Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 Goal Review and 2022 Goals

Happy New Year, everybody! As I wind down the year, I'm looking back on my goals from last year and making some new ones. Then I join my technique pattern editor, Yvonne, who blogs at Quilting Jetgirl, for an Annual Planning Party link-up. 

Let's start with my 2021 goals. 

Looking back on my 2021 goals, I see they shifted a little bit during the year. I set three goals for 2021, the main goal, three secondary goals. Let's look at these goals and how they worked out this year. 

My main goal for the year was to develop an On-Demand Class Library for teaching my patterns and techniques. As the year carried on, it evolved into another approach. Instead of teaching my patterns in an On Demand library, I've developed some exciting and innovative ways to learn Studio 180 Design

In July, I launched Precision Block Academy. It's a monthly video-based class where you learn one Studio 180 Design tool and technique sheet every month. Besides videos, the Academy has more. The members of the program get at least two live coaching sessions, plus a private Facebook group where they can get support from each other. I was so blown away by the response of the first class, and I'm excited to see how many we'll have in the next class when registration opens this month (January) for Launch. Please click here if you want to be put on the next class waitlist. Over the next few weeks, we'll tell you more about the Precision Block Academy.


My first secondary goal was to create a series of patterns that would let fans of Studio 180 Designs tools can practice and develop their skills. We have started working on this goal and will continue for a couple of years. As of this fall, I've launched the first two patterns, Forest Glade and Blooming (pictured) in my Skill Builder Series for the Studio 180 Design Tucker Trimmer. There are several more in the design phase waiting to be developed. 


Another secondary goal was to release more patterns throughout the year. That happened too. In addition to the Skill Builder Series patterns, I released three new patterns. Diamond Serenity, Providence, and a revision of Mountain Snowfall.

The last thing I wanted to do in 2021 was to write a sequel to
Poppin' with Wings book. When I developed Precision Block Academy, this goal just flew out of the window. Since books take so long to develop and write, I needed this time for the Academy and its members. Maybe one day. 

In 2021, I'll have many other accomplishments. They include a new website moving from a difficult and expensive platform to Shopify. It was easier to work with and cheaper in the end.   

This blog was also revived in 2021. On Fridays, I'll post about Studio 180 Design products, tools, and tutorials. And I changed how you get Block Party Blocks. Every month, they come out on the 15th, but you can get them by email through our Special Newsletter. No searching on Facebook.

I also got recertified as a Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor for 3 more years this year! 

2022 goals

I have set up my goals for 2022, many carry over from last year. 

My main goal is to continue with the Precision Block Academy, which will continue throughout the year with more classes starting. Plus, create a second-year course that covers Advanced Lemoyne Star, Wedge Star, and Star 60. 
Secondary goals will start off with more Studio 180 Design companion patterns to be released throughout the year. These patterns will continue my Skill Builder Series patterns. 

My last goal is more personal than business-related. To keep your mind fresh, especially in today's crazy world, this goal should be on everyone's list. It's my goal to take weekends off completely to relax and clear my head. This gives me more time to go camping on weekends. My husband and I are already planning a long-distance trip with our trailer for the fall. In addition, I'll be going on my first retreat next month, where I'll be sewing my heart out. Hopefully, there'll be more trips to come.

I'm going to keep writing my blog in the New Year. Plus, we're developing new Block Party Blocks every month, plus great tutorials on the blocks. 

Let's have a good and safe year in 2022 and take advantage of everything we can. It's not too late to set your goals for 2022. Comment below if your goals for 2022. 


Friday, December 17, 2021

Block Party Block #20 - Ice Flake

It was release week for another fun and exciting Block Party Block. With this month's block, Ice Flakes, we take the Studio 180 Design V Block and Corner Beam units and combine them with the Corner Pop tools. 

This tutorial will show you how to use the Studio 180 Design Corner Pop II to pop the side triangle corner on Corner Beam units.

If you're popping any corners, you need to trim your units to size first. Be sure to read your tool's instructions before you start.

The first thing you've got to do is cut the corner off the Corner Beam unit. To begin with, you'll need to determine which size to remove. This example uses a 2" finished cutaway.  

You will need to find the Cut Away Corner section on the tool, locate the label "Cut Away Corners." Each number represents the finished height of the cutaway line, so we are planning to use the 2" cutaway lines for this tutorial.  

We will begin with a Type 1 cutaway, which is a slant to the left. In Type 1, the units are put on the cutting mat right side up and trimmed down with their wrong sides up.

Now, let's place our Corner Beam unit with the right sides up on your cutting mat. Using the bottom left corner of the Corner Beam unit, align the 2" lines along the sides. Once you have the lines aligned, make a slanted cut. The slant cut will give the seam a proper 1/4" allowance.

Using the cutting chart in the tool instructions, we can find the replacement triangle strip width for a 2" finished unit, which is a 3" strip. To get replacement triangle pairs, fold your strip in half and place it on the cutting mat. Then trim the ends.  

Locate the Replacement Triangle Cut Line. It will be a bold line next to the Cut Away Corners. You will need to place the 3" line at the bottom of your strip as well as the Bold line at the trimmed end. You will need to trim up along the slant to make the first pair of triangles on each side.

Using the top edge of the tool, you will make the next cut for the replacement triangles. Position this top edge of the strip on top of the strip. The first 1/2" dashed line will align with the point of the slant side of the strip. Cut across to the top of the tool. Repeat until you have all the pairs of triangles. 

Placing the slanted left replacement triangle on the left side of the Corner Beam unit is the next step. To do this, flip the triangle over, center it, and stitch it. Then press the seams open.

Reposition the pressed unit on the cutting mat, and place the replacement triangle in the upper right-hand corner. Corner Trim Down Section: Position the corner trim down section and locate the 2" cutting line on the seam of the replacement triangle. Check that the unit is square by using the dashed lines on the tool, then cut the two sides. Leave the unit on the mat.

It is now time to create Type 2 which will slant to the right. The unit will be placed on the cutting mat with the wrong sides up, and the trim will be placed right side up.

Now that the unit is wrong sides up, we have to find the 2" cutaway line again, align the lines on the bottom left corner, and remove the corner. 

Place a slanting right replacement triangle on the side of the unit that you just cut off. Flip the replacement triangle over, right sides together. Then flip the unit and triangle so that the replacement is on the bottom and sew it together. Then press the seam open.

Put the unit down on the cutting mat one more time, right-side up, with the replacement triangle in the upper right-hand corner. Using the same technique as the opposite corner, align the 2" Corner Trim Down line on the seam line. Align the dashed lines to square up the unit. Make the final two cuts.

When you are finished, you will have a beautiful corner popped Corner Beam unit. Try out Studio 180 Design Corner Pop II and III, you will get addicted as I did. Download this pattern for free HERE. Additionally, you can sign up for my email newsletter to receive the Block Party Block every month on the 15th. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

Blockbuster 65 Twilight Zone and Geese of a Feather Technique!

Recently, Studio 180 Design released Twilight Zone, its newest blockbuster. This color play block is made with the Wing Clipper® and Square Squared® tools. The only thing else you'll need is the new Geese of a Feather Technique sheet, depending on how you place the flying geese units.  

As I was working on my Twilight Zone block, I decided to write a tutorial on how to make Geese of the Feather.

What is the Geese of a Feather technique

Have you ever wanted four flying geese with all one color on one side and all the other colors on the other side? Well, Deb Tucker has come up with an exciting way to make these flying geese, and it's easy to do. 

Making these units won't be a problem if you know Studio 180 Design's Non-Waste method. Starting with one large square and two small squares of one color and two small squares of color two. The Geese of the Feather Technique Sheet will give you the cut size for these units. Due to the small square sizes being slightly larger than the ones specified in the Wing Clipper® instructions. With them being a bit larger you don't have to worry about them nudging toward the center. 

As soon as you have your squares cut and ready, mark quarter-inch lines on each side of the center diagonal on each small square. Next, you'll cut down the middle of the center diagonal of the lines to make four triangles.

Place your large square right side up on your cutting mat or table. After that, you just need to pick what color you want on the left side of your flying geese. You'll label the left side Color 1 and the right side Color 2. 

Once you decide on your Color 1 and Color 2, we'll put them on the large square. You should start by placing a Color 1 triangle on the top right side with the long edge of the triangle. Next, add Color 2 on the opposite side to make it look like a square. Repeat the process on the bottom half of the square, but this time reverse your colors. Color 2 goes on the right, and Color 1 goes on the left. Once the triangles are lined up, pin them.

Stitch on the lines, cut down the middle, and press toward the small triangles.

Position your unit on the cutting mat or table again. Arrange the rest of the triangles. Pay attention to the colors on the left and right sides. If Color 1 is on your left, put Color 2 on your left. After that, put Color 1 on the left. Repeating the process for the other unit. 
Pin in place.

Then stitch on the lines and cut in the middle. Press towards the small triangles.

You have four flying goose units with all colors on one side. 

Trim the units with a Wing Clipper® tool, according to the instructions. Set up the unit so the point is facing you if you're right-handed, and to your right if you're left-handed. Make sure you line up the diagonal lines on the triangle seams. You should have plenty of space all around. Then trim the first two sides.

Turn the unit 180 degrees and align the previously trimmed edges of the cleaning guidelines and the "X" with the intersection of the seams. Trim the last two sides. You'll have 4 flying geese. You'll need 6 units to make this block.

You'll also need six Square Squared® units to complete this block. I had a lot of fun playing with the colors and how they should be positioned. Try it out and see what you can do with it.  

Also if you wish to learn more about Studio 180 Design, please check out my online classes, called the Precision Block Academy. The next set of classes will start on February 1st. If you sign up for the Waitlist you get priority registration.