TuckerLand is a magical place, it’s best described as a cross between Disneyland and Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory…it’s a place of love, laughter and fabulous food, and refuge. Lest everyone try to relocate to TuckerLand, (Brian), they bring you in after dark and you leave before dawn – therefore it’s a secret wonderland 😏 I feel privileged to have been allowed into the interworkings of TuckerLand .
Secret path to TuckerLand – the birds ate my bread crumbs 😔
TuckerLand is home to Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design. If you’ve followed #TheQuiltRambler on Facebook or Instagram (if not you should! There’s little buttons somewhere on this site that will connect us – I love to be connected don’t you?) IF you follow then you will know that several months ago I was accepted into Deb’s Certified Instructor Training in Iowa, where I am pleased to say “I graduated!!” Thank you very much. I’m now a new “CI” 👩🎓
However, during CI training Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and had the nerve to close the airports…preventing me from returning home. How rude! …enter the extremely generous offer of the Tucker’s to take me in like a little lost wet kitten …
Traveling to TuckerLand was an adventure in and of itself- you can read about it on my previous posts – or Facebook- it’s okay, take a minute to get connected. I’ll take a breath and come up for air while you take care of important business . Ok, back to the ramble…Upon arrival I was welcomed into the family and promptly put to work 😏 There are no slackers in TuckerLand. Truthfully being busy kept me distracted from the ongoing storm at home!
At the head of the table is Dad Tucker, he stays busy monitoring the cats, doing dishes, odd jobs, etc – with his primary focus being that of inspection and quality control concerning the fish population in TuckerLand pond. He is very faithful in his duties, not only that, he let me call him dad.
To his left at the table is Jeff Tucker, aka Mr. Deb Tucker 😏 Jeff is the expert in logistics and shipping. I’m so thankful he was able to help me take off 20 pounds – just wish it were a magic diet instead of shipping the excess weight from my Tucker Tools, CI notebook and various other heavy things saving me an overweight baggage fee. Truth be told he probably contributed to my physical weight as Jeff is also a master chief at grilling on his Green Egg. Not to metion he laughs at my corny jokes and my tall Texan tales – what more can I say!
Warehouse after a recent shipment of tools
A little hotel hand-sewing 😉
Next at the dinner table is Deb Tucker herself. Don’t faint, Cindy, I know you hyperventilate when you see her at shows (“Look!!! it’s DEB TUCKER“). After two weeks with this wonderful lady, I can attest that she indeed is the energizer bunny – only pausing from her many tasks of designing, teaching, packing for the next road trip to switching hats as a fabulous cook! (it’s in the Tucker DNA as they all cook – I’m simply amazed and hopeful that the cooking gene rubbed off on me) If one ever gets the opportunity to visit TuckerLand one will never lack for good food! But as the Bible says “if you don’t work you don’t eat“. Remember my mentioning no slackers 🤗Good thing binding and longarm quilting kept me well feed 😏
Next to Deb in the group photo is Bernadette, she’s the girl Friday whom I only met on Friday. Bernadette has a wonderful Australian accent and is a Jack of all trades hopping around all over the place from helping Jeff in the warehouse to assisting Deb with various tasks. Secretly I think she wants to learn to quilt on the longarm – so I gave her a lesson on “frogging” out bad tension areas. If you’ve ever taken a class from me you know one of my sayings – I make all the mistakes so you don’t have too– I think she would enjoy adding longarm quilter to her resume – but then they would need her more than parttime as this group of gals makes a lot of fabulous quilts that need to be quilted.
If I showed you more I’d be in trouble 😳 secret quilting for Fall Market/Houston International Quilt Festival
Continuing clockwise around the table we have Sarah – it’s hard to define Sarah’s role with Studio 180 Design…pretty much Deb’s personal assistant, show companion, pattern designer, and whatever else needs to be done. If you are familiar with the Blockbuster series – that’s her brain child (look for a future quilt along with The Quilt Rambler using the Blockbuster designs). I can attest to her being a good traveling companion as we shared the backseat and a one night stay on the road.
And then there’s Sue – sweet Sue – who opened her home to me and shared her cats.🐱 I can’t properly express the comfort that Naz Tucker and Nino Tucker gave me as they loved on me and let me love on them. Nothing more soothing that an adoring pet.
Naz Tucker who woke me up with kitty kisses
Nino Tucker who liked to curl up and sleep with me
Sue and Jeff are twins and seriously can finish each other’s sentences when telling funny stories around the dinner table. She is the Office Manager arranging everything from accommodations for the road warriors, booking venues (such as our wonderful CI training that is also a future blog) to handling customer services to doing all the bookkeeping as well as keeping up with all the legal aspects of running a thriving business. Plus she knows how to pack a suitcase and never ever has a weight problem!
That’s the Public Tucker’s of Studio 180 Design – the family empire built of a unique blend of talent and skill. The Private Tucker’s of TuckerLand are equally amazing.
In her “spare” time Deb makes beautiful rag rugs from her 35+ years of fabric acquisition
Many times you see your “quilting heroes” at shows or YouTube and you can’t help but wonder what they are like on a personal level. And more times than not their public “face” of when they are “on” isn’t the same as when they let their hair down. Not the case with the Tucker’s. They are genuine in and out of public view, despite exhaustion after an event, getting slide-lined with car problems, working to get ready for the next show, doing laundry ( yes they do laundry like the rest of us and are generous in sharing their machines), to making fabulous meals, to whooping it up with a Penn State football game on TV (and boy oh boy do they really get into the game – homemade Chex mix and all) – they are the real deal. Loving, kind to a fault, and loyal to their tribe – family and CI’s (Certified Instructors of which there are now 80 including me!)
Girls night in – Tucker initiation “My Cousin Vinny”
I have been blessed above measure to now belong to that tribe! Tucker’s and their CI’s take care of their own. Words cannot express the gratitude I have towards my Studio 180 Design family who have encouraged me, loved me and cared for me above and beyond measure and given to me beyond my wildest dreams. I am truly speechless and in awe of their generosity.
So before I start crying again (I am writing this on my phone from the plane) I will say that indeed TuckerLand is a magical place and 🎶 I got the Golden Ticket!! 🎶
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler – looking forward to coming off the road to be 🎶home where I belong 🎶 but equally eager to return again some day to TuckerLand