Tu-Na Quilts: Welcome to the Third Week of the 2017 New Quilt Blogger’s Hop

Come on in, sit a spell, and explore my blog for some fun stories and interesting photos as well as quilting goodness. Hi! My name is Karen but I also go by Tu-Na or Tu-Na Quilts or Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats if you want to get very formal. My name came about during a conversation with my grandsons. I wrote my very first blog post about that conversation last April and you can read it here. If you want, you can read more about me here or check out the introductory post that I wrote for last year’s New Quilt Blogger’s Hop here.

I’ve been very busy with family responsibilities the past several months and my first blogiversary came and went without my notice.  However, I’ve got some fun improvements and a belated party planned for my blog in the coming months so stay tuned.

I made my first quilt many years ago when I was 16 and wrote my second blog post about it which you can read here. Almost all the quilts that I make, I give away.


This fun quilt went to live with one of my grandsons since he loves the Little House books.

You can read more about this Little House quilt here and see the block that I designed for it.

Speaking of designing, I designed this coneflower block for last years Cloud 9 Block Hop.


I call this block “Anne’s Flower.” It is easy to sew using a method that I call piecelique–meaning some piecing and some applique. Don’t let that curved stem scare you; it’s easy.

Anne’s Flower pattern is available on Tu-Na’s Pattern Shop on Payhip here

I am constructing a quilt gallery in the tabs at the top where you can see other quilt finishes including my mini laundry day quilt with this 4 inch mini-mini of a lighthouse.


Twenty one years ago, I took a quilting class where I learned how to use a rotary cutter and ruler which revolutionized quilting for me. I wanted to make a quilt for me since I didn’t have a good quilt that fit our queen size bed. I remember attending that class and sharing my strips of fabric with other quilters as they shared theirs with me. This class taught me the importance of accurate cutting.

I took those strips and sewed them into nine patches. I sewed many nine patches and then stuffed them into my fabric cupboard. Every now and then, I’d let them come out to play. I’d sew a few more nine patches, arrange and rearrange them, and then reshelf them while family and work responsibilities took priority.

Four years ago, I rediscovered them and took them over to my mom’s house. This quilt was meant for me and I wanted to get it done. Mom drew up a plan for setting those nine patches and together we laid them out and I sewed.


And then the top sat for another year until I rented time on a longarm and quilted it using a computerized program of hearts.  


Sometimes I see the quilting as leaves or maybe heart shaped leaves.

Other quilts needed to be made and finished first and my quilt was folded and put away. When I was at my North Dakota home for Christmas last year, I unfolded it and machine stitched the binding to the top.


At this point I was tempted to return it to the pile but decided to begin to hand sew the binding to the back.


I didn’t get very far as I had to leave it behind when I flew back to Arizona on January 1st. Finally this spring, while I was on a quick trip back to my North Dakota house, I picked it up and finished hand sewing the binding. There you have the real story behind my quilt lovingly named “My 21 Year Quilt.”


I failed to get a pic of the back or to measure it. It is a generous queen size. I put my extra nine patches on the back. I will post pics and stats when I get back home.

Just in case you missed it, I live in two places: North Dakota in the summer and early fall and Arizona in the winter and spring. I love Arizona in the spring.


This Argentine Giant lives at the house next to us. It was loaded with blooms this year that open in the evening and last only 24 hours. I think I’ve convinced my husband that we need one of these in our yard.

I’ll be posting more pics of beautiful cactus blooms on Wednesday. Speaking of blooming, please visit my fellow Blooming Quilters this week. They know that company’s coming and are waiting for your visit.


These Blooming Quilters are hosted by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl. Thanks, Yvonne!

Tami @Thrift Shop Commando Tami gives modern meaning to the phrase “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Go without.” She shows us a quilt that she’s making for her son out of some thrifted fabric. It’s going to be beautiful.

Sandy @Sandy Star Designs Sandy shows us some great eye candy as she puts it. She also shares a link to her tutorial on how to sew an accurate quarter inch seam. Since I can use all the help I can get, I’m going to have a look at that one.

Karen @Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats That’s me. Thanks for stopping by.

Kathleen @Kathleen McMusing  Kathleen shows her quilt history through pictures of really beautiful quilts. Find out who taught her to sew and how she found her love for quilting. She’s got some great quilting tips and I should pay heed to #2 more as it’s the one that stalls my projects.

Sarah @Designs by Sarah J Sarah has a full basket of accomplishments: fabric designer, Aurifil thread designer, pattern designer, and author. You’ll be able to see some of her quilt designs and take a stroll through some of her other posts to see her Dandy Drive block patterns which you can download for free. I know I want to make some of them.

Also check out the other hosts for the 2017 New Quilt Blogger’s Hop, Leanne @she can quilt and Beth @Cooking Up Quilts, to meet even more quilt bloggers.

Remember to enter the giveaways found on our host blogs. There’s a bunch of prizes from some wonderful sponsors. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to win one so don’t delay as the giveaways are open only for a few days.

Quilting Tip: My quilting tip for you today is to strive to make quilts that are “good enough” and not perfect. If you want perfect, it may take you 21 years to finish.

What I Learned Today:

  1. It is better to have finished after 21 years than not to have finished at all.
  2. I like my 21 Year Quilt as much as I did when I first started it.
  3. My bedroom is still blue. It’s a good thing I don’t redecorate often.
  4. My 21 Year Quilt is still not perfect but it is good enough.

Question: Do you have any older quilts or projects begging to be finished? Here’s a chance to confess how long your project(s) has been shelved and whether you want to finish it or not.

Linking to Monday Making, and Main Crush Monday on Monday; Sew Fresh Quilts on Wednesday; Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, TGIFF, and Finished or Not Friday on Friday. Buttons on my sidebar. and Show Off Saturday on Saturday.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.


Tu-Na Quilts

57 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: Welcome to the Third Week of the 2017 New Quilt Blogger’s Hop

  1. Little Quiltsong

    Love your little house quilt and all the unique blocks. Your cone flower block is so realistic – I love those blooms! What a beautiful ’21 year quilt’ – so enjoyed the story of it. It shows how time can fly, no matter what :)! Looking forward to seeing more of your cactus bloom pics – they are all so unique and pretty.


  2. JoanG

    I have a quilt that has been marinating for about 16 years. It’s the first quilt I ever made, all sampler blocks pieced by hand. Last year those blocks finally got sewn together. Now it needs borders. It yells at me every once in a while and says finish me. Maybe this year!


  3. Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

    Karen, I always enjoy getting to know more about you. The cactus is stunning! I have a “night blooming cereus” plant that blooms infrequently and whose flower only stays open for one night. I am so glad your 21 year quilt is done and ready to be enjoyed; the hearts or leaves or heart leaves are a beautiful quilting motif and I like that it can look a little different each time you look at it. I personally don’t have a long WIP at the moment; but I did have one set of blocks that took me 8 or so years to figure out how to use.


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  5. Abigail @cut&alter

    Oh Karen it must be great to have finished the 21 Year quilt!!! And I am so glad you still like it. I finished my longest WIP last year after 6 years in the making and luckily I still liked it too!


  6. piecefulwendy

    Okay, Karen, you’ve encouraged me to dig out my 14-year-old quilt and get it finished. All that’s left is the quilting, etc. Time to get it done! I still really like that coneflower block, not only because it’s pretty but it reminds me that we had just met through blogging while you were working on that. Happy memories!


  7. Kathleen McCormick

    21 years beats my 15 year sampler! I do have many projects and am working through them with the APQ UFO challenge. However, there are 2 hand-pieced projects that I need to get on a list, but that’s not the one. I think when we are at our place in Maine a little more in the late summer, I will try to concentrate on one this year.


  8. Beth T.

    Yes, I have many, many quilts that are in various states of creation. I still like/love them, though, so it’s all good. I’m working my way through them. I get excited about new things, but I try to keep pulling an old one out, so that I’m always finishing up one of the stragglers while I’m starting on the next passion project.


  9. Tami Von Zalez

    Hey there snowbird! I like your attitude – “It is better to have finished after 21 years than not to have finished at all.”
    I have one quilt sandwich basted and ready to quilt and a Christmas quilt top and backing that needs the same attention. So not too many WIPs but those small fun projects bump the big heavy duty quilting ones.


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  11. inquiringquilter

    Karen, I just loved the story of the 21 year old quilt! I bet I’ve got projects that old! You inspire me to finish them. Your quilt turned out so wonderful!


  12. Lori Smanski

    happy blogaversary. your quilts are lovely. I loved the story of your 21 year quilt. It is very pretty.


  13. Bonnie

    Looks like I beat you with one that is about 29 years old started with a beginning quilt class. The colors are dusty blue and mauve so you can tell how old it is. If I eventually finish it, will you feature it on your blog too?


  14. LanceR

    Love your quilts! My second quilt, circa 1995(?) is a bargello that has been quilted, un-quilted, re-quilted, and un-quilted again. Now that I have the skill and confidence to quilt it I can’t decide on the most appropriate design. Sigh…


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  16. Lisa

    Hi Karen: I love the story of your nine patch and I also love the arrangement that you and your mother came up with for the blocks. Stunning.


  17. somethingrosemade14

    Hi Karen, I love your post; it was full of interesting stories and the story of Tu-Na is priceless. Since I’ve only been quilting for twenty-years, I know I don’t have any UFO’s older than twenty one years. But I know the feeling you get when you finally finish a quilt which was started many moons ago.


  18. Rochelle Summers

    I love your story about your 21 year quilt. I still have my first quilt in block form (not put together) in a box. I won’t keep it if and when I finish it. It is 38 years along and the colors and fabric no longer suit me. But I admire your fortitude and believe that none of us have “perfect” quilts. I’ve learned to embrace the almost perfect, the oops, the oh wells.


  19. Needle and Foot

    Great post Karen. Love your 21 year old quilt and the cactus!! Oh my gosh, so pretty.
    I have a quilt that was supposed to be gifted to my nephew for his wedding last September. I am in the middle of quilting it now. I hope I can force myself to finish it up and give it to them before they have their first anniversary!!


  20. sue7oaks

    Wow! 21 years in the making – well done for finishing! My oldest project dates back to January (smiles so smugly you would like to smack me 🙂 ). I do have some older projects that are basically orphans now – I’m never going to finish because I don’t really like them.


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  22. Sparkle On with Abbie

    Hi Karen! Congratulations on a great post and on finishing your nine patch quilt! Your Lighthouse mini is wonderful. It is hard to imagine it is only 4″; that takes skill!
    ~Abbie from the New Quilt bloggers hop


  23. Laura

    I love finishing old WIPs, but I don’t have any 21 years in the making! (Yet!) Congrats on crossing that off your to-do list! Thank you for sharing the story behind your quilt!


  24. Diane Lomax

    Hi Karen, I love the story of the 21year quilt! Is this a record I wonder? I have a feeling my Dear Jane might just be a contender for the title. I also chuckled when you said your bedroom was still blue, which is just as well! Lovely to meet you


  25. thedarlingdogwood

    That’s a great story, Karen, and a great (finally) finished quilt! 2015 was a good year for me to finish some long UFOs, one was 14 years old. I think the oldest current UFO I have is a project I dreamed up in 2002, but I didn’t actually start it until maybe 2007 or 2008? Still unfinished. 2017 looks doubtful, but maybe 2018!


  26. Leanne Parsons

    A great story and a gorgeous quilt! I love all things blue 🙂 I think my longest WIP was 6 years, so you’ve got me well beat, but how wonderful to have it finally finished!


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