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!
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.
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 2016 #1 Ohio Star Variation 1
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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).
- Monday, November 5th: Karen Overton – The Quilt Rambler
- Tuesday, November 6th: Tammy Silvers – Tamarinis
- Wednesday, November 7th: Jackie OBrien – If These Threads Could Talk
- Thursday, November 8th: Tina Dillard – Quilting Affection Designs
- Friday, November 9th: Studio 180 Design
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!