE

Get Special Event HERE

Get Star Rail HERE

Get Starfire HERE

Get Tic Tac Toad HERE

Get Transcendent HERE

Get Twinkle HERE

Get Viaduct HERE

Get Waverly HERE

Get Whirlaway HERE

Get Wild Rover HERE

Get Wild Thing HERE

Get Winchester HERE

Get X Ray HERE

WHEW! Did you make it all the way through the whole list? I hope I didn’t lose you somewhere along the way. LOL!

I really hope you found this Quilt Block Basics series to not only be interesting but also helpful and informative. As a designer, when I look at a quilt, I try to isolate the quilt block (or blocks) to identify the pattern if the name doesn’t jump out at me at first. Knowing the different units that make up quilt blocks helps me to do that. It also helps me to take these different units, mix them up, and magically end up with new quilt block designs and variations so that I can keep creating new quilt patterns.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

Quilt Block Basics · Rose Cards · Tips and Tricks · Tutorials · villa rosa designs

Quilt Block Basics — The Hardworking Rail Fence Unit

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday!

We’re getting close to the end of this series on the Basics of Quilt Blocks — just one more post next week and we’ll be moving on to other topics. I originally called it a mini series and expected it to be maybe 3 posts, but I am having so much fun with it, that it ended up turning into a much longer series. Personally, I love any idea that inspires me to play with my EQ8 software and to go through our VRD Rose Card Pattern Catalog and look at all the patterns with fresh eyes. I hope you’ve gotten a lot out of this series too.

If you’ve missed any posts in this series or if you just want to visit it again down the road, I added the series to the right side of the blog for you, right beneath the 2022 Basic Quilting Skills Series.

What’s our Quilt Block Basics unit for today??? RAIL FENCES!

Quilt Block Basics — Rail Fence

Rail Fences — YAY!

Whether you like 2, 3, 4, 5, or more logs, Rail Fence units and blocks are workhorses in the field of making quilt blocks (workhorse and field….get it???). Sigh…… I know, I know. I’ll stop here before I go overboard with the farm puns and cliches. I’m sure you’ve heard them all before anyway.

Sew, what’s a Rail Fence? You newbies might ask.

For the purpose of this series, we’re going to focus on 2 and 3 Rail Fence units with equal sized logs and finished squares. Keep in mind, though, that Rail Fence blocks can contain more than 2 or 3 logs, logs do not necessarily have to be the same width, and finished blocks do not have to be square.

Rail Fence units can stand alone as individual blocks or can be successfully combined with other basic block units to make even more quilt blocks. Rail Fence is the strong, silent type that fades into the background allowing others to be the stars of the show, but without Rail Fence, something would definitely be missing.

Rail Fences can be created with other methods when making quilt blocks. Sometimes a Rail Fence is actually a secondary design or a happy accident.

If you are getting the impression that I really like Rail Fences, then you are correct. One of the very first quilts I ever made from a pattern in the book, The Weekend Quilt by Leslie Linsley. That was the book that made me want to make quilts!

My quilt was a Rail Fence double-sized quilt will 4 shades of blue. I was sew proud of my piecing! It was the first time I’d sewn strip sets together and then cut them into blocks. At the time I didn’t know how to machine quilt yet, so I sensibly tied my quilt with white crochet thread and I used it for years on my bed.

Let’s take a look at some quilt blocks featuring Rail Fence units.

These 9 blocks are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to blocks with Rail Fence units.

How to Make a Rail Fence Unit

To make a traditional 2 log Rail Fence unit, first you need to know the finished size of your unit. So, let’s say our unit will be 6″ finished. To figure out what dimensions to cut our pieces, we will divide our finished size by 2 (6 divided by 2 = 3). But we need to cut our logs the same width of our finished unit, so we will need 2 logs 3″ x 6″ — BUT WAIT! — we need to add our seam allowances before cutting. That means we need to cut 2 logs 31/2″ x 6 1/2″. Then simply sew the 2 logs together along one long edge. Voila!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2-log.jpg

To make a 3 log Rail Fence, instead of dividing the finished size by 2, we will divide it by 3 (6 divided by 3 = 2 and we need to add our seam allowances, too). So, we will need to cut our logs 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″. Decide in which order to sew your logs (whether you decide to use 2 or 3 fabrics in your unit) and sew the 3 logs together along the long edges.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3-log.jpg

A Few Simple Rail Fence Quilt Ideas for You

Here are two simple Rail Fence quilt designs using 2 different color combinations. But just imagine what you could create if you used multiple blocks, added more colors, etc. WOW!

Time to take a look at my curated collection of Rail Fence VRD Rose Card Patterns!

Features a skinny center log.

Get Ascot HERE

Uses a 5 log Rail Fence block.

Get Basket Case HERE

4 log Rail Fence blocks.

Get Beatrice HERE

Get Bits and Pieces HERE

Get Bride’s Dream HERE

Get Bunny Hop HERE

Both 2 and 3 log Rail Fence blocks!

Get Busy Bee HERE

5 log Row Fence blocks.

Get Chutes & Ladders HERE

Rail Fence blocks turned on their sides.

Get Cobblestones HERE

Get Dapper HERE

Slightly elongated 3 log units.

Get Firecracker HERE

Get First Night HERE

Unique configuration and controlled colors make such an interesting design.

Get French Braids HERE

Get Fruit Salad HERE

See how the Rail Fence units recede?

Get Gridwork HERE

Get Infinite HERE

Get Inglenook HERE

Get Jubilee HERE

4 log Rail Fence blocks.

Get Limelight HERE

Get Melinda Jo HERE

Get Native HERE

Get Panama City HERE

Get Playdate HERE

Get Polka HERE

Very clever color placement!

Get Positive Sign HERE

Love Melissa’s scrappy traditional Rail Fence design!

Get Rail Fence HERE

Thin center log.

Get Ripple Runner HERE

Fat center log.

Get Royal Sunset HERE

Another fat center log.

Get Saratoga HERE

Get Scallywag HERE

Get Shadow Dancer HERE

Stack up those Rail Fence blocks!

Get Snow Ruby HERE

One of my favorite Rail Fence variations!

Get Social Climber HERE

Get Specks of Color HERE

Get Spin Cycle HERE

Skinny center logs.

Get Split Charms HERE

Get Standing on the Corner HERE

Get Sugar & Spice HERE

Get Tumblebug HERE

Get Vienna HERE

Get Village Glade HERE

Fat center logs.

Get Waterside HERE

Get Winter Garden HERE

Stack ’em up!

Get Zelda HERE

That’s another wrap! Time to sign off and get back to making quilts………in my dreams, anyway. LOL!

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

Quilt Block Basics · Rose Cards · Tips and Tricks · Tutorials · villa rosa designs

Quilt Block Basics — Square in a Square and NEW VRD Rose Cards for May 2023

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday!

Before I forget I want to wish all you Moms, Grandmas, Aunties, Cousins, Step Moms, Pet Moms, Dads, Caregivers, Teachers and ANYONE who has touched the life of a child a very special Mother’s Day.

Thank you for everything you do everyday. Although you might not get a thank you or an acknowledgement, those little everyday things mean more than you will ever know.

Quilt Block Basics — Square in a Square

This week we are going to talk about the Square in a Square unit.

You may also know this unit as the Diamond in the Square quilt block.

Often, you will see this unit combined with other quilt block units to create really cool quilt blocks. The unit usually has an unpieced square in the center, but sometimes you will see that center square filled in with a pieced unit or block, which makes Square in a Square not only a unit, but also a frame.

Why am I telling you all this? Just food for thought if and/or when you are designing your own quilt blocks!

Let’s take a look at some Square in a Square blocks.

I find the Square in a Square unit to be a very good tool in my designer’s quilt toolbox because it can really add a lot of POW to a quilt block. Wouldn’t you agree?

Let’s take a couple minutes and play with this unit. Only a couple minutes, mind you, or I might get lost in Electric Quilt 8 all day. Seriously, I’m not kidding….

Here is our single unit again:

Here are 4 units together in a 4 Patch block:

And here are 9 units together in a 9 Patch block:

You can see how complex looking the 9 Patch version (our Kansas Star block from above) is, just by repeating the Square in a Square unit. And I added another color just for fun, which can add a whole other dimension. Do you see the star in the middle?

Let’s play with our color placement now. Same block, 3 different ways!

Now let’s go crazy and add a few other Quilt Block units that we’ve already explored — HSTs, Hourglass, and Flying Geese.

MUST. STOP. NOW. Or else I’m going to forget all about writing the rest of this blog post and keep playing in my EQ8 for the rest of the day. LOL!

How to Make a Square in a Square Unit

This unit is a breeze to make.

My favorite method uses a large square and 4 smaller squares, so I don’t have to worry about working with fiddly triangles and stretchy bias edges.

But, how do you know what size squares to cut???

Math…….math…..math, of course! There is a nifty little formula to figure out the sizes of squares needed. You can also find cutting charts too, but what’s the fun in that???

  1. You need to know your finished size. So let’s say I want a finished size of 6″ for my unit.
  2. Next you need to add 1/2″ to your finished size and that is the size of your large center square. So, if I want a finished block of 6″, then I need a 6 1/2″ square for the center.
  3. For the 4 small squares, you will need to divide the size of the finished unit in half (6″ divided by 2 = 3″) and add 1/2″ (3″ + 1/2″ = 3 1/2″). So for a 6″ finished block, I need to cut 4 squares 3 1/2″. Easy Piezy! (Maybe you’re wondering why I add the 1/2″? The 1/2″ is what you add to a finished size to account for your seam allowances. We add 1/4″ for each side which equals 1/2″ in total needed for seam allowances.)

Okay, what about an 8″ finished unit or block? I would need to cut 1 large square 8 1/2″ and 4 small squares 4 1/2″.

What about a 2 1/2″ finished unit? Then I would cut the large center square 3″ and the 4 small squares 1 3/4″.

Cool, huh???? Quilt Math never fails to amaze and amuse me (wink, wink).

So, let’s make the block now:

  1. Layer a small square right sides together in one corner of a large square. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Sew on the line. Repeat for the opposite corner. Cut 1/4″ away from each sewn line. Press open.
  2. Repeat with the other 2 opposite corners.

I do want to take a moment to point out that you can get a Square in a Square look by using different units like HSTs, Flying Geese, and more. Just something to think about….

But wait! There’s more….

If you aren’t completely sold on my method, you have other options —

There is a cool Creative Grids ruler, you can find it HERE.

It’s Sew Emma has even created Square in a Square foundation papers in both THREE INCH and FOUR INCH sizes.

Next let’s check out my Square in a Square curated list of patterns!

Square in a Square VRD Rose Card Patterns

This clever quilt actually uses Hourglass units to achieve a Square in a Square.

Find Downtown HERE

Like Downtown, Duffy uses a different unit (Flying Goose) to create the look of a Square in a Square block.

Get Duffy HERE

Hidden Gems uses HSTs to achieve the look of Square in a Square blocks.

Get Hidden Gems HERE

Again, this one uses HSTs to get the Square in a Square look.

Get Indigo Bay HERE

Point of View uses 4 Square in a Square units in each block.

Get Point of View HERE

Raspberry Cream uses HSTs, too!

Get Raspberry Cream HERE

Sky Diamonds uses HSTs with a quick Flippy Corner to make a really unique Square in a Square variation.

Get Sky Diamonds HERE

A Square in a Square variation with pieced corners.

Get Square Box HERE

I am including Twisted in my list because you get the affect of Square in a Square blocks with the Pinwheels, although it actually uses Y Block units.

Get Twisted HERE

I’m including this one because you get the Square in a Square affect on point — it uses HSTs and careful color placement.

Get Underground HERE

The large center Square in a Square unit is made with HSTs.

Get Whiplash HERE

Winchester uses HSTs to get the center Square in a Square unit.

Get Winchester HERE

A fun list of patterns, isn’t it? Don’t forget that when you order Rose Card patterns on the Villa Rosa website, it’s always free shipping for patterns. Always.

New Villa Rosa Designs Rose Card Patterns for May 2023

Moving on, do you know what day it is????

It’s the first Thursday after the first Friday of the month, which means NEW PATTERNS! YAY!!!

Here are the 5 regular patterns for May. Aren’t they great? Some nice variety in patterns and interesting options, wouldn’t you say?

Bubbles by Sugar Pine Quilts uses a fun bright collection of fat quarters and a background fabric.

31 is a new vertical panel quilt with a fun border. Join me in wishing VRD designer Molly Cook a Happy 31st Birthday this month.

Tiramisu is a very cool quilt featuring either 12 or 20 fat quarters. You get to decide which size of quilt you want with this one.

Happy Thoughts is my latest throw quilt pattern and it uses a focal or theme fabric and coordinating 5″ charm squares.

Tres Leches looks as yummy as its name! This quilt uses yardage.

You can get all 5 patterns HERE for the special price of $8.95. Yep, and the shipping is free.

And here’s my new Table Runner Rose Card Pattern for May called Fly Away.

When I was designing and then later making this runner, I kept thinking about the movie, Fly Away Home, so in homage to that great movie, I named my runner Fly Away. By the way, you can find the movie HERE.

Well, I guess that does it for me this week.

Please spend time with the ones you love this week end for Mother’s Day. Wouldn’t a quilt be a nice gift to show your loved one how much you care??? Just sayin’…………..

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

Quilt Block Basics · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

Quilt Block Basics — Flying Geese and Revisiting VRD Rose Card Quilt Pattern Hypnotized

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

Wow! It’s May!?! 2023!?! How did that happen??? I’m so far behind in everything that I think it’s still 2015. LOL!

Do you remember that movie Cloned from the 90’s (I think)? That’s what I need — 3 of me — one to focus on each part of my life, then I could really get caught up with everything. Of course, things that sounds too good to be true usually are….

That being said, let’s jump right into our Quilt Block Basics this week and explore the Flying Geese (or Goose) unit.

Most likely you are familiar with the Flying Geese block, but did you know it is also a smaller unit used frequently in many quilt block designs? Let’s take a look at some quilt blocks featuring the Flying Goose unit.

I’m sure you probably recognize some of the blocks above and can also see how much interest and movement the Flying Goose unit can add to a quilt block.

It’s really fun to be a quilt pattern designer because I get to take all these little units we’ve been talking about and mix and match them into new and different quilt blocks for new quilt patterns. I have the option to make things as simple or as complex as I desire. As I stated last week, I can really get lost playing with quilt blocks and quilt ideas in EQ8 — sometimes I completely lose track of time. LOL!

How to Make a Flying Goose Unit

Like many other units, there are numerous ways to make the Flying Goose unit. I’m going to show you my go-to instructions for constructing Flying Geese and I will touch on some of the other methods, too.

To make 1 Flying Goose unit, you will need 2 squares and a rectangle. True Flying Goose units are twice as wide as they are tall. You do need to know what your finished size of the Flying Goose unit is. Then you simply add 1/2″ seam allowance.

So, if you want a 2″ x 4″ Flying Goose unit, you need to cut 1 rectangle 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and 2 squares that are 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″.

3″ x 6″? Then cut a 31/2″ x 61/2″ rectangle and 2 squares 31/2″ x 3 1/2″.

1 1/2″ x 3″? Then cut a 2″ x 31/2″ rectangle and 2 squares 2″ x 2″.

Easy Peasy, right?

Please note: If you like to make things a little bigger and then trim them to size, you can add 3/4″ – 1″ and then trim your units to the right size.

Art Gallery Fabrics has a lovely downloadable Flying Geese Cheat Sheet with instructions and a chart with cutting for common size units. Yay! Find the download HERE.

Now that we know the math secret for cutting, let’s make the unit!

  1. Layer a square right sides together on the left side of the rectangle with the edges aligned. Draw a diagonal line from bottom left corner on the square to the top right corner.
  2. Sew on the line. Trim 1/4″ away from the line. Open and press.
  3. Layer a square right sides together on the right side of the rectangle with the edges aligned (the right side square will overlap the left triangle top by about 1/4″ in order to create the top seam allowance). Draw a diagonal line from the bottom right corner of the square to the top left corner.
  4. Sew on the line. Trim 1/4″ away from the line. Open and press. (Note that the top of the unit will have the 1/4″ seam allowance.)
  5. Voila! A Flying Goose unit.

Here are links to some other Flying Geese methods:

No Waste 4 Flying Geese at a time — Art Gallery Fabrics download with instructions and cutting chart

One Seam Flying Geese — Piecemeal Quilts download with instructions, formula, and photos

Traditional 3 Triangle Flying Geese — Threadbare Creations tutorial with cutting cheat sheet

Scrap Bin Geese — A Bright Corner (a super fun and easy variation using 2 1/2″ strips and it’s great for scraps!)

There are Rulers, too!

Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day Flying Geese Rulers:

1. Small Ruler — 1 1/2″ x 3 and 3″ x 6″

2. Large Ruler — 2″ x 4″ and 4″ x 8″

3. Mini Set — 1″ x 2″ and 2″ x 4″, 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ x 3″, and a 21/2″ fussy cutting ruler

4. Jumbo Set — 2 1/2″ x 5″ and 5″ x 10″, 1 1/4″ x 21/2″ and 2 1/2″ x 5″

Lazy Girl Flying Geese x 4 No Math Ruler

Creative Grids Ultimate Flying Geese Ruler

Bloc Loc Flying Geese Set #1

Bloc Loc Flying Geese Ruler — comes in different sizes

Now let’s check out my curated list of VRD Flying Geese Rose Card Patterns, shall we?

Flying Geese VRD Rose Card Patterns

I’ve included Baby Goose in this list (it is on my HST list, too) because you CAN make Flying Geese units out of HSTs!

Get Baby Goose Here

Get Beach Walk HERE

Get Duffy HERE

Get Flock Together HERE

Get Grandma’s Girl HERE

Get Goodnight Starlight HERE

More HSTs disguising as Flying Geese!

Get Lazy Goose HERE

Get Long Island Star HERE

Get Migration HERE

More HSTs dressing up as Flying Geese!

Get Remember Me HERE

Snow Goose uses the “Scrap Bin” method for Flying Geese

Get Snow Goose HERE

Get Splash HERE

Get Star Queen HERE

Get Stargazer HERE

Get Today’s Special HERE

HSTs unite — into Flying Geese!

Get Zip-a-Dee-Do–Dah HERE

What a nice collection of VRD Rose Card patterns featuring Flying Geese Units!

I am excited to show off some new photos of a previous tutorial — Hypnotized.

Revisiting VRD Rose Card Pattern Hypnotized

Remember Hypnotized? You can find the tutorial HERE.

This was my tutorial quilt top. Sadly, this is as far as it’s gotten, but I plan to quilt it soon (you know in the next 20 years or so! LOL!).

Get Hypnotized HERE

I have a group of wonderful delightful ladies who are part of my monthly “quilt class” at my local quilt shop, Homespun Treasures. It’s more like a slumber party or a gab fest than a class, though. LOL!

BIG SHOUT OUT to everyone in the class — Mary Lee, Sherry, Gaynel, Kim, Robin, Lisa, Jean, Donna, Debbie, Anita, Missi (an honorary member right now), and Gail (the shop owner)!

Anyway, this year our class is called Panels and Novelties Oh My! and we are featuring 10 Villa Rosa Rose Card patterns (one each month from March through December) using panels and novelty fabrics.

Did you know that in most cases, panels and novelty fabrics are interchangeable???

Our March project for April was Hypnotized. Here is a Gallery of the some of the quilt tops and finished quilts made by my Panel and Novelties group.

Aren’t they marvelous????

LOVE the Hypnotized pattern — it is sew sew versatile and looks good with just about anything! AND you can use panel squares or novelty fabric.

The last photo with the patriotic theme was made by my pal, Mary Lee, and was already completed and donated to our local Quilts of Valor organization before our April meeting.

Thank you, Mary Lee!

For more information about how you can get involved with the Quilts of Valor Foundation, please go HERE.

Well, I guess that’s it for me today. I am feeling so energized and inspired, I need to go make a quilt.

OH! I almost forgot! MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

Quilt Block Basics · Quilting Partners · Rose Cards

Quilt Block Basics — The Y Block, Rose Card List, and Hoffman Fabrics + VRD

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

Wow! We’ve got lots to talk about today — I hope you are ready!

Let’s start off with our Quilt Blocks Basics first — today we are taking a good look at the Y BLOCK!

I did the HSTs and QSTs before tackling the Y block because a Y block is a combination of a QST and an HST. Sounds weird, I know, but really, that’s what it is.

There are other names for the Y block unit, but for the purpose of this post, we’ll stick with calling it the Y block.

Let’s look at some blocks using the Y block unit:

Bet you’ve never heard of most of these blocks — they were pretty new to me, too.

Now let’s play a little bit with this very versatile quilt block unit. We are going to use 4 Y block units together in a 4 Patch configuration.

Let’s see what happens when we flip the Y block units around in the block:

Wow! We can really come up with some fun blocks that will make interesting quilt designs!

I think you can see the versatility of the Y block unit in the block variations above. Just imagine what you could come up with if you started changing out the fabrics as well as moving the units about. This is only a 4 patch block frame — what about a 9 patch frame? What if you combined this unit with other units like HSTs, QSTs, or others?

It is simply mind-boggling, isn’t it???

Electric Quilt 8 Software makes it sew easy to play with these units! I can get lost for hours playing with blocks in EQ….

How to Make a Y Block

There are several different ways to tackle the construction of the Y block unit. I decided not to reinvent the wheel because there are so many different ways to make a traditional Y block.

Here’s a great traditional Y block tutorial from Scissortailquilting.com just like the way I would demonstrate how to make it. YAY MATH! They even include the math formulas for you as well as a cutting chart.

The traditional method works great for putting together Y block units, except for one little thing — you make 4 units with mirror images, which is terrific if you want mirror images, but what if you need a Y block unit but not its mirror image?????

Seriously, though, who wants to make twice as many blocks as they need to, which takes twice as much time and twice as much fabric???

My friend, Cathey Laird, of Cathey Marie Designs, was fascinated with the Y block unit and pondered the mirror image issue for a long time until she came up with a solution. Cathey invented a cool Y block ruler which eliminated the mirror image problem — instead of mirror images, you get 4 identical Y block units!

You can find Cathey’s ruler HERE.

Here’s a great Y block tutorial done by Cathey herself:

Y Block VRD Rose Card Patterns

I went through the entire pattern catalog and found only a few Rose Card patterns featuring Y blocks.

Get Crossed Paths HERE

Get Twisted HERE

Well, I see new Y block designs for VRD in the future! LOL!

Speaking of Rose Cards, I wanted to share something very cool with you!

Rose Card Tracker

Did you know VRD has a printable list of ALL the Rose Cards????? This might be new to you because it is actually located on the wholesale website, but the list is for everyone who loves Rose Cards.

It is updated every month to include each month’s new patterns, too.

You can find the VRD Rose Card list HERE.

Not too long ago, I finally got all my Rose Cards organized and alphabetized in small clear plastic crates with lids. Yay me!

So next I decided to figure out which Rose Cards I was missing in my collection.

I easily printed out the list (3 pages long as of right now) and sorted through all my Rose Cards to find out which ones I did not have. Then I ordered all the ones I was missing. LOL! As long as I keep up with the new cards, I will have a complete collection of VRD Rose Cards.

It really didn’t take me too long to go through the list because it is in alphabetical order, just like my Cards. Below, you can see that I used red Xs to mark the ones I had. Then, when I did my order, I just ordered all the ones without a red X. I put a small dot in the empty spaces as I went along so I knew which ones I had already added to my order (in case I had to stop at some point and go back to it later).

As of right now I have 3 of the plastic storage boxes almost full with my Cards, so I will probably be adding a 4th as soon as my new Cards arrive. I plan to keep my Cards organized that way, then it will be a snap to find any Card I am looking for.

Yay! Three cheers for organization!!!! How many Rose Cards do you have? How many do you need to complete your collection?

Check Out Our VRD Rose Card Patterns in the NEW Hoffman Spring Project Book

We’ve been working with Hoffman Fabrics for a while now. Their new Spring catalogs are out and I’m excited to share the new Spring 2023 Project Book with you. It is simply drool-worthy!!!!

Hoffman Project Catalog Spring 2023

Sew. Dream. And head to your local quilt shop to find Hoffman Fabrics and VRD Rose Cards.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

Quilt Block Basics · Rose Cards · Tutorials · villa rosa designs

Quilt Block Basics — Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs)

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

I hope you’re ready to dive right back into our Quilt Block Basics mini series! This week, we’re going to talk about Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs). So, what exactly is a QST?

A QST is made up of 4 triangles sewn together into a square. Those are Isoceles triangles for you math people out there. LOL!

You might have heard of this as an Hour Glass unit. Barbara Brackman, quilt historian extraordinaire, and Electric Quilt call it Four X. What other names have you heard this unit called?

I guess in a way, you could even consider it to be a type of a Four Patch, but calling it a QST helps to differentiate it from the classic Four Patch, below, which is made up of 4 squares.

Let’s look at some quilt blocks with QSTs! Some are old favorites and some may be new to you.

How to Make a Quarter Square Triangle

  1. Layer 2 squares the same size, right sides together.
  2. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner.
  3. Sew 1/4″ away from both sides of the line.
  4. Cut on the drawn line and open each unit to make 2 HSTs. (What????? HSTs???? Wait — we’re not done yet!)
  5. Layer the HSTs right sides together so that the light triangle is on top of the dark triangle and vice versa.
  6. Draw a diagonal line from corner to opposite corner, perpendicular to the already-sewn seam.
  7. Sew 1/4″ away from both sides of the line.
  8. Cut on the drawn line and open each unit to make 2 Quarter Square Triangles!

You may have noticed that I didn’t include any measurements for cutting the squares. Well, that was intentional. Just like HSTs, there is a magic math formula to figure out the size of squares you need to cut based on what your desired finished size will be (no charts to lose!).


And the magic number for QSTs is…..drum roll please………1 1/4.

Yep, that’s it. Add an extra 1 1/4″ to your finished size and your QSTs to get the right size.


If you want 4″ finished QSTs — then cut your squares 5 1/4″.

Want 8″ finished QSTs? Then cut your squares 9 1/4″.

What about 1″ finished QSTs? Cut the squares 2 1/4″.

That’s it, folks. Isn’t quilt math delightful?

Seriously, I would have loved geometry way back when if my high school geometry teacher had taught me quilt math instead of writing proofs to prove a square was “squarular”. Sigh…….yes, I know — that’s not really a word, but in my humble opinion, it should be……..triangles are triangular and rectangles are rectangular so why aren’t squares squarular????

Okay, enough of that! Don’t get me started on the vagaries of the English language. LOL!

Instead, let’s look at some great Villa Rosa Designs Rose Card patterns that feature QSTs.

QST VRD Rose Card Patterns

Get Baby Cakes HERE

Get Diamond Daze HERE

Get Downtown HERE

Get Kristin HERE

Get Tropicana HERE

This is a super short list compared to the HST list I curated a couple weeks ago, isn’t it? You can find the HST VRD list HERE if you missed it.

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Go forth make QSTs! Lots and lots of QSTs!

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

Just Quilty Stuff · Quilt Block Basics · Quilt Play · Rose Cards · Tips and Tricks · Tutorials · villa rosa designs

Quilt Block Basics — Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

Before I dive right into HSTs, I want to show off my completed Helix quilt top. Yes, I finished it! I really like the finished top, although I wish my points had turned out better. What do you think?

I didn’t have enough background left to add side strips, but that was okay, it will be fine as long as I’m careful when I sew the binding on because I don’t want to cut off the triangle points.

Quilt Block Basics

Lately I’ve been feeling very creative — maybe the change in the weather? I’ve been churning out new quilt designs on my EQ8 (Electric Quilt) software and I will never have enough time to make them all, I’m afraid. While I was working on all these new designs, I started thinking about the smaller units that make up quilt blocks and I thought — AHA!!! That’s a great topic for the blog!

So, welcome to a new VRQ mini-series, all about the smaller units that make up our favorite quilt blocks.

The first unit I want to talk about is the Half Square Triangle.

Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

Half Square Triangles or HSTs are one of the most common building blocks for a pieced quilt block. Sometimes you see HSTs called Triangle Squares or Half Square Triangle squares or blocks. I like to keep things simple when I write instructions and I consistently use Half Square Triangles or HSTs.

You can find HSTs in simple blocks such as:

Or in more complex blocks like:

One of my most favorite things is playing around with the parts of my blocks to create new block designs when I’m designing. I like to change colors, switch lights and darks, and change the orientation of the units within a block in order to create something new and different. EQ8 makes this sew easy to do.

To show you what I mean, let’s play with the Mosaic # 17 block, which is all HSTs and gives us lots of room to play!

Let’s change the orientation of the HSTs:

Now let’s add another color in the mix:

Let’s try change the orientation, too:

Okay, okay, I’d better stop here or I’m going to lose my writing focus and create another stack of quilt designs I will never have time to make! LOL!

I think you can see how much fun it is to play with HSTs. Imagine what happens when you add other building block units with the HSTs………but that is a post for another day.

Half Square Triangle Assembly

There are many different ways to make HSTs — just check on YouTube, Pinterest, or your favorite quilting magazine.

I am going to show you my favorite method here — this is the method I use in my quilt instructions.

  1. Layer 2 squares together, right sides together (RST).
  2. Draw a diagonal line from 1 corner to the opposite corner.
  3. Sew 1/4″ away from both sides of the drawn line.
  4. Cut the HSTs apart on the drawn line. Open to make 2 HSTs.

I bet you noticed I didn’t use any dimensions for my fabric squares. That was intentional. As I’ve said many times, quilting is all about math (check out my ode to quilting and math HERE).

HSTs are no different! You can use this construction method to make any size HST. You just have to know a teeny tiny magical math secret!

To figure out how big to cut your squares, you need to add 7/8″ to your finished dimensions! Really, that’s all you need to remember. You don’t need to refer to a cutting chart, you just need to remember 7/8″. (Please note that 7/8″ may not work for all HST methods.)

Here are some examples:

I want my HST’s to finish at 3″, so I need to cut my squares 3 7/8″.

5″ finished? Cut 5 7/8″ squares.

12″ finished HSTs……….cut 12 7/8″ squares.

Easy peasy! YAY MATH! Thank you, Mrs. Hank (my high school math teacher)!

HST VRD Rose Card Patterns

We have a wonderful collection of HST pattern sin our VRD catalog. It’s a L O N G list, so hang in there until the end of the post.

Here’s my curated HST list:

Get the April Showers pattern HERE

Get the Baby Zip Ties pattern HERE

Get the Bat Dance pattern HERE

Get the Be Unique pattern HERE

Get the Beatrice pattern HERE

Get the Blizzard pattern HERE

Get the Carnival Glass pattern HERE

Get the Chop pattern HERE

Get the Columbia pattern HERE

Get the Crossed Paths pattern HERE

Get the Diamonds pattern HERE

Get the Domino Five pattern HERE

Get the Drayton Hall pattern HERE

Get the Elementary pattern HERE

Get the Estrella pattern HERE

Get the Fa La La pattern HERE

Get the Falling pattern HERE

Get the Fernanda pattern HERE

Get the Friendship Hearts pattern HERE

Get the Giggles pattern HERE

Get the Hanover pattern HERE

Get the Hidden Gems pattern HERE

Get the Hole in One pattern HERE

Get the Illumination pattern HERE

Get the Indigo Bay pattern HERE

Get the Jardena pattern HERE

Get the Malaysia pattern HERE

Get the Maple Grove pattern HERE

Get the Mountains pattern HERE

Get the Movie Star pattern HERE

Get the Nana’s Aprons pattern HERE

Get the Notches pattern HERE

Get the October Sky pattern HERE

Get the Optic pattern HERE

Get the Orange Waves pattern HERE

Get the Painted Moon pattern HERE

Get the Party Girl pattern HERE

Get the Party Girl Remix pattern HERE

Get the Peppermint & Holly pattern HERE

Get the Pinwheel Picnic pattern HERE

Get the Pride pattern HERE

Get the Rainbow Road pattern HERE

Get the Raspberry Cream pattern HERE

Get the Rebound pattern HERE

Get the Remember Me pattern HERE

Get the Salt ‘n’ Pepper pattern HERE

Get the Salute pattern HERE

Get the Serengeti pattern HERE

Get the Silver Star pattern HERE

Get the Sisterhood pattern HERE

Get the Smidge pattern HERE

Get the Smudge pattern HERE

Get the Snow Goose pattern HERE

Get the Solar Flare pattern HERE

Get the Spaceman pattern HERE

Get the Spiritualized pattern HERE

Get the Square Box pattern HERE

Get the Star Rail pattern HERE

Get the Starfire pattern HERE

Get the Stars N Stripes pattern HERE

Get the Sunny Day pattern HERE

Get the Tower Bridge pattern HERE

Get the Twinkle pattern HERE

Get the Underground pattern HERE

Get the Waverly pattern HERE

Get the Whiplash pattern HERE

Get the Whirlpool pattern HERE

Get the Wild Rover pattern HERE

Get the Winchester pattern HERE

Get the Winter Sun pattern HERE

Get the X Ray pattern HERE

Get the Zig Zag pattern HERE

Get the Zip Tease pattern HERE

Get the Zipper pattern HERE

I hope you enjoyed this VERY extensive list of HST Rose Card patterns. Thanks for suffering through the whole list (wink, wink).

As I was gathering them from the VRD catalog, I was struck with the enormous amount of creativity and innovation shown by our VRD designers.

Kudos to all of the VRD designers! You rock!

Well, that’s it for me for this week.

Take care until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD