When I began teaching online during the pandemic I never thought I’d still be going strong two and a half years later. Earlier this year I ventured into teaching on my own instead of through a quilt shop and the response from students has been amazing! As things grow and evolve we (my great IT support, also known as my husband) make changes to ensure that students get the best experience, from registration all the way through class. That can mean new cameras, new microphones, better lighting, or in the most immediate change, the registration process. We have made it easier for you to register for any class that you want to take! I have a short video here taking you through the process. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
Welcome to August! It’s been so hot here in central North Carolina. It seems every day is hot and humid, with thunderstorms in the afternoon that don’t do much to cool everything off. I was lucky enough to escape for a week to the Outer Banks with my family for some much needed down time. It was still hot and humid, but being on the sound side we had nice breezes that made everything a bit more bearable.
July also saw the start of a new year of Tucker Tool Club. We learned about the versatile Tucker Trimmer and all the amazing things you can do with it. I have three tools that never leave my cutting mat: my favorite rotary cutter, a 6 ½” x 12 ½” Creative Grids ruler, and my Tucker Trimmer. I actually own five of them just in the smallest size! We had so much fun in class and my students had a great time making their blocks for Month 1. You still have time to join if you are interested. You can read all about it and sign up here on my class page.
I also announced the class Tuckerizing Alaska. This two session series shows you how to use the Wedge Star tool to make this fun quilt by Laundry Basket Quilts. It actually filled up so quickly that I’ve decided to add more dates to the calendar. The session starting August 18th is full, but I have another session that will start October 1st with the second class on October 15th. If you are interested in signing up, I recommend you do so as soon as possible. The first session filled up in less than two days! The gorgeous quilt pictured below was completed by my amazing student Dottie Fiddleman. Didn’t she do a beautiful job?
Have you seen Journeys, the Studio 180 Block of the Month done up in their brand new line from Island Batik? They have reworked the pattern in the soothing tones of Tranquility. I am going to be teaching this as a six month series starting in September. You will have the option of a weekday or weekend class time. I’ve got my kit on order from Quilter’s Obsession. You can order the full kit with or without the pattern and shipping is free! Debbie and her team do a wonderful job with customer service and I cannot recommend them enough. Or you have the option of digging into your stash and using your own fabrics. The pattern is available to purchase on its own at http://studio180design.net
You can register for classes here on my classes page.
One other thing I have been taking part in is the Studio 180 Design Monthly Block Challenge. Each month a few of the CIs take a BlockBuster and make it their own. Every Thursday of the month we show you how we put our block together. We start with a fabric pull, then give you a couple of sneak peeks of the block, and on the final Thursday we reveal what we came up with. We are working our way through the BlockBusters in order, and nothing says we have to stick to the original design. Here is what I came up with for the first one. You can follow along each Thursday on my Facebook page and my Instagram, where I will link to all of the other CIs who are participating. You’re sure to find something that stokes your creativity!
As you can see, I have a busy month coming up. Feel free to message me with any questions about upcoming classes. Until next time, may all your points be perfect.
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog for the Tranquility Blog Hop! This gorgeous new line of fabric by Studio 180 Design for Island batik is filled with soothing fabrics in calming colors and prints inspired by nature.
This week we’ve been seeing a theme with the blog hop – the old and the new! On Monday we saw an old favorite redone in Tranquility on the Studio 180 Blog. On Tuesday and Wednesday my friends and fellow Studio 180 Design Certified Instructors Tina of Quilting Affection Designs and Raija of Quilters’ Treasure Chest showed us some gorgeous quilts they designed. Make sure to stop by their blogs to see what they created. Tomorrow we will see another old favorite redone on the Studio 180 blog.
When I received my fat quarter bundle I decided to do a little old and new as well.
One of the best resources available to us as quilters is the free downloads section on the Studio 180 website. They have a whole section dedicated to a block library called BlockBusters. I love these blocks for so many reasons! I use them frequently when I teach to show students what they can do with their tools. There are multiple sizes and color ideas and they use a tool or a technique sheet, and sometimes both. They are a great way to practice using your tools. There are even some quilt settings available.
Here is where you can find the BlockBusters on the Studio 180 website. BlockBusters
The latest BlockBuster is #71 Illusion. I knew the second I saw it it would be the perfect block for Tranquility.
The first thing I do when working with these blocks is play with the Black Line Master. That is the black and white outline of the different units in the block. I played with a few colorations and I decided on this color combination.
I chose these fabrics to use for this block.
I love making the BlockBusters into wall hangings or table toppers by adding a simple border. They make great gifts! I chose to go with the 18″ block size and got to work making my units.
I love the perfect center points I get when making hourglass units and shaded four patch units! The Tucker Trimmer makes it so easy.
Once I had the final block together I decided to add two borders that finished out at 2″, giving me a 22″ finished block. By placing the darker teal and sienna fabrics towards the center of the block, the secondary pattern really stands out. I love the way the two colors play together and how the lovely patterns in the fabric speak of nature.
Then I started to think about older blocks. I knew I wanted to work with a block that would finish at 18″. I also knew I wanted to work with something that would allow the colors that I used for my second pull to play the main part. I wanted the background fabric to truly be a supporting player.
I went with BlockBuster #26 Cactus Blossom that was created in 2018.
The different ways to make this block using Corner Beam, Wing Clipper, and Corner Pop were so intriguing to me. I went with the third layout. I felt it let the background fabric truly recede into the background allowing the more muted colors I picked to stand out.
I got to work making my units. One of my favorite features of my tools is they can make multiple size units! Deb always says a gadget can do one thing and a TOOL can do multiple things. That’s why we create tools! In this block I made 3″ and 6″ Corner Beam units.
Then I popped the corner of the larger units using the Corner Pop tool.
I then started on my flying geese units.
Do you know how to keep the points on your flying geese when sewing them into a block? Make sure your needle hits right where the two threads come together at the point and sew with the unit on top. I get perfect points every time!
Once the block was together I was very pleased with how it turned out. I added a 2″ finished border that finished the block at 22″.
For quilting my husband (who is my fabulous long armer!) and I chose to go with a very round pantograph that allowed the piecing to be the focus. We went with a light gray thread and placed both pieces on the machine at the same time.
These will make perfect size wall hangings or table toppers. They would also look great on the back of a chair as an accent piece in a guest room. I love how the colors are so calming and peaceful. Tranquility was definitely the right name for this beautiful line of fabric!
While I chose to stick within a narrow tone range for my two projects, some of the other projects that have been made with this fabric work with a wider array of colors. Make sure you stop by the following blogs to see what else has been done.
And don’t forget to return to the Studio 180 Design blog tomorrow where you can enter to win a free fat quarter bundle of Tranquility! Between all of the gorgeous projects we showed this week and the beautiful colors and patterns, you’re sure to find inspiration for your next project. Tranquility is available now in quilt shops.
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and seeing what old and new things I was able to create with Tranquility. I teach a series of classes on the tools called Tucker Tool Club and we go over how to make BlockBusters in class. All of my classes are taught online over Zoom, so you don’t have to be local to me to learn! Best of all you get to learn from the comfort of your own sewing studio. You can see my current offerings under the classes tab.
Feel free to come back to my website for more tips and tricks as well as the latest and greatest from Studio 180.
June has been a busy month here at Murgaboo Quilts. I just got back from Studio 180 Certified Instructor Reunion. Each year the CIs get together to catch up on what we’ve been doing and to learn new techniques from the Studio 180 team. This year I was an attendee, but it was also my first year as a Studio 180 employee. It was so much fun and Sarah, Deb, Diane, and the rest of the team did a great job putting together five days filled with education and collaboration. We had fifty people this year!
The CI6 class, certified right before the pandemic hit, always makes a strong showing at reunion. Fourteen CI6s were there. It was so good to see all of my friends and catch up with them. As you can see we really like to have fun.
So what’s new here at Murgaboo? Tucker Tool Club is starting soon! I’ve got a short video for you here detailing how the club works and what to expect each month. If you’re interested in learning the tools from the comfort of your own sewing room, then these are the classes for you. I’ve spent two years perfecting teaching over Zoom and my students come back again and again for classes. I hope you’ll join me.
I’ve also had a few questions on how to register for classes, so I’ve done another video for you here that shows how to do that. It will also give you a little preview of how I teach.
I should have a preview of the quilt for you in the next week or so! I hope to see you in class.
Hi all! Long time, no post. So much has been happening in the Murgaboo Quilts world. Since January I’ve been teaching Fair Isle Block of the Month through Wish Upon a Quilt. We are having a great time assembling our blocks each month and learning all kinds of new techniques.
In April of this year I got a call from the people at Studio 180 Design and I was offered a job! What a dream come true for me. I’m working with Deb Tucker and Sarah Furrer and the rest of the Studio 180 team to bring you tools, patterns, technique sheets, and classes that are new and fun. I’ve been with them now for two months and it has been an absolute blast. I can tell you the whole group at Studio 180 love what they do and work hard!
Since I was offered this new job I decided to take stock of what classes I wanted to teach and when. I have been with Wish Upon a Quilt now for three years. Most of the classes I teach for them are virtual over Zoom. I need maximum flexibility schedule wise for my commitments to Studio 180. Because of that, I have ended my regular teaching relationship with the shop. I will be teaching all of my monthly classes over Zoom, but you can now register right here on my website! This gives me some flexibility on class dates and times, as well as the opportunity to point you to many different places to buy tools, patterns, and fabric. I still have a great working relationship with Wish Upon a Quilt and will be with them in the future on special events and classes. Wish will always be my local quilt shop and I am so grateful to Frank and Laurie for the last three years. Because of them I have been able to perfect my online teaching.
My first round of classes will be another session of Tucker Tool Club. This was the first group of classes I taught online. Over the course of the year I will take you through twelve of the tools in the Studio 180 line, starting with the Tucker Trimmer and all of the fundamental tools, and ending with three of the Rapid Fire tools. How do these classes work? You register for a spot in the club for $10, which guarantees you a seat in class. It also gets you exclusive membership to a private Facebook group where you can post pictures, ask questions, and interact with me and other students. There will also be special members only videos for tougher techniques, and tips and tricks for organizing your Studio 180 library of tools, patterns, and technique sheets. Each month we will learn a new tool as well as two quilt blocks. Each class session is $30 and you pick which classes you want to take. At the end of the year you will have a sampler quilt that shows off all of your new found skills. Here’s an example of a sampler quilt I made using my tools. I am in the process of finishing the exact blocks you will learn over the year and assembling them into a new sampler quilt. As soon as it’s finished I will be posting pictures here and on my Facebook page.
You can register for the club and for the first classes by clicking on the classes tab at the top of this page. If you have any questions about how the club works, or how classes will work you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you’ll join me on this new adventure. I will be adding more classes in the coming weeks to the calendar. I hope to have new classes available starting in September of 2022. I hope you’ll join me for a class or two! Happy quilting.
I often get asked about how to make flying geese that are an odd size. Or someone may only need to make one or two of them of a certain color. I love my Wing Clipper tool, but for something like this, I will use my Corner Pop tool instead. Check out this video I made on how to use your Corner Pop tool to make flying geese.
This last week I have been teaching a pattern called Smooth Sailing by a fellow Certified Instructor, Pam Goggans. One of the things that makes this such a lovely quilt is all of the points that come together between pieces. The great thing about Studio 180 Design tools is you get a perfect 1/4″ on your units so you don’t lose your points. But what do you do when you have two points that are coming together like you have on this quilt? Take a look at my finished wall hanging, a different size of the quilt, adapted by the fabulous CIs over at Running With Scissors.
You can see that there are a lot of points that come together in this quilt. If you lose the points the effect is lost. Here’s a video that talks about precision pinning and pressing. If you have any questions feel free to send me an email under my contact info. Enjoy!
I was so thrilled to be asked to be a part of this week’s blog hop. We were asked to choose one of the Blockbusters and add borders using the gorgeous Garden Gems line by Island Batik.
The first thing I did was check out the Blockbusters to decide which block I wanted to use. I knew I wanted my finished piece to feel like a full finished quilt. So I narrowed down my options to some of the more complex blocks. In the end I chose Crosspoints because I hadn’t done much with the Triangle Pizzazz Technique Sheet and I really wanted to play with that particular unit.
I love the Blockbuster series for so many reasons. There are different color combinations shown for each block, which usually serve as inspiration for my own experiments. When I print out a Blockbuster the first thing I do is get out my colored pencils. I use the black line master to play with color placement.
I looked at all my options for fabrics within the Garden Gems line and chose my four favorites plus a multi.
I chose what colors I wanted to feature in different parts of the block and went to work. I chose to make the 15″ finished block size so I could have a decent size wall hanging in the end. Working with batik fabrics is something I truly love. Jewel tones feature prominently in my fabric stash so the bright colors of the Garden Gems line were fun to work with. It was hard to narrow it down to just five fabrics!
Playing with Triangle Pizzazz felt so familiar because it is similar in construction to the Shaded Four Patch. The satisfaction of getting that perfect point in the middle of the unit was a great feeling.
I assembled the whole block and began thinking about border options. I knew when I picked the block I wanted to work with half square triangles. I felt like they would compliment the overall finished block and it would allow me to continue working with my Tucker Trimmer.
With the size of this block being 15 inches I felt like 2 inch half square triangles would work well. I wanted to add some fabric between the block and the half square triangles so the block would stand out and to have an even number to work with for adding the border. Since 15 isn’t divisible by 2 I began to add just some straight borders using trial and error. I ended up with a larger border in green at 1 inch and smaller border in blue at 1/2 inch. When I’m working with larger quilts I usually do the math prior to cutting my fabric, but with something as small as this finished block I was able to play without doing the math first.
I wasn’t sure what colors to use for the half square triangles, but I ended up going with the pink and purple and then another added border of the multi in the end. I used my Eight at Once Technique Sheet to make the half square triangles. It went so fast! I also ended up adding hourglass units as cornerstones as a last minute decision. They ended up playing well with the hourglass units in the block.
When the top was complete I sat down with my husband who long arms all my quilts for me. We chose a thread color and a pantograph that we felt complimented the finished piece well. Any of you who take classes with me know that my cats love to hang out when we quilt or when I teach. Doodlebug and Henry decided to get in on the action when we were cutting fabric for the backing.
The finished project came out much better than I had even envisioned. I ended up binding it with the blue fabric, although I also thought about using the green. In the end I’m really happy with all of the color placement, the borders, and the fabrics I chose.
Adding borders to a quilt can often take your projects from feeling incomplete to polished. Most of the time I play with EQ8 when designing a quilt, but because I was working with a smaller finished project I was able to just jump in and begin working with the fabrics as soon as they arrived. Trial and error is a part of the process, but when I’m working with such gorgeous fabrics it all feels like play and not work. The finished piece is something I’m really proud of and I can’t wait to hang it in my sewing room.
Yesterday Sarah Furrer talked about her process on the Studio 180 blog. You can find her post here:
And tomorrow another fellow CI Chris Combs will be talking about her process on her Facebook page:
Sarah will finish out the week on the Studio 180 blog. I hope you’ll take a look at what they created to get some more ideas on adding borders to your blocks and quilts.
Long time no post! I’ve been so busy teaching and making quilts that the poor blog has fallen behind. I’ve been loving patterns by Sarah Furrer lately. She’s an in house CI at Studio 180. Her design aesthetic is so pleasing and modern. This is called Filigree and it uses the Corner Beam tool and the Large Square Squared tool. I used some old Jason Yenter fabrics I had in my stash and I also used a gorgeous Kona Solid called Chalkboard.
So what has been going on in my little corner of the quilting world? I’ve been doing a lot of virtual teaching through Wish Upon a Quilt. Tucker Tool Club is still my most sought after set of classes. We will be starting a new session in June. I’m very excited to start again because I get to introduce a whole new group of people to the Studio 180 system. And I get to use Laurie’s gorgeous panels. Laurie is one of the shop owners and she designs fabrics. Because we work together on some of these projects, they are exclusive to Wish. It has opened up a lot of new possibilities for me and it’s very exciting.
I’ve also been teaching a series on the Lemoyne Star tool. It was my intro to Studio 180 and my favorite tool.
Life has been busy, but I love having such wonderful projects to work on. But I take time every day to do things for myself, such as yoga. I started doing it back in December when I was having some back issues and kept up with it when I started feeling better. Now I’m doing daily practice. Tomorrow my husband and I go to get our first dose of the COVID vaccine. We are both excited. It’s a promise that things can’t stay the way they are forever.
Spring is arriving and with it all the flowers and trees will start to come back. Spring is my favorite season. Seeing all the new growth after winter always makes me feel hopeful.
Have you ever begun a quilt so excited to watch it take shape, and half way through get frustrated because your points don’t match, your seam intersections are off, or your blocks aren’t all the same size? When I first began quilting I thought that those things would come with time and practice. And in some ways they did. I learned about that all important scant 1/4″ seam allowance. I learned the best practices for pressing. I learned about the grain of the fabric and bias. But still, sometimes my blocks weren’t the same size or if I was making a complicated block the points would be off. My biggest frustration came in the form of a Lemoyne star block. No matter how many times I tried to make it work, I couldn’t. Wish Upon a Quilt was having a series of classes on the Studio 180 Design Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star tool, taught by a former CI (Certified Instructor). I signed up and I was hooked from the very first stitch.
So what’s the big deal with the Studio 180 Design tools? Why are people so passionate about them? Most tools out there require you to cut precise sizes of the pieces of your units and then sew them together using that perfect scant 1/4″ seam. For things like half square triangles you’ll often see a 7/8″ measurement included in your instructions. With Studio 180 Design tools you start out but cutting pieces that are slightly larger than they need to be and then once your units are sewn together, you use the tool to trim them down to a precise size. Because all of your units are then trimmed to the exact size you need, your blocks go together with more accuracy and less frustration. Besides that, these tools make quilting fun! I quilt because I enjoy it. It’s an escape from daily stress. And while sometimes it is my job, it’s also my hobby. Who wants to have their hobby be frustrating?
Once you start with a Tucker Tool (Deb Tucker is the founding genius behind Studio 180 Designs) you want to learn more of them. There are a total of 21 tools in the Studio 180 arsenal. Some of them are variations on the same tool, like the Square Squared, Corner Pop, Hunter’s Star, Tucker Trimmer, and the Wing Clipper. Any quilt out there I see I try to “Tuckerize” it. I convert it to use my Tucker Tools.
If you’re interested in learning these amazing tools, Laurie of Laurie Kent Designs and I came up with a fantastic quilt to teach you 11 of the most basic Tucker Tools. Laurie is one of the owners at Wish Upon a Quilt and she is also a fabric designer. Using one of her panels and gorgeous coordinating fabrics that Laurie chose, I came up with this quilt.
Over the course of a year you will learn all the different tools that go into making the quilt, how to use them, and how to apply them to other patterns. We decided to call it the Tucker Tool Club and this is exclusive to Wish Upon a Quilt. All the classes are being taught over Zoom, so even if you aren’t local to us you can still participate! There are only a few spots left. The membership into the club gets you all the fabric to make the quilt top, access to the private Facebook page for members only where I will be posting extra video content, and 10% off Studio 180 Tools and Technique Sheets for the year. The classes are an additional fee, but if you already know how to use the tool for the month, you don’t have to take the class. Classes are available during the day, evening, and a weekend. If you’re interested, come take a look at the info on the club!