Designer Spotlights · Quilt As Desired · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

VRD Designer Spotlight Interview with Shankari Paradee of Sewl Sister

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

I am sew excited to be interviewing Villa Rosa Designs’s NEWEST Designer, Shankari Paradee. of Sewl Sister www.sewlsister.com today.

Shankari Paradee of Sewl Sister

Tricia: Hello Shakari! Welcome to Villa Rosa Quilts!

Shankari: Hi Everyone! Glad to be here.

Tricia: Let’s get started!

Shankari: All right, let’s go!

Tricia: How did you meet Pat Fryer, the owner and “Rose Queen” of Villa Rosa Designs, or how did you become part of the VRD family of designers?

Shankari: I went to a quilt retreat in Texas, where I met Catherine Cureton of Running Doe Quilts.  She has several patterns with Villa Rosa Designs and encouraged me to connect with Pat.  It took us a minute to get together as we all had busy schedules but we made it happen!

Tricia: How did you discover quilting?  How long have you been quilting?

Shankari: I’ve been sewing since I was a little girl, starting with hand sewing doll clothes.  I grew up with sewing in my family.  When I moved to Oklahoma from Canada in 2006, my parents gifted me a beautiful 1960’s Viking sewing machine.  I pieced and quilted my first quilt on that machine. I now own a long arm and started my long arm journey in 2016.

Tricia: What’s your favorite quilt block(s)?

Shankari: Friendship block is one of my favorites.  I love the half-square triangle block because it’s such a simple block and you can use it to make so many other different blocks.

Friendship Star Block

Tricia: I really like that block too. And you’re right — there are sew many different variations. How did you make the leap from being a quilter to becoming a quilt designer?

Shankari: Once I got comfortable with piecing, I felt confident to venture out into the design world.  I’ve only been designing for a couple of years and I have learned so much!

Tricia: You’re right — being a designer is all about learning, isn’t it? Can you tell us a little bit about your design process?

Shankari: Sometimes, I just doodle a design and it turns into a quilt design.  Sometimes, I am looking for a specific style or feel and I go with my instincts on what I feel looks good.  I also talk to other quilty friends to see what their thoughts are on my design.  It’s always nice to have perspective.

Tricia: What is your favorite/least favorite part of the quilt-making process?

Shankari: I like it all and I think my least favorite would have to be binding.

Tricia: I am with you, Shankari! Binding is not my favorite part of designing and making quilts. What are your top 3 favorite quilting tools?  Why?

Shankari: I love my rotary cutter, it makes cutting fabric so much easier. I could not live without various sized cutting mats.  I can use smaller ones while traveling and teaching classes and I have two large ones on my sewing table. Binding clips are a life-saver!  They help make the binding process easier.

Tricia: For me, I couldn’t live without my computer, Electric Quilt software, or my rotary cutter! What are you working on now?  Any new patterns in the works?  Can you give us a sneak peek?

Shankari: I am working on a pattern for VRD coming up and I have another one coming up with a group of quilters that will be out in celebration of Jelly Roll Day in September.  You can always check out my Instagram for sneaky peeks! LOL! @hellosewlsister

Tricia: These are Shankari’s Rose Card patterns, you can purchase them HERE.

Shankari’s current patterns at Villa Rosa Designs

Tricia: You just had 2 new patterns come out in July, didn’t you?

Shankari: Yes, I did — Dainty Machines and Optic.

Tricia: Great patterns! You can find them here for purchase — Dainty Machines and Optic. Let’s shift gears a little bit — what’s your favorite book? 

Shankari: Right now — One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

Tricia: Type of music/musician? 

Shankari: Ed Sheeran

Tricia: Movie? 

Shankari: Sense and Sensibility

Tricia: Hah! I’m a Janite too! TV show?

Shankari: Downton Abbey

Tricia: Me too! What do you do when you are not quilting/designing?

Shankari: I’m usually running around with my kids or spending time with my family. 😊  I also moonlight as a cardiac nurse.

Tricia: Kiddos and nursing? When do you even have time for quilting? Do you have any advice to quilters who want to become quilt designers? 

Shankari: Don’t get bogged down by other designers and what they are doing.  It’s easy to feel like you’re just another quilter in the quilt pond, and there’s room for all of us.  Just design from your heart and “sewl”.  Design what feels good for you and you can’t go wrong.

Tricia: Anything else you’d like us to know about you? 

Shankari: I love to work with scraps and I’m on a mission to create a world with no landfill fabric.  I like to keep my quilt patterns as least wasteful as possible on fabric, and use simple cuts of fabric. I love teaching sewing and quilt-piecing.  If I can do it, you can too and I can teach you how. I have at least 8 sewing machines to my name, maybe that’s not too many?! Feel free to reach out and connect with me on social media or email:

www.sewlsister.com

www.instagram.com/hellosewlsister

www.facebook.com/hellosewlsister

Hellosewlsister@gmail.com

Tricia: Thank you sew much, Shankari, for taking the time to tell us about yourself. We are all looking forward to your upcoming VRD patterns!

Shankari: Thanks for having me on the blog!

There you have it, Quilty Friends!

How cool is it to get to know the quilt designers behind the VRD Rose Card patterns? Stay tuned for more Designer Spotlight Interviews coming soon.

Well, that’s it for this week.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD

Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

Fireworks and the NEW Villa Rosa Quilt Patterns for July

Hello Quilty Friends!

Another Happy Thursday to you!

I hope you all had a wonderful and safe 4th of July week end — how fun that the actual July 4th was on Monday. I bet a lot of you had a 3 day week end. Sew, what did you do for the holiday?

And I’d like to add a belated Happy Canada Day for our friends in Canada! How did you celebrate?

Celebrating the 4th of July for me is usually family, food, and fireworks in no particular order. I personally saw fireworks 3 times — 2 were live and 1 was a live stream of Boom over the Bay in Erie, PA. I love watching fireworks, although I am not a fan of the big booms themselves. I saw a lot of new fireworks this past week end, including hearts and stars as well as some awesome color combinations. Did you know that the Chinese invented fireworks thousands of years ago?

I even tried to capture a few photos of the amazing fireworks display in Sheakleyville, PA.

I even managed to start a new quilt project. Psst…….it’s red, white, and blue……and batik! Stay tuned for more on this project down the road.

Have you ever thought about creating a quilt that looks like fireworks? I do every time I see fireworks, but that’s as far as it ever goes. Maybe this year will be different and I’ll give it a try. Who knows?

NEW July VRD Patterns

Speaking of fireworks, the new July VRD patterns are out! Here’s my new table runner pattern for July, Firecracker:

Isn’t it fun? AND it goes together really really fast. You can order the pattern HERE. Or you can order a kit which includes the pattern HERE. Please keep in mind I don’t know how long the kit will be available so get yours now.

But wait! There’s MORE! (I just love saying that — it makes me giggle, although you might be rolling your eyes…)

One of the VRD folks came up with this super fun variation:

POPSICLES! How fun is this? And clever?? You can order the Firecracker Popsicles kit HERE. Again, I have no idea how long the kit will last, so get don’t wait to order yours.

And finally, here are the rest of the NEW patterns for July:

Aren’t they great? You can order all 5 cards for one low price HERE.

And these are the links to the kits (which include the pattern as well as the fabrics for the top and binding). Remember, there is no way to know how long the kits will last, so get yours now:

Sugar & Spice

Love Cats

Rainbow Road

Dainty Machines — Please note the kit for Dainty Machines makes a 32″ x 32″ quilt. Super cute, may I add! This would be perfect in your sewing room or as a gift for your fav quilting buddy.

Optic

Well, that’s it for this week.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD

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

A Little Gardening and Cake Day Quilt Block Assembly Tips

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you! I hope you all are having a wonderful summer so far.

My summer just got a whole lot better! Just recently my family got in gear and finally got our little back porch raised garden planted. And our flowers, too. We may be running a little behind, but I have hopes that in late summer/early fall we’ll be enjoying some fresh veggies picked right out of our little garden pf goodness. If it goes well, next year we are going to add a second raised bed garden.

I used to be an avid gardener way back when, but gave up the year I planted my garden twice and the critters ate everything before it even had a chance to grow. That was it.

But now I’m excited to try container gardening. Besides, ”container gardening” sounds so trendy, don’t you agree?

Cake Day Quilt Block Assembly Tips

I thought I’d share a quick tutorial on how I put the Cake Day table runner quilt block together along with some of my favorite piecing tips.

Cake Day Table Runner Rose Card Pattern

You can get your own Cake Day Table Runner Rose Card pattern HERE.

Often, I prefer to cut out all my pieces for the blocks before I start sewing. I find this is usually quicker than cutting and sewing one block at a time.

Here you can see the pieces all laid out in the right order (all four blocks are stacked) on a flannel board and then I can simply take everything to my sewing machine. This works well if you have to stop in the middle and come back to your project later. Everything stays right where you left — unless of course, you have gremlins or leprechauns or some other little mischievous creatures running around your sewing room when you are not looking.

I have also found that laying out and stacking the pieces in order makes sewing them together faster and easier because I don’t have to stop and figure out where each piece goes.

With all the pieces cut and laid out right sides up, sewing them together is a breeze, especially when I chain-stitch the units one right after the other without cutting my thread in between the units.

Nope! No need to head to my ironing board after clipping the thread between the units, I just kept sewing and chain-stitched the other side too.

I have discovered that the less I press as I’m putting together quilt blocks, the less the blocks stretch or get distorted, which of course improves the accuracy of my sewing.

In the next photo you can see I have the left side background sewn to the Cake print rectangles. Now it’s time to sew the right side.

All right! All the units are sewn together and I’ve clipped the threads between them. I made double sure I layered the units again exactly the same as when I started — we’re ready for the next step.

Again, I’m going to ignore my iron (it must be getting lonely). Time to sew the units together. More chain piecing.

Want to know what happens when I get to seams (remember I haven’t done any pressing at this point)? I’ve already decided which way I wanted my seams to go so as I sew, I hold them down and keep on sewing. Pedal to the metal!

In this next photo you can see I sewed the top unit to the second unit. We’re on a roll — let’s keep sewing.

Okay, we’re almost there! I sewed the rest of the units all together and presto — all 4 of our blocks are now complete and I didn’t even have to get up from my sewing machine.

All right, all right, I relented and finally pressed my blocks — my iron was getting a little dusty from disuse.

Voila! Here is a finished Cake Day block. It’s a cutie, isn’t it?

My 4 blocks are now ready to assemble into a runner. There are sew many possibilities for this runner — birthdays, weddings, showers, parties, and the list goes on and on.

Any day can be a “Cake Day.” What’s yours?

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD

Rose Cards · Tips and Tricks · villa rosa designs

My Go-To VRD Rose Card Quilt Patterns and My VRD Rose Card Storage Update

Hello Quilty Friends!

I hope all is well in your world today. Mine has been hectic as usual, but I’m used to it. It keeps things from being boring, especially now that I work from home — immersing myself in the world of quilting. Yes, I’m now living my dream life, doing my dream job. I’m happy. Really happy. I wish the same for you.

Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to talk about my go-to Rose Cards. I bet all of you have a group of cards that you go back to time and time again.

Here’s my list:

Hillside Charm

Hillside Charm is my favorite pattern for using panels. There are so many wonderful panels available these days, but other than slapping a couple borders around a panel, sometimes I run out of ideas. That’s why I LOVE Hillside Charm — the combination of squares and rectangles in the border compliment just about any panel out there.

Stars N Stripes

I’m just getting ready to make several quilts to donate to Quilts of Valor. This quilt measures 56″ x 70″, which fits in the required range for a QOV quilt — minimum of 55″ x 65″ to a maximum of 72″ x 90″ with an average of 60″ x 80″. You can check out the Quilts of Valor website for more information HERE.

I could add an outer border to Stars N Stripes to make it a little bit bigger, but I’m not sure I’m going to do that. I have in mind to make at least 3 of these quilts to donate, which will make a dent in my red, white, and blue fabric stash.

Of course, Villa Rosa Designs has other Rose Cards that would make great Quilts of Valor — Star Rail, Star Spangled (with the addition of an outer border), Stargazer, Salute, Twinkle (with another border or row of stars), Daring Spirit, Liberty (with an additional border), Liberty Bell (needs a little border on the sides), and Pride (needs a little border on the sides).

Limelight

Limelight goes together really fast and is a great size. It uses a bundle of fat quarters which makes picking out coordinating fabrics a snap. I’ve made this into a couple of charity quilts and was really happy with how they turned out.

Double Delight

Double Delight is one of my very first favorite Rose Card patterns. I’ve always loved Four Patch quilt blocks and I really like how the rectangular Four Patches make this quilt unique and interesting. Besides, I think just about any fabric would look great in this pattern.

Gypsy

I made Gypsy with a friend one time and we donated this quilt to Project Linus. We had participated in an “ugly fat quarter” challenge where we each chose a VRD pattern and exchanged an “ugly fat quarter.” I don’t remember much about the rest of the fabrics now, but there was one I will probably never forget — it had a blue background with big pieces of silverware on it! But you know what? Even with the weirdly-wonderful silverware fabric, the quilt turned out really cute and I bet it made the recipient smile. It just goes to show you that even ugly fabrics can make a great quilt.

What about you? What are your go-to Rose Card patterns?

VRD Storage Solution Update

You might remember a couple weeks ago, I was working on some new storage ideas for my Rose Card collection. I’m actually still working on getting my Rose Cards out of my little photo storage books (see previous post) and into my brand new snazzy plastic storage boxes. It didn’t take long to outgrow a single box so now I have 2 boxes, A-L and M-Z. And I’m still adding more cards! I work on them in spare moments here or there, so it’s not getting done super fast.

I will say I am enjoying going through my cards and mentally deciding which ones I want to make. Maybe I should make a list on my VRD Rose Card app on my tablet and then I can check the list out later, otherwise, I’ll probably forget the names of the Rose Card patterns I want to make. Not kidding (rolling my eyes here).

I’m thinking of starting a new category or even a whole box filled with my go-to Rose Cards. Maybe even my favs!

But first, I have to get them all organized alphabetically so I know what cards I have and what cards I need to add. Again, I can use my handy-dandy VRD app.

What about you? What are your thoughts?

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD

Quilting Partners · Tips and Tricks · Tutorials · villa rosa designs

Let’s Design a Quilt Together — A Peek into My Quilt Design Process

Hello Quilty Friends!

It’s Thursday again! Here’s hoping your week has been going well. Mine has been good and fast — just the way I love my quilt projects to be! LOL!

A lot of people ask about my design process so I thought I’d tell you a little bit about my process. Keep in mind that all designers have their own way of doing things and this post is only about my process.

Sometimes it’s like I eat, sleep, and breathe quilts and quilting! Not only do I read/flip through quilt books and magazines, I also look online for new trends. I talk to my quilt friends about what they are doing. I teach a quilt class once a month. I design patterns, write instructions, make quilts, take photos of quilts. I look at and get inspired by fabric. I jot down ideas and even do rough sketches of quilt blocks (which I promptly lose most of the time). I have even been known to wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea for a quilt. Whew!

Inspiration comes in a lot of different forms for me. Sometimes I see a fabric or collection and an idea pops into my head. Sometimes I start with a favorite quilt block and a quilt develops out of that. I have quite a few quilt block references that I use for ideas. Here are a few books in my library:

The first 2 books are by Barbara Brackman. The one on the left is the first edition of the 2nd book and is out of print and can be hard to find. I have both of them and love them both. The newer edition has even more blocks in it than the first edition! Barbara Brackman is one of the most renowned quilt historians of our time! You can visit her blog, Material Culture, HERE.

I also have Barbara Brackman’s software program, Blockbase, which works with Electric Quilt. You can find Blockbase HERE.

The third book, 5500 Quilt Block Designs, is by well-known quilter and author Maggie Malone. I have only known about this book since 2021 when a friend of mine showed it to me and I was so impressed, I had to grab a copy for myself. This book is out of print so it can be harder to find as well.

I have talked about Electric Quilt software before in an earlier post, but I want to mention it again here because I really couldn’t design quilts without it! Some designers sit down with a ruler and graph paper to draft quilt patterns, but I am an Electric Quilt user because it makes designing quilts a lot easier for me. You can find Electric Quilt 8 (EQ8) software HERE.

If you are interested in designing your own quilts, I totally recommend EQ8 if you’re into computers. If you’re not into computers, graph paper and a ruler might be your new BFF.

Once I get an idea, it’s time to play — which usually means I head to my computer and EQ8. I play with blocks, try different color combinations, download different fabrics to try all before I actually make anything at all. Some designers start by making the project and then work backwards to create the pattern and instructions. I do my designing on my computer and then make the project once I know what I am going to do. At least this is what I do probably 99% of the time. That’s one of the fun things about being a designer — I can try different ways of doing things. They don’t always work out for me, but that’s okay, there’s always another way to try.

Let me show you an example of my design process. For this example, I’m gong to start with my favorite quilt block, the Shoo Fly block.

When I am starting with the quilt design before I select the actual fabrics, I usually design in red, black, white, and grey. I don’t know exactly why I do that, but I think it probably has to do with the high contrast so I get a good sense of the pattern before I add actual fabric.

So, let’s make a wall quilt using 4 Shoo Fly blocks. It will look something like this:

Hmmmmm. This doesn’t really excite me. How about you? Let’s tweak it a little bit and see what happens next. We’ll add a bit more color, too.

Okay, this is better, don’t you think? By adding a sashing between the blocks, I was able to put another Shoo Fly block in the center. I changed the colors of the larger blocks to black and grey with the smaller center Shoo Fly block in red. It definitely has a lot more interest, doesn’t it? But it’s not quite there. Let’s tweak it a little bit more, shall we?

Now we’re getting somewhere! I got rid of the grey and went with plain black. Then I added 2 narrow blocky borders so I could continue to build out with more Shoo Fly blocks. Now I think we need a border.

Yay! A finished quilt design. I added an outer plain black border and a red binding. Pretty zippy, isn’t it? Now we’re gong to add some real fabric to the design.

Here are 3 different versions of our Shoo Fly quilt using Hoffman’s Paisley in Love batik collection. Of the 3, I think the last one with the white background is my favorite. I like the contrast, but I think I need to do a little more tweaking with the design, so back to the drawing board (or EQ8).

What are your thoughts? How would you improve this design? Any ideas?

Well, I hope you enjoyed a peek into my design process. Who knows? You might see this design as a VRD Rose Card some day.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD

Quilt As Desired · Rose Cards · Tips and Tricks · Tutorials · villa rosa designs

NEW June VRD Rose Card Patterns and A Free Motion Quilting Demo

Hello Quilty Friends!

Welcome to another Thursday — the first Thursday in June. Summertime, right? The kids are out of school or will be soon. Life will get crazy. Fun. And more crazy.

Are you kidding? I thought it was still March.

At least, it should still be March, don’t you think?

Que sera, sera.

OH! Did you see the new Rose Cards for June yet???? As always, our VRD designers didn’t let you down.

You can order all 5 cards HERE.

And here is June’s NEW Table Runner, Cake Day. Cute, huh?

You can purchase the Cake Day pattern HERE.

Did you know you can actually join the Rose Card Pattern Club and get the new monthly Rose Cards delivered right to your mailbox every month without you having to do a thing????

If you live out of the USA, you can sign up for the digital Rose Cards, which will be delivered to your inbox without you having to do a single thing.

There are even several different Pattern Club options to consider. Cool, huh?

You can sign up for the Pattern Clubs HERE .

Another really AWESOME thing about Villa Rosa is that we create a lot of kits using our Rose Card patterns. You can find kits for this month’s new patterns AND you can find kits for lots of other favorites, too. You can visit the website HERE to see what our selection of kits are. Please remember that we add new kits all the time, with all kinds of different fabric, so make sure you stop in often to see what’s new.

A Little Bit of Free Motion Quilting and a Video Demo

How many of you are a little bit afraid of free motion quilting on your own domestic sewing machine?

Be honest!

Okay, that’s better, I see a lot of hands raised and heads nodding out there.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be afraid anymore. I’ve been teaching free motion quilting (FMQ) for more than 10 years and I haven’t lost anyone yet!

Here’s my TOP 12 TIPS for FMQ:

1. Find a teacher at your local quilt shop to show you how and to guide you so you feel safe. Don’t try to teach yourself by using YouTube videos.

2. Start out small — the smaller the project the better for beginners. Potholders, table runners, place mats, wall quilts, or other small projects.

3. Start with a beginner-friendly design like wavy lines or loops. Meandering and stippling are NOT beginner-friendly.

4. Try to relax. The more tense you are, the worse your quilting will be.

5. Play music while you quilt, something with a beat. A beat will help you find your rhythm for FMQ on your own machine.

6. Keep practicing, every day if you can, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel, and the better your quilting will get.

7. Practice machine quilting with a friend. You can encourage each other and laugh together.

8. Try machine quilting gloves. There are a lot of different types of gloves out there, so you might have to try different kinds to find the ones that work for you. Machine quilting gloves will help you get a good grip on the fabric so you can move the quilt more easily when you are quilting.

9. Doodle. Doodle a lot. Practice drawing the designs before you quilt them — this builds some muscle memory between your hands and you brain.

10. Practice…….practice……..practice…….

11. Practice……practice…..practice……. (I can’t stress this one enough)

12. HAVE FUN!

Here’s a little video I put together demonstrating how to free motion quilt wiggly lines on last week’s Ying Yang Cats. Enjoy!

I hope this video inspires you to try free motion quilting some wiggly lines on your own little project.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD

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

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

Rose Cards · Welcome Blog Post

Brand New Day, Brand New Blog

Welcome

Hi there, Quilty Friends!

I’m sew glad you’re here and I want to welcome you to our brand new Villa Rosa Quilts (VRQ) blog. You will find new posts here most Thursdays featuring great tips and tutorials, Villa Rosa Designs news and updates, a bit of silly and a smidge of serious. And quilts — lots and lots of quilts and quilting.

Sew, grab a sweet tea or iced coffee, put your feet up, and let’s get to know each other. It’s all about sewing, laughter, and then — well, repeat. Repeat as often as possible! (wink, wink.)

If you’re new to Villa Rosa Designs and you’d like to know more, you can hop over to our About page HERE. You can also visit our main website HERE.

Interested in carrying our Rose Cards in your quilt shop? You can go HERE for wholesale information.

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Let’s Get to Know Each Other!

I’m excited to be your new Villa Rosa Quilts (VRQ) cruise director. My name is Tricia Maloney — let me tell you a little bit about myself:

This is me!

I’ve been quilting for more than 25 years. I am mostly a self-taught quilter, although over the years I’ve learned sew much from other quilters and designers. I’ve worked in quilt shops, taught classes and workshops, and I’m a member of my local quilt guild, Free Spirit Quilters.

My professional quilting life started in 2010 when my first book was published. I wrote 2 more books in the next 6 years as well as designing quilts and writing articles for many popular US quilt magazines.

I met Pat Fryer, the owner and “Rose Queen” of Villa Rosa Designs at my very first Fall Quilt Market in Houston in 2010, when I was promoting my first book. I was immediately fascinated with her wonderful postcard-sized quilt patterns. After that, every time I attended a Quilt Market, I eagerly found the Villa Rosa Designs booth to catch up with Pat and see the latest batch of Rose Cards.

In 2017, our stars finally aligned and Pat invited me to design quilt patterns for her Rose Cards. I was thrilled! What a fun challenge — designing fun-to-make quilts to fit on the back of a 4×6 card.

Here are my first 2 Rose Card patterns from 2017.

Fast forward 5 years and I currently have over 50 patterns with VRD! And I love being part of the Villa Rosa Designs family of designers.

Then last year in 2021, I had the opportunity to work for Villa Rosa Designs. A dream come true! This is the interesting part of our story — Pat and Villa Rosa Designs are located in lovely California while I live in beautiful northwestern Pennsylvania. It certainly makes things interesting as we are 3 hours apart. Thank goodness for the Internet! LOL!

So here I am — your friendly VRQ blog cruise director!

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May 2022 Rose Cards

I’m pleased to show you our NEW Rose Card patterns for this month.

Did you know Villa Rosa Designs publishes at least 5 new patterns EVERY MONTH??? That’s at least 60 new patterns every year. Currently, we have over 400 patterns available — wow!

Here are our 5 new quilt patterns for May 2022:

You can order these 5 patterns as a group for the low price of $8.95 HERE.

We also have 2 new table runner patterns this month:

To order the table runner patterns, just click on the pattern names below:

GRIDDLE

PRETTY POSIES

Of course, you can always check with your local quilt shops to see if they carry Villa Rosa Rose Cards.

And if they don’t, why don’t you introduce them to the magic of Rose Cards?

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia at VRD