Quilt Block Basics · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

Quilt Block Basics — Flying Geese and Revisiting VRD Rose Card Quilt Pattern Hypnotized

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

Wow! It’s May!?! 2023!?! How did that happen??? I’m so far behind in everything that I think it’s still 2015. LOL!

Do you remember that movie Cloned from the 90’s (I think)? That’s what I need — 3 of me — one to focus on each part of my life, then I could really get caught up with everything. Of course, things that sounds too good to be true usually are….

That being said, let’s jump right into our Quilt Block Basics this week and explore the Flying Geese (or Goose) unit.

Most likely you are familiar with the Flying Geese block, but did you know it is also a smaller unit used frequently in many quilt block designs? Let’s take a look at some quilt blocks featuring the Flying Goose unit.

I’m sure you probably recognize some of the blocks above and can also see how much interest and movement the Flying Goose unit can add to a quilt block.

It’s really fun to be a quilt pattern designer because I get to take all these little units we’ve been talking about and mix and match them into new and different quilt blocks for new quilt patterns. I have the option to make things as simple or as complex as I desire. As I stated last week, I can really get lost playing with quilt blocks and quilt ideas in EQ8 — sometimes I completely lose track of time. LOL!

How to Make a Flying Goose Unit

Like many other units, there are numerous ways to make the Flying Goose unit. I’m going to show you my go-to instructions for constructing Flying Geese and I will touch on some of the other methods, too.

To make 1 Flying Goose unit, you will need 2 squares and a rectangle. True Flying Goose units are twice as wide as they are tall. You do need to know what your finished size of the Flying Goose unit is. Then you simply add 1/2″ seam allowance.

So, if you want a 2″ x 4″ Flying Goose unit, you need to cut 1 rectangle 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and 2 squares that are 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″.

3″ x 6″? Then cut a 31/2″ x 61/2″ rectangle and 2 squares 31/2″ x 3 1/2″.

1 1/2″ x 3″? Then cut a 2″ x 31/2″ rectangle and 2 squares 2″ x 2″.

Easy Peasy, right?

Please note: If you like to make things a little bigger and then trim them to size, you can add 3/4″ – 1″ and then trim your units to the right size.

Art Gallery Fabrics has a lovely downloadable Flying Geese Cheat Sheet with instructions and a chart with cutting for common size units. Yay! Find the download HERE.

Now that we know the math secret for cutting, let’s make the unit!

  1. Layer a square right sides together on the left side of the rectangle with the edges aligned. Draw a diagonal line from bottom left corner on the square to the top right corner.
  2. Sew on the line. Trim 1/4″ away from the line. Open and press.
  3. Layer a square right sides together on the right side of the rectangle with the edges aligned (the right side square will overlap the left triangle top by about 1/4″ in order to create the top seam allowance). Draw a diagonal line from the bottom right corner of the square to the top left corner.
  4. Sew on the line. Trim 1/4″ away from the line. Open and press. (Note that the top of the unit will have the 1/4″ seam allowance.)
  5. Voila! A Flying Goose unit.

Here are links to some other Flying Geese methods:

No Waste 4 Flying Geese at a time — Art Gallery Fabrics download with instructions and cutting chart

One Seam Flying Geese — Piecemeal Quilts download with instructions, formula, and photos

Traditional 3 Triangle Flying Geese — Threadbare Creations tutorial with cutting cheat sheet

Scrap Bin Geese — A Bright Corner (a super fun and easy variation using 2 1/2″ strips and it’s great for scraps!)

There are Rulers, too!

Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day Flying Geese Rulers:

1. Small Ruler — 1 1/2″ x 3 and 3″ x 6″

2. Large Ruler — 2″ x 4″ and 4″ x 8″

3. Mini Set — 1″ x 2″ and 2″ x 4″, 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ x 3″, and a 21/2″ fussy cutting ruler

4. Jumbo Set — 2 1/2″ x 5″ and 5″ x 10″, 1 1/4″ x 21/2″ and 2 1/2″ x 5″

Lazy Girl Flying Geese x 4 No Math Ruler

Creative Grids Ultimate Flying Geese Ruler

Bloc Loc Flying Geese Set #1

Bloc Loc Flying Geese Ruler — comes in different sizes

Now let’s check out my curated list of VRD Flying Geese Rose Card Patterns, shall we?

Flying Geese VRD Rose Card Patterns

I’ve included Baby Goose in this list (it is on my HST list, too) because you CAN make Flying Geese units out of HSTs!

Get Baby Goose Here

Get Beach Walk HERE

Get Duffy HERE

Get Flock Together HERE

Get Grandma’s Girl HERE

Get Goodnight Starlight HERE

More HSTs disguising as Flying Geese!

Get Lazy Goose HERE

Get Long Island Star HERE

Get Migration HERE

More HSTs dressing up as Flying Geese!

Get Remember Me HERE

Snow Goose uses the “Scrap Bin” method for Flying Geese

Get Snow Goose HERE

Get Splash HERE

Get Star Queen HERE

Get Stargazer HERE

Get Today’s Special HERE

HSTs unite — into Flying Geese!

Get Zip-a-Dee-Do–Dah HERE

What a nice collection of VRD Rose Card patterns featuring Flying Geese Units!

I am excited to show off some new photos of a previous tutorial — Hypnotized.

Revisiting VRD Rose Card Pattern Hypnotized

Remember Hypnotized? You can find the tutorial HERE.

This was my tutorial quilt top. Sadly, this is as far as it’s gotten, but I plan to quilt it soon (you know in the next 20 years or so! LOL!).

Get Hypnotized HERE

I have a group of wonderful delightful ladies who are part of my monthly “quilt class” at my local quilt shop, Homespun Treasures. It’s more like a slumber party or a gab fest than a class, though. LOL!

BIG SHOUT OUT to everyone in the class — Mary Lee, Sherry, Gaynel, Kim, Robin, Lisa, Jean, Donna, Debbie, Anita, Missi (an honorary member right now), and Gail (the shop owner)!

Anyway, this year our class is called Panels and Novelties Oh My! and we are featuring 10 Villa Rosa Rose Card patterns (one each month from March through December) using panels and novelty fabrics.

Did you know that in most cases, panels and novelty fabrics are interchangeable???

Our March project for April was Hypnotized. Here is a Gallery of the some of the quilt tops and finished quilts made by my Panel and Novelties group.

Aren’t they marvelous????

LOVE the Hypnotized pattern — it is sew sew versatile and looks good with just about anything! AND you can use panel squares or novelty fabric.

The last photo with the patriotic theme was made by my pal, Mary Lee, and was already completed and donated to our local Quilts of Valor organization before our April meeting.

Thank you, Mary Lee!

For more information about how you can get involved with the Quilts of Valor Foundation, please go HERE.

Well, I guess that’s it for me today. I am feeling so energized and inspired, I need to go make a quilt.

OH! I almost forgot! MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

Quilt Block Basics · Rose Cards · Tutorials · villa rosa designs

Quilt Block Basics — Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs)

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

I hope you’re ready to dive right back into our Quilt Block Basics mini series! This week, we’re going to talk about Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs). So, what exactly is a QST?

A QST is made up of 4 triangles sewn together into a square. Those are Isoceles triangles for you math people out there. LOL!

You might have heard of this as an Hour Glass unit. Barbara Brackman, quilt historian extraordinaire, and Electric Quilt call it Four X. What other names have you heard this unit called?

I guess in a way, you could even consider it to be a type of a Four Patch, but calling it a QST helps to differentiate it from the classic Four Patch, below, which is made up of 4 squares.

Let’s look at some quilt blocks with QSTs! Some are old favorites and some may be new to you.

How to Make a Quarter Square Triangle

  1. Layer 2 squares the same size, right sides together.
  2. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner.
  3. Sew 1/4″ away from both sides of the line.
  4. Cut on the drawn line and open each unit to make 2 HSTs. (What????? HSTs???? Wait — we’re not done yet!)
  5. Layer the HSTs right sides together so that the light triangle is on top of the dark triangle and vice versa.
  6. Draw a diagonal line from corner to opposite corner, perpendicular to the already-sewn seam.
  7. Sew 1/4″ away from both sides of the line.
  8. Cut on the drawn line and open each unit to make 2 Quarter Square Triangles!

You may have noticed that I didn’t include any measurements for cutting the squares. Well, that was intentional. Just like HSTs, there is a magic math formula to figure out the size of squares you need to cut based on what your desired finished size will be (no charts to lose!).


And the magic number for QSTs is…..drum roll please………1 1/4.

Yep, that’s it. Add an extra 1 1/4″ to your finished size and your QSTs to get the right size.


If you want 4″ finished QSTs — then cut your squares 5 1/4″.

Want 8″ finished QSTs? Then cut your squares 9 1/4″.

What about 1″ finished QSTs? Cut the squares 2 1/4″.

That’s it, folks. Isn’t quilt math delightful?

Seriously, I would have loved geometry way back when if my high school geometry teacher had taught me quilt math instead of writing proofs to prove a square was “squarular”. Sigh…….yes, I know — that’s not really a word, but in my humble opinion, it should be……..triangles are triangular and rectangles are rectangular so why aren’t squares squarular????

Okay, enough of that! Don’t get me started on the vagaries of the English language. LOL!

Instead, let’s look at some great Villa Rosa Designs Rose Card patterns that feature QSTs.

QST VRD Rose Card Patterns

Get Baby Cakes HERE

Get Diamond Daze HERE

Get Downtown HERE

Get Kristin HERE

Get Tropicana HERE

This is a super short list compared to the HST list I curated a couple weeks ago, isn’t it? You can find the HST VRD list HERE if you missed it.

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Go forth make QSTs! Lots and lots of QSTs!

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


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.


Tricia @VRD