Monday, April 22, 2019

Tricia's Favorite Block Tutorial -- Block 2 COURTHOUSE STEPS

Hah!  Bet you saw this one coming!

As I mentioned in my previous post, basic Log Cabin blocks are some of the easiest to construct.  We are going to make the Courthouse Steps block which is a variation of the Log Cabin.

This block probably makes you think about pioneers and log cabins (like Little House on the Prairie and such) and you would be half-right -- Karen Giska in her AQS article  "Log Cabin Blocks:  A Short History" wrote that the blocks became popular in the U.S. in the 1860's and the name may have been inspired by Abraham Lincoln!

But, did you know that the Log Cabin design has been found on Egyptian mummies and on a pre-1830's English quilt???

To read more, go to Karen Giska's article HERE.

So, let's get started!

Here's what you need:

1 A center square 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" (historically centers were black, red, or yellow)

2 B strips -- 2 1/2" x 4 1/2"

2 C strips -- 2 1/2" x 8 1/2"

2 D strips -- 2 1/2" x 8 1/2"

2 E strips -- 2 1/2" x 12 1/2"

Please refer to the diagram.

Sew the B strips to the sides of the A square.

Sew the C strips to the top and bottom of the unit.

Sew the D strips to the sides of the unit.

Sew the E strips to the top and bottom.


Here is a very simple quilt design that gives the Courthouse Steps blocks a super modern feel.  This design features 20 blocks (4 across by 5 down) with a 4" finished border.  The quilt would measure 56" x 68" for a nice-sized throw quilt.

So what are you waiting for?  Time to get started on your Courthouse Steps quilt.

In case you missed Block 1 -- Shoo Fly, click HERE to go back.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Mini World Take 2

Well, my quilt group/class met for the second time and I am happy to say that everyone survived making those tiny strippy quilts from last month!  Whew!

Here are some of their projects.  You'll notice the quilts ended up being different sizes.  That had a lot to do with individual cutting and piecing.

Aren't they just adorable?  I especially like the one on the far right.  She was afraid that she did it wrong but her mistake ended up in a cute variation!

This month we are going to try our hands at mini log cabin blocks.   Who doesn't LOVE a log cabin block, anyway?  Basic log cabin blocks are considered to be a beginner block so making one that finishes at 4" should be a breeze, right?

I will actually be talking about 4 different methods for making tiny Log Cabin blocks:

1)  Paper piecing

2)  Piecing on a fabric foundation

3)  Folded Log Cabin

4) Traditional piecing

Which ones have you tried?

Did you miss my first Mini World post?  Go HERE.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Tricia's Favorite Quilt Block Tutorial -- Block 1 SHOO FLY

What's your favorite quilt block?

I have quite a few favorite blocks, actually.  Maybe you do too.

Most of the blocks that I am a fan of are quick and easy to make.  I really love quick and easy because then I can spend more time playing with my fabric.

I thought it would be fun to show you some of my favorite blocks and how to make them along with a few ideas on using them in your projects.  AND I will turn my favorite blocks into a SAMPLER QUILT so hold on to your blocks until the end of the series for a fun Sampler Quilt setting.

 I LOVE the Shoo Fly block.  

When I was a new quilter, I cut out bunches of squares and triangles and hand-pieced them, eventually having enough to make a twin-sized quilt.  To be honest, the quilt didn't turn out very well because I didn't know then what I know now about quilting, but the important thing was that it got me excited to make MORE QUILTS.

According to the website Quilting in America, the block was "named after a wild plant with domed flowers called clover broom or shoo-fly, this 9-patch block originated around 1850 and became popular in the late 1800s."  For more history of the Shoofly block, visit Quilting in America.

Let's make a 12" finished Shoo Fly block!

What you need:

Medium/Dark fabric -- 2 squares 4 7/8" x 4 7/8" and 1 square 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" 

Light Fabric -- 2 squares 4 7/8" x 4 7/8" and 4 squares 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"

Here's what you do:

1.  Layer a 4 7/8" medium/dark square right sides together with a light 4 7/8" square.  Draw a line from one corner to the opposite corner diagonally.

2.  Sew 1/4" away from both sides of the drawn line.

3.  Cut apart on the line.   Voila!  You have 2 half square triangle blocks (HSTs).

4.  Repeat steps 1-3 to make a total of 4 HSTs.

Now here's the easy part -- the Shoo Fly block is simply a 9 Patch block in disguise!  Tehehehe!

5.  Sew a light 4 1/2" square between 2 HSTs as shown.  Make 2 rows.


7.  Sew the row from step 6 between the rows from step 5, flipping the unit on the bottom to make a Shoo Fly block.

And there you have it -- one 12 1/2" Shoo Fly Block!  Yay!  Go you!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Villa Rosa -- My Quilt Designs are Popping Up All Over!

You may already know that I've been designing easy and fun (and usually precut-friendly) quilt designs for Villa Rosa Designs for over a year now.

I met Pat, the owner of Villa Rosa, completely by happenstance at my very first International Quilt Market in 2010.  We hit it off and got to know each other through the years at Quilt Markets we both attended.  Then in 2017, things were ready for me to begin designing quilts for Villa Rosa.

Are you familiar with the Villa Rosa Rose Cards?  I was so impressed with the postcard-sized patterns when I first saw them in 2010 -- I knew then that I wanted to be part of Villa Rosa.

What makes a Rose Card so special?

A Rose card is the size of a post-card with a beautiful full-color photo of the project on the front and simple easy-to-follow instructions to make the project on the back.  That's it.  ONE POSTCARD.

Fast-forward to today....

I currently have 14 Rose Card patterns available and I have several more in the works right now.

Here are my Rose Cards (go HERE to shop my Rose Cards):



If you're a shop owner, you love Rose Cards because:

1)  they are small and easy to display, particularly near registers and check out counters
2)  they are perfect for kitting up with your own fabric in your shop
3)  the projects are fast and easy (and usually precut-friendly) so they are great for new quilters and experienced quilters alike
4)  the retail price is inexpensive
5)  they make great class projects because students do not have to buy expensive books in addition to all of their supplies
6)  most of the patterns utilize precuts and quilters LOVE precuts!

If you're a quilter, you love Rose Cards because:

1)  Rose Cards are like candy, you can't choose just one
2)  Rose Cards are inexpensive
3)  they are small and take up very little space in your sewing room
4)  there are Rose Card designs to fit any style from modern to traditional
5)  there are a lot of different types of projects to choose from -- table runners, baby quilts, throws, and more
6)  they are mostly geared for beginning quilters, yet the designs appeal to quilters of all skill levels and interests
7)  they are perfect for charity quilts
8)  most of the Rose Cards use precuts, but you can easily use your own stash or scraps, too
9)  they make great little gifts for your quilting friends or yourself

Rose Cards are now available wholesale to quilt shops through Checker Distributor and EE Schenck or through Villa Rosa Wholesale.

Quilters, you can find Rose Cards at your local quilt shop or  here on the Villa Rosa website.