Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs)

Twinkle, Twinkle, Scrappy Star….

My, how colorful you are!

      Recently I was cutting some fabric leftovers and discovered I was winding up with a lot of 4.5″ and 2.5″ squares. a few months ago, I finished a quilt with Sawtooth Star blocks made with fabrics from each of the projects I’ve made over the past couple of years.

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“My Colorful Life” 2016 by Anne Wiens

      After I finish a project, I cut up any leftover strips of fabric less than a quarter-yard into Thrifty Quilter pieces for use later in scrap quilts. I decided to go ahead and make up an 8″ Sawtooth Star or two, and set them aside, adding to the stack until I had enough for a quilt. All the rest of the pieces went into my TQ bins. I was surprised at how quickly I collected the 35 blocks I needed for this 44″ x 60″ quilt!

     I like this little quilt. It’s really a material diary of my projects for 2015 and 2016!

     I decided to do another star quilt “diary” for this year’s projects, which will include class samples, demo samples, a challenge project, and charity quilts.

     Looking at my growing collection of 2.5″ squares and 4.5″ squares, I decided on a variation of the classic “Ohio Star” block. I’m thinking this quilt will become a class for the Tucker Trimmer® rotary cutting tool, because I’ll be making a lot of half-square triangles (HSTs) and quarter-square triangles (QSTs).

For each block you will need:IMG_1356

Two 4.5″ sq for background (White-not shown)

Two 4.5″ sq for star points (Dk Teal)

Three 4.5″ sq for star background (Lt Teal)

One  4.5″ sq for accent diamond (Lt Orange)

One 3.5″ sq for star center (Red)

Four 2.5″ sq for optional corner accent (Dk Orange)

Let’s begin construction by making the HST. For this, you need the two 4.5″ background (white) squares, and two of the 4.5″ star background (light teal) squares. Cut each square diagonally and sew into two HSTs.

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Step 1. Lay the Tucker Trimmer® on the HST, aligning the diagonal line with the seam line. Be sure the HST extends beyond the 3.5″ vertical and horizontal dashed lines on the tool.

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Step 2. Trim the right and top edges.

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Step 3. Rotate the HST, line the diagonal line up on the seam again. This time the cut edges snug right up to the 3.5″ vertical and horizontal dashed lines. Trim the right and top edges.

You now have four perfect 3.5″ HSTs. To be honest, you can do this with any small ruler that has a diagonal line in the corner.

IMG_1360The Tucker Trimmer® earns its keep when we make QSTs, and we’ll do that now. Cut the remaining 4.5″ star background (light teal) square, the 4.5″ accent diamond (light orange) square, and two star point (dark teal) squares diagonally twice, and sew into four QSTs as shown.

When you look at the tucker trimmer, you’ll notice that in addition to the solid diagonal line from corner to corner, there are dashed diagonal lines running in the opposite direction.

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When making QSTs, you line the solid diagonal line with one diagonal seam, and the appropriate (3.5″ in our case) dashed diagonal line with the other seam. Trim two sides, rotate and trim the other two sides, as you did before.

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Ohio Star – Variation 1

Lay out your center square, star point units and corner units as shown at right. This would be one variation of this block, and you may decide this is the look you want.

I’m going to set my blocks side-by-side, which will leave large white diamonds in the corners where the blocks come together. If I were going to send this quilt to a certain longarm artist I know, I’d leave that as a canvas for her to show off her mad skills. Instead, I’m going to add accent triangles to those white corners.

We’ll use the stitch-and-flip method for these accent triangles.

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Step 1. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 2.5″ accent (dark orange) squares. Align the square with the white corner on the HST, and sew on the drawn line.

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Step 2. Trim 1/4″ outside the seam line.

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Step 3. Press the corner into place.

Now you can lay out the center square, corner units and star point units. Sew into rows and sew the rows together to complete your Ohio Star block.

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Ohio Star Variation 2 – 2016 by Anne Wiens

My plan is to make and collect these Ohio Star blocks until I have about twenty. I have a pretty interesting border treatment in mind that would be kind of traditional, but kind of modern. In my mind, it’s a great quilt. Time will tell if it translates to fabric!

 

Categories: 9" TQ Blocks, Quilts, Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs) | 4 Comments

If At First You Don’t Succeed

In my Facebook group, Thrifty Quilters, I like to post photos that have interesting color combinations, and then make quilt blocks using those colors. Last month, I has a winter scene with a little gray and white bird on a branch with red berries. Then I got into my bins of Thrifty Quilter scraps and came up with this block:

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Diamond & Pinwheel – Anne Wiens (2014)

I like the pattern, but decided there needs to be more contrast between the gray in the diamond and the gray in the corner triangles. Because you can’t see the print in the grays, you really can’t tell they are two different fabrics.

This month I posted a photo of a colorful little bird with  purple wings, yellow neck and tail feathers, and a bright orange head and then I took another run at this block, which I call “Diamond & Pinwheel”.

Here’s the recipe:

Materials

Materials

For each 12″ (finished size) block you will need:

Yellow: Four 3.5″ squares

Orange: Four 4.5″ squares

Purple: Four 3.5″squares and three 4.5″ squares

White: One 4.5″ square and four 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles.

Step 1a

Step 1a

Step 1 – Use two 4.5″ orange squares and two 4.5″ purple squares to make four orange/purple half-square triangles (HSTs). Trim to 3.5″. You can do this with any ruler that has a 45° line in a corner. The photo shows a Tucker Trimmer®. Lay the ruler on your HST with the diagonal line on the seam and trim the top and right sides.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Rotate the piece, align the diagonal line with the seam and trim the top and right sides. Set these HSTs aside.

Step 2a

Step 2a

Step 2 – Now we need to make four units that I call “triple triangle squares” (TTSs), because they have three triangles in them…two small and one large.

Start by cutting one 4.5″ white square and one 4.5″ purple square diagonally twice. Cut two 4.5″ orange triangles diagonally once. You should now have four small white triangles, four small purple triangles and four large orange triangles.

Step 2b

Step 2b

Sew the triangles into four units that look like the one in the photo above. Be sure your white and purple triangles are in the correct positions. Trim unit to 3.5″. If you’re using the Tucker Trimmer®, notice that the solid diagonal line is on the long seam, and the broken diagonal line marked “3-1/2” is on the short seam. Trim the top and right sides.

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Step 2c

Rotate the piece, align the diagonal lines with the seams, and trim the top and right sides again.

Step 3

Step 3

Step 3: Sew the HSTs to the TTSs as shown, and set these four units aside.

Step 4a

Step 4a

Step 4 – Now we need to make four “blade” units, using the stitch-and-flip method. Draw a diagonal line on the back of each of the 3.5″ purple squares and 3.5″ yellow squares. The dark lines in the photo are for illustration only. To mark my squares for sewing, I use a drafting pencil with a #4 hard lead. Your lines should be just dark enough that you can see them.

Step 4b

Step 4b

Align the yellow squares with the right edge of the white rectangles as shown above. Sew on the drawn line, trim 1/4″ away from the seam*, and press open.

Step 4c

Step 4c

Rotate the units and align the purple squares with the end of the white rectangle, sew on the drawn line, trim 1/4″ from the seam* and press open.

*Note: If you don’t want to waste those cut-away triangles, sew the bias edges and trim them to 2.5″ squares for use in other projects. You’ll find several ideas in previous posts on this blog.

Step 5

Step 5

We’re nearly finished. Step 5 is to sew the units you’ve made into four quarter-units as shown above.

Step 6

Step 6

Step 6 – Sew the four quarter-units together as shown, to complete your Diamond & Pinwheel block.

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs) | Leave a comment

Season’s Greetings

Christmas is coming on like a bobsled, and I still have gifts to finish, but I stopped today to whip up a little something for you.

Surprise…it’s a quilt block! :0)  It’s a 10″ (finished) block, and I called it “A Christmas Wreath”.

Here’s the recipe:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAFor each block you will need:

One 6-1/2″ square novelty print

Three 3.5″ red squares

Three 3.5″ light green squares

Four 3.5″ dark green squares

Six 3.5″ white squares

Four 2.5″ white squares

I used a Tucker Trimmer® to make the half-square triangles (HSTs) and quarter-square triangles (QSTs). If you’re not familiar with this tool, CLICK HERE for a previous post that goes into more detail on its use.

Step 1a

Step 1a

The first step is to put white corners on the novelty print square.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of each of your 2.5″ white squares. Lay a square on a corner of the 6.5″ novelty print square and sew on the line, then trim 1/4″ outside the line. Repeat with all four corners.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Press the corners open. Set this center section aside.

Step 2a

Step 2a

Step 2b

Step 2b

Step 2 is to make four red and white HSTs. Cut two of the red 3.5″ squares and two 3.5″ white squares in half diagonally, and sew the red and white halves together. I press my seams open, but you can press to the dark side if you prefer. Use the Tucker Trimmer® to trim the HSTs to 2.5″ as illustrated. above.

Step 3a

Step 3a

For Step 3, we need to make QSTs. Cut all of the remaining 3.5″ squares diagonally twice.

Step 3b

Step 3c

Step 3b

Step 3b

Sew eight QSTs, each with two dark green triangles, one light green triangle and one white triangle, then use the Tucker Trimmer® to square them to 2.5″ as illustrated above.

You will also need four QSTs, each with two white triangles, one red triangle and one light green triangle. Square them to 2.5″ as well.

Step 4a

Step 4a

Sew the QSTs into four units as pictured above.

Step 4b

Step 4b

Sew two of the QST strips to the sides of the center unit.

Step 4c

Step 4c

To finish your block, sew the HSTs to the remaining QST strips as shown, and sew to the top and bottom of the center unit.

Of course, just because I called it a wreath and used red and green fabrics, that doesn’t mean you have to.

Merry Christmas!

Categories: 10" TQ Blocks, HST's, Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, TQ Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs) | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

A New Morning Star

I love autumn. Someday I hope to see a New England autumn in person, but if that never happens, I’ll be content with ours here in Montana… as brief as they can be.

I recall one fall day several years ago, driving on U.S. 2 along the southern edge of Glacier National Park. The leaves (aspens, I think) were so golden they were glowing…and the sky was cloudy!

This block – which I call “Morning Star” reminds me of that moment.

To make your own 12″ (finished) Morning Star, here’s what you will need:

Materials for a 12" Morning Star block.

Materials for a 12″ Morning Star block.

We start with sixteen 4.5″ squares

3 yellow, 3 orange, 4 gray, 4 white, 2 green

Tucker Trimmer (tm)

Tucker Trimmer ™

If you don’t have a Tucker Trimmer ™ , consider adding it to your Christmas wish list. It is the handiest tool out there for making accurate half-square triangles (HSTs) and quarter-square triangles (QSTs). I’ll use it for all three units in this block.

Step 1a

Step 1a

First, we’ll make the HSTs. Cut the two green squares and two of the white squares in half diagonally. Sew together as shown. You will have four HSTs that are larger than they need to be. We use the Tucker Trimmer to trim them to size.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Lay the Tucker Trimmer on the HST, lining up the diagonal line with the seam line. Notice that the left and bottom edges of the HST extend beyond the 3-1/2″ lines on the trimmer. Trim the top and right edges.

Step 1c

Step 1c

Rotate the HST (if you’ve been really good, ask Santa for a rotating mat, too), and line up the diagonal line on the trimmer with the seam line again. This time the edges you trimmed should align with the 3-1/2″ dashed lines. Trim the top and right edges. Set these four HSTs aside.

Step 2a

Step 2a

Now we need to make eight QSTs. To do this, cut two gray squares, two white squares, one yellow and one orange square diagonally twice, as shown above.

Step 2b

Step 2b

Sew all of these triangles into eight QSTs. Notice the QSTs pictured here: both have a white triangle on top and gray on the bottom. In one, the orange triangle is on the left and the yellow on the right. In the other, the yellow is on the left and the orange on the right. Make four of each.

Step 2c

Step 2c

Lay the Tucker Trimmer on the QST so that the solid diagonal line is on the seam line. The dashed 3-1/2″ line should line up with the other seam. Just like we did with the HSTs, trim the right and top edges.

2d

2d

Then rotate the QST, re-align the diagonal lines with the seams, and trim the top and right edges. Set the QSTs aside.

Step 3a

Step 3a

To make the final unit, cut the remaining yellow and orange squares diagonally twice, and the last two gray squares diagonally once. Sew together into four units that look exactly like the one in the photo. Notice that the lower left corner does not match up. That’s okay.

3b

3b

Back to the Tucker Trimmer. Line up the solid diagonal line with the long seam, and the dashed 3-1/2″ diagonal line with the short seam. Trim the right and top edges.

3c

3c

You know the drill by now…flip the unit around, realign the trimmer and trim the top and right edges.

4a

4a

You now have 16 units – four of each shown above – and each one should be a perfect 3.5″ square. Lay them out as shown, and sew together into four quarter units.

4b

4b

Sew the quarter units together to complete your “Morning Star” block!

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, HST's, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs), Tutorials | 3 Comments

Bon Bon, Anyone?

It’s probably a good thing that the Montana Chocolate Factory is 4-hours and a mountain pass away, because I’m not certain I could be trusted to set foot in the place. Look what they posted on their Facebook page the other day:

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The Montana Chocolate Company – 2014

It just so happens that blue, brown and white is one of my favorite color combinations, and I just happen to have some scraps left over from a quilt block swap among members of Quiltmaker Magazine’s 2013 Scrap Squad, so I made a Bon Bon of my own. Here’s the “recipe”:

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Ingredients for one 12″ (finished) Bon Bon block

For a 12″ (finished) Bon Bon block, you need:

One 6.5″ square of a novelty print.

Two 4.5″ squares background (off-white)

Four 4.5″ squares brown

Two 4.5″ squares accent color #1 (light blue)

Four 3.5″ square background (off-white)

Four 2.5″ squares accent color #2 (navy)

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Step 1a

Step 1: We’ll use the stitch-and-flip method to put a navy corner on the 3.5″ off-white squares. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 2.5″ navy squares. Lay a navy square on the corner of an off-white square, right-sides-together and align the edges. Sew along the drawn line and trim the corner away 1/4″ from the seam line.

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Step 1b

I like to press my seams open, but you can press toward the dark triangle if you prefer. Set these squares aside.

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Step 2a

Step 2: We need to make eight quarter-square triangles (QSTs). I use a Tucker Trimmer ™ for this step. Cut the 4.5″ brown, light blue and off-white squares diagonally twice. Use the triangles to sew eight squares that look like the one pictured above. These will be a little larger than we need them to be, so we use the Tucker Trimmer to trim them down to size.

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Step 2b

Lay the Tucker Trimmer on the QST so that the solid diagonal line is on the SW-NE seam line. the 3-1/2″ dotted diagonal line should be on the NW-SE seam line. Notice that the left and bottom edges of the QST extend slightly beyond the 3-1/2″ vertical and horizontal dotted lines. Trim the right and top edges

Step 2c

Step 2c

Now rotate the QST and line up the solid diagonal and 3-1/2″ dotted diagonal lines. This time the left and bottom edges should line up with the 3-1/2″ vertical and horizontal dashed lines. Trim the right and top edges. Do this with all eight QSTs.

Step 3a

Step 3a

Step 3: Sew the QSTs into four pairs as shown above.

Step 3b

Step 3b

Sew one pair of QSTs to each side of the 6.5″ center square as shown above.

Step 3c

Step 3c

Sew the corner squares from step 1 to the ends of the other two QST pairs.

Step 3d

Step 3d

Sew these strips to the top and bottom of the center square unit to complete your Bon Bon block.

Enjoy!

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs) | 3 Comments

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