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

Panel Quilts · Quilt Play · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

What Can I Do with a Quilt Panel?

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

After our 8 week Basic Quilting Skills for Beginners series, I find I’m ready for something new. How about you???

I thought it would be fun to talk about quilt panels and what quilts you can make with them. I must admit that I have a big stash of quilt panels. I know that admitting you have an addiction is the first step to recovery, right?

SHHHHH! My super secret stash of panels!

I’ve collected panels for a long time, but I rarely seem to use them or make anything out of them. Sure, I’ve slapped borders around some of them and whipped up a quick baby quilt or simple wall hanging, but does that really count? When I taught free motion quilting classes in the past, I even used a panel as a project so students would actually be quilting a “real” quilt, but not something they’d worked on for hours and hours.

If the quilt police showed up at my front door and asked me about my fabric stash and all my panels, I would say: Who me?? I have no idea where these panels and all this fabric came from. I think fabric is like rabbits and multiplies when you’re not looking. That makes sense, doesn’t it? But would it work?

Well, I’m hear to tell you that Villa Rosa Designs has a lot of GREAT patterns specifically for quilt panels — for vertically printed panels, horizontal panels, and even panels with printed “quilt squares.” Yay! Villa Rosa to your rescue — and mine, too!

Let’s take a look at some of the panel quilt Rose Card patterns. You can find ALL of these patterns on the website, www.villarosadesigns.com

Vertical panels seem to be the most common type of quilt panel and we have quite a few Rose Card patterns to choose from.

One of my absolute favorite Rose card patterns for vertical panels is Hillside Charm! I know I’ve mentioned this one before, but it is an awesome pattern and I have to show it off again! You’ll probably read about it later in the future too. Sorry, not sorry.

You can buy the Hillside Charm Rose card HERE

Isn’t this just the coolest pattern? Aren’t you already mentally going through your panel stash to see what you can use for Hillside Charm? I know I am….

Another one of my favorites is Daring Spirit — the perfect quilt for a Quilt of Valor as long as you add a narrow border around it to meet the minimum width requirement for a Quilt of Valor. You can check out my Daring Spirit tutorial HERE and my Quilts of Valor presentation post HERE.

You can buy Daring Spirit HERE

Take a look at these terrific Rose Card patterns for vertical panels. Grab ’em while they’re hot!

Did you know Villa Rosa has Rose Card patterns for horizontal panels, too? This is awesome because patterns for horizontal printed panels can be hard to find!

October Sky is one of our most popular patterns. I bet you can see why! The really cool thing is that the top and bottom star sections are made with half square triangles, which go together like a snap when you take a little extra care to place your colors correctly.

Shh! Don’t tell anyone and when you make your October Sky quilt, everyone will be in awe at seeing your amazing quilting skills. I can’t wait to make one of these for myself.

You can buy October Sky HERE

Here are some more Rose Card patterns for horizontal panels. Nice!

We even have Rose Card patterns for quilt panels with printed blocks or squares!

Hypnotized is one of our new Rose Cards this year. I just love the look of this quilt — it looks difficult to make, but I know it won’t be because it’s a Rose Card pattern.

You can buy Hypnotized HERE

I’m all set to make Hypnotized. The only problem is that by the time I get to my project, it will be too late for Halloween this year so I guess I’ll have to say it’s early for next year.

Here’s my fabric for the Hypnotized Rose Card pattern — don’t you love it??? Instead of panel squares, though, I’m going to cut the squares from the gnome print and I’m going to use the stripe for my border. You’ll have to stay tuned for this quilt coming soon, or at least some time before Halloween 2023. LOL!

Yay! More Rose Card patterns for panels with printed squares/blocks. Of course, you can always substitute squares of any novelty fabric you love in these patterns, which makes them very versatile.


I think you know me by now (and how much I like saying that phrase), so of course there’s more.

You know those really big panels that measure roughly 36″ x 42″? Well, we even have a couple patterns for these big panels, too.

You can buy Nebula HERE
You can buy Puppy Love HERE

And if you know anything about Villa Rosa Designs, you can bet we’ll be adding new patterns for panels in the future. In fact, I have a few ideas of my own.

That’s it for today. I’m off to play with my panels.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

Quilt Play · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

Flowers, Electric Quilt, and NEW Villa Rosa Designs Rose Card Quilt Patterns

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

I hope you are all having a great week so far! Me, it’s been a bit rocky in my basement studio/office, which I fondly call my “dungeon.” After a really dry July, early August has been really wet. And I mean wet!

In 5 days, water has rolled into my studio casement window THREE TIMES! In 5 days! I have spent most of my time emptying the dehumidifier, moving fans around, washing-drying-rewashing-drying again all the blankets we’ve been able to find for soaking up the water. ARGH! Luckily, the water didn’t completely flood my space, it only got about halfway across the room, almost to my computer desk. It’s been kind of stressful here. I shouldn’t be complaining because others are faring much worse than I am, but it’s been a lot of work to stay on top of the water once the deluges hit. Talking to my family, we don’t think this much flooding in the basement has happened in 20 years. What a fluke (I hope).

Now let’s turn our thoughts to something really fun and seasonal. Sadly, our container garden and other plants did not grow much during the super dry month of July, but all of a sudden everything is growing by leaps and bounds, although the marigolds don’t look so happy.

We planted our garden and plants a bit late this year and now that things are finally growing like crazy, I just hope that they’ll have enough time to bear fruit (or veggies). I would really like some fresh produce that I grew myself on the back porch! Yum yum yummy!

Speaking of flowers and plants, I’m particularly proud of my Black-Eyed Susans, which is one of my all-time favorite flowers, along with Sunflowers and Daisies. I wonder……how many Black-Eyed Susan, Sunflower, and Daisy quilt blocks are there in Electric Quilt 8. Any guesses? Hmm. I haven’t checked yet, so I think I’ll guess 35 total. So let’s see! Hang on, I’ll be right back. Let me check.

I found 6 Black-Eyed/Brown-Eyed Susan quilt blocks. Not too shabby!

Next I counted 34 Sunflower blocks. Nice!

And then I discovered at least 40 Daisy blocks. Way cool!

Well, my guess was a bit low. How about your guess?

Sew, let’s have some fun and play with flower blocks a little bit!

Here are some really fun quilts with Black-eyed Susan blocks. EQ8 ROCKS!

Check out these awesome Sunflower quilts — are you inspired yet???

Now, how about a trio of Daisy quilts?

WOW! I really love love love EQ8 — it is sew sew fun just to explore different blocks and make quilts on the computer screen, whether I ever make them into real quilts or not!

Aren’t you inspired to make your own flower quilt now? I challenge you to create a quilt featuring your favorite flower! I dare you!

I’d love to revisit flower quilts down the road and include the quilts of our VRD fans. Sew, please send me your flower quilts — er, a photo of your flower quilt along with a short description/story of your quilt. If I choose your quilt and story for the blog, I promise I’ll send you a little surprise in the mail! You can email your flower quilt images to me at tricia@villarosaquilts.com.


Yay! It’s that time of the month again — no, not THAT time of the month. LOL! It’s the beginning of a new month and that means a NEW collection of Villa Rosa Rose Cards!

Here they are — our new August Rose Cards!

You can order the August set of 5 Rose Cards HERE. Go ahead, I know you want to.

But wait — there’s more! Tehehe.

Here’s my NEW August Table Runner, Slice of Summer.

Cute, huh? You can get your own Slice of Summer Rose Card HERE.

Sew, there you have it — our awesome new August patterns! Can’t wait to see what new patterns next month will bring…….

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD