You still with me? Now we are moving into the main room in the shop where the fabric collections are mostly divided by designer: Tula Pink, Anna Marie Horner, Charley Harper, Art Gallery, Australian, Kaffe, 4th of July, Black & Whites, ombrés and of course our basics — Grunge, Palette, Canvas, Blossom, Spotted….
And to keep up with the “demand of cutting” we have 3 cutting boards— 2 are in the main room and 1 is in the side room. The side room area is mostly used for all your online order preperations.
Let’s head up the stairs and take a peek at our “employees only” area — Bonnie calls it “the scary place”. LOL! Upstairs has the same space as downstairs but that’s where the similarity ends. There are 2 long arms to quilt the many samples along with back stock and — of course — the area for the Facebook Live Sale on Friday nights.
Do you know about our Facebook Live events???
You can shop our quilt shop from the comfort of your home every Fry-day afternoon at 4 PM Pacific Time (7 PM Eastern Time). We’ll show you the latest patterns, kits, bundles, and collections as well as our latest markdowns. You can find more information about our Facebook Live Sales HERE.
Thanks everyone for joining me for the tour. Hope to see you at the shop soon — tell ‘em Molly sent you!
I am sew excited to be interviewing Molly Cook, who is not only a VRD designer, but also works at the Villa Rosa Designs quilt shop in Grass Valley, California. Molly is actually part of a designing trio called the Cook Family, which is made up of Molly, sister Heidi, and Mom Tamara.
Tricia: Hey Molly! Thanks for taking some time to chat on the blog today.
Molly: Sure, let’s get to it.
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?
Molly: I met her at a guild meeting and she saw my show and tell that I designed by myself.
Tricia: How did you discover quilting? How long have you been quilting?
Molly: My Grandma started teaching her grandkids to sew around the age of 10, so I’ve been sewing for 11 years.
Tricia: What’s your favorite quilt block(s)?
Molly: Any block that’s simple! LOL!
Tricia: I hear you — I love easy blocks, too. How did you make the leap from being a quilter to becoming a quilt designer?
Molly: I’ve been sewing for community service for years. Working with what I had, I ended up improvising on patterns.
Tricia: That’s really cool, Molly! Can you tell us a little bit about your design process?
Molly: I just gather fabric and lay it out and see how things fit together.
Tricia: What is your favorite/least favorite part of the quilt-making process?
Molly: My favorite is designing patterns and sewing them together. My least favorite thing is binding.
Tricia: I totally agree with you. Binding is definitely my least favorite part of the quilt making process, too. What are your top 3 favorite quilting tools?
Molly: My top 3 quilting tools are my rotary cutter, my rulers, and my scissors.
Tricia: I’m not sure I can pick just three favorite tools! LOL! What are you working on now? Any new patterns in the works? Can you give us a sneak peek?
Molly: I have a couple of new patterns in the works. I’m working on writing them up and making them easy to understand.
Tricia: Here are Molly’s VRD Rose Card patterns to date. You can find them HERE.
Tricia: Wow, Molly! You are one prolific designer! And there’s lots of variety in your patterns. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Molly: My favorite pattern would be Lickety Split, but Brickwork almost ties with it.
Tricia: What’s your favorite book?
Molly: I love Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti books.
Tricia: Type of music/musician?
Molly: Christian music.
Tricia: Movies and TV?
Molly: Lord of the Rings movies and I’m a Marvel Superhero girl!
Tricia: That’s so cool! What do you do when you’re not quilting/designing?
Molly: When I’m not quilting, you can find me reading a book, babysitting, or crocheting.
Tricia: You stay busy, don’t you? Do you have any advice to quilters who want to become quilt designers?
Molly: Just dive in. Find fabrics you like and go for it. Don’t start with a complex pattern — you won’t enjoy quilting if it’s got a lot of pieces or is hard to follow with all it’s instructions.
Tricia: That’s super advice, Molly! It’s been great chatting with you. Thanks sew much! We all look forward to seeing those new patterns you’re working on really soon.
Molly: Thank you for having me on the blog!
There you have it, Quilty Friends!
How cool is it to get to know the quilt designers behind your favorite VRD Rose Card patterns?
Awesome Applesauce! Molly is going to be our guest blogger next week while I take a few weeks to get my knee replaced and begin the recuperation process.
Well, that’s it for this week. Be sure to tune in next week to see what Molly has in store for you!
The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day here in my little corner of Pennsylvania! I hope your day is looking just as bright. Make sure you do something fun!
Today we are wrapping up our foray into the Basics of Quilt Blocks. There are, of course, more quilt block units out there, but the ones we’ve covered are the basic ones — at least in my opinion.
Any discussion of Quilt Block Basics would not be complete without Four Patches and Nine Patches.
Quilt Block Basics — Four Patches and Nine Patches
Four Patch and Nine Patch blocks are probably two of the easiest quilt blocks to make. That’s probably a good reason why these blocks have been some of the most loved quilt blocks in history! From beginners to advanced quilters — these blocks have stood the test of time for centuries.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I collect vintage and antique textiles. I do have antique quilts and tops, but my favorite part of my collection is the piles and piles of orphan quilt blocks (I consider any block not housed in a quilt to be an orphan quilt block).
Speaking of orphan quilt blocks— did you know I wrote a book about putting antique and vintage quilt blocks into new quilts? It was my very first quilt book! LOL!
Anyway, in my quilt block collection, I have tons of Four Patch and Nine Patch blocks dating from the mid 1800’s all the way to the mid 1900’s. 100 years of quilt blocks — that’s a lot of Four Patch and Nine Patch blocks!
Four Patches and Nine Patches can stand alone as individual quilt blocks, of course, but they are also fantastic quilt block units, too! AND they can act as frames where you can insert other block units into the squares to create even more blocks! The options are endless (OH NO! I hear my EQ8 calling me….again!).
Let’s take a look at some blocks featuring Four Patch and Nine Patch units.
Four Patch Blocks
Nine Patch Blocks
You can also mix Four Patch and Nine Patch units together into blocks!
I am not going to reinvent the wheel by doing tutorials for assembling Four Patch and Nine Patch units as there are a lot of them out there on the Internet. Instead, here are some fun quilt designs using a few of the blocks above.
A Few Simple Four and Nine Patch Quilt Ideas for You
Now we’re going to move right into my curated Four and Nine Patch List of Villa Rosa Designs Rose Card Quilt Patterns. I anticipate there will be a lot, so stay with me all the way to the end or you might lost along the way.
VRD Rose Card Patterns Featuring Four Patches and Nine Patches
WHEW! Did you make it all the way through the whole list? I hope I didn’t lose you somewhere along the way. LOL!
I really hope you found this Quilt Block Basics series to not only be interesting but also helpful and informative. As a designer, when I look at a quilt, I try to isolate the quilt block (or blocks) to identify the pattern if the name doesn’t jump out at me at first. Knowing the different units that make up quilt blocks helps me to do that. It also helps me to take these different units, mix them up, and magically end up with new quilt block designs and variations so that I can keep creating new quilt patterns.
We’re getting close to the end of this series on the Basics of Quilt Blocks — just one more post next week and we’ll be moving on to other topics. I originally called it a mini series and expected it to be maybe 3 posts, but I am having so much fun with it, that it ended up turning into a much longer series. Personally, I love any idea that inspires me to play with my EQ8 software and to go through our VRD Rose Card Pattern Catalogand look at all the patterns with fresh eyes. I hope you’ve gotten a lot out of this series too.
If you’ve missed any posts in this series or if you just want to visit it again down the road, I added the series to the right side of the blog for you, right beneath the 2022 Basic Quilting Skills Series.
What’s our Quilt Block Basics unit for today??? RAIL FENCES!
Quilt Block Basics — Rail Fence
Rail Fences — YAY!
Whether you like 2, 3, 4, 5, or more logs, Rail Fence units and blocks are workhorses in the field of making quilt blocks (workhorse and field….get it???). Sigh…… I know, I know. I’ll stop here before I go overboard with the farm puns and cliches. I’m sure you’ve heard them all before anyway.
Sew, what’s a Rail Fence? You newbies might ask.
For the purpose of this series, we’re going to focus on 2 and 3 Rail Fence units with equal sized logs and finished squares. Keep in mind, though, that Rail Fence blocks can contain more than 2 or 3 logs, logs do not necessarily have to be the same width, and finished blocks do not have to be square.
Rail Fence units can stand alone as individual blocks or can be successfully combined with other basic block units to make even more quilt blocks. Rail Fence is the strong, silent type that fades into the background allowing others to be the stars of the show, but without Rail Fence, something would definitely be missing.
Rail Fences can be created with other methods when making quilt blocks. Sometimes a Rail Fence is actually a secondary design or a happy accident.
If you are getting the impression that I really like Rail Fences, then you are correct. One of the very first quilts I ever made from a pattern in the book, The Weekend Quilt by Leslie Linsley. That was the book that made me want to make quilts!
My quilt was a Rail Fence double-sized quilt will 4 shades of blue. I was sew proud of my piecing! It was the first time I’d sewn strip sets together and then cut them into blocks. At the time I didn’t know how to machine quilt yet, so I sensibly tied my quilt with white crochet thread and I used it for years on my bed.
Let’s take a look at some quilt blocks featuring Rail Fence units.
These 9 blocks are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to blocks with Rail Fence units.
How to Make a Rail Fence Unit
To make a traditional 2 log Rail Fence unit, first you need to know the finished size of your unit. So, let’s say our unit will be 6″ finished. To figure out what dimensions to cut our pieces, we will divide our finished size by 2 (6 divided by 2 = 3). But we need to cut our logs the same width of our finished unit, so we will need 2 logs 3″ x 6″ — BUT WAIT! — we need to add our seam allowances before cutting. That means we need to cut 2 logs 31/2″ x 6 1/2″. Then simply sew the 2 logs together along one long edge. Voila!
To make a 3 log Rail Fence, instead of dividing the finished size by 2, we will divide it by 3 (6 divided by 3 = 2 and we need to add our seam allowances, too). So, we will need to cut our logs 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″. Decide in which order to sew your logs (whether you decide to use 2 or 3 fabrics in your unit) and sew the 3 logs together along the long edges.
A Few Simple Rail Fence Quilt Ideas for You
Here are two simple Rail Fence quilt designs using 2 different color combinations. But just imagine what you could create if you used multiple blocks, added more colors, etc. WOW!
Time to take a look at my curated collection of Rail Fence VRD Rose Card Patterns!
Before I forget I want to wish all you Moms, Grandmas, Aunties, Cousins, Step Moms, Pet Moms, Dads, Caregivers, Teachers and ANYONE who has touched the life of a child a very special Mother’s Day.
Thank you for everything you do everyday. Although you might not get a thank you or an acknowledgement, those little everyday things mean more than you will ever know.
Quilt Block Basics — Square in a Square
This week we are going to talk about the Square in a Square unit.
You may also know this unit as the Diamond in the Square quilt block.
Often, you will see this unit combined with other quilt block units to create really cool quilt blocks. The unit usually has an unpieced square in the center, but sometimes you will see that center square filled in with a pieced unit or block, which makes Square in a Square not only a unit, but also a frame.
Why am I telling you all this? Just food for thought if and/or when you are designing your own quilt blocks!
Let’s take a look at some Square in a Square blocks.
I find the Square in a Square unit to be a very good tool in my designer’s quilt toolbox because it can really add a lot of POW to a quilt block. Wouldn’t you agree?
Let’s take a couple minutes and play with this unit. Only a couple minutes, mind you, or I might get lost in Electric Quilt 8 all day. Seriously, I’m not kidding….
Here is our single unit again:
Here are 4 units together in a 4 Patch block:
And here are 9 units together in a 9 Patch block:
You can see how complex looking the 9 Patch version (our Kansas Star block from above) is, just by repeating the Square in a Square unit. And I added another color just for fun, which can add a whole other dimension. Do you see the star in the middle?
Let’s play with our color placement now. Same block, 3 different ways!
Now let’s go crazy and add a few other Quilt Block units that we’ve already explored — HSTs, Hourglass, and Flying Geese.
MUST. STOP. NOW. Or else I’m going to forget all about writing the rest of this blog post and keep playing in my EQ8 for the rest of the day. LOL!
How to Make a Square in a Square Unit
This unit is a breeze to make.
My favorite method uses a large square and 4 smaller squares, so I don’t have to worry about working with fiddly triangles and stretchy bias edges.
But, how do you know what size squares to cut???
Math…….math…..math, of course! There is a nifty little formula to figure out the sizes of squares needed. You can also find cutting charts too, but what’s the fun in that???
You need to know your finished size. So let’s say I want a finished size of 6″ for my unit.
Next you need to add 1/2″ to your finished size and that is the size of your large center square. So, if I want a finished block of 6″, then I need a 6 1/2″ square for the center.
For the 4 small squares, you will need to divide the size of the finished unit in half (6″ divided by 2 = 3″) and add 1/2″ (3″ + 1/2″ = 3 1/2″). So for a 6″ finished block, I need to cut 4 squares 3 1/2″. Easy Piezy! (Maybe you’re wondering why I add the 1/2″? The 1/2″ is what you add to a finished size to account for your seam allowances. We add 1/4″ for each side which equals 1/2″ in total needed for seam allowances.)
Okay, what about an 8″ finished unit or block? I would need to cut 1 large square 8 1/2″ and 4 small squares 4 1/2″.
What about a 2 1/2″ finished unit? Then I would cut the large center square 3″ and the 4 small squares 1 3/4″.
Cool, huh???? Quilt Math never fails to amaze and amuse me (wink, wink).
So, let’s make the block now:
Layer a small square right sides together in one corner of a large square. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Sew on the line. Repeat for the opposite corner. Cut 1/4″ away from each sewn line. Press open.
Repeat with the other 2 opposite corners.
I do want to take a moment to point out that you can get a Square in a Square look by using different units like HSTs, Flying Geese, and more. Just something to think about….
But wait! There’s more….
If you aren’t completely sold on my method, you have other options —
There is a cool Creative Grids ruler, you can find it HERE.
It’s Sew Emma has even created Square in a Square foundation papers in both THREE INCH and FOUR INCH sizes.
Next let’s check out my Square in a Square curated list of patterns!
A fun list of patterns, isn’t it? Don’t forget that when you order Rose Card patterns on the Villa Rosa website, it’s always free shipping for patterns. Always.
New Villa Rosa Designs Rose Card Patterns for May 2023
Moving on, do you know what day it is????
It’s the first Thursday after the first Friday of the month, which means NEW PATTERNS! YAY!!!
Here are the 5 regular patterns for May. Aren’t they great? Some nice variety in patterns and interesting options, wouldn’t you say?
Bubbles by Sugar Pine Quilts uses a fun bright collection of fat quarters and a background fabric.
31 is a new vertical panel quilt with a fun border. Join me in wishing VRD designer Molly Cook a Happy 31st Birthday this month.
Tiramisu is a very cool quilt featuring either 12 or 20 fat quarters. You get to decide which size of quilt you want with this one.
Happy Thoughts is my latest throw quilt pattern and it uses a focal or theme fabric and coordinating 5″ charm squares.
Tres Leches looks as yummy as its name! This quilt uses yardage.
You can get all 5 patterns HERE for the special price of $8.95. Yep, and the shipping is free.
And here’s my new Table Runner Rose Card Pattern for May called Fly Away.
When I was designing and then later making this runner, I kept thinking about the movie, Fly Away Home, so in homage to that great movie, I named my runner Fly Away. By the way, you can find the movie HERE.
Well, I guess that does it for me this week.
Please spend time with the ones you love this week end for Mother’s Day. Wouldn’t a quilt be a nice gift to show your loved one how much you care??? Just sayin’…………..
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!
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.
Sew on the line. Trim 1/4″ away from the line. Open and press.
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.
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.)
Voila! A Flying Goose unit.
Here are links to some other Flying Geese methods:
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.
Wow! We’ve got lots to talk about today — I hope you are ready!
Let’s start off with our Quilt Blocks Basics first — today we are taking a good look at the Y BLOCK!
I did the HSTs and QSTs before tackling the Y block because a Y block is a combination of a QST and an HST. Sounds weird, I know, but really, that’s what it is.
There are other names for the Y block unit, but for the purpose of this post, we’ll stick with calling it the Y block.
Let’s look at some blocks using the Y block unit:
Bet you’ve never heard of most of these blocks — they were pretty new to me, too.
Now let’s play a little bit with this very versatile quilt block unit. We are going to use 4 Y block units together in a 4 Patch configuration.
Let’s see what happens when we flip the Y block units around in the block:
Wow! We can really come up with some fun blocks that will make interesting quilt designs!
I think you can see the versatility of the Y block unit in the block variations above. Just imagine what you could come up with if you started changing out the fabrics as well as moving the units about. This is only a 4 patch block frame — what about a 9 patch frame? What if you combined this unit with other units like HSTs, QSTs, or others?
There are several different ways to tackle the construction of the Y block unit. I decided not to reinvent the wheel because there are so many different ways to make a traditional Y block.
Here’s a great traditional Y block tutorial from Scissortailquilting.com just like the way I would demonstrate how to make it. YAY MATH! They even include the math formulas for you as well as a cutting chart.
The traditional method works great for putting together Y block units, except for one little thing — you make 4 units with mirror images, which is terrific if you want mirror images, but what if you need a Y block unit but not its mirror image?????
Seriously, though, who wants to make twice as many blocks as they need to, which takes twice as much time and twice as much fabric???
My friend, Cathey Laird, of Cathey Marie Designs, was fascinated with the Y block unit and pondered the mirror image issue for a long time until she came up with a solution. Cathey invented a cool Y block ruler which eliminated the mirror image problem — instead of mirror images, you get 4 identical Y block units!
Not too long ago, I finally got all my Rose Cards organized and alphabetized in small clear plastic crates with lids. Yay me!
So next I decided to figure out which Rose Cards I was missing in my collection.
I easily printed out the list (3 pages long as of right now) and sorted through all my Rose Cards to find out which ones I did not have. Then I ordered all the ones I was missing. LOL! As long as I keep up with the new cards, I will have a complete collection of VRD Rose Cards.
It really didn’t take me too long to go through the list because it is in alphabetical order, just like my Cards. Below, you can see that I used red Xs to mark the ones I had. Then, when I did my order, I just ordered all the ones without a red X. I put a small dot in the empty spaces as I went along so I knew which ones I had already added to my order (in case I had to stop at some point and go back to it later).
As of right now I have 3 of the plastic storage boxes almost full with my Cards, so I will probably be adding a 4th as soon as my new Cards arrive. I plan to keep my Cards organized that way, then it will be a snap to find any Card I am looking for.
Yay! Three cheers for organization!!!! How many Rose Cards do you have? How many do you need to complete your collection?
Check Out Our VRD Rose Card Patterns in the NEW Hoffman Spring Project Book
We’ve been working with Hoffman Fabrics for a while now. Their new Spring catalogs are out and I’m excited to share the new Spring 2023 Project Book with you. It is simply drool-worthy!!!!
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
Layer 2 squares the same size, right sides together.
Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner.
Sew 1/4″ away from both sides of the line.
Cut on the drawn line and open each unit to make 2 HSTs. (What????? HSTs???? Wait — we’re not done yet!)
Layer the HSTs right sides together so that the light triangle is on top of the dark triangle and vice versa.
Draw a diagonal line from corner to opposite corner, perpendicular to the already-sewn seam.
Sew 1/4″ away from both sides of the line.
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.
It’s a fine spring day here in Pennsylvania! Clear blue skies and temperatures in the 70s. Things are greening up and blooming. But Mother Nature isn’t done with her shock treatment yet as next week will be back in the 30s and 40s again. Go figure! Ho hum…..this is spring in northwestern PA.
Last week I started a new mini series on Quilt Block Basics — did you miss my post about Half Square Triangles? If so, you can check it out HERE.
I will be getting back to the Quilt Block Basics mini series next week, but this Thursday is the Thursday following the first Friday of the month, so I am excited to debut our brand new April 2023 VRD Rose Card patterns! Yay! Definitely one of my favorite posts every month!
I know I’ve said this more than once (probably more like a million times) but there isn’t another pattern company out there who produces as many new patterns every year as Villa Rosa Designs. We put out at least 5 new patterns a month — add to thatour usual 1 (and sometimes 2) new table runner pattern(s) each month and that figures out to be an average of 72 new quilt patterns a year! Mind-boggling, isn’t it???
We have the most awesome quilt designers here at VRD (not that I’m biased or anything) and together we make the impossible possible.
Revisiting Copyright for Quilters
Recently a reader asked some thought-provoking questions on the blog and I wanted to share her questions with you. Thanks, Mindy, for giving me permission to share your comments.
Mindy wrote the following after reading my post about The Copyright Question for Quilters (go HERE to read the Copyright post):
Can I ask one thing that comes up often with this discussion? How do you feel about second-hand selling of your patterns or having the pattern donated to a guild or other “library” type situation? I sat in on a lecture years ago at Quilt Market by two copyright lawyers and it was my understanding that this was illegal, but I have recently heard some pattern designers don’t mind and would rather the pattern be used than thrown away. What are your thoughts if you don’t mind me asking?
SIGH……. If only understanding copyright law and practicing it were straightforward and simple. But to understand copyright law, you basically need a copyright lawyer to explain things in a way you can understand. That being said, copyright law is even confusing for the professionals as they often don’t agree with each other. So if lawyers can’t agree on what copyright law is and how it applies, then how are we — the quilters and the designers — supposed to understand it?
And you need to understand copyright so that you can practice it. Such a conundrum.
What do I think?
Please note these are my personal opinions as a quilter and designer.
Guild Lending Libraries
I have belonged to quilt guilds for a long time and yes, one of my guilds did have a library of quilt books (not patterns) that guild members could check out and borrow. I don’t remember when exactly, but the guild library was dissolved years ago and the books were donated to a used book sale at a local library. I think it ended up being dissolved because the collection took up a lot of space in our storage locker and it wasn’t being used by the guild members. Part of the problem, I suspect, was that the lending library wasn’t updated and weeded out regularly in order to keep the collection current and relevant to the interests of the guild members.
I think libraries — any kind of libraries — are wonderful amazing incredible things!
Let’s consider public, school, and university libraries — they purchase one or more copies of a book or magazine and not even allow — but encourage — people to borrow these materials free with their library card. Is this an infringement of copyright law? I don’t think so — most authors, myself included, want to see their books in libraries.
How is a quilt guild lending library any different? Really? Of course, I am talking books here, not patterns, but what is a quilt book but a collection of quilt patterns? In my opinion, as long as the book or pattern was purchased legally at some point, it is a good thing to pass it along to someone else. (This does not mean making a photocopy of a book or pattern and giving to your best friend, but passing along the original book or pattern.) I am always pleased to see books find their way to someone who will love them.
Additionally, most folks are conscious about recycling and trash disposal — isn’t it better to pass along a book or pattern to another who will find enjoyment or enlightenment from the book/pattern instead of adding more trash to landfills? To me, there’s nothing more devastating than someone throwing away a perfectly good book.
The selling of secondhand goods is HUGE all over the world. Secondhand sellers have existed far longer than copyright laws have. The secondhand selling of goods is a big part of any economy, so I am not sure how that corresponds to copyright when you’re talking about books and patterns.
If selling secondhand books, patterns, and other types of publications was an infringement of copyright law, then how can sellers resell goods on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and the like? What about at the Goodwills and Salvation Army stores? What about the used book sales at your local library? Or garage sales, yard sales, flea markets, antique shops, and others? Why aren’t we all thrown in jail or fined for buying or selling secondhand goods?
Where would we be as a world without the secondhand sales industry? Wouldn’t this increase our already out of control issues with garbage and landfills? Wouldn’t it put A LOT of people out of work?
For me, personally, I am all for supporting the secondhand sales industry for many reasons —
It reduces waste
It helps people to afford goods that they need
It can help someone else in some way (whether it’s the actual information in a book/pattern or that the sale of the item supports a charity)
Secondhand sales (and the searching of desirous items) can be a lot of fun
It employs people, and can provide/supplement income
An “old” item to you might be a “new” item to someone else
It is a form of recycling
This topic makes me think about the old saying “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” and the more modern version — “Reuse. Reduce. Recycle.”
What are your thoughts on guild libraries and secondhand selling of quilt books and patterns?
Thank you again, Mindy, for bringing up these topics. I am curious to see what others’ thoughts are. Any copyright professionals out there who can weigh in on this discussion?
Before I dive right into HSTs, I want to show off my completed Helix quilt top. Yes, I finished it! I really like the finished top, although I wish my points had turned out better. What do you think?
I didn’t have enough background left to add side strips, but that was okay, it will be fine as long as I’m careful when I sew the binding on because I don’t want to cut off the triangle points.
Quilt Block Basics
Lately I’ve been feeling very creative — maybe the change in the weather? I’ve been churning out new quilt designs on my EQ8 (Electric Quilt) software and I will never have enough time to make them all, I’m afraid. While I was working on all these new designs, I started thinking about the smaller units that make up quilt blocks and I thought — AHA!!! That’s a great topic for the blog!
So, welcome to a new VRQ mini-series, all about the smaller units that make up our favorite quilt blocks.
The first unit I want to talk about is the Half Square Triangle.
Half Square Triangles (HSTs)
Half Square Triangles or HSTs are one of the most common building blocks for a pieced quilt block. Sometimes you see HSTs called Triangle Squares or Half Square Triangle squares or blocks. I like to keep things simple when I write instructions and I consistently use Half Square Triangles or HSTs.
You can find HSTs in simple blocks such as:
Or in more complex blocks like:
One of my most favorite things is playing around with the parts of my blocks to create new block designs when I’m designing. I like to change colors, switch lights and darks, and change the orientation of the units within a block in order to create something new and different. EQ8 makes this sew easy to do.
To show you what I mean, let’s play with the Mosaic # 17 block, which is all HSTs and gives us lots of room to play!
Let’s change the orientation of the HSTs:
Now let’s add another color in the mix:
Let’s try change the orientation, too:
Okay, okay, I’d better stop here or I’m going to lose my writing focus and create another stack of quilt designs I will never have time to make! LOL!
I think you can see how much fun it is to play with HSTs. Imagine what happens when you add other building block units with the HSTs………but that is a post for another day.
Half Square Triangle Assembly
There are many different ways to make HSTs — just check on YouTube, Pinterest, or your favorite quilting magazine.
I am going to show you my favorite method here — this is the method I use in my quilt instructions.
Layer 2 squares together, right sides together (RST).
Draw a diagonal line from 1 corner to the opposite corner.
Sew 1/4″ away from both sides of the drawn line.
Cut the HSTs apart on the drawn line. Open to make 2 HSTs.
I bet you noticed I didn’t use any dimensions for my fabric squares. That was intentional. As I’ve said many times, quilting is all about math (check out my ode to quilting and math HERE).
HSTs are no different! You can use this construction method to make any size HST. You just have to know a teeny tiny magical math secret!
To figure out how big to cut your squares, you need to add 7/8″ to your finished dimensions! Really, that’s all you need to remember. You don’t need to refer to a cutting chart, you just need to remember 7/8″. (Please note that 7/8″ may not work for all HST methods.)
Here are some examples:
I want my HST’s to finish at 3″, so I need to cut my squares 3 7/8″.
5″ finished? Cut 5 7/8″ squares.
12″ finished HSTs……….cut 12 7/8″ squares.
Easy peasy!YAY MATH!Thank you, Mrs. Hank (my high school math teacher)!
HST VRD Rose Card Patterns
We have a wonderful collection of HST pattern sin our VRD catalog. It’s a L O N G list, so hang in there until the end of the post.