Quilt Stories · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

A Quilts of Valor (QOV, QOVF) Presentation

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

I hope your week is going well and you’ve found a few moments to quilt during the hustle and bustle of the end of summer and back to school. I remember those endless days of school shopping — new shoes, clothes, school supplies, etc., etc…. Sadly, there are no more kiddos in my family — my nieces Meghan and Morgan are all grown up. Yet, for some reason I still cannot resist grabbing up extra pens, pencils, tablets, and other supplies. Maybe I miss those days, or maybe in my own mind, I’m still a student.

Last weekend after lots of hard work, we had my Mom’s annual family reunion at our local fire hall. She and my Aunt Helen worked really hard to get it organized. And even though we were all worried about how many folks would be able to make it, the reunion came together and there was a great turn out with cousins coming from as far away as California to our little corner of Pennsylvania.

This year’s reunion was a special one for me — I had organized a Quilts of Valor presentation with my local QOV organization, PA Stitchers of Valor. Collene Munn, who is the force behind our local organization, came to my family reunion along with volunteer husband and wife, Jason and Linda. With their help, we celebrated and honored 4 veterans in our family — my cousins Lisa, Michael, Ron Sr., and Ron Jr. My Dad, my sister Tracy, and I helped with the presentation while my niece Morgan was my photographer.

If you’ve never seen a Quilts of Valor presentation, then you truly have missed witnessing something very special. It’s common for tears to flow and hugs to be shared. Sometimes it’s the first time that family members even get to hear what their veteran or service member actually did during their service. Sometimes the presentation is the moment when a veteran can finally talk about what they might have experienced. Perhaps this is the first time a veteran has actually been thanked for their service. The actual presentation might only last an hour, but the significance of receiving a Quilts of Valor could last a lifetime.

I am very proud to share that I personally made 3 out of the 4 quilts presented. You might recognize 2 of the quilts because they are Villa Rosa Designs Rose Card patterns. The 3rd one I made will be a new Rose Card which will be available soon. I would have made the 4th quilt, but I just ran out of time, so the 4th quilt was made and donated by QOV volunteers.

Allow me to share photos from our family Quilts of Valor presentation.

Each veteran was called up individually while Collene shared a short description of their service. And while each veteran was called up, the veteran’s quilt was displayed behind them usually by a family member and a volunteer. Here, you can see my cousin Lisa with her quilt displayed behind her. This quilt you will see again soon as a new Rose Card pattern called Gallant.

My cousin Michael (Lisa’s big brother) was called up next. His quilt is the Rose Card pattern, Salute, which is one of my patterns. You can buy the Salute Rose Card pattern HERE.

My cousin Ron Sr. was next. You will recognize his quilt as the VRD Rose Card pattern, Daring Spirit. In fact, this is the same quilt from the Daring Spirit tutorial I wrote for the blog a few weeks ago. I am notorious for combining different things into the same project to maximize my time. You can find the Daring Spirit tutorial HERE. You can buy the Daring Spirit Rose Card pattern HERE.

And our final recipient was my cousin, Ron Jr., who is Ron Sr.’s son. This beautiful scrap quilt was made and donated by QOV volunteers. Are you interested in making a quilt to donate to QOV? Or perhaps getting involved in another way? You can visit their website for more information: www.QOVF.org.

Once all the recipients were seated, then it was time to wrap each veteran in their quilt with a quilter’s hug. 2 people hugged each veteran — one a family member and one a quilter as they wrapped the quilt around the veteran. This was an incredibly emotional moment.

At the end of the presentation, each veteran received a certificate and a pillowcase.

Then there were lots of hugs and hand-shaking. What an amazing event to share at my family reunion this year! I know that there are more veterans and service members in the family, so I hope we can do this again next year.

I encourage each and every one of you to connect with the veterans and service members in your family and community. Nominate them to your local Quilts of Valor organization. Make and donate quilts. Volunteer. And above all, go to QOV presentations in your community to support local veterans and service members.

Visit www.qovf.org for more information and to get involved.

Well, that’s it for this week.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD

Quilt Stories · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

Food, Quilting, and Math

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

Now that the summer season is almost 2/3rds over, I hope you are taking the time to have a little fun, whether that means having a cookout in the backyard or going on a vacation somewhere exotic, make time to have fun with your loved ones.

Me, I love summer cookouts, picnics, and family reunions! Yes, I know these events are all usually about the food, but if you knew my family, you would understand that food is always a central part of any event or get-together. Over the years, I have tried to incorporate quilting into these events, too. Usually, I take along some portable hand-sewing project — binding or hexies. This is a great way to break the ice from starting a conversation with a far away relative or someone new. Quilting brings people together, just like food. And I am deliriously happy when I can have both together!

We even have snacks at my quilt guild meetings! Do you like my vase of wildflowers? I picked them from alongside the road.

Quilting and Math

I am thrilled that I’ve been getting some quality time with my sewing machine recently. Finally. And every time I design a quilt on my computer using Electric Quilt 8 software and then create the quilt in fabric, I am still completely amazed that everything goes together!

Quilting is simply a form of math. Have you ever thought about it that way? Every time we use a ruler, a template, or follow a pattern, it’s all about the math. Maybe we don’t have to do all the figuring when using patterns or templates because someone already did the math for us, but it’s still all math.

My stash of rulers.

I find it ironic that after all these years, I work in a field that is so completely immersed in math. I can still remember all the struggling I did to understand math after I finished Algebra 2 in 8th grade. Geometry was a total disaster for me. Why did I have to prove that a square was truly a square? Ugh. Thank goodness for teachers like Mrs. Hank, who was my math teacher for 5 out of 6 years of high school (excluding that awful year in geometry). Mr.s Hank would be totally amazed that I do math everyday. And I even like it. Now.

Thanks, Mrs. Hank!

Later as an undergraduate at Allegheny College, a private liberal arts school, I found the only science/math cluster available that did not require taking any math classes — archaeoastronomy! My cluster of 3 classes included 2 astronomy classes and a physics course with a lab component. It was like I was allergic to math for a long long time and suddenly quilting cured my allergy! I am not afraid to say — I LIKE MATH. I’m thinking of getting a t-shirt made to celebrate quilting and math……what do you think?

As a quilt designer, when I start a new project, I fire up my Electric Quilt software. I usually start with a favorite simple quilt block in a friendly size because not only do I detest measurements like 5 and 7/16th, but why would a design a project that requires that kind of cutting measurement in the first place? No one would buy my patterns. To see more about my design process, go HERE.

Once I’m satisfied with my design, I print out the cutting information from EQ8 and I get started making the project. While I make the project, I write down notes such as how many strips to cut in what size. Then after I make the project, I write the pattern. Through this process, I’m using lots and lots of math! Yes, I actually have to write the pattern, EQ8 does not do that, it’s up to the designer to translate the design into words.

Here at Villa Rosa Designs, I create diagrams and write patterns for other designers or for special projects. Sometimes I have to sit down with my pencil, paper, and a calculator to figure out or double check the math. Quilting and math go hand-in-hand. Without math, there wouldn’t be any quilting!

I find it a little sad and quite humorous at the same time that historically, quilting has been considered to be a woman thing. Today, more and more men are getting involved in quilting, whether as designers or as makers. They have discovered the amazing partnership between math and creativity/art that quilting offers. And besides, quilting is for everyone!

So for the rest of the summer, make sure you have some fun.

Eat. Quilt. And do math.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD

Quilt Stories · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

The Villa Rosa Designs Ap and a Bear Hugs Story

Hello Quilty Friends!

Hope you are all having a wonderful week filled with lots of quilting and sunshine! Recently here in NW PA, we finally had some warm temperatures and lots of sunshine. It’s like we went from winter to summer in a matter of days. Everything is turning green and there is an explosion of color — it almost hurts your eyes, but in a good way!

Did you know Villa Rosa Designs has an ap?

Yes, we do!

It is available through your ap store. It’s a free ap and after you download it, you will be able to view all the Rose Cards, listed alphabetically. It even updates when new cards are added each month, so you will always have the most up-to-date list of Rose Cards.

In addition to the complete Rose Card list, you can create your own lists such as What I Own or What I Want or even Fat Quarter Quilts — whatever lists you can think of.

Another useful thing is that when you click on a Rose Card, another screen pops up with the quilt dimensions and its fabric requirements.

It’s not a shopping ap, but it’s fun to be able to search Rose Cards on the go.

For example:

Like when you’re at a quilt show or shop and you can’t remember if you have a specific Card — use the ap to find out.

Or maybe you’re shopping and find the perfect fabrics for a Rose Card project but you forgot the Card at home and you don’t know how much fabric you need — use the ap and look up the Rose Card to see the fabric requirements.

What a great resource to have at your fingertips wherever you go!

Bear Hugs: A Sweet Story

As a quilter, I just love hearing the story behind the quilt, don’t you?

You might remember the Bear Hugs Rose Card as one of the new Rose Cards for this month. Here’s the story behind the quilt.

You can order Bear Hugs HERE

I was invited to a baby shower for my cousin’s daughter — KK’s first baby. Of course I was going to make a baby quilt. I’m sure KK was expecting one, too, as she and her 2 siblings all received baby quilts when they were born.

I asked KK’s mom (my cousin) what the nursery theme was. She sent me a video which showed the crib and unfinished nursery in the background and told me “buffalo plaid, bears, fox, [and] deer.”

Now I had a starting point and it was time to head to my local quilt shop. I was sew lucky because there was a great display of the exact fabrics I was looking for! I grabbed a yard of a black and white buffalo plaid as well as 8 coordinating fat quarters of woodsy bears, deer, checks, and dots in black, white, red, and grey. I didn’t know what design I was doing yet, but I had the fabric — I was halfway there.

The next thing I did was fire up my computer and my Electric Quilt 8 (EQ8) software. Interested in learning more about EQ8? Go HERE.

I decided to use some type of a Log Cabin block because of the woodsy theme. I played around with different Log Cabin-type blocks for a while and this block is what I came up with:

Bear Hugs block

It’s a modern take on the old classic Log Cabin block.

This is one of the things I find the most fun about being a quilt designer — starting with a traditional block and re-imagining it. I really love doing that. It’s such a great way to create an entirely new quilt block to build a quilt around.

Happily, I finished the quilt a few days before KK’s baby shower. It was a beautiful baby shower –the theme of the shower matched the baby quilt perfectly, right down to the colors! I couldn’t wait for her to open it.

Surprise! A few days later, KK had baby J — a few weeks early, but he was perfect. And he had a full head of hair, too!

Here are a couple photos of Baby J on his Bear Hugs quilt — his quilt is the original quilt used for the front of the Bear Hugs pattern.

Baby J on his Bear Hugs quilt
You can see the top right corner of the quilt turned down, that’s the label. Do you label your quilts?

VRD Invites You…

Want to share your VRD Rose Card story? We’d love to hear it!

Please email your quilt story and original photo along with the Rose Card pattern you used to make the quilt to tricia@villarosadesigns.com. Stories and accompanying photos will be selected randomly to share on our blog and Facebook. This project will be ongoing. If your story is selected, we’ll send you a little thank you surprise to you in the mail! Can’t wait to hear your quilt stories!

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD