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Full Spectrum made with Exuberance

March 30, 2023
In keeping with the idea of using precuts, I decided to use the pattern, Full Spectrum by Sarah Furrer of Studio 180 Design.  It's a modern design that looks complex, but was very relaxing to piece.  The hardest challenge was laying out all of these beautiful fabrics.

Full Spectrum uses the Wedge Star tool from Studio 180 Design and a Fat Quarter Bundle.  I did all of the cutting from the start which allowed me to sew and enjoy the process.  

I had to make some simple wedges and some complex wedges.  Then all of  sudden I was ready to create the blocks and put them on point.

I love the way Sarah wrote the instructions for cutting the very large side setting triangles.  She made working with a 30" square of fabric a breeze.  

The bonus was that I had plenty of leftovers that I was able to use my scraps to make the Hopscotch table runner from Tucker University.  The Hopscotch pattern has 7 different potential layouts from the table runner up to a queen size quilt.

Hopscotch requires the use of my favorite Studio 180 Design tool, the Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star.  I put this table runner together in about 5 hours from start to finish.  It was a perfect way to use some scraps from the Full Spectrum project.  Plus I was able to practice some ruler work on the long arm.  A perfect extra project and a learning tool.

Triangle Pizazz using
Modern Opulence by Deb Tucker

This is Triangle Pizazz, a project in the Tucker University's Junior year curriculum.  It requires the use of the Tucker Trimmer to make Triangle Pizazz units and Shaded Four Patch units.  As well, as the Triangle Pizazz technique sheet and Shaded Four Patch technique sheet.

Pick up the Tucker University Design Sheet for fabric requires for a table runner or twin size quilt.  Plus check out some of the other junior year projects as well at TU's Online shop

This project was made with Deb Tucker's Modern Opulence fabric line. 

I started by making some Triangle Pizazz units using both the A and B angles.  I had to make some Shaded Four Patch units for the blocks as well as the pieced side setting triangles. 

I assembled the inner blocks using the above named units.  I also pieced the side setting triangles.  The side setting triangles are made slightly oversized to allow for precision trimming.

I arranged the blocks and pieced side setting triangles in an on-point position.  I sewed the rows together in a diagonal fashion.  I used a long, straight edge ruler to trim all four edges of the top, leaving 1/4" for seam allowance before adding the inner and outer border. 

And here is the final table runner product.  It goes together quickly, but it looks like it was difficult.  
Here is another colorway option when adding additional fabrics.  

Order your Triangle Pizazz project tool and technique sheet bundle for $53.75 (10% savings) while it's on sale. 

You will get:  a Tucker Trimmer, Quilter's Magic Wand, Triangle Pizazz Project Design Sheet, the Triangle Pizazz Technique Sheet and the Shaded Four Patch Technique Sheet.  

New Year Banner

What does a New Year mean to you?

To me the new year means a fresh calendar with clean pages, a clear desk, and no more UFO’s. A girl gets to dream about the no more UFO’s part. But really, I like to clear off the flat surfaces of the sewing studio and start the new year with a new project that continues to deplete my fabric stash.

I like seeing how quilters store their stash so I thought I would share with you how I store my stash. I am one of those quilters that likes to hang on to pieces that are smaller than a fat quarter, although I do have my limits. I know, even my friends make fun of me for doing this, but sometimes I need just a small piece for some of those Lori Holt Vintage blocks.

I also like to do scrap quilts when I am in the mood to just power through a bunch of sewing. Sometimes that constant motion clears my mind or at least allows me to organize my thoughts. Plus, I can usually empty out a basket of scraps and that gives me a sense of accomplishment.
Folded Fabric
I don’t usually have pieces that are a yard or two, but I do have pieces that are 4 or more yards. Those are rolled on to bolt boards. It helps me gage the amount.
Folded Fabric

So here are a few photos of my, not so new year prepared sewing studio and how a I store my fabrics.
Folded Fabric
What could have been a window seat, I created as storage for some bolts and a shelf to hold my scrap baskets. My scrap baskets have various sizes of precut squares. Each basket has a different size ie 2 ½”, 3”, etc. It gives me great satisfaction when I empty out a basket. Below that, are my fabric bolts. The bolts are stored on their side because it was the best use of the space.
Folded Fabric

My larger pieces of stash are organized by color with a few exceptions. The batiks, seasonal, and novelty fabrics get separate drawers. The top drawers have scraps organized by color that weren’t quite ready to get reduced to scrap squares. Occasionally I might thin out the drawer by pulling out a chunk and cutting them into specific size squares.

Folded FabricAnd those beautiful precuts from the manufacturer. They get their own set of shelves. I love seeing them on the shelf. They are probably my hardest groupings to break up. What I did not show you were my UFO’s. I have been trying to reduce those project bins since COVID and I must admit I have made a good dent, but they continue to be my never-ending project. Perhaps in 2023 I will be brave enough to share the condition of the closet.

Until then, may you have a very happy New Year and continue to share your quilting adventures with us.



Christmas Morning Treat (or any morning Treat)

One thing that I miss at my store is getting to visit with everyone and what they would share that they were excited about or what was happening in their world. One thing that I discovered is that quilter's are not only passionate about quilting - but quilter's also share other loves. We would get to talking about favorite recipes, favorite books or what they were currently reading (we are defintely going to come back and talk about favorite books another time). One of the recipes that has become a favorite for me is Simple Scones. My family didn't grow up making scones, although my mom is an amazing baker and cook. It's just not something we ever had. My store was two doors down from a coffee shop. I LOVE coffee. But what I also love is meeting a friend at the coffee shop to catch up over a cup (or two). It's just a great way to take a break from all the crazy daily demands on our schedule. I tried a few recipes until I found this one. It's a keeper and it couldn't be easier to make. I wanted to share this recipe with you so that you could enjoy it and share some scones with your family and friends. 
Phyllis and I just want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a very Healthy and Happy New Year!

Until next week - enjoy
-- Beth & Phyllis

Simple Scones
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen (I put it in the freezer just as I am starting to make the scones - you don't need it to be frozen solid)
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
Step 1: Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2: In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (I just mix the butter in so that it's coated with the flour mixture), stir in the craisins and walnuts.
Step 3: In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
Step 4: Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough comes together).
Step 5: Divide the dough in half and place on a lightly floured surface (I use parchment paper, it's easier clean up). Pat into 7- to 8-inch circle. Sprinkle with sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lines with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. (I check mine at 12 minutes - some ovens just run hotter than others). Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Cranberry Orange Scones
Follow the recipe for Simple Scones, adding generous teaspoon of finely grated orange rind (zest) to the dry ingredients.
Lemon-Blueberry Scones
Follow the recipe for Simple Scones, adding generous teaspoon of finely grated lemon rind (zest) to the dry ingredients and substituting dried blueberries for the craisins.
Cherry Almond Scones
Follow the recipe for Simple Scones, adding 1/2 teaspoon almond extract to the sour cream mixture and substituting dried cherries for the craisins.

Inspiration is All Around Us

Like many quilters, I like to give a significant gift to my loved ones at milestone points in their life. For my youngest niece, I wanted to make her a quilt for her high school graduation; which I did, however, she got it at Christmas time. Imagine that. A late gift from a quilter. When Deb Tucker introduced the Wish Upon pattern, I loved the stars and how they interlocked.

I wanted to do that quilt for Becca, but I had this added challenge—what to do with her favorite pair of childhood jeans. None the less, Becca was picked out the fabrics, so she knew she was going to get something. What she did not know was that her favorite jeans would once again appear. She wore her favorite jeans when she was about 6 or 7 years old. They had some small, embroidered flowers on the legs. For whatever reason, she referred to these as her firecracker jeans. She wore them until they became capris. When she and her mom were cleaning out drawers and rotating clothes, Becca had to come to the reality that she no longer fit in her favorite jeans. She wanted to save them for a future niece of her own, but she was only getting nephews for several years. Her mom finally broke the news to her that her jeans needed to go to another little girl. Becca parted with her jeans. Her mom scooped them up and promptly passed them on to me to “do something” with them. I hid them in my sewing room for over 10 years.


Now it was time to incorporate Becca’s firecracker jeans in her graduation quilt. After a bit of thought, I increased the size of the quilt, determined to lift the center out so that I could replace it with a large piece of background fabric. Then I cut those jeans up the side seams and appliqued them on to the background fabric. When Becca saw her quilt for the first time, her instant reaction was, “my favorite jeans.” Nothing about the quilt. She was just thrilled to have her favorite jeans back. Now she uses one pocket of the jeans to hide the tv remote and the other to hold her phone when she covers up in the evenings.
Quilting Supplies

Must Haves....

Over the years I had hosted several quilt retreats and classes. It always amazed me how quilters came up with some of the best ideas for storing all the notions and other goodies that we take with us. I have tried so many different ways to keep all my sewing tools organized and finally have found what works for me. I really needed to be organized when I had my quilt shop. I would pack everything up so I could sew at home and then pack it all so that I could sew at the shop if I had time. So organization was the key! Here are just a few items that I have with me at all times no matter if I am sewing in my studio or on the road. Micron pens are my favorite marking tool. The point is fine enough that once you stitch on the line it will be hidden and you don't have to press hard at all for it to be visible. The micron pens just glide across the fabric making the drawn line easy to see. I've tried the mechanical pencils, but I found they tend to skip across the fabric and don't mark as easily as the micron pens and sometimes the line just isn't dark enough for me to see it. I am all about trying to work smarter and not harder. Micron pens come in a variety of colors and thicknesses. I use the brown more than any other color in size 01.
Purple Container
One "must have" I believe is using a container to keep your rotary cutter safe and secure. The Lock-n-Lock containers are perfect for keeping the rotary cutters, seam rippers and other sharp items from causing injury. I also keep my marking pens and other small items in a container so whatever I need is at my fingertips. Things can shift so easily when we are packing things up and on the move. It's just better to be safe than sorry.
Organizational Bag
This little gem was just what I needed to store all my goodies. The plactic container with my rotary cutter fits perfectly down the center pocket. I fill the other cubbies with my pin cushion, extra needles and rotary blades, band aids (just in case) and pretty much everything I need. The handles makes it easy to just grab and I am ready to go!

Last week I mentioned my Sew Steady extension table. I take it with me wherever I am sewing. Once you get used to all that extra work surface, it's hard to sew without it.

There are some design walls available on the market, however, we made our own using supplies from Home Depot. All you need is Foam Insulation Board (1 1/2" thickness is perfect), Fleece and Super 77 adhesive spray.
The Foam Insulation boards are 4' x 8' sheets. The design wall in this picture was cut in half to create two 4' x 4' design walls. Feece fabric is 60" wide so it's the perfect width to wrap around the board without having to piece it. Just cut it a little longer than your board so you can wrap the top and bottom edges. The fleece fabric will keep your blocks in place without having to use pins.
Make sure that you have lots of ventilation when you are using the adhesive. Cover any tables with disposable plastic sheeting to protect the surface of the table from getting all sticky. We just sprayed the entire front of the board and the edges with the adhesive. It took two of us to hold the fleece fabric nice and taught as we placed it on the board and smoothed out any wrinkles. Then we flipped the design wall over onto another table and sprayed around the edge to secure the fleece fabric to the back. Cut the extra fabric out of the corners. It's that easy.
The design wall makes it so much easier to lay blocks out as you work on your project.

Have a great week. See you next Thursday,

Beth & Phyllis

So much to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from Tucker University! We hope that you are getting to enjoy some family time, great food (and maybe a little (or alot of) sewing time) this week. How did it get to be November already? I have know idea where this year has gone. It's starting to feel like Winter here, so it's the perfect time to hunker down in the sewing studio. This week I wanted to share a little tip for piecing the Corner Beam units for this quilt project. The Corner Beam is one of my favorite Studio 180 Design tools. So of course, I added it to our newest design (we still haven't named it yet - any suggestions would be appreciated) I swear that's the hardest part of designing quilts.
Quilt Piece

When you have all your pieces cut and ready to go - lay them out to make sure they form a square. If you place the side triangles on the wrong side of your center beam, your unit will look like a bug and you will have an opportunity to un-sew.

Important quilting rule (Thank you Running with Scissors for your expertise): If you have to pick up your seam ripper - you must first have some chocolate. Then it is safe to proceed with the seam ripper. A little chocolate can help to ease the pain of ripping seams.

Here's where I change things up a little to help you out when piecing the four corner beam units in the center of this block. Typically, when you sew your first side triangle to your center beam, the seam allowance is pressed toward the side triangle.
Quilt Piece
In this pattern, I am having you press the seam allowance on the first side triangle toward the center beam. The second side triangle will get pressed toward the side triangle. Once the units are trimmed down and ready to be stitched together, all of the seams will nest and help to reduce the bulk.

Have you seen the Sew Steady extension tables? Oh my, this has been a game changer for me. Most quilters I know love to spread out when they are sewing. We call that flat surface abuse. Well, this extension table makes it possible to layout your units getting them lined up for chain piecing. It makes such a difference to have all that extra work area. Not to mention, now you have storage underneath the Sew Steady table. More flat surface to abuse.

Quilt Piece
When Sew Steady first approached my store about selling their tables, I wasn't so sure. Quilter's already have lots of stuff to bring when they are going to class or to retreat and I wasn't sure if one more thing was necessary. The first time I sewed with it on my machine - I knew that I would never sew without it again. Luckily, there is a great bag to store your extension table that makes it so easy to transport. I put my long rulers in there to protect them as well. So, if you don't have an extention table - it is so worth the investment.

Make sure you check out our website this Friday, November 26th through Monday, November 29th. Everything is 20% off for Black Friday savings. Use the coupon code thankful to save 20% on all items.

From our family to yours, wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Beth & Phyllis

Bellingham Bay Challenge

One of the things that I enjoyed most when I was teaching Tucker University classes at my shop was seeing all the blocks that we could create just by mixing, matching, spinning and twisting units. It was mind blowing!

Some of my students were asking if we were going to learn the Rapid Fire Hunter Star blocks. I explained to them that everything we make in TU finishes at 4" units. The smallest blocks that the Rapid Fire Hunter Star tool will make finishes at 5". But then I got to thinking - the tool will make 8" finished blocks! That got the creative juices flowing - so all we had to do was combine four units to create an 8" finished block. That's were the fun began. Just think of all the possibilities....

Earlier this year, the Studio 180 Design team presented a challenge to the Certified Instructor’s to design a quilt (or six, it was really addicting) using the Bellingham Bay collection, the Rapid Fire Hunter Star tool along with other Studio 180 Design tools. Look at those yummy, rich colors.
Quilt Fabrics

My design uses the Rapid Fire Petite Hunter Star tool, the Corner Beam, Wing Clipper I and the Tucker Trimmer I. There are two basic blocks, a corner unit and two border units.
Quilt Piece
Block A uses the Wing Clipper I and the Corner Beam tool. Just wait until you see the whole quilt - the Flying Geese and the Corner Beam units create a secondary pattern. In the next few weeks, I will feature the different tools used to make this design and give you a couple of tips and tricks to make the assembly easier.

Block B uses the Rapid Fire Petite Hunter Star. Years ago I purchased a book featuring Hunter Star quilts. The designs were incredible, however, there was not one set of instructions on how to create a block or any of the designs. Being a new quilter, I had know idea that the traditional construction of the Hunter Star block was not an easy process.
Quilt Piece
Thankfully, Deb Tucker's Rapid Fire Hunter Star tools make precision blocks with no "Y" seams. That's the beauty of all the Studio 180 Design tools. Just by cutting your fabric a little bit bigger, sewing and then trimming it down, the end result is a block that is trimmed down to precision. You end up with perfect points and a lot less stress.

Can you see the secondary design? It wasn't until I had the quilt top assembled that I saw the circular motion that the Flying Geese and Corner Beams create. This project was a lot of fun to design and was a fast project to make. I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate.

Join me next week and we'll do a little deeper dive into this quilt project. Enjoy your week. Happy creating, Beth & Phyllis

If you are interested in ordering from the Bellingham Bay collection, here are the sku's to get you started. The pattern is currently in the editing stages and will have three different size quilts available.

Green - 612105872
Iceberg -612106903
Aubergine -612101491

Quilt Pattern
Quilt Pattern
Quilt Pattern

Phyllis Fay
Meet Phyllis Fay

Why is it so hard to talk about yourself? If Beth can do it then so will I. I am Phyllis, the educational side of Tucker University. My first career was in the field of education. I taught Business Education at a public high school followed by a couple of years of teaching 6th grade before I entered the administrative arena. I was an assistant principal for 19 years and loved just about every day.

In the summer of 2013, I was preparing to return to the classroom in an alternative education program determined to take that program to a higher standard and contemplating my future retirement when I received the announcement from Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design to apply for Certified Instructor (CI) training. I considered it fate and within hours had completed and submitted my application. I was going to continue teaching, but in a different field.

During CI training, I was assigned a roommate by the name of Beth. We spent the next 7 days together as if we knew each other our entire lives. By 2016 Beth was sharing an idea with me to create handouts for shops to teach technique classes using the Studio 180 Design tools. I told her the handouts needed some direction such as a lesson plan to teach the entire class. I offered to write a, as in one, lesson plan.

Between Beth’s ability to create interesting patterns and my ability to provide detailed lesson plans for teaching those patterns a unique product in Tucker University was born. Our mission remains the same--we want to support quilt shop owners and quilt instructors with the materials to teach the Studio 180 Design tools and techniques properly and with minimal preparation time.

My sewing journey started at a young age learning to make garments under the watchful eye of a mother with very high standards. My quilting started with scraps that needed a home. I was self-taught prior to taking a few classes where I learned that things needed to be square and flat. I have come a long way in my piecing skills mainly due to the discovery of the Studio 180 Design tools.

We love watching quilters learn and impress themselves with their new skills. Join us in spreading the good word about how well the Studio 180 Design tools work for everyone.


Person writing on notepad

Welcome to Tucker University's Blog

It's a little intimidating to start your first blog post and to know where to begin. So let.'s just jump right in. But first, we should introduce ourselves. My name is Beth Sidley, and my business partner, Phyllis Fay, are the co-authors of Tucker University.

Several years ago, my husband and I had built a new home. The dining room wall was huge and I decided that it was a perfect spot for a quilt. The problem was that I didn't sew and didn't know anyone who quilted. No worries! We live in Northeast Ohio, just a hop and a skip from Amish country. I was sure that I could find something there. We scheduled a girl's day out for my mom, my daughter and myself and we headed for Holmes County, Ohio. We found lots of beautiful quilts but still nothing that would work in my home. The solution - I would just have to make my own quilt.

Once I signed up for my first class, I was absolutely hooked! I loved all the fabrics, the colors and the endless designs that were available. Who knew that this would all lead to me opening up a quilt shop in the near future. If you had told me someday I would own a quilt shop, I would have told you that your cheese has slipped off your cracker! It's been an amazing journey ever since and I wouldn't have traded it for anything. I have met some of the most amazing people over the years.

In 2013, Phyllis and I met when we both were becoming Certified Instructors for Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design. We became close friends instantly. The Certified Instructor training was amazing and sparked so many ideas. One that would eventually become Tucker University. I had owned my shop for several years at that point. Phyllis was still teaching school. So much has changed in the eight years since Phyllis and I have met. It's been an amazing journey that we look forward to sharing with you and getting to know you better. We hope that you will join us often and that we will inspire you to create and love quilting as much as we do.

We have lots of goodies in the works that we are exited to be sharing with you so I had better get back to work in my studio. We'd love to see what you are working on, what inspires you and get to know you better. Enjoy & Create!

Beth & Phyllis

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