Author Archives: ifthesethreadscouldtalk

About ifthesethreadscouldtalk

I made my first quilt in 2004 and it was LOVE at first stitch! Im referred to as the Queen of One Block Wonder Quilt (OBW)? I have made 59 of these quilts and have been teaching the process since 2006. Check out my OBW Gallery and the free tutorials I offer. I am proud to say that I am a Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor. I am trained to teach you to use all the Fundamental and Rapid Fire Tools. If you have not yet discovered Deb Tucker and Studio 180 Design tools you do not know what you are missing. You will be amazed at how much your quilting skills can be improved by using these tools.

Getting Ready for Journey BOM Month 1

Journey’s Month 1 will start shipping September 29th. I will post the Month 1 blog on October 6th, 2020. In the meantime if you haven’t used your Four Patch Square Up tool yet watch Deb Tucker’s Four Patch Square Up Video:

Quilters – Rev your Sewing Machines!

Are you Ready for Journey’s BOM? We are getting close. I am shooting for Journey’s Month 1 to be posted September 29th, IF everything is in place by then. I will keep you posted (get it, LOL). The photo above is the Journey’s I made to test the pattern last Spring. It was not made with the beautiful fabrics you are getting from Stitchin Heaven & Jason Yenter.

The Road to OZ – OBW #78

I love the Wizard of Oz! I know it is a very controversial movie, either you love it or hate it! In 2008 Quilting Treasures came out with the Wizard of Oz fabric line. The first fabrics were in sepia tones. I have made many, many Wizard of Oz quilts from my extensive Wizard of Oz fabric stash. This Road to Oz is for me!

I used Studio 180 Design’s Star 60 Tool to enhance my One Block Wonder. Aside from cutting the equilateral triangles I will share how to cut Whole Hexagons, Half Hexagons and make a Half Hexie Braid for borders with the Star 60 tool.

This fabric by Quilting Treasures came out in 2009 and has a 23″ repeat. I’ve decided to use it as a panel on the quilt top. The width is a little over 43″. I need to determine what size finished hexie will fit evenly across the bottom & top of the panel. If I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide they will produce 6″ finished hexies. If I trim my panel to 42″, I can fit 7 – 6″ finished hexies across the bottom and top of the panel. Note: I NEVER trim the panel until I have my hexies designed and verify they fit the way I want them to.

Strips are cut.

I used my Star 60 Tool from Studio Design to cut my equilateral triangles. Be sure the tool point just touches the cut edge of the strips. we want dogears to help lining up blocks and rows.

TIP: You know those pieces you have left at the of the strips that are too small for a full size hexie? One side is already cut at a 60 degree angle, if you place the tool edge on the straight side of the pieces, adjusting the edge of the tool to not include the selvedge and cut, you will have small hexie that can be appliqued onto your top.

My triangles are cut, stitched and sorted by predominate color.

Placing the panel on the design wall takes some thought and planning. My design wall consists of 4 closet doors 24″ wide, that are covered with flannel over insulation, so I have plenty of room. My goal was to create a path that would connect the yellow brick road on the right side with the yellow brick road on the top of the panel. I placed the panel so there would be more room on the right side and the top of the panel.

Remember, I can fit 7 – 6″ finished hexies across the bottom of the panel. The hexies are not finished yet, so they don’t fit well. They extend further than the panel. Keep this in mind to keep track of where your rows are so you don’t get confused. If 7 finished hexies will fit across the bottom, that means 14 half hexies will establish the width of the bottom section and the top section. I started at the bottom of the panel and then worked my way up the sides. You may start at either the top or the Bottom, it doesn’t matter.

First attempt at my design was close, but I didn’t feel the yellow hexies I had were creating a vibrant connecting path. I tried again surrounding my path with darker hexies & decided to create some Star 60 Units instead.

Cutting the Diamonds: To create a Star 60 Unit that contains a diamond with side triangles that would create a 6″ finished hexie I went to the Basic Shape Cutting Chart in the Star 60 instructions. I followed the cutting instructions for 2 1/2″ finished units. For my diamonds, I cut a 2″ WOF strip. Trim the first edge at a 60 degree angle as shown above. Locate the Diamond Sub-cut Guideline in the next column for 2 1/2″ finished unit which is 3 1/2″. Align those guidelines with the raw edges of the strip and the angled cut just made as shown above. Each hexie will need 6 diamonds.

Cutting the Side Triangles.: Checking the chart for Side Triangle Strip size, I cut my 2 1/4″ WOF strips. Align the mark near the top of the tool with the top of the strip and the horizontal line on the tool that corresponds to the width if the strip (2 1/4″). Cut the side triangles then rotate the tool and cut again. Each diamond will need two side triangles. Follow the Star 60 tool instructions for Piecing the side triangles to the diamond.

Trimming Star 60 Units: We will be trimming the flat end of the unit only! Align the Flat Edge trim lines with the seams of the diamond. For lefty’s, rotate the unit so the flat side is on left side. Six of these trimmed Star 60 units are the same size as a stack of 6 equilateral triangles cut from a 3 3/4″ strip. These Star 60 units can be made in 17 sizes.

I loved the way the Star 60 units created a vibrant path to connect to the Yellow Brick Road. You notice a very light block near center of the top. That is Glinda the Good Witch. She wasn’t on the panel but I had to add her!

Cutting Whole Hexagons: I wanted a block that contained the Emerald City. I forgot to take a picture while I cut it, so the instructions below use a different fabric.

The Hexagon Cutting Chart allows you to cut whole hexagons in 15 sizes. For a 6″ finished (6 1/2″ Unfinished) hexie, cut a strip 6 1/2″ wide. Fold the strip in half. Our Horizontal Guideline Placement is 6 1/4″. Place the 6 1/4″ line on the fold and cut both sides. You now have a 6 1/2″ unfinished whole hexagon.

Once I was happy with the block placement, I number my rows across the top and under the bottom section. I stitched the rows into four sections, left, right, top & bottom..

I decided to add the bottom section to panel first. I didn’t want to leave the points because they would cover up Toto, and I couldn’t have that, so I trimmed the top points only. I don’t trim the outside edges until the top is all stitched together.

Adding the bottom section allows me to line up and match the dogears of the rows on the right side.

Lining up the dogears

Pin and stitch the right side rows to the center section using a partial seam. I left a good 8 inches open to leave room for adjusting placement of the top section.

I decided to applique the top section to the panel by leaving the points on the bottom of the top section. I took stitches out about 1/4″ down between the valley of the blocks and pressed the edges under 1/4″.

Lay out the center and the partially stitched right side rows. Lay the top section next to right side rows, matching up the dogears. This will show you how far down the top section will overlap onto the panel.

Pin it well, assuring it is straight and top stitch the center to the panel. Now I’m able to finish the partial seam for the right side.

Adding the left is very easy now. Just match up the dogears and stitch together.

Once the rows are all joined, I trim the points off the top and the bottom of the quilt top. I added a border to the top. I’m thinking about adding a small black border.

Above is a closeup of the showing Glinda & the Emerald City whole Hexie. One more technique I wanted to share is making Half Hexagons. The Star 60 tool instructions have a chart for cutting Half Hexagons in 8 sizes. I thought about making a Half Hexie Braid for a border but my top was too busy.

Half Hexies Braid: I followed the cutting instructions for 1 1/2″ finished half hexies. I cut 3 different 2 1/4″ strips. In the chart locate the “Bottom Horizontal Line” for 1 1/2″ finished half hexie, which is the 4″ line. Place it on the bottom of the strip and cut both sides. Rotate the tool placing the 4″ line on the top and aligning the edge just cut.

Above, I laid out my half hexies alternating the 3 colors.

Pick up the first two right sides together, nudging the top half hexie 1/4″ from the point and stitch together. Press toward the first half hexie.

Add a third half hexie by centering it over the two stitched hexies.

Keep adding half hexies until you have the length you want. After the first two half hexies are stitched and pressed, the remaining half hexies are pressed toward the unit just added. I think this a cool inner or outer border that I will be using on another quilt.

Above are “Inside the Twister” and “Yellow Brick Road with a Twist”.

Anticipation

Brittany & Jonathon, this is for you in celebration & “anticipation” of the arrival of your daughter!

This is a Hunter Star Quilt from Deb Tucker’s Book “Hidden Treasures”.

Hidden Treasures offers over 30 projects to choose from.  Finished quilts are a generous lap size.  All the projects in this book are made using the Rapid Fire Hunter Star Petite tool.  This book is intended to be a design play book.  All the quilts are made using the 7” block size option, and the simplest two color variation where half the pieces are dark value and half are light value pieces. Each project requires 8 light & 8 dark fat quarters, plus border fabric.

Anticipation and the quilt shown above are from the layout called Curveball on page 30. I made the version above using a 5″ block to make a smaller version.

I have now made 3 layouts from Hidden Treasures. I would like to make them all! On the right is Autumn Twilight, page 66. On the left is Painted Desert on page 80.

Brittany, the quilt is on the way to you!

Ruca the Technicolor Cat – OBW #77

Last January I had the great joy of meeting my half sister Marti for the first time. I also acquired many new family members.

When I saw this panel by Chong-A Hwang for Timeless Treasures, I knew I had to make a One Block Wonder for my Great Niece Alexa. Alexa has a wonderful cat named “Ruca”, whom she has had since she was in college. I met Ruca, a very special cat.

Even though this panel states it measures 24″ by 44″, by the time I cut apart the panels and squared it up, it was more like 23 1/2″ wide. For my finished hexies to fit evenly across the bottom of the panel I would have to make some adjustments. If I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide, my finished hexies would be 6″ wide, which is not evenly divisible by 23 1/2″. I could just add fabric to the panel to bring it up to 24″ wide and then hide the extra fabric with appliqued hexagons as I have done before.

But I decided to trim the panel to fit the bottom rows of hexagons instead. If I cut my strips 3 1/2″, my finished hexies would be 5 1/2″ wide which would be evenly divisible into 22″. I don’t trim the panel until I’m ready to add the hexies. You can see that four finished hexagons (or 8 half hexies) will fit across the bottom of the panel. Here are my tips for Using Panels for a OBW:

Ruca the Technicolor Cat, OBW #77 measures 62″ X 62″

I am so pleased with how this OBW came out. It was wonderful meeting you Alexa, thank you for your hospitality.

A Prickly Situation – OBW #76

Yes, I’m at it again! Actually I’ve had this panel cut out since last Fall. I love One Block Wonders (OBWs). Sometimes I add cubes to create design interest or just for fun. It occurred to me that Studio 180 Design has a new Star 60 tool.

You can use this tool to cut equilateral triangles easily, along with 60 degree diamonds and side triangles in 17 sizes to create a multitude of 60 degree designs.

I played with Star 60 and created kaleidoscope stars and this 48″ star. Light Bulb moment!!!! Instead of inserting cubes in my OBW, why not a star?

I usually have left over triangles when designing my OBW’s. I had equilateral triangles cut that had a dark edge that was larger than a 1/4″. I was thought it might not make a pretty hexie. These triangles had been cut from 3 3/4″ strips. I laid my Star 60 tool on the triangles and discovered I could cut 3″ diamonds from it. This allowed me to use these left over triangles in a different way.

Way cool! Now I needed side triangles for the star points. I checked the size chart for 3″ diamonds and cut the appropriate size strip,

I cut the side triangles for my diamond star points.

Lay out your units. Stitch the first side triangle to the diamond and press toward the diamond.

Stitch the opposite side triangle, press toward the side triangle. LOOK what you have! An equilateral triangle.

Stitch 3 triangles together, and then the other 3 together, press seams open as you would a regular hexagon.

I began designing around my panel. I had great fabric “Canvas” from Northcott. This rich colors worked so well with panel.

I have stitched my hexie’s into four sections to add to my panel. My hexies were cut from 3 3/4″ strips, which means they will finish as a 6″ hexagon. For 6″ hexies to fit evenly across the width this panel should measure 18″ or 24″ wide. This panel is less than 24″ wide.

I did not want to trim my panel to 18″ so I added enough fabric to the panel to bring it up to 24″ wide and would be evenly divisible by 6″. Now to hide the strip.

There are 9 & a 1/2 Star 60 hexie’s in this quilt. The Star 60 tool also made it easy to cut half & whole hexagons. I’ve just barley scratched the surface of cool 60 degree design’s that can be added to a One Block Wonder. You can download my hints for using panels in a OBW below:

I Will Be Your Guide On This Journey

Stitchin Heaven Quilt Shop is excited to announce a new collaboration of a unique BOM program from Deb Tucker (Studio 180 Design), NYT and USA Today best-selling author Marie Bostwick (Between Heaven and Texas, Hope on the Inside, and the Cobbled Court Quilt Series, including A Single Thread), Deb Luttrell (Stitchin’ Heaven), and Jason Yenter (In the Beginning Fabrics). In this 12-month program you will take your own Journeys through an exclusive novella written by Marie Bostwick. Each month you will receive a chapter from the book which is exclusive to this program. It is a page-turning tale of love, loss, and new beginnings for PJ Lloyd, an adventurous young woman who defies her family and risks her future to make a difference after the attack that plunged America into the second World War.

I will be your guide on this “Journey”. Every month I will post a tutorial showing you how to use the tools required for this beautiful quilt and answering your questions.

Throughout the Journeys BOM you will be on your own journey to learn how to use 8 of the tools from Studio 180 Design. Tools include: V Block, Corner Pop, Four-patch Square Up, Tucker Trimmer, Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star, Square Squared, Wing Clipper, Corner Beam. The final quilt measures 102″ x 102″. A beautiful collection of fabrics have been designed by Jason Yenter of In The Beginning Fabrics, that will make this project an heirloom favorite.

I tested the pattern with fabrics from Deb Tucker’s stash. It is truly a beautiful quilt I can’t wait for you to make your own! The Journey’s BOM program is due to start in September 2020. We will be sure to keep you up to date and informed on all the details.

A conversation with Deb Luttrell, Deb Tucker & Marie Bostwick

Two of a Kind

I’m sitting here in Tuckerville, watching TV, looking at my ceiling. I pin orphan blocks on my drop ceiling.

Two of a Kind

These two blocks are made from the same fabric and units. They both have a Square Squared for the block center, 4 V Block units for the star points and 4 Shaded Four Patch Units (with the Tucker Trimmer I) in the block corners. The top block has the Shaded Four Patch unit small square facing out, while the bottom block has the Shaded Four Patch unit small square facing in. Two very different looks from the same block.

As I stared at these blocks on the ceiling I wondered what the secondary design would be if I put them in a quilt. Time to break out EQ8!

I used shades of purple and lavender because I thought my sister may like it. This is pretty cool. EQ8 is fun to use and brings quilt designs to life. Time to break out my Studio 180 Design tools get busy!

What’s Your Angle

As quilter’s, we all have an angle. Deb Tucker has a new angle and it is 60 degrees! Studio 180 Design will soon be releasing a new Star 60 tool.

Hextravaganza, free pattern included in the Star 60 tool instructions

You all know that I have made many, many One Block Wonders (75). One Block Wonder’s are made by constructing equilateral triangles. An equilateral triangle is created by cutting fabric strips at a 60 degree angle.

Memories of China, by Luana Rubin for Robert Kauffman

I just finished making “Up Up & Away” OBW yesterday and wanted to play with the Star 60 tool. I’ve had this fabric for at least 14 years. It has a medium size design and a 12″ repeat. I HAD to make a kaleidoscope Star 60 Block. I cut my 6 repeats, aligned them and chose to make 5″ finished units. Following the tool instructions, I cut my strips sets 3 1/4″ wide.

First Cut

This strip set has 6 fabric layers. I put a new blade in rotary cutter and it cut through all 6 layers like butter!

Second Cut

Using the Star 60 tool, I cut the first entire 60 degree diamond. Continue cutting till the end of the strip. I got 10 blocks out of one WOF strip.

OBW 60 Degree Cut

Above, I said “I cut the entire 60 degree diamond”, when cutting for a OBW, we cut triangles. By the way you can use the Star 60 tool to cut equilateral triangles for OBW’s. Just be sure that the tool point is on the edge of the fabric strip. We love dog ears for aligning.

On the left is a block from equilateral triangles. On the right are 60 degree diamonds. Both were cut from 6 repeats of aligned fabric.

For the diamonds we need to add side triangles.

As with a OBW, I did not stitch the center seams. Anyone who has taken a OBW class from me knows I think “Y” seam are of the Devil”! “Y” seams are not required to make these blocks.

Measures 36″ x 36.5″

This was fun. I Love the Star 60 tool. The instructions are wonderful, clear and complete. You will have no trouble creating beautiful & unique 60 degree blocks!

Just look at some of the possibilities! If you are not getting the Deb Tucker Studio 180 Design Newsletter sign up www.studio180design.net so you never miss new pattern or tool releases.

Up Up & Away – OBW #75

Quarantine quilt number 4 – “Up Up & Away, in My Beautiful Balloon”. While I was visiting my family in Lake Havasu City last January I got to attend their Hot Air Balloon Festival. It was fabulous.

I saw this panel by Greg & Company on eQuilter and just had to get it for a One Block Wonder.

First thing, decide what size strips to cut. I start by trying to get an idea of how many hexies will fit across the top and/or bottom of the panel. It is just like making a pieced inner border to fit around the center of a quilt. The width of the panel should be evenly divisible by the  finished size of my hexagon block. This panel measured 34″ x 44″. Even though it is a large print that would support a 6″ finished hexie, the 34″ width is not evenly divisible by 6″. I did not want to trim too much off the panel so I decided to cut my strips 3 1/2″ wide. That would yield 5 1/2″ finished hexagons. If I trim one inch off the panel side making it 33″ x 44″, meaning 33″ divided by 5.5″ = 6. Now I know I will get 6 hexagons (or 12 half hexies) across the width of the panel both top and bottom. Download my Tips for Using Panels for a OBW:

I started at the bottom and worked my way up the sides and across the top.

I used most of my hexagons and got achieved a design I was pleased with.

I number my rows and stitch the half hexies into rows. Then I join the rows pressing all seams open. I cannot stress enough how much easier it is to press your seams open with the help of my Strip Stick. I have 4 different sizes. The 48″ Strip Stick makes pressing the long seams open go quickly without disturbing the previously pressed seams.

I stitch my hexies into 4 groups. Top, bottom, left and right.

I decided I wanted to applique the bottom section to the panel first. Instead of trimming the points I pressed under a 1/4″ seam and stitched it onto the bottom of the panel. I chose to attach the right side next by matching up the dog ears as you would when joining the rows and stitch three quarters of the way up towards the top of the panel (partial seam).

By using a partial seam, it allows you to match up the dog ears of the top hexies with the side rows of hexies. 

I will mark where the top hexies hits the top of the panel, add a 1/4″ seam allowance, trim the hexies and stitch to the top of the panel. I decided to trim the hexies because I did not want to cover the balloons.

Now I can finish the partial seam.

With the top, bottom and side hexies stitched in place, I can easily attach the left side hexies to the panel matching up the dog ears.

This is one colorful One Block Wonder. I have ordered some great fabric from Fabric.Com for the back.

As soon as it arrives I will quilt it and send it you Angie!

Tucker Approved!