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

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

VRD Daring Spirit Quilt Tutorial

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

I hope you are having a great week — mine is just zooming by, hard to believe it’s Thursday already. Hopefully, you tuned in last week to our Designer Spotlight Interview with Sewl Sister’s Shankari Paradee, our newest designer here at Villa Rosa Designs. If not, you can find it HERE.

WOW! The weather has suddenly turned HOT HOT HOT here in northwestern Pennsylvania! WHEW! Typical July weather, I know, but I am never quite ready for super hot and humid. I live in a lovely green valley in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, but heat still happens.

You can’t see much of the hills because of all the green trees, but you can see a little bit to the right of the barn in the distance. Regardless, it’s beautiful country.

We’ve been having some very dry weather for the last couple weeks, though. Luckily we had a couple rainy days earlier in the week, which really helped all the plants and crops, but with the heat, everything is starting to droop again. I hope we get some more rain soon. I’ve been watering my little container garden, but the peppers look terrible and the cucumbers aren’t growing very fast. Argh! Rain, rain, rain………

The VRD Rose Queen, Head Elf, Grand Poobah, AKA “The Boss,” Pat, asked me if I would do a tutorial for Rose Card pattern, Daring Spirit.

The corner Star Blocks can be baffling and she gets a lot of questions about how to assemble them. I hope this helps!

You can buy the Daring Spirit Rose Card pattern HERE.

Daring Spirit Tutorial

This is such a great pattern! Of course it works well with ANY patriotic panel, but you could use just about any panel as long as you use coordinating fabrics. Maybe sometime, we’ll play around with other options besides patriotic, but for now, let’s focus on how to make the quilt.

On to the tutorial!

The first thing you need to do is choose your panel and your coordinating fabrics.

LOVE this panel!

Time to cut everything out. You don’t need to cut your panel to a specific size, but you should square it up and make sure all 4 sides are cut straight. Don’t skimp on this step. You might notice that your panel is skewed and doesn’t seem to be square. This is a very common problem with printed panels! What you need to do is pull the panel on both diagonals. Really. Hold each opposite corner in your hands and tug several times, pretty firmly. Repeat for the opposite diagonal. This should help your panel to straighten up! Repeat if you need to. Once you’ve gotten this step done, go ahead and trim the edges straight.

Okay, let’s measure our panel. Write down the length and the width, you’ll need these measurements later.

Time to cut our strips and squares, following the instructions.

Now let’s sew our side strips together and then sew them to the sides our panel.

There are 2 options here:

1. The pattern instructions call for you to make 4 sets of strips, then trim 2 sets to the length and 2 sets to the width. This works just fine.

2. But, I actually prefer cutting all the strips to the right length and width first (see the measurements you wrote down above). For me, this just makes more sense and I have found that the strips don’t get as curvy and wonky like they do when I try to sew long strips together and then cut them to size later. Also, the less you handle your cut pieces, the straighter they will stay.

Same result, different routes.

Anyway, here’s what the panel looks like with the side strips sewn on.

Yay! Time to make the corner Star blocks. I really like how these blocks are constructed — they are super clever and go together really well. Did you notice these stars are really Nine Patch blocks in disguise?!?

Layer a white and blue square right sides together (RST) with the edges lined up. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner. Pin if you like, I don’t. I use a Frixion pens and a 1″ wide ruler to do this step. I do it right at my sewing machine on my acrylic extension table.

Sew 1/4″ away from both sides of the drawn line. I draw a diagonal line on a pair of squares and then sew it on both sides of the line, then I repeat for however many squares I need to. It doesn’t seem to save time to draw all the diagonal lines before you sew them as the layers are going to shift on your way to your sewing machine, unless you use pins to hold them together.

Time to cut the squares apart on the drawn line to make 2 HSTs (half square triangles) or Triangle Squares. Cut all the squares apart on the drawn line.

Let’s press our HSTs open with the seam towards the blue fabric. Do you set your seams? This just means pressing your seams with the block closed before you press them with the block open. I was taught that it sets the stitches in the fabric which makes your seams nicer. I don’t know why it works, but it simply does. Don’t forget to take the time to trim off all the little ears that stick out beyond the corners. Don’t skip this step, because if you leave them there, they will skew your seams.

No, I hadn’t cut off the little ears yet when I took this photo, but you will notice in the next photo, the little ears are gone.

I think the next step is really cool! Layer a red square RST on a blue/white HST. Draw a diagonal line from corner to opposite corner (white to blue, NOT in the same direction as the seam for the HST, but across it).

Here’s where a lot of folks might get a little confused — this time, SEW ON THE LINE. We are making a “flippy corner,” not a HST.

I don’t know if you get direction-challenged like I do sometimes when quilting, but to keep myself from sewing on the wrong end or messing up my placement, I make a sample in order to see how I need to layer things and feed them into my machine. I have found that being left-handed sometimes makes it hard for me to manage directionality.

Moving on……once you have all your “flippy corners” sewn onto your HSTs, time to cut away the waste on the “flippy corners,” 1/4″ away from your sewing line.

We’re in the homestretch now! Go ahead and press your “flippy corner” HSTs. Set your seams, then press the seam allowance to the red.

That wasn’t too bad, was it????

Let’s sew our corner Star blocks together now, just like a Nine Patch block! I like to lay out my blocks on a small felt board (made from a flannel fat quarter, a firm piece of cardboard, and duct tape to hold the flannel taut). That way, I can sew the block together right at my sewing machine. Since I’m such a “Lazy Quilter” (this is what a lot of my pals call me, anyway), I actually layered all four of my blocks on my flannel board and I’ll just sew all 4 blocks together. Then I’ll press them after I sew them together.

And here are my four corner Star blocks all sewn and pressed. Aren’t they really pretty???

Now let’s finish putting the Daring Spirit quilt together.

Refer to the panel width measurement you wrote down earlier. Sew your top and bottom strips together and cut to this measurement. Now sew your Star blocks to each end of your strip sets. Make 2 — one for the top and one for the bottom. Press your strips carefully.

Sew your strips to the top and bottom of your quilt.

Quilt top DONE!

Now, quilt it. Bind it. And don’t forget your label!

Well, that’s it for this week. Stay cool!

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD