Friday, October 1, 2021

What Studio 180 Design Tools Should I start with?


As a Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor, I am asked many questions about the Studio 180 Design tools.  The number one question I’m asked is What Studio 180 Design Tools should I start with?

My response to this question is you should start with the essential tools. These tools are the Tucker Trimmer I, Wing Clipper I, and Square Squared tool.  The three tools will get you started with basic units that you will see in many quilt patterns and start most quilt projects.

Each tool is multisized with fine lines for accuracy. The tools come with detailed step-by-step instructions with illustrations that cover both Right and Left-Handed cutting and trimming. Additionally, there are cutting charts for all the units they make, so you need a specific finished size. This allows you to refer to the cutting chart to get the size of squares or strips you will need to make each unit.

Let me introduce you to these tools, starting with the Tucker Trimmer. 

The Tucker Trimmer, I feel, is one of the universal tools in the Studio 180 Design toolbox. This tool allows you to make precision Half Square Triangles, Combination Units, and Quarter Square units. There are three different Tucker Trimmers to choose from that will enable you to create various units. 

The Tucker Trimmer I can trim 11 different size units from 1” to 6 1/2”. This is great for making units under 6 1/2” in size.

Tucker Trimmer III trims 22 different unit sizes from 1” to 12 1/2”.  Recommend for anything over 6 1/2” in size.  I love using this tool for squaring up blocks and working with the larger Lemoyne Star blocks.

Now, if you have some oddball sizes, you may want to try the Tucker Trimmer II trims with ten different unit sizes from 3/4” to 5 3/4”; this is great for those special projects.

Now, not only can you trim your units with the Tucker Trimmer, you can use the Tucker Trimmer for Sub cutting units as well. Again, the thin lines and marking on the tools make it easy. 

The next tool I would recommend would be the Wing Clipper I tool.  This tool was designed to create traditional Flying Geese.  When constructing the Flying Geese, you will use the No-Waste Method.  The No-Waste Method allows you to make four geese at one time using just 5 squares. One large square becomes your large triangle (body), and four small squares become the eight side triangles (wings).  Once the Flying Geese are sewn, you will use the Wing Clipper tool to trim each to its exact size, with the seams going directly into the corners. Thus, each unit will be made quickly and accurately every time.

There are two different Wing Clipper tools Wing Clipper I and II.

Wing Clipper I trims ten units’ sizes from ½” x 1” to 5” x 10” finished size units, and the heights increase in half-inch increments.

Wing Clipper II is an in-between tool. Trimming down 9 additional sizes not covered in the Wing Clipper I.  Size Options ¾” x 1 ½” finished size units to 4 ¾” x 9 1/2" finished size units.

The final tool I consider an essential tool is the SquareSquared tool.  This tool was designed to simplify the construction process of the Diamond Square unit without using the paper piecing method.  We all know that the Diamond Square unit can be tricky to be accurate. But using the Square Squared tool, making each of the units oversized, and then trimming them down, you will have a perfect unit every time.  The Square Squared tool is an all-in-one tool that allows you to trim down those center squares to the ideal size, so you don’t have to do all the complex math.

The Square Squared 6” tool is precise for 6-unit sizes from 1” to 6” finished units.

The Square Squared tool is also available in the two other sizes.

Square Squared Half Inch is a new addition to the Square Squared Family. Provides you eight different size units from 1 1/2” to 8 ½” finished units in 1” increments finished diamond square units.

Large Square Squared has 12 different sized units, from 1” to 12” finished units.

These tools will give you proper grain lines on Unit Edges, with Minimal Waste in the Trash Can.

So, if you are just starting out with the Studio 180 Design tools, or even a beginning quilter, I recommend starting with one or all of these three tools first. The TuckerTrimmer, Wing Clipper, and Square Squared tools will get you started on the right track in your quilting perfection. 

If you are looking for more information on these tools, please check out the Studio 180 Design YouTube Channel for a Demonstration. I also teach these tools in my Precision Block Academy, an On-demand Video Course that will teach you how to use the Studio 180 Design tools.

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