Rose Cards · Tips and Tricks · Tutorials · villa rosa designs

Cats and a VRD Cat City Block Tutorial + a Mini Quilt

Hello Quilty Friends!

Sigh……I’ve been thinking about cats lately. A lot. In addition to my own cats, I’ve been working on a couple cat quilt projects. If you don’t like cats, you might want to turn around now before it’s too late. (You can’t see me of course, but I’m rolling my eyes here. LOL!)

Let me tell you a little bit about MY CATS (sorry, not sorry — I did warn you).

Pip is my beautiful 12 year old silver tortie. She is sweet, rarely says a word, and is very generously-sized. Pip is a real foodie like me. I tell her frequently that she’s “practically perfect in every way,” but she can be very stubborn. And sneaky! Especially when she thinks no one is paying attention and she tries to get her little brother’s food (she is usually successful, too). Silly Pip!

Practically-perfect Pip!

Griffin just turned 1 at the end of April and is my little wild child. He zooms from one end of the house to the other and then back again. Over and over. As energetic as he is, he’s also my snuggle bug when he eventually slows down. Seriously. He loves to be held and snuggled! Griffin likes to watch “bird TV,” loves to be rocked, likes music, and even enjoys painting on a cute game on my tablet. He’s quite a fella!

Crazy man Griffin in a brief moment of stillness.

For some reason, cats and quilting just seem to go together. Like peanut butter and jelly! I just love seeing photos of cats “helping” their human quilters on social media, don’t you? Too bad neither of my cats are into that, but then again, if they were, I’d probably never get any quilting done.

In fact, as I sit here writing, Pip is hanging out in her favorite chair upstairs and Griffin is watching his birds on TV about 10 feet away from my desk. He is not only my little buddy but he’s also THE best coworker I’ve ever had.

Not long ago, Pat, our “Rose Queen” and the owner of Villa Rosa Designs, asked me to help her with some new quilt diagrams for her VRD pattern, Cat City.

To purchase the Cat City Pattern, click HERE Or to purchase the Cat City kit, click HERE

I was really intrigued by the cat block in the pattern, and thought I’d try it out before making the diagrams so I knew exactly how to put the block together. I discovered it’s a really fun block, but it can be a little tricky the first time you make it.

Let me show you how to put the Cat City block together.

Cat City Block Tutorial

First things first, follow the cutting instructions for the pattern. I chose a white fabric and a black fabric for this tutorial (you’ll see why a little bit later). I layered the two fabrics and cut the pieces out at the same time.

Layer your background and cat fabrics as you see here. I am making 2 cats at the same time and they will be a mirror image of each other. I used a pin to help hold things together on my way to my sewing machine. I also drew a sewing line with my marking pen (I LOVE Frixion pens for marking sewing lines on my fabric). Now off to my machine to sew on the line.

Next, trim off the waste triangles and press the unit open. I pressed my seams to the dark fabric.

Now to make some little ears! Layer your squares right sides together (RST) on the background fabric. Draw diagonal sewing lines on your squares with your marking tool. Sew on the line. Then cut away the waste triangles and press the units open. I pressed the seams towards the cat fabric.

Okay, we’re in the home stretch now. Yippee! Sew the ear unit to the top of the cat body — the ear fabric should match the cat (unless you’re feeling wild and crazy) and then sew the bottom of the ears to the cat body.

OOPS! You will see in the second photo, my cat ears didn’t line up very well with my cat body. Argh! No, it’s okay after all — the one edge of the cat fabric was folded under — whew, I was afraid my cat was growing right before my eyes!

Darn, time to use the tool all quilters and sewists run from in fear — THE SEAM RIPPER. (Cue creepy music.)

Done. It only took me a quick minute to rip out the seam, press the folded-under edge straight, and resew. Now we’re back in business. I pressed the seam towards the cat body.

In the first photo here, you can see how my cats will look after I sew the cat backs to the cat body/ear unit. I am planning to sew my cats front sides together. Ying and Yang, I think I will call them.

The middle photo shows the cats stitched together …….furever (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

The third photo shows how I pressed the seams — center seam between the cats open because of sewing the fiddly little ears together and the cat body/back seam I pressed towards the cat body. The ears wanted to be a bit difficult but I pressed them into submission with a little pressing spray (my favorite is Mary Ellen’s Best Press).

There you have it — a cat block with mirror-image cats. Of course, instead of sewing them fronts together, you might want to sew them with their backs together — would this be a cat fight???? — take a look at the quilt on the front of the Cat City pattern above for ideas.

BUT WAIT — there’s more! I just love saying that, don’t you?

I decided to cut 2″ strips for a border around my cat blocks for a fast to finish little quilt. I sewed the sides on first and then the top and bottom strips.

Voila! A little quilt, mini quilt, doll quilt, table quilt, place mat or whatever you want to call it.

Now I just need to layer my little quilt with batting and backing. Quilt it. Bind it.

DONE! My favorite kind of project. 🙂

Here is my black and white Ying and Yang alongside my first little Cat City quilt in pink and brown. When I finished the pink and brown one (which was my original example to figure out how the block went together), I decided that I had to make a black and white one.

I hope you will enjoy making your own Cat City quilt. Or maybe you just want to play a little bit and make yours mini. Whatever you choose, I can’t wait to see your cat quilts (and maybe your cats)!

You can share them on our Facebook page. Not a member yet? Join us to take part in all the Villa Rosa Designs fun HERE . We really are a fun bunch. Really.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD

Rose Cards · Tips and Tricks · villa rosa designs

Squeezing in More Quilting Time and Rose Card Storage

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you! I hope you are having a great week. Mine is moving right along at breakneck speed. It’s kind of scary — the older I get, the faster time passes. It reminds me of a quip by a family friend once — “I thought I saw someone I knew on my way in. Oh! It was only me on my way out!” Ha ha!

Funny, but not funny.

How do you find time to devote to your quilting habit or other creative endeavor?

Here’s my top 5 list to squeeze in more sewing time:

5. Stay up late or get up early (my least favorite, but it works in a pinch)

4. Have everything I need in one place before I start a project so I can use my sewing time without having to stop to find what I need next

3. Let someone else do the driving — you wouldn’t believe how much binding I can get done on shopping trips

2. Make smaller projects — I love making table runners, wall quilts, baby quilts, and throws. Smaller projects use less fabric than giant bed quilts too, just sayin’

1. Rose Cards! (Bet you saw that one coming. LOL!)

Rose Card Storage Ideas

Rose Cards aren’t just fun little patterns, they are highly addictive to collect. As there are over 400 different patterns in print right now (with more added every month), your Cards might be piling up. Mine are!

Sew, what do you do with your Cards when you’re not using them?

I’ve even noticed some discussions on our Facebook page recently about how people store their Rose Cards — thank you for sharing! This really made me start re-thinking my whole storage system, which isn’t really working for me anymore.

When I started collecting them in 2010, I put mine in little photo albums.

At first, an entire year’s worth of Cards fit in one album with pages to spare. But later, as more and more Cards were published each year, one album just wasn’t enough.

This worked for years, but now I have a bunch of little albums arranged with dates on the covers and it’s hard to find a specific Rose Card, unless I know what year it came out. Now what?

On Facebook, someone mentioned using small clear boxes and alphabet tabs. I thought I’d try this idea and will alphabetize them by name, instead of keeping all the Cards from a specific year together.

Since this is my new method, I don’t know how well it’s going to work for me yet. I’ll have to live with it for a while. You’ll have to check back in later to find out how well this method works for me.

Last week end, I attended a quilt show and some quilters even offered me more ideas when we were talking about Rose Cards. Like my idea of organizing them alphabetically in a plastic storage box, a friend suggested a vintage recipe box. I really liked this idea — it would be especially meaningful if you had your mother or grandmother’s vintage recipe box because you would think of her every time you pulled out a Rose Card to use. Nice!

Another idea someone shared with me was using a ring binder filled with the clear plastic pocket inserts used to store baseball cards. A plus with this idea is that you can see the front and back without taking the cards out of the sleeves. But I’m not sure that would help me find a specific card I was looking for.

Maybe you could also get dividers and organize your Cards into different categories — whatever made sense to you! Wouldn’t it be great to group Cards by the fabrics used — like fat quarters, charm squares, strips, yardage, panels, etc.? Or by the size or type of quilt — like table runner, baby quilt, throw, bed quilt?

I’m curious — how do you organize your Rose Cards?

VRD Invites You…

Did you enjoy the Bear Hugs story last week? Now every time I look at that pattern or see photos of someone’s version of the quilt, I will think of little J and his surprise entry into the world.

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

Please email your quilt story and original photo along with the name of 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 in the mail! Can’t wait to hear your quilt stories!

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD