Evening Elegance Blog Hop, In The News, Island Batik Fabrics, Studio 180 Design

Evening Elegance – Day One of Deb Tucker’s Blog Hop!

Welcome! For my first-time visitors let me introduce myself. I’m Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, a certified instructor with Studio 180 Design. I am so excited that you are joining me today as we kick off the Evening Elegance Blog Hop showcasing Deb Tucker’s brand new signature line of Island Batik fabric, Twilight Chic, officially introduced this past weekend at Fall Quilt Market, the wholesale trade show, here in my hometown of Houston Texas. Needless to say, Deb’s fabric line is fabulous and the new patterns are going to have you running to your local quilt shop making your requests! And please do! This is the time for shops to place their orders for shipment early 2019!

 

We have an exciting hop planned for you this week so let’s get this party started! In true rambler style I have so much to share, so go ahead and pour that second cup of coffee and settle in for a nice little tutorial using two of Deb’s Blockbuster patterns. Are you ready? Let’s Talk Quilts! 

Blockbusters

Several years ago the Studio 180 Design team developed the Blockbuster pattern series as a free PDF download program to encourage Tucker fans “to play with their tools.”  If you’ve ever seen Deb in person demonstrating at a show, been privileged to take a class from her, or watched any of her online YouTube tutorials then you know that she is always stretching the bar with the what if’s of design –  namely exploring different combinations with units made using her tools and techniques. I love how she encourages us to think outside the box and discover new design possibilities to keep our quilting fresh and dare I say, stunning.  Deb’s designer skills, combined with the development of tools that allow us all to have perfect points simply by cutting our fabric just a little bit larger, piecing, then trimming down to the proper size, makes even a confident beginner look like a quilting rock star. It’s no wonder Deb has such a loyal following with all of us Tucker Fans eagerly awaiting the release of new patterns, tools, and technique sheets!

Today’s blog hop tutorial will introduce you to two blocks from this series… but before we jump right into things let me give you a little suggestion on how to truly join in the fun and be an active participant in our Evening Elegance Blog Hop.

Organizational Tips

If you haven’t built your full collection of Blockbuster patterns yet I’m listing the links for you. I would suggest that you make a file folder on your desktop to hold all the downloads to keep them organized for future inspiration in your next quilt project. Personally, I have them all printed and in plastic page protectors in a three-ring binder.  Blockbusters began in 2016 with 34 design inspirations to date. Bookmark these links for later because  I don’t want to distract you from today’s projects.

By the way, another helpful hint is to download and print the tool instructions found on Deb’s website with each tool. These PDF’s also fit nicely into a three-ring binder. Again, a project for a rainy day, as it takes a little time – but one I think you will find beneficial.

Blockbusters 1 – 15

Blockbusters 16-21

Blockbusters 22-25

Blockbusters 26-30

Blockbuster 31

Blockbuster 32

Blockbuster 33

Blockbuster 34

Blockbusters 2016 #1 Ohio Star Variation 1

Ohio Star Variation using Deb Tucker’s Tucker Trimmer I and Island Batik’s Twilight Chic fabrics

I love traditional quilt blocks and the Ohio Star is no exception. Today’s 12″ finished block requires the Tucker Trimmer 1, Blockbuster # 1, the Quilt’s Magic Wand, and for an optional construction method for multiple half square triangles we suggest the Eight at Once Technique Sheet.

Let’s get started!

Quarter Square Triangle Units

The Blockbuster pattern cutting chart lists multiple sizes – we are using the 12″ finished block size so plan your fabric accordingly. You will also want to have the instruction sheet from your Tucker Trimmer I as another visual to go along with my photos.

Begin with 1 light, 1 medium, and 2 dark fabrics. With right sides together (RST) place a dark over a light and a dark over a medium. Using your Quilter’s Magic Wand draw your sewing lines on the diagonal as pictured below.

Quarter Square Triangle Units begin by making half square triangles (HST)

 

Cut between the stitching lines, press your seams open to yield (4) half square triangles, do NOT trim!

Traditionally quilters are taught to “press to the dark side” – it may be a tad different for you to press your seams open, but please trust me and try it for today’s blocks. If by the end of the tutorial you find this isn’t your cup of tea then do what works for you – but as I tell my students, try it, you are here to learn a technique and by the end of class you will know one of two things – you liked it or you didn’t (grin). But how will you know if you don’t give it a go!

Carefully place one color combination half square triangle over the other (see my sneak peek to verify proper color placement in the one to the left), Layer RST, mark with the Quilter’s Magic Wand

 

Stitch on the marked lines. Because you pressed the seams open you can easily align the seam intersections to yield perfect points!

One of the reasons I love pressing open is the ease in aligning my intersections. Notice that I also don’t use pins. I use a stiletto to hold my fabric in place as I sew. Once the units are stitched together they are cut apart between the stitching lines, pressed opened then trimmed with the Tucker Trimmer I. Again, refer to the instruction sheet that came with your tool as needed.

Cut apart, press open, trim with the Tucker Trimmer 1. You will have (4) Quarter Square Triangle Units

Small Half Square Triangle Units

One thing I love about Deb and Studio 180 Design is they are always growing and adding things to our quilting toolbox. For example, the technique sheet Eight at Once was published after this Blockbuster pattern – therefore you now have a choice as to how to construct your HST for this block – both use Deb’s method of oversizing the block and trimming to precise measurements. Since there are eight HST in this block … duh huh...let me share a short demo on the quicker version of making eight at once and you decide how you want to construct these units for your block.

By the way, the technique sheet, in true Tucker tradition, lists multiple-size cutting instructions with finished units ranging from 1″ to 6″ HST constructed with the following method.

Referring to the chart for your beginning squares, place RST to mark the stitching lines with your Quilter’s Magic Wand as demonstrated in the photo below.

Draw a line in the middle of the block from north to south, then east to west. Next, draw your stitching lines on the diagonal similar to the regular HST. Stitch on the diagonal lines only. The NS/EW lines are for cutting!

 

Cut between the stitching lines and on the drawn lines as pictured

 

Press seams open (trust me)

 

Trim to proper size using your Tucker Trimmer I

 

Arrange HST with squares to sew together to form a four patch being mindful of color placement

 

Layout the units to join together to form the Ohio Star Variation block

One more little plug for pressing open – I find it so much easier to match my points on triangles when I can actually see the intersections and stab it with a stiletto to hold in place. Some prefer pins or basting glues, but I’m a smokin’ needle and just want to get it done the most efficient way that works for me (grin). I’ll be eager to hear your thoughts once you’ve tried pressing all the seams open!

With seams pressed open, I can see the point! (pun intended)

 

Ohio Star Variation using Deb Tucker’s Tucker Trimmer I and Island Batik’s Twilight Chic fabrics

Now that you are all warmed up and feeling confident as you’ve mastered the Tucker Trimmer I let’s move on to our next Blockbuster tutorial for today. I’ll wait while you refill your coffee cup or grab a little chocolate!

Blockbuster 2016 # 21 Around The Block

Blockbuster #21 Around The Block Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design

For this 12″ finished block, you will again need your Tucker Trimmer I, the Quilter’s Magic Wand, Blockbuster #21Wing Clipper I, and the technique sheet Non-Mirror Combo Unit

Non-Mirror Combo Units

The Tucker Trimmer I instruction sheet includes directions for multiple size combination units that when completed produce mirror image units. Because there are times that a non-mirror unit is desired Deb came up with the technique sheet to walk us through that process.  There are three different fabrics in this unit and careful attention to color placement is most important.

 

Layer fabric #2 and fabric #3 RST and mark on each diagonal with the Quilter’s Magic Wand

When I’m teaching a class I like to tell my students that “I have made all the mistakes so you don’t have to”.  Case in point – to keep me from just goin’ to town sewing on all these drawn lines, I gave myself little directional hints to follow the “right, cross, left” instructions on the technique sheet to avoid making pita bread pockets (ask me how I know). As my dad used to say “all else fails, read instructions.”  Things usually do turn out for the best if you heed that advice!

Cut between the drawn lines to form four units

 

Press open to have identical triangle units for one side of the combo unit

 

Join RST to the fabric #1  that had been cut into half square triangles

 

Press open and trim with the Tucker Trimmer I as per tool instructions

Flying Geese Units

I don’t know about you, but when I discovered Deb’s Wing Clipper tools I suddenly had this fascination for flying geese. If you are like me you’ve tried so many different methods – I found 99% of them to be unsuccessful or at least very inconsistent. I never wanted anyone to look close to see that some of my geese had broken wings, beat up beaks and especially if I “fudged” I wouldn’t want someone to see the fullness that was created in my attempt for “perfect points”. Okay, so perhaps that makes me sound like a bad piecer, but I’m just telling it like it was.  Operative keyword  – WAS! Oh, how I sing the praises of the Wing Clipper tool! My geese never have broken beaks, nor bent wings and can fly in formation with the best of the best! Ah, but I ramble, I’m preaching to the choir!  And if perhaps you haven’t tried this yet, I’m pretty sure you will be a convert and join the Tucker Tribe after just your first experience! Let’s make some flying geese!

Flying Geese the Tucker Way! Place two smaller squares on the diagonal, overlapping a tad as per the instruction sheet, draw the stitching lines using the Quilter’s Magic Wand and sew.

 

Cut between the stitched lines and press open to reveal this interesting shape. Trust us…this is how it’s supposed to look at this point! Like a little heart cuz this method is oh so sweet that I know you are going to love it!

 

Take two more small squares and layer one RST on each of the shapes from the previous step. Mark stitching lines using the Quilter’s Magic Wand and sew.

 

Cut between the stitched lines on both units, press seams open and you now have four flying geese ready to trim

 

I love the markings on Deb’s tools, just what I need without the clutter! This is actually the second trim, what is called the cleanup trim. Refer to your tool instruction sheet for the proper alignment. Are you singing praises yet?

Half Square Triangles

You’ve got this covered! I’m just giving you a photo reference so you don’t leave them out of your block. Besides, I’m sure you’ve had lots of coffee by now and are eager to put this block together!

Don’t you just love making half square triangles the Deb Tucker way! Slightly oversized, trimmed to high precision. Doesn’t she make us look good! No wonder we love Studio 180 Design!

Putting It All Together

I chose to put my non-mirror combo units together first as a four patch before joining the rest of my units. I hope as you construct your block that you see the beauty of pressing open to reduce the bulk in the seams to make your block lay flatter. I also find it very beneficial in matching points. Again, I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this pressing matter!

Almost finished with the Around The Block Blockbuster Block!

 

Finished is Good!

Did I just hear an audible sigh! Yep, we’ve persevered and look at the result! Aren’t you pleased – I know I am, I am totally in love with Deb’s new fabric line Twilight Chic – and I think it goes without saying how much I enjoy her tools and techniques. Here’s a parting shot of my blocks  gracing a door in The Quilt Rambler studio.

Ohio Star Variation and Around The Block, Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design Blockbuster patterns made in Twilight Chic, Deb’s signature collection with Island Batik

 

But Wait! There’s More!

I can’t thank Studio 180 Design enough for inviting me to kick off this week’s blog hop. We know you will enjoy the other certified instructors’ blog posts as they share their story and their blocks. Don’t worry, they don’t ramble as much as I do (grin).

PARTICIPANTS:

 

Here’s a little show and tell of my newest pattern using Deb’s signature line, Twilight Chic. Thank you to Island Batik for providing the fabric for this project. As an Island Batik Ambassador, I have the joy of participating in monthly challenges using their beautiful fabrics. I am also one of their designers and have patterns available, many (almost all) using the Studio 180 Design tools! I hope while you are here that you will take a look around my website and blog – if you like what you see you may choose to subscribe to my blog and/or follow me across social media. Don’t forget, that there is an entire network of Certified Instructors who are available to assist you in your  Studio 180 Design quilting adventures! Thank you for allowing me into your quilting nook, it’s been my pleasure to share these blocks with you and I can’t wait to see what you will do with your own creations using the Studio 180 Design tools! Don’t forget to follow across social media with #eveningelegancebloghop Leave a comment or two, I’d love to chat with you!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, Let’s Talk Quilts!

Paradise Island, designed, pieced and quilted by Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler. Fabric provided by Island Batik in Deb Tucker’s signature collection Twilight Chic. Pattern available from The Quilt Rambler, shipping the first of 2019
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17 thoughts on “Evening Elegance – Day One of Deb Tucker’s Blog Hop!”

  1. Great tutorials! Thanks for posting the links to the Blockbusters series. When I double-checked my files I found I “missed” 2 of them.

    You asked us to comment on pressing seams open; I almost always press to one side, unless I’m doing something like Deb’s LeMoyne stars – and then I’ll press some seams open to avoid bulk in the middle. I’ve read that pressing seams open makes it possible to ‘split’ a thread when quilting over those seams, which could weaken the integrity of the block. Makes sense to me….
    Your new pattern looks terrific!

    1. Hi Judy – thanks for taking time to comment and thanks for visiting my blog! I did neglect to mention my “disclaimer” for pressing open. If you are going to stitch in the ditch then you are correct, pressing open wouldn’t leave any fabric to quilt over as you would just be quilting over threads. That said I have pressed all my seams open in over a hundred personal quilts that have all been used and washed without any wear and tear rendering seams “damaged” or weaken. Recently I had a poll from my readers and it was pretty “polarized” 🙃 with those who will only press open to reduce bulk in areas such as the Lemoyne Star as you mentioned but “press to the dark” the rest of the time. The fun thing about quilting for me is I fired the quilt police a long time ago ☺️ so I say do what makes you happy! I do like to encourage people to be flexible and really encourage in certain areas the importance of reducing bulk by pressing open – and I do like to give people something to consider trying to see if it works for them. Thanks so much again for joining us on the blog hop. So glad I was able to encourage you to “check your files”. And thank you for the kind remarks about my pattern Happy quilting !

  2. Great job. I love the blocks. I can’t wait to download the Blockbuster patterns and tip sheets. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  3. I absolutely love this! I had no idea about the blog spot I am a new huge fan!! Thanks so much for this and all that Deb does.

  4. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain the details and your thoughts behind them. I’m going to make this block with my seams open and see how I like it. If I press with the seams open, hopefully I will be able to see where the seams intersect and have an accurate point which will feel and look “OH SO GOOD”. Since I haven’t been too successful with pressing to one side, I’m hoping this helps me. And……I so appreciate all the pictures of each of the steps. You and your team of instructors are the best.

  5. I am at the end of my ‘freshman’ year of Tucker U. I am excited to follow along and continue to grow in my use & knowledge of Deb’s tools. Nothing worse than buying a new tool and never using it after the initial class. So thanks to Deb for all the freebies.
    One question for you. How do you store all your rulers? I am going to get a larger binder to keep all my sheets and the blockbuster patterns in.

    Thanks for the beautiful demo.

    1. Indeed we are blessed that Deb wants to assure that we aren’t just collecting tools but using them! Personally I appreciate all the YouTube tutorials for each tool, so if you aren’t familiar with that please check it out. As far as storing my tools – I found a scrapbooking storage box with a handle which is tall enough to hold even the Tucker Trimmer III – check your local crafty stores! Congratulations on being a Tucker University freshman- hope you will continue on with the new “sophomore” year! 👩‍🎓

  6. Deb’s new fabric line, and your quilt Paradise Islands are gorgeous!! Great job! Can’t wait for this line to be available! Thanks for the links to the block busters! As for pressing open, I usually only press open if I’m trying to reduce bulk. Otherwise, I “press to the dark side!!” LOL

    1. The fabric is even more beautiful in person! Be sure to check out all of Deb’s new companion patterns also! By the way, your pressing habits are within the majority of quilters according to my previous unofficial polling 😏

  7. How did I miss these great tools? And your instructions were great, as were your blocks and quilt. I adore this line. Thank you for sharing.

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