Well, I think I can safely say that 2020 was NOT the year that any of us had anticipated having, but at least it gave everyone at Studio 180 Design plenty of time in our sewing rooms to create new and unique designs. You can really see this extra attention when you look at our fifth year of BlockBuster blocks all together; Sarah and the rest of the team really outdid themselves!
For those of you who aren't familiar with our BlockBuster series, they are downloadable documents with instructions for creating blocks that can be made in a range of sizes using your Studio 180 Design tools. The blocks are shown with multiple fabric styles, so you can see that the same block works in many different fabrics. We also change up the placement of colors and values in the block, to demonstrate how that alters the look of the block design. With the different blocks you can make a sampler quilt or just add them to your block library. They are here for you to enjoy and use how you will!
Now, with our introductions out of the way, onto the blocks!
We decided to start the fifth series of BlockBusters off with a relatively easy block; Four Kings. Made with the Square Squared, Wing Clipper I, and Pickets & Quickets Technique Sheet, this dynamic and versatile block is surprisingly easy to put together.
Next up we have Thorns and Thistles, another "looks hard, but easy to construct" block. Don't you just love when something looks complicated when it's finished, but you don't break a sweat when constructing it? Those are always my favorite types of projects, since the construction is easy it means you have more freedom to play with color choices!
Inspired by the yearly Copper River Salmon run, this month we have BlockBuster 47: Copper River. While it makes for an interesting standalone block, this block truly shines as an easy one block stashbuster quilt! Put multiples of this block together, and you'll see a big school of fish swimming upstream. This is a project that will be loads of fun for you, and is perfect for kids, grandkids, child donation quilts, or even a quilt for that special fisherman in your life!
This month we’re serving up a BlockBuster with a fresh twist; When you look at the three blocks shown here, can you see which units they are made with? The first and third are both made with nine Square Squared units, and the second is exactly the same as the first, except the corner units are replaced with plain squares. How did we manage this piecing trickery, you ask? Well, you'll have to check out the download to find out!
And let me tell you, we had a blast making these Mix 'n Match blocks! In fact, we might have gotten a tad overzealous in our sewing rooms and ended up making a bunch of these blocks using the different variations. In the end, we had enough blocks made that we decided to design a full quilt project to use them all!
This dynamic block is surprisingly easy to put together, and is made using just the Tucker Trimmer I and Corner Beam tools with the help of the Triangle Pizzaz Technique Sheet. And I know with some clever color placement, you could make this into the perfect fireworks block
Next up we have Astrolabe, a spectacular block design made using the Wedge Star and Corner Beam tools, along with the Twisted Wedge Star and Sliver Technique Sheets. It may look complicated, but let me be the first to tell you that this block goes together in a snap.
This month we've got something extra special; the first ever BlockBuster that uses my newest tool, the Star 60! This one definitely earns it's 5 star difficulty rating, so you'll want to attempt this block in the morning with your first cup of coffee and a fresh mind, instead of in the evening with your relaxing beverage-of-choice. In fact, this project was challenging enough that it inspired me to do a walkthrough video in my Tips & Tricks from the Tucker Team series.
I suppose I should digress a little and talk about my Tips & Tricks videos. I started the series back in March of 2020 as a way to reach out to my fans whom I wouldn't be seeing in classrooms or shows during the pandemic. It was also an outlet for me to share more of my 30+ years of quilting knowledge that didn't necessarily fit into my product demonstration videos. I've been able to share my expertise on binding, borders, piecing accurately and quickly, as well as walkthroughs of our more challenging BlockBuster releases. Initially releasing weekly, we've settled into an every-other-week release schedule. The response from fans has been phenomenal, and you should absolutely check out the past episodes if you haven't been watching along.
Released as our Thanksgiving day surprise, Flight of Fancy is a gorgeous block that's made using just the Birds of Paradise Technique Sheet and it's companion tool, the Large Square Squared. This is another one of the BlockBuster blocks that I know would make an awesome quilt project; I'd love to see it if you have made a quilt using this block!
And for our final BlockBuster of the year, we have something a little bit festive; Evergreen! I for one love the fact that this is one tree that I can have in the house that won’t be shedding any needles onto the floor. Made using our Split Rects and V Block tools, I can't help but think that this would be a darling advent calendar project, just embellish it with pretty buttons and crystals and it would make a great little holiday wall hanging!
And with that, we bring Season 5 of our BlockBuster Series to a close! Five years, 54 blocks, a couple of quilt layouts, and we've still got more ideas and blocks to share with you all! Season 6 has already started over on my Facebook page. Make sure you follow me there, on my Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you never miss a release!
Now get out there and get quilting!