Panel Quilts · Quilting Partners · Rose Cards · Tips and Tricks · Tutorials · villa rosa designs

VRD Hillside Charm Quilt Tutorial and the NEW November Rose Card Patterns

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

After talking about our VRD Rose Card patterns featuring quilt panels a couple weeks ago, I thought it would be fun to do a series of Panel Quilt Tutorials for you. You can find the Panel post HERE.

There’s no way I would be able to do ALL of the Rose Cards I featured in the Panel post, but I thought it would be fun to do some of my favorites. I hope these Panel Quilt tutorials will inspire you to reduce your own stash of panels by making quilts — what an unusual thing to do with fabric, right???

So let’s make Hillside Charm! I just really love this Panel pattern — it looks great with whatever panel and fabrics you use. Don’t have 5″ charm squares? Cut fat quarters, scraps, or even yardage into the number of squares you need. Want to make it bigger? Add another border? Want it smaller? Don’t add the extra border. LOVE LOVE LOVE Hillside Charm! You can buy the pattern HERE.

Right now we even have some great Hillside Charm kits for sale on the website — Halloween, Christmas and more — so check them out HERE.

Before we jump into the tutorial, I have to do a SHOUT OUT to Hoffman Fabrics and a big thank you to them for providing the fabrics for this Hillside Charm Quilt. The collection is called Wading with Water Lilies. Isn’t it beautiful? In addition to the gorgeous digitally-printed panel and coordinates, I also used some of the basics from the 1895 Watercolors collection and 885 Dot Batiks collection.

YAY! We have the panel and some of the coordinates on the website. You can find them HERE. Grab them now because when they’re gone, they’re gone!

The gorgeous panel. Just look at the amazing array of colors that digital printing can create!
These are the companion fabrics.
Here are the accents I used from 1895 and 885.

Now you’ve seen the fabrics, lets get to the tutorial!

Hillside Charm Tutorial

The first thing I did was trim the panel to the dimensions listed in the pattern. Sigh……I really hated cutting anything off this amazing panel but if I wanted to make the quilt, it had to be done. So I did it. I also cut out the squares and the strips. The pattern actually calls for a pack of charm squares, but since I didn’t have an actual charm pack, I went ahead and cut the squares I needed. I won’t have as much variety as I would have with a charm pack, but it will still be beautiful. Sometimes, less is more.

Next I sewed the side strips on to the panel. Then I sewed squares to the ends of the top and bottom strips before sewing them into the panel. It’s already taking shape. I’m really excited about this quilt — it is going to be really gorgeous!

Time to sew my charm squares into strips for the next border. I just had to make sure not to sew 2 of the same fabric side to side. Easy peasy.

Here you can see that I took the time to pin the pieced charm square strip to the framed panel. This is an important step because I don’t want my quilt to be a funny shape. Nope, I like ’em squared up as much as I can as I go along. And one of the best ways to do that is to match your centers and your ends and pin generously.

Yay! Let’s sew the pinned charm square side borders on. Sigh….I must admit I hate removing my pins as I sew and I am guilty of sewing over my pins. Mea culpa.

Here are the pieced charm square borders added to the sides. I am so excited how this quilt is coming together.

Now let’s add the top and bottom charm square pieced strips. Pin, pin, pin. Sew, sew, sew. I really like how the pieced border is giving the look of Four Patch blocks in the corners. Tricky, tricky!

More side borders to add. This time I have to be more careful with the placement of the squares so that I don’t accidentally line up 2 of the same fabric, especially since I’m not using as much variety as a charm pack would provide (although, nowadays there are lots of duplicates in a charm pack because fabric collections are a lot smaller than they used to be).

Here are my last borders — the top and bottom pieced borders. Now you can see the rectangles of the blue/green marbled fabric at each corner, mimicking the inner blue/green marbled inner border. Cool detail!

DONE!

I can’t wait to see your Hillside Charm Quilts! You can email your Hillside Charm photos me at tricia@villarosadesigns.com and I’ll share them on the blog and Facebook.

Thanks for sewing along with this tutorial. Stay tuned for another tutorial next week.

Wait! I can’t go yet without showing you the NEW November Rose Card patterns.

Check out these awesome new patterns. If you attended Quilt Market or Festival last week, you already had a sneak peak. Lucky you!

Oh look! Another Panel quilt! You can buy the November set of 5 Rose Cards HERE for $8.95.

This is my new table runner, Baskets, for this month:

You can buy the Baskets pattern HERE.

As always, shipping is free.

I hope you find a little time to get sewing because the Holidays are right around the corner and if you are like me, you have a long list of quilty gifts you want to make even though you know you’ll never get them all finished. The New November Rose Cards could help you jump start your holiday sewing! Just sayin’….

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD

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

VRD Hypnotized Quilt Tutorial

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

I was so excited after last week’s post about Panels and our Villa Rosa Rose Card patterns that work for panels, I just had to play with my stuff! I decided to go ahead and get the top done for Hypnotized, using my adorable Halloween Gnomes,. Who doesn’t love gnomes???? I just had to, I didn’t want to wait until next year, although I might not get it quilted and bound until next Halloween.

If you missed last week’s Panel Post, you can find it HERE.

Here’s the Hypnotized Rose card pattern:

You can buy the Hypnotized pattern HERE.

Let’s get started with our tutorial!

The first thing you need to do is to cut out your pieces. I used this adorable Halloween Gnome novelty fabric from Northcott instead of a panel. The cool thing about quilt patterns made for panels is that you can usually substitute a novelty print as long as you cut it to the right dimensions.

YAY! GNOMIES! (That’s what my sister, Tracy, calls them.)

I did not cut the pieces for the inner and outer border out yet. I like to wait until I have the center of the quilt made because sometimes my measurements don’t exactly match the measurements given in the pattern.

If this happens to you too, don’t cut the border strips until you can measure your quilt center. That way you can cut the border strips (and piece the strips together if needed) to your specific measurements, not someone else’s.

Remember when we talked about the “perfect” quarter inch seam allowance? Go HERE if you need a refresher. There really isn’t one. Basically, everyone’s quarter inch seam is a touch different, either a bit smaller or bigger than that elusive quarter inch. Anyway, as each of us use a slightly different quarter inch seam, the dimensions of our quilts are going to be slightly different too. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

So sew with your best quarter inch seam — accuracy is more important than a perfect quarter inch seam in most cases — and measure your quilt before you cut the borders.

Let’s keep moving!

After you’ve cut your pieces, sew strips to the sides of the small square. Then sew strips to the top and the bottom.

You know, I photographed every step of this process, but for some reason all my photos are not on my iPad. Methinks my cat Griffin might have deleted photos when he was painting on his iPad cat painting app.

A cat that paints? No, that’s not strange at all……. What’s strange is that he scratches at my iPad (covered with a protective screen cover) and gets out of his painting game and into other apps somehow. Kids….

Anyway, sew strips to the sides of this block and then add the strips to the top and bottom. Voila! This is your center square. Make 1. (Sorry for the EQ images, but the photos are gone!) Silly Griffy!

Now sew strips to the side of your other 8 squares. Then add the longer strips to the top and the bottom. Make 8.

Here are all my blocks ready to go. Aren’t they fun???

Wow! This quilt is coming together fast. Now to add some background rectangles to our quilt blocks.

Sew a background rectangle to the top of a Framed block. Make 3.

Please Note:  If your fabric is not directional, you can skip adding background rectangles to various sides of the Framed square blocks.  Instead, sew background rectangles to one side of each of the 8 Framed square blocks.

Sew a background rectangle to the bottom of a Framed block. Make 3. (Sorry, these photos are gone, too.) Argh….Griffin…….

Now sew a background rectangle to the left side of a Framed block. Make 1.

Lastly, sew a background rectangle to the right side of a Framed block. Make 1.

Whew! That was a little confusing, I know, but now we get to put things together!

Sew 2 top facing background rectangle units with a bottom facing background rectangle unit in the center. Then sew a long background rectangle to each end of the row. Make 1 row.

Make the bottom row pretty much the same as the top row, above, but reversed — sew 2 bottom facing background rectangle unit with a top facing background rectangle unit in the center. Then sew large background rectangles to the ends of the row. Make 1 row.

Now for the middle row — sew a right facing background rectangle unit, the single center block, and a left facing background rectangle unit at the end. Make 1 row.

Next sew the 3 rows together.

Isn’t this quilt top adorable so far? The orange frame in the center block really pops, don’t you think? Can’t wait to get the borders on next!

Now sew the inner border strips to the sides of the quilt center. You’ll probably have to piece the strips so they’re long enough. Add the top and bottom inner border strips, piecing them too.

Almost there! It’s time to add outer border strips to the sides — piece those border strips carefully, please. Finally! Our last step for the top — sew on the top and bottom borders, piecing your strips.

Houston….we have a problem!

I just discovered I don’t have enough border print fabric to sew borders on all 4 sides of the quilt.

Whatever can I do???

Why, just add borders to the top and bottom of the quilt! Good solution on the fly. That’s how I roll.

Yay! Mission accomplished — adorable Halloween Gnomies quilt top completed before Halloween! (Sorry the photos of the quilt as it gets put together aren’t very good — I am limited on space for working with larger quilts, so here I’m hanging the quilt top on a clothesline strung in the basement. Hey, we do what we have to do, right?)

What do you think?

As I write this post, I’m crazily packing my stuff to head to International Quilt Market in Houston, TX. I haven’t been to Market since 2019 — before the Pandemic. I’m really excited as this will be my first time being part of the Villa Rosa team.

If you’re headed to Market, stop by the booth, we are Booth #747, right behind the center Info booth on the main walkway. VRD is also doing 2 Schoolhouse lectures on Friday, Oct 28th. If you’re headed to Quilt Festival, Villa Rosa Designs will have a booth there, too. We’d love to say “hi.”

Sigh….Back to my packing.

Stay tuned — next week’s post will be all about my Quilt Market trip. The sights, the sounds, the food….

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD

Basic Quilting Skills Series · Tips and Tricks · Tutorials

Basic Quilting Skills for Beginners: Binding 101

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

Again, THANK YOU for following our Basic Quilting Skills for Beginners series. We are all thrilled with your interest to this series of posts. Sadly, this series will come to an end next week with Labeling Your Quilt.

So, I thought I’d ask — are there any other topics you’d like to see here? If so, please leave a comment or you can email your suggestions to me at tricia@villarosadesigns.com. I’d love to have your thoughts and ideas so our blog will continue to be relevant to you, our VRD fans and followers.

Now let’s get to BINDING!

The good news is that once you reach the binding stage, you are totally in the homestretch of having a finished quilt.

Yay you!

This week for our binding tutorial, we’ll use my Halloween Ice Jam table runner again. If you didn’t order the pattern last week, you can order it HERE.

There’s a couple of things we have to go over before we can do our binding.

How wide do I cut my strips?

You could ask a bunch of different quilters this same question and you would get multiple answers, I’m afraid — it’s not a one size fits all situation.

A lot of quilt patterns and quilters prefer to cut binding strips 2 1/2″ wide. As this seems to be the most common size in the quilting world, I too use this width for my patterns, but I personally find 2 1/2″ a bit too floppy, so when I do my own binding, I cut my strips 2 1/4″ wide, which for me makes a nice full binding. Of course, you will have to try both to see which one you prefer.

Yes, I use 2 1/4″ for almost all of my binding, but I must confess that there are a few types of projects I actually cut 2″ wide binding strips for — miniature quilts and any other tiny little quilty projects. Again, you’ll just have to try different widths on different projects to find out what works best for you.

Here’s a little something to consider — I have found that if your 1/4″ seam is a “fat” 1/4″ seam, then you’ll probably like using 2 1/2″ or if you’re like me and you use a “scant” 1/4″ seam, then 2 1/4″ might be a better fit.

As for mini quilts and such, you’ll probably want to use a slightly narrower width than what you use for your regular-sized quilts. You’ll just have to try things out to see what you like better because trial and error is all part of learning, isn’t it?

How do I know how many strips to cut for my binding?

Sometimes you get lucky and your quilt pattern will include the number of strips to cut and it might even suggest a specific width. But, if your pattern doesn’t specify how many strips to cut, read on my friend!

If you don’t know the dimensions of your quilt, you will need to measure the width and the length using your tape measure.

Let’s use my Halloween Ice Jam measurements for this example — it measures 18″ wide x 54″ long, so we need to add together 2 widths and 2 lengths to get the total inches around the outside of the quilt (otherwise known as the circumference).

18+18+54+54=144

Now we are going to divide 144 by 40.

This number will tell us how many strips to cut because we are dividing the total inches by the inches in the width of fabric.

Please understand I didn’t just pull a random number out of the air — ha ha! — 40 is the average width of fabric that I and a lot of other quilt designers use to determine yardage requirements for our patterns. Fabric can vary in width so it helps to use an average number maybe a little smaller than the actual width and 40 does that when fabric generally ranges from 42″ – 45″ wide. Besides, that little extra also helps to make sure you don’t run out of fabric by accident.

So, let’s continue.

144÷40=3.6

Let’s round that number up to 4 — I need 4 strips of fabric for my binding. That little extra is helpful to make room for the corners and joining our binding ends. There’s nothing worse than getting close to the end of sewing on your binding to find you are 3 inches short. When in doubt, add an extra strip.

But what do you do when you get a whole number instead of a fraction for the number of strips needed? Me, I definitely add an extra strip because I don’t want to run out of binding before I get to the end.

Yay! Quilt Math to the rescue again! Three cheers for math! Want to read my post about quilting and math? Check it out HERE.

Moving on……

Cut the required number of strips and then cut off all the selvedges. The selvedges are those tightly woven long sides of the fabric which usually have little holes in them. Off with the selvedges, I say, off with those selvedges!

Now we’re heading back over to the sewing machine.

There are a couple different ways to sew your binding strips together.

The first way is to layer 2 strips right sides together with the ends lined up. Use a 1/4″ seam to sew the strips together, just like in piecing. Press the seam allowance open to reduce bulk in the binding — nobody wants a lumpy binding. LOL!

The second way to join the strips is on the bias or diagonal. Lay a strip right sides up on your flat surface. Place a second strip perpendicular to (NO, not another math word! Horrors!!!) and on top of the first strip with the wrong side up, that way the strips are right sides together. Next, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.

Then — you guessed it! — sew on the line. Does this sound familiar? It should because quilters use this technique for making triangles (HSTs) and flippy corners.

The next thing you need to do is find the end of the strip that is on top. Turn the strip over so it is now facing right side up. This is really important or else your binding will not have all the seams on the back of the strip. Take another strip and place it perpendicular to the second strip with the right side down, again making them right sides together. Draw a diagonal line and sew on the line again. Repeat this until you’ve sewn all the strips into one long binding strip.

Clip the threads in between the strips if you chain-piece and then cut off the waste triangles where the strips meet, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Time to press our binding strips. Let’s head back to the ironing board.

Place your binding strip right side down on your ironing board. Using your iron on a cotton or hot setting, fold the strip in half with the wrong sides together, pressing as you go. Remember, you are pressing, not ironing here. We just want to make sure the strip gets folded and creased.

When you come to a seam, press the seam allowance open like we did when we joined our strips into one long binding strip. Then fold, press, and keep going.

Almost done now. Just keep folding and pressing until you get to the end of the very long strip. Keep in mind the bigger the quilt you are working on, the longer the strip and the more time it will take to do this step.

Let’s head back to the sewing machine once again because it’s time to sew the binding onto your quilt. I know this seems like a lot of steps, but writing/reading about it takes longer than actually doing it. After some practice, it will become second-nature and you won’t even have to think about it, you’ll just do it.

Lay your binding on top of the right side of your quilt with the raw edges lined up. I usually start my binding somewhere towards the middle of a long side. Be careful here because you want to avoid placing binding seams at your corners because the added bulk can make your corner turn out weird. Trust me on this. Been there, done that. It’s okay if you want to pin your binding all the way around your quilt, but with a little practice, you’ll have a fairly good idea how to avoid the dreaded seam allowance at the corner issue.

Pin the layers together about 10-12 inches from where the binding strip starts. Then place a pin through the quilt right before the binging begins, but not through the binding, only the quilt. This second pin right before the binding starts is a marker you will need later.

Start sewing at the pin 10-12 inches from the beginning of the binding strip. Backstitch a few stitches, and….GO.

Most people use a 1/4″ seam for sewing on their binding, but I personally use about a 3/8″ seam because I like a nice full binding. Try both ways to see which one works best for you.

Sew until you get to about 1/4″ from the corner.

When you get to 1/4″ from the corner — STOP and backstitch to secure the stitching. Cut your thread and pull your quilt out from under the needle.

GULP! Here comes the scary part — making a French fold mitered corner. Cue the scary music….

Fold your binding strip at a 45 degree angle towards the right.

Now fold the binding strip back over itself to the left. Place a pin if you need to. This little fold here makes you able to overlap the binding into a nice miter on the back which will give you a really nice square corner.

Turn your quilt and start sewing at the corner, backstitch a couple stitches and sew until you get to 1/4″ from the next corner. Not scary, easy peasy!

Repeat the mitered corner fold, turn your quilt again, and keep going. When you finish the fourth corner, keep your eye out for the pin marking the place where the binding strip began. Stop sewing 3-4 inches before that pin and backstitch to secure the stitching. Once you’ve backstitched, cut your threads and pull your quilt out from under the needle.

Here’s a helpful little video from Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims about mitering corners.

Now we’re going to sew the ends of our binding strip together. This next part is really a leap of faith, but it does work, I promise you. Just stick with me, I won’t steer you wrong.

Smooth your binding strip over and beyond where the marker pin is (move the loose beginning binding tail out of your way). Use a ruler and measure from the marker pin the length of how wide you cut your binding strip. For a lot of you, that would probably be 2 1/2″ but for me and some others, that will be 2 1/4″. Draw a line with a fabric pen at that measurement from the marker pin and cut on the line.

Next open both ends of the binding, overlap them with the the ends right sides together at an angle, and then pin the binding layers together. Draw a diagonal line if you like or just eyeball it.

Please note that this technique isn’t the only one out there. If you want to learn other ways of doing binding, you can do an Internet search.

Sew on your drawn line and trim away the waste triangles 1/4″ beyond your sewing line.

Finger press the seam open to reduce the bulk and refold the binding with wrong sides together again.

Your binding strip should now lay nice and snug against your quilt. Yay! Next pull out the pins and use them to keep the rest of the binding lined up with the quilt.

Now it’s time to finish sewing the binding on. Start where you stopped before we sewed the ends of the binding together until you overlap where you originally started sewing the binding on. Backstitch at the both the beginning and the end of your stitching line.

Finishing Binding by Hand or Machine?

While doing this series about beginning skills, I have discovered that I am an “old school” quilter. It pains me that I am starting to show my age, but I know these tried and true methods work. Feel free to explore different methods to do any of these skills, but keep in mind that it’s important to know the old skills before you can learn the new skills — you have to have somewhere to start. So, maybe I’m not as antiquated as it sometimes feels these days. LOL! But that’s okay, those old skills serve me well and keep me making quilt after quilt with excellent results.

That being said, there are 2 ways to finish your binding on your quilt — by hand or by machine.

I finish all my binding by hand. After writing multiple books and making oodles of samples for magazines and patterns, I know I’ve probably hand-sewn miles and miles and miles of binding. But that’s okay. I like how a hand-stitched binding looks.

If you are interested in learning to finish your binding by machine, here’s a nice video from Jenny at Missouri Star Quilting. It’s actually a complete binding tutorial and shows you how you can sewn it down by machine.

If you prefer finishing your binding by hand, you can check out this video by Quilting in the Rain as she shows you how to sew a hidden blind stitch.

You might wonder why I’m giving you videos here, but I learned a long time ago that as a lefty, there are just some things I can’t teach to righties and sewing down binding is one of them!

BIG SHOUT OUT to my pal, Cathey Laird of Cathey Marie Designs, the inventor of the Y Block Ruler.

Long long ago, I tried to teach Cathey how to do mitered corners like I did, she found out hours later that a lefty can’t teach a righty how to do that because we fold our corners in different directions. Oops, sorry, Cathey!

Anyway, I don’t want to confuse anyone, so here’s a righty doing the hidden blind stitch for you. If you are a lefty and need a little help from a lefty, just shoot me a message and I’d be glad help you.

Here is my cute little Halloween Ice Jam table runner! Now all I have to do is sew the binding down and put a label on it.

Whew! I’m totally worn out now! I guess that’s about it for binding, folks. I can’t think of anything else to add.

If you have any questions, though, just ask. Did you know you can send us a message on the blog? You can go to our Contact Us page and scroll down to the bottom to find a form to fill out.

Stay tuned for next week’s post about labeling your quilt.

Happy binding!

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.

Always,

Tricia @VRD