Quilt Block Basics · Quilting Partners · Rose Cards

Quilt Block Basics — The Y Block, Rose Card List, and Hoffman Fabrics + VRD

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

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?

It is simply mind-boggling, isn’t it???

Electric Quilt 8 Software makes it sew easy to play with these units! I can get lost for hours playing with blocks in EQ….

How to Make a Y Block

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!

You can find Cathey’s ruler HERE.

Here’s a great Y block tutorial done by Cathey herself:

Y Block VRD Rose Card Patterns

I went through the entire pattern catalog and found only a few Rose Card patterns featuring Y blocks.

Get Crossed Paths HERE

Get Twisted HERE

Well, I see new Y block designs for VRD in the future! LOL!

Speaking of Rose Cards, I wanted to share something very cool with you!

Rose Card Tracker

Did you know VRD has a printable list of ALL the Rose Cards????? This might be new to you because it is actually located on the wholesale website, but the list is for everyone who loves Rose Cards.

It is updated every month to include each month’s new patterns, too.

You can find the VRD Rose Card list HERE.

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!!!!

Hoffman Project Catalog Spring 2023

Sew. Dream. And head to your local quilt shop to find Hoffman Fabrics and VRD Rose Cards.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

Copyright and Quilting · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

NEW April 2023 Villa Rosa Designs Rose Card Quilt Patterns and Revisiting the Copyright Question for Quilters

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

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!

Feast your eyes on these wonderful new patterns:

Get all 5 new patterns for $8.95 HERE!

And here is my new table runner pattern, After the Rain — who doesn’t LOVE a rainbow quilt?? Or a Log Cabin variation??

Get the After the Rain pattern HERE.

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 that our 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.

Secondhand Selling

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 —

  1. It reduces waste
  2. It helps people to afford goods that they need
  3. 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)
  4. Secondhand sales (and the searching of desirous items) can be a lot of fun
  5. It employs people, and can provide/supplement income
  6. An “old” item to you might be a “new” item to someone else
  7. 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?

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Recycle. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

Panel Quilts · Quilt Play · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

What Can I Do with a Quilt Panel?

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

After our 8 week Basic Quilting Skills for Beginners series, I find I’m ready for something new. How about you???

I thought it would be fun to talk about quilt panels and what quilts you can make with them. I must admit that I have a big stash of quilt panels. I know that admitting you have an addiction is the first step to recovery, right?

SHHHHH! My super secret stash of panels!

I’ve collected panels for a long time, but I rarely seem to use them or make anything out of them. Sure, I’ve slapped borders around some of them and whipped up a quick baby quilt or simple wall hanging, but does that really count? When I taught free motion quilting classes in the past, I even used a panel as a project so students would actually be quilting a “real” quilt, but not something they’d worked on for hours and hours.

If the quilt police showed up at my front door and asked me about my fabric stash and all my panels, I would say: Who me?? I have no idea where these panels and all this fabric came from. I think fabric is like rabbits and multiplies when you’re not looking. That makes sense, doesn’t it? But would it work?

Well, I’m hear to tell you that Villa Rosa Designs has a lot of GREAT patterns specifically for quilt panels — for vertically printed panels, horizontal panels, and even panels with printed “quilt squares.” Yay! Villa Rosa to your rescue — and mine, too!

Let’s take a look at some of the panel quilt Rose Card patterns. You can find ALL of these patterns on the website, www.villarosadesigns.com

Vertical panels seem to be the most common type of quilt panel and we have quite a few Rose Card patterns to choose from.

One of my absolute favorite Rose card patterns for vertical panels is Hillside Charm! I know I’ve mentioned this one before, but it is an awesome pattern and I have to show it off again! You’ll probably read about it later in the future too. Sorry, not sorry.

You can buy the Hillside Charm Rose card HERE

Isn’t this just the coolest pattern? Aren’t you already mentally going through your panel stash to see what you can use for Hillside Charm? I know I am….

Another one of my favorites is Daring Spirit — the perfect quilt for a Quilt of Valor as long as you add a narrow border around it to meet the minimum width requirement for a Quilt of Valor. You can check out my Daring Spirit tutorial HERE and my Quilts of Valor presentation post HERE.

You can buy Daring Spirit HERE

Take a look at these terrific Rose Card patterns for vertical panels. Grab ’em while they’re hot!

Did you know Villa Rosa has Rose Card patterns for horizontal panels, too? This is awesome because patterns for horizontal printed panels can be hard to find!

October Sky is one of our most popular patterns. I bet you can see why! The really cool thing is that the top and bottom star sections are made with half square triangles, which go together like a snap when you take a little extra care to place your colors correctly.

Shh! Don’t tell anyone and when you make your October Sky quilt, everyone will be in awe at seeing your amazing quilting skills. I can’t wait to make one of these for myself.

You can buy October Sky HERE

Here are some more Rose Card patterns for horizontal panels. Nice!

We even have Rose Card patterns for quilt panels with printed blocks or squares!

Hypnotized is one of our new Rose Cards this year. I just love the look of this quilt — it looks difficult to make, but I know it won’t be because it’s a Rose Card pattern.

You can buy Hypnotized HERE

I’m all set to make Hypnotized. The only problem is that by the time I get to my project, it will be too late for Halloween this year so I guess I’ll have to say it’s early for next year.

Here’s my fabric for the Hypnotized Rose Card pattern — don’t you love it??? Instead of panel squares, though, I’m going to cut the squares from the gnome print and I’m going to use the stripe for my border. You’ll have to stay tuned for this quilt coming soon, or at least some time before Halloween 2023. LOL!

Yay! More Rose Card patterns for panels with printed squares/blocks. Of course, you can always substitute squares of any novelty fabric you love in these patterns, which makes them very versatile.


I think you know me by now (and how much I like saying that phrase), so of course there’s more.

You know those really big panels that measure roughly 36″ x 42″? Well, we even have a couple patterns for these big panels, too.

You can buy Nebula HERE
You can buy Puppy Love HERE

And if you know anything about Villa Rosa Designs, you can bet we’ll be adding new patterns for panels in the future. In fact, I have a few ideas of my own.

That’s it for today. I’m off to play with my panels.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

Quilt Stories · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

Food, Quilting, and Math

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

Now that the summer season is almost 2/3rds over, I hope you are taking the time to have a little fun, whether that means having a cookout in the backyard or going on a vacation somewhere exotic, make time to have fun with your loved ones.

Me, I love summer cookouts, picnics, and family reunions! Yes, I know these events are all usually about the food, but if you knew my family, you would understand that food is always a central part of any event or get-together. Over the years, I have tried to incorporate quilting into these events, too. Usually, I take along some portable hand-sewing project — binding or hexies. This is a great way to break the ice from starting a conversation with a far away relative or someone new. Quilting brings people together, just like food. And I am deliriously happy when I can have both together!

We even have snacks at my quilt guild meetings! Do you like my vase of wildflowers? I picked them from alongside the road.

Quilting and Math

I am thrilled that I’ve been getting some quality time with my sewing machine recently. Finally. And every time I design a quilt on my computer using Electric Quilt 8 software and then create the quilt in fabric, I am still completely amazed that everything goes together!

Quilting is simply a form of math. Have you ever thought about it that way? Every time we use a ruler, a template, or follow a pattern, it’s all about the math. Maybe we don’t have to do all the figuring when using patterns or templates because someone already did the math for us, but it’s still all math.

My stash of rulers.

I find it ironic that after all these years, I work in a field that is so completely immersed in math. I can still remember all the struggling I did to understand math after I finished Algebra 2 in 8th grade. Geometry was a total disaster for me. Why did I have to prove that a square was truly a square? Ugh. Thank goodness for teachers like Mrs. Hank, who was my math teacher for 5 out of 6 years of high school (excluding that awful year in geometry). Mr.s Hank would be totally amazed that I do math everyday. And I even like it. Now.

Thanks, Mrs. Hank!

Later as an undergraduate at Allegheny College, a private liberal arts school, I found the only science/math cluster available that did not require taking any math classes — archaeoastronomy! My cluster of 3 classes included 2 astronomy classes and a physics course with a lab component. It was like I was allergic to math for a long long time and suddenly quilting cured my allergy! I am not afraid to say — I LIKE MATH. I’m thinking of getting a t-shirt made to celebrate quilting and math……what do you think?

As a quilt designer, when I start a new project, I fire up my Electric Quilt software. I usually start with a favorite simple quilt block in a friendly size because not only do I detest measurements like 5 and 7/16th, but why would a design a project that requires that kind of cutting measurement in the first place? No one would buy my patterns. To see more about my design process, go HERE.

Once I’m satisfied with my design, I print out the cutting information from EQ8 and I get started making the project. While I make the project, I write down notes such as how many strips to cut in what size. Then after I make the project, I write the pattern. Through this process, I’m using lots and lots of math! Yes, I actually have to write the pattern, EQ8 does not do that, it’s up to the designer to translate the design into words.

Here at Villa Rosa Designs, I create diagrams and write patterns for other designers or for special projects. Sometimes I have to sit down with my pencil, paper, and a calculator to figure out or double check the math. Quilting and math go hand-in-hand. Without math, there wouldn’t be any quilting!

I find it a little sad and quite humorous at the same time that historically, quilting has been considered to be a woman thing. Today, more and more men are getting involved in quilting, whether as designers or as makers. They have discovered the amazing partnership between math and creativity/art that quilting offers. And besides, quilting is for everyone!

So for the rest of the summer, make sure you have some fun.

Eat. Quilt. And do math.

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD