River Valley Meets Wheels On The Bus

Several weeks ago, I shared a post with Deb Tucker’s Signature Collection, River Valley, by Island Batik’s Kathy Engle for Studio 180 Design…in case you missed it, here is the link where I recreated my pattern Simply Celebrate in Deb’s fabric line.

Simultaneously, I was working on recreating my soon to be released pattern Wheels On The Bus, also in River Valley…ah, but since it was still a part of my secret sewing I couldn’t share it at the time…The pattern was revealed Aug 10th  (link here) and it’s taken me this long to settle down and blog about the experience. My excuse is a week-long storm prep for Hurricane Laura which ended up bypassing us and hit our neighbors to the east in Louisiana.

I mean, after all, a beautiful table runner needs placemats to complete the setting, right?

Wheels on The Bus pattern has directions for both a table runner and placemats using Deb Tucker’s newest tool, the Star 60® and Tucker Trimmer II®, which offer the quilter an opportunity to gently oversize the piecing then trim down to a precise measurement so the units will go together nicely. I love love love all of Deb’s tools, but I do think this one has bumped my favorite, Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star®, to a close second. 

Wheels On The Bus Made with River Valley Fabric

The pattern calls for 1/3 yard of 3 different fabrics and ½ yard of a focus print for the squares that make the “wheels” go round and round….round and round…yes, you must sing the song while making this, it’s an unspoken (unsung) requirement!

The fabrics use to make both my table runner and placemats were provided to me by Studio 180 Design and Island Batik.  Thank you!

In no time at all I had my units made, ready to be joined together to form the hexagonal placemats, ready for quilting. I will mention here that I do recommend By Annie’s Soft and Stable® to use instead of batting. I find that it gives more body and stability to my placemats. It is available in “placemat size” packages but that doesn’t work for these hexagon placemats so purchase the larger size – I was able to fit all 4 on the same piece.

Okay, as a longarm quilter I just have to show you the back…that’s where you can really see the details of the quilt design. Don’t you just love this Island Batik foundation fabric called Celery!

Queen of typos and bloopers here…it wasn’t until I was adding my logo on the photo above that I saw my blunder. Do you see it? It’s backward of course but look closely. Somehow, I must have been subconsciously wishing my life away…I quilted in 2021 instead of 2020. But only on that one placemat! Sigh…I can hear them now….  “we don’t know what Oma was thinking, perhaps it was the stress of the world-wide pandemic wishing it were over and the next year already…”  Oh well. Keeps me humble, I guess.

Time For Hexagon Binding

By the time I got ready to add the binding I realized that I had not requested fabric to make the binding! Gasp! Well, I did have small left-over fabric…. Scrappy binding for the finish!

Request for a Tutorial

After I posted the Star 60® placemats a few weeks ago that I made to match my “picnic quilt,” I had a friend ask if I would do a tutorial on how to bind a hexagon. Sure! It will be fun, I said….

Talk about technical difficulties…. but I pushed on, or should I say rambled on, and laughed at my own mistakes. I learned a long time ago that you might as well laugh, others are laughing …. Laughter is good medicine. You’re welcome. Okay, normally I do things in “one take” but this required several (sigh) and I’m learning how to edit. Keyword, learning.

The content is there. It is my hope that my tips and tricks will have you sewing machine binding around your hexagons – be it the placemats from Wheels On The Bus or even my table topper Synchronized Swimming. I will show you how to achieve those points around the corner! (Video at the end of this post).

River Valley

I have really enjoyed creating with this beautiful signature collection of Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design from Island Batik. This fabric line is currently available in your local quilt shop! I hope you see River Valley creations in your own quilting future!

Patterns available in both print and digital formats

Be sure to check out other Ramble ‘N Sew episodes on my YouTube channel – it’s like sitting next to me at a quilt retreat! Until we can do that in person…

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, urging you to give the Star 60® tool a whirl and check out the tutorial for that hexagon binding!

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