Tu-Na Quilts: Preee…senting Tu-Na

or how about this one: The Spotlight is On—Tu-Na; Turn Around and Take a Bow

or this one: (cue the music) Shine, Tu-Na, Shine

The title, it’s about all that a reader sees as they scroll down their blog list on a blog reader. It’s what captures the reader’s attention and makes them click to read more since they can’t possibly read every blog that they’ve subscribed. As a writer you only have 5–10 seconds to make an impression. Shakespeare wrote: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. However, try sticking your nose in a window or a floopjabawink. Nope, not the same. And there you have your blogging tip; Titles are important.

Welcome to Tu-Na’s day to shine on the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! Thank you to my hive leader Stephanie @Late Night Quilter as well as to the other two hive leaders Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl, and Cheryl @Meadowmist Designs. Be sure to visit their blogs to enter the big giveaways found there and also to find more new bloggers.


Late Night Quilter

I discovered quilting blogs about two years ago and have been talking about starting my own for a while. Two months ago I closed both eyes, took a deep breath, and finally jumped right into blog land. I wanted my blog to document my journey of adventures and misadventures doing the things I enjoy: quilting, traveling, and eating (well, actually cooking and baking but that didn’t sound good in the title of my blog).


Niagara Falls 1b

I love waterfalls but I have to travel to see them since North Dakota doesn’t have any. I took this pic on our 2010 trip to Niagara Falls.

I thought about a blog name for a long time and then it just hit me and it was perfect—a real light bulb moment. Read a shortened explanation on my sidebar or the full explanation here.


Split Rock 1a

I also love visiting lighthouses, again, more travel. I’ve been to Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior near Duluth, Minnesota twice.

I’ve been surrounded by quilters all my life: my grandmother, my mom, and even my mother-in-law. I’ve taught my daughter to sew and now she makes quilts too.

Here’s a look at some of my quilting/sewing past, present, and future projects.

Visions of Quilting Past:

I learned to sew from my mom and through 4-H and made my first quilt at the age of 16 but, sadly, I have no pictures to share. Read about what happened to it here. I mostly sewed clothing and even made my husband a shirt as a gift for our third wedding anniversary. When our daughter was born, I began making her dresses and hats and even made a few matching mother-daughter dresses for us.


Easter matching dresses 1c

With 5 children, I wonder how I ever had time to sew! I remember starting a baby quilt for my second son before he was born and finally finishing and giving it to him when he was 21.

Throughout the years, I’ve made a number of quilts but I really became more interested in quilting about ten years ago. According to the 2014 study by Quilting in America, 9% of beginning quilters are age 64. Quilting is gaining in popularity as there are now more than 16 million active quilters in the United States; this equates to 1 in 20 U.S. citizens are now busy sewing quilts. Those are just a couple of facts I included in my winter writing project.

Pictured below is a quilt I made last fall for my best friend’s 7-year-old granddaughter in celebration of an answered prayer. Every night since this little girl began talking, she prayed for a daddy (her mom was single). This prayer was finally answered last fall when her mom married and there was a surprise adoption blessing as part of the wedding ceremony. She loves the Little House book series which made this quilt perfect for her.


The Little House quilt is a free pattern found on Amy Friend’s During Quiet Time blog. I emailed her a pic of my finished quilt and she featured it on her blog last October.

With my mom’s help, I was able to complete it in eight days. She hand embroidered the writing on the chalkboard and satin stitched the ABCs on the blocks as well as added several other embroidered elements.

My first experience with free-motion quilting using my Pfaff Creative 1475CD machine (I love that 20 year old machine!) was last summer when I made this pixilated giraffe quilt pattern from Bean Counter Quilts. I enjoyed sewing that pattern so I made another one. Both are backed with Minky and I wrapped the backing around to the front for the binding.


Katherinas quilt 1bbb

There’s 714 squares of pure cuteness here. This is the one I gave my granddaughter who now loves giraffes. I wonder why?

 Visions of Quilting Present:

My mom and I are now working on a quilting project together. It’s been her dream to cut and sew into quilts those two or three boxes of leftover double-knit scraps, yardage, and clothes she sewed and saved. I hear you all gasping; really, they are beautiful and will wear like iron. 

Snowball quilt finish 1a

We’ve finished this snowball/nine-patch quilt and have a yellow/green/brown rail fence top ready to tie.  There is something special and comforting about a tied-quilt made with love which contains fabric scrap memories and good poly loft batting.

Mom and I are very proud of our accomplishments and I’ve enjoyed spending time with her. However, she’s informed me that she wants us to sew several more quilts before the end of the year. I anticipate some upcoming posts about those projects as well as the quilt above which has some jaw-dropping history behind one of the fabrics we used.

I am presently quilting another Little House Quilt top for another Little House on the Prairie fan—my 5-year-old grandson. His parents took him to DeSmet, South Dakota last summer and they stayed overnight in a covered wagon. So, like every good grandmother or Tu-Na would do, I replaced one of the blocks from the original pattern with a covered wagon block that I designed. I also stitched my first paper piecing project of a kitten and mouse (pic below) to represent another of my grandson’s favorite stories from the series. I will post pics of the completed quilt in an upcoming post.


kitten and mouse 1a

The free kitten and mouse patterns are designed by and found at Maartje Quilts in Amsterdam. After it’s all quilted, this kitten will have button eyes.


I started a postage stamp quilt last summer and recently posted about it here. It’s an ongoing project which will probably take several years to finish.


postage 1a


Visions of Quilting Future:

Here’s three bed-size quilt projects I’m planning for this fall/winter.

thirties 11a

Applecore quilt with Repro 30s fabrics. Bonus–I probably have enough fabric for a Dresden Plate and a Grandmother’s Flower Garden too.

black and blue 2aaa

I want to try sewing some curves. When I bought this crazy curves template, I didn’t read the pattern well enough as it also requires a 3.5″ template; I just discovered that as I was laying out this fabric to photograph. Back to the store I go or I may decide to just use the one size. And there you have your quilting tip: Read requirements before purchase.


Since I’ve been collecting black and white fabrics for a couple of years, they’ve aged enough and are ready to be cut and sewn into a king-size quilt using this Candy Store quilt pattern from the May/June 2012 issue of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine.

Just for fun here’s some Tu-Na Trivia:

I like the colors orange, yellow, gray, and purple. I am not much of a reader. I am not much of a singer and I don’t play any musical instruments. But I love art! On three separate trips, we unexpectedly found Chihuly blown glass art exhibits. It was incredible.

Chihuly summer sun 1a

Here is Chichuly’s Summer Sun at the 2014 Chihuly In the Garden Exhibit in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve also seen Chihuly exhibits in Las Vegas and Chicago.

I enjoy taking close-up pictures of flowers—Georgia O’Keeffe style. Some of them might find their way into my posts.

yellow flower 1a

What I learned today:

  1. Go take a nap when having a difficult time coming up with something to write; It works wonders.
  2. Be passionate about what you do but don’t let it consume you or all of your time. There’s lots of other things to do too such as stopping to smell the roses (or the poppies taking over my flower bed).


poppies 1c


Be sure to visit these new bloggers from my hive:

Nicole @Handwrought Quilts

Pamela @ Sew Crazi 

Mary @ Briarystitches 

Thanks for taking the time to visit Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. I hope you’ll return and join me as I learn quilting techniques and share the quilts I’ve made, find new highways and attractions to explore, and experiment with new and traditional recipes and share some mouth-watering pics (and may-be some burnt offerings too). 

Question to comment on: In the reply section, leave a link to your best, most interesting, or most favorite titled blog post so I and others can go read it. If you don’t have a blog, share a book title that really grabbed you and said “read me.” Other comments are also appreciated.


Linking to:


MCM #26 – I Finally Organized my Stash





53 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: Preee…senting Tu-Na

  1. Abigail

    Hi Karen – what a great stop on the blog hop – you are so right about blog titles but I don’t give them much thought ….. need to remedy that. Love the Little House quilt. By the looks of it you will be very busy with your quilting future but I like your tip to not let it consume you = another thing I need to remedy …..


  2. quiltgranny

    Wow. What an interesting post. I feel like I know so much about you. Love your pics. I especially like your fabric pull with black, white and yellow. I am dealing with some stash envy right now. Enjoy your day bb


  3. jennyfur66

    Karen, it was fun getting to know you better through your blog. The quilts pictured are all great ones, but I really love the giraffe one. Your tip was perfect. I didn’t use to add a title and it would just use my first words of my first sentence and then a had a duh moment. Wish I’d had your tip went I started my blog. Happy stitching!


  4. Sarah@123quilt

    Hi, Karen! It was great getting to learn more about you! It sounds like you’re going to have a busy year with all those quilts. I think that 30’s apple core quilt is going to be fantastic and I can’t wait to see your progress on it. I don’t know about my best blog post so I’ll mention two good books I read last year. One was The Book Thief and the other was The Casual Vacancy. 🙂


  5. Alice Samuel's Quilt co.

    You did great on your blog hop post Karen very lovely to get to know more about your quilting journey and all the pictures are beautiful. I’ve also been stashing black and white fabrics and I’ve had to cut into some to make my husband an anniversary gift so they need to be replaced 😀. Thanks for all the tips, quilting is definitely consuming me right now! Here is a link to my favorite titled blog post certainly not my best yet https://alicesamuelsquiltco.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/creatively-disguised-procrastination/


  6. Heide

    Karen, It has been wonderful getting to know this group during the blog hop…so many interesting ladies. Your giraffe is adorable and I too have discovered paper piecing- which I have been enjoying. Have a super week. Hugs, Heide


  7. Stephanie

    I love that photo of the poppies!!! All your photos are great. There was a Chihuly exhibit here in Denver 2 summers ago. It was so pretty. I love that you’re enjoying sewing with your mom. Those are cherished times!


  8. Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter

    Hi Karen! It was wonderful to get to know you through this post. I loved it! It’s great that you are quilting with your mom. I wish I’d had that opportunity. Love your quilts–past, present, and future! They are wonderful and I can’t wait to see what you and your mom quilt up this year. I too love Chihuly! His glasswork is so beautiful. You’ll have to add Indianapolis to your travels…we have a Chihuly piece on exhibit here at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum–and it’s interactive! Have a great week with the hop!


  9. Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter

    Oops! I forgot to leave a good post title. Hmmmm. Maybe “Start Your Engines, I’ve Got Another Quilt Finish” about a recent quilt finish (the quilt is called Brickyard) http://www.inquiringquilter.com/questions/2016/5/27/start-your-engines-ive-got-another-quilt-finish or “Singing My Happy Little Working Song,” about getting ready for this blog hop http://www.inquiringquilter.com/questions/2016/6/6/ne7g31x9pshgnxnkmjktgg9sru0vi3

    All of your possible titles for today’s post are so clever! What an inspiration you are as a writer.


  10. marykmalon1

    I love your poppies and the giraffe quilt is fabulous, just to name two things that I like most about your post. I’m also impressed that you have the next 3 quilts so carefully planned. Keep working on your stamp quilt, it looks wonderful.


  11. Jodie

    Hi Karen, love the travel pics you’ve shared today. I’ve been to Duluth a few times, but sadly have not seen that cool lighthouse. More trips needed, apparently. Also love the 30s fabrics you’ve pulled — that will be a pretty quilt. Blog’s looking great!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. carol n

    Hi, nice to meet you, love your pink dresses. I never could make clothes that I would wear once completed. I do love making quilts, 25 years now.


  13. Kate Heads

    Great post Karen, you take great pics too. I so enjoyed reading about you and your Mom. My favourite quilt of your has to be the pixilated giraffe, so cute.
    My most popular post is I failed, http://smilesfromkate.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/i-failed.html
    but the one that started a lot of interest recently is Apologieshttp://smilesfromkate.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/apologies.html
    This was the post which started the Bluebell Woods story which was great fun.


    1. Kathy


      It wasn’t baf. I loved hand made clothes. My aunt would sew for my cousin and I loved her clothes. Couldn’t wait until she wouldn’t wear them anymore.


  14. Linda Dutch

    I enjoyed reading this post, it was your title that caught my eye today! It’s wonderful that you & your mum can sew together! Love your black & white collection too!


    1. Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats Post author

      Thanks, Linda!

      I sweated over that title, but after a nap, it just came to me and I ended up rewriting my whole first paragraph too to go with the title. Writing sure takes time. I need to get past the perfectionism. Are you a perfectionist?

      Mom and I were going to sew together today but I couldn’t get my “quilting mojo” on so we will get together tomorrow.

      Thanks for stopping by,



  15. Paige

    Karen, what a great post! What a pleasure to get to know you a little more! I love that you closed both eyes and hit the publish button when starting your blog! I will take your advice to heart and take a naps when needed! I only dream of taking photo like yours!


  16. June @ QuiltQuest

    What a fun introduction. So many things were nice to read about. You are really lucky to have family to sew with – precious memories in the making along with quilts and other projects. Thanks for sharing. My favorite blog title is from Made by Chrissy D’s blogspot. Her article “Even the Dogs Got Two” is about how her husband kept asking her for a quilt, and finally when he said even the dogs got two quilts made her realize it was time to make a quilt for him! She made a really pretty one from shirts she had been saving… The URL is: http://madebychrissied.blogspot.com/2014/05/finally-showcasing-my-even-dogs-got-two.html
    She often has fun titles of blog posts with good information, examples and tips. Thanks for sharing, glad I came by…..


  17. pennylanequilts

    A great introduction post ! I love hearing more about your adventures. I think you’re right about the post titles, but my best advice is to write a draft with a possible title, give it some time (or take a nap, as you suggested) and try again later. It’s great that you stay in touch with your AZ quilting friends while you’re back home. I enjoy that, too!


  18. Lisa

    Hi Karen: It’s nice to get to know you on this blog hop. I like that you work on quilts with your mom. It’s wonderful to sew with others. I’ve made a couple of black and white quilts myself. My frined Wendy told me everyone has to make at least one.


  19. Nancy

    What a jam-packed post! I love the quilt you and your mom made, the snowball and 9-patch from her saved box of scraps. The pattern and colors are wonderful. And I love your little kitty and mouse. Too cute. Your 1930s fabric is gorgeous. And your little postage stamp block — great fabrics amongst those little squares, too. That will be a wonderful quilt.


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