Monthly Archives: June 2017

Tu-Na Quilts: More Poodles Came to Play

I’m still posting Poodle Block tips over on Bee Inspired. It’s my month to be Queen Bee and I’ve been having some fun going down memory lane with the poodle block I chose to have my hive mates make.

Tu-Na Travels and Quilts: Day 7 in Paris and Finishing the Leftovers just published on the Bee Inspired blog here. You are invited to come and check it out. These tips might be helpful if you want to make some of those adorable right facing poodles that Sally from The Objects of Design designed which is available here.

In the meantime, my knight in shining armor, ok. maybe not the one pictured below,

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One of the many suits of armor we saw in Paris.

but my husband, came in from the mailbox a couple of days ago saying, “Woof, woof, woof, woof.” I guess that meant there was mail for me.

tunaquilts 23aThese delightful poodles came all the way from Velda who lives in Canada and blogs at Granny Can Quilt.

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Here’s Odie. He is a star. These fabrics are gorgeous.

Here’s her real Odie showing you his ability to fit in with his human family by sitting all proper on the couch. He only got to roam around Velda’s house for two years before heading to doggie heaven but he will remain a star in her heart forever. This picture was taken by Granny Can Quilt and used with permission.


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This one is called Tigg and is modeled after one of Velda’s poodles who now lives with her. Don’t you just love that background text fabric?


Here’s Tigg in real life. Look at that pose!! He is a handsome fella and is the senior poodle at Velda’s house. This picture was taken by Granny Can Quilt and used with permission.

The guys came bearing gifts.

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Tigg is bringing in some 1.5″ strips for me to use in my postage stamp quilt. Odie is carrying a piece for the cornerstone for this poodle quilt.

Thanks, Velda!! These poodles are gorgeous and I will definitely make use of the strips. Your hard work is much appreciated!

What I Learned Today:

  1. Belonging to an online quilting bee is a lot of fun especially this month.
  2. I’m looking forward to the mail tomorrow.
  3. I’ve only got 5 days to get my Stash Bee block finished and in the mail! It’s a red, white, and blue string block. It should be fun but I am so busy this week since my sister is coming to town and we’ve got at least one quilting day planned and a girls day out.

Question: If you were in a bee, what block would you choose?

Linking to Main Crush Monday, Monday Making, Moving It Forward, Katie Mae Quilts BOMS Away. Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River,


Tu-Na Quilts: A Poodle Came to Play

I thought I’d write a quick post to let you all see that I now have a lovely little poodle to play with. Well, actually, Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter, made me this block for my Bee Month and it arrived on Thursday. She also included three 1.5″ squares of the fabrics she used so I could include them in my postage stamp quilt. Thanks, Jennifer!

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Made by Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter.


I’ve been busy writing about my trip to Paris and posting construction tips on what’s turning into being a block sew-along this month over at Bee Inspired.  I was in Paris three years ago and had already started writing “What I learned today” posts in my journal. I’m including them to give you my impressions (and sometimes humorous insights) of Paris and the things my husband and I saw, did, and ate. Each post also includes some detailed poodle making tips.

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Here’s the poodle parts all prepped. Labeling makes this project so much easier.


You are all welcome to stop by and read about my Paris adventures and even sew up a poodle or two or more for yourself.  The free pattern is found on The Objects of Design.

Here’s my latest post on Bee Inspired which also includes links to all the Paris and poodle posts. Tu-Na Quilts: Day Four in Paris and Prepping the Poodle Body Parts.

I still have a few more Paris posts left to write as there are still a few parts left before our pampered pooches go parading.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I can “knock out” a post in less than 15 minutes.

Question: Are you a dog or cat person? To me dogs are he’s and cats are she’s except for these poodles; some definitely have he looks and some have she looks.

Linking to: Em’s Scrapbag for Moving It Forward, Monday Making, Katie Mae Quilts BOMs Away, and Main Crush Monday. Design Wall Monday, Tips and Tutorials Tuesday, Linky Tuesday on Freemotion by the River, Wednesday Wait Loss, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop, Finished or Not Friday.

Tu-Na Quilts: Progress on “She Has Her Mommy’s Nose”

Yes, there is hope that I will finish this little quilt soon. I renamed the quilt in this post. I’ve got a ton of different projects going all at once, some secret sewing and some with deadlines, but I am making some headway with this one. I’ve sewn all the blocks into rows.

tunaquilts elephant 28a

Now just to press the seams, sew the rows together, quilt, and bind. That may sound like a lot but really it’s all down hill from here, at least for me. I’ve already got a quilting motif in mind which is more than half the battle to finishing at this point.

But I do need your help. As I am getting closer to a finish for this sweet quilt, I am thinking ahead and want to select just the right binding for it. I originally bought this peach for the binding but now I am not sure.


Possibility A

But then I started leaning towards the greenish teal.


Possibility B (the coloring is more like the pic above than the one below)

And now I think it could use just a tish of color. I remember how Tish of Tish in Wonderland likes to bind her quilts with a flange. I think you can see that hint of color around the edge best on her many quilts in this post.

Possibility C

I really appreciated all of your comments (see this post) when helping me to decide on the size of this quilt. I was really torn about what to do so I asked the new mommy for her opinion and she said to keep it as is which will be a nice crib-size or toddler bed size.

But this binding is a quilter’s question. So please leave a comment which you think would look best and help me get to a finish: A, B, or C. I thank you very much!!

What I Learned Today:

  1. Decision making is not one of my strengths.
  2. There are a lot of decisions to make when sewing a quilt.
  3. It’s always nice to ask a friend(s) for help.

Question: A, B, or C?

Linking with Wednesday Wait Loss, Finished or Not Friday, Can I Get a Whoop, Whoop?, Let’s Make Baby Quilts, Sew Can She, Moving It Forward Monday, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Jos Country Junction, WIPs, Linky Tuesday on Freemotion by the River,


Tu-Na Quilts: Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

I thought I’d be sitting down in front of my sewing machine humming away (the sewing machine that is) all day until I realized that today is a very important day. Since I’ve had this partially written post in draft form just lying around, I thought this would be a good day to dust it off, finish it up, and hit publish.

I have two houses in two states that are far apart. This means I have a fabric stash and a sewing machine in each house. But it wasn’t always that way.

Up until last fall, I lovingly carted my beloved Pfaff back and forth between houses. 


Here’s my Pfaff Creative 1475 CD model. I have lots of different feet for this one. I like the way they snap on and off so easily and I like the needle threader. But it has way more stitches and features than I have ever used. I’ve sewn my daughter dresses and hats with it. I’ve sewn my boys lots of pants and caps with it. She’s been through a lot of fabric through the years.

But I knew there would come a time I had to stop doing that (toting the machine back and forth) and decided it was then. Yes, I intentionally, left her behind last fall. It was hard to do as we (us dedicated quilters and sewists) can get quite attached to our machines.

I love that old machine. She works like a charm. I thought I’d be able to find another one just like her at my other house since that is in an area with lots of people and shops. But sadly none was to be found. After looking for a used machine for several weeks, and having a quilt that needed to be finished by Christmas, I decided to take the plunge and look for a new machine.


That took a few weeks and finally I made a decision to buy one, no, two machines: one for home and one to cart to class or work day with the quilting group.


But my husband said that sewing table needs to be cleaned first and then he’d help me lift them out of the box. My sewing space is close to the laundry area and garage entrance and becomes a catch-all place.



I made speedy work of stashing the stuff. Now I was ready to open those boxes.


Both of those machines together cost almost as much as our new car did in 1979. If you add in the cost of all the extra feet I purchased, that put it over the cost of that 4 door Citation. My husband was in shock. “But both of them are on sale,” I pointed out. “And the feet and accessories are 25% off.”


Here’s a shot of her in action. I was working on the Mod Bear quilt, which I did finish in time for Christmas and have yet to write a blog post about.

Today I salute all three of my machines. Without them, I’d be doing it all by hand.

What I Learned Today:

  1. According to the internet, the invention of the sewing machine saved countless hours of time (since about 1 hour of machine sewing was about the equivalent of 14 hours of hand sewing). I imagine with today’s impressive machines, even more time is saved.
  2. The tailors of yesteryear feared the invention of the sewing machine since they saw it putting them out of business.
  3. The first sewing machines cost $15.00 and was still cost-inhibitive for many thus making the tailors feel better.
  4. I love the built-in scissors and automatic needle threader functions as well as that 11 inch throat on my new machine. However, the button to lift the presser foot is a bit hard to get used to. Now that I am back sewing on my Pfaff, I am always trying to push the invisible button and wondering why my presser foot isn’t going up. I imagine when I get back to sewing on the new one, I’ll be forever searching for the lever.
  5. There’s a day to celebrate almost everything. Today is also:
  • National Make Your Dream Come True Day
  • National Call Your Doctor Day (I hope you don’t need to do that)
  • National Weed Your Garden Day
  • National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day
  • National Cupcake Lover’s Day
  • and International Axe Throwing Day

Question: Which one will you celebrate?

(UPDATE) This post was published yesterday-June 13, 2017. So today we are onto celebrating National Bourbon Day, National Pop Goes the Weasel Day (I kid you not), National Flag Day, National Strawberry Shortcake Day  (I celebrated that on Sunday), and International Bath Day.

Linking to: Sew Fresh Quilts, Midweek Makers, Mama Spark’s World, Katie Mae Quilts, Silly Mama Quilts WIPs, Wednesday Wait Loss


Tu-Na Quilts: Now, We Have an Elephant Parade

With the sudden and speedy delivery of the baby elephant, Lily Rose, last week, I can now officially say we have an elephant parade.


The happy new family is snuggly stitched together.

Notice that Lily Rose has her mommy’s nose. I am making this quilt for the baby of my best friend’s daughter.


When my friend called to tell me that the baby had arrived she said, “And she has her mommy’s nose.” Sounds like a good name for this quilt.

I’ve even sewed some of the blocks into rows. 


I will be adding side pieces onto the elephant row. And where are the missing rows?

I’ve still got three rows to sew.


They are sitting beside my machine to remind me to sew them first before other things.

I sure am glad I took good care of those blocks while traveling. It’s making sewing and laying out the rows so much easier. I’ve had to do some playing around with my sewing machine and moving the needle to make sure the scant 1/4″ seam allowance matched the ones made on my sewing machine at my other house.

If you missed all the excitement of her arrival last week. catch up here with

 Tu-Na Quilts: Let’s Make Elephants (Here I describe how my pieces traveled from one house to the other).

Tu-Na Quilts: We Have an Elephant Parade  (The happy couple is expecting) 

Tu-Na Quilts:        ’s Arrived!!! ( Tu-Na, DOQ {Doctor of Quilting}, helped with the delivery of this wee one)

However, much of my time and writing this month is being used up over on the Bee Inspired Blog where I’m sharing some of my adventures and misadventures of my trip to Paris as well as some construction tips and trials as I sew another poodle block for myself using this pattern from The Objects of Design.


You are welcome to stop by:

Tu-Na Quilts: All Aboard. Fasten Your Seatbelts. We’re Taking Off for…

Tu-Na Travels: Day One in Paris

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two in Paris and Poodle Block Cutting Tips

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three in Paris and Prepping Those Furry Pieces You will never guess who we meet today.

and do check back on Bee Inspired all month as I’ve got more funny and interesting Parisian stories to tell and see some gorgeous French Poodles heading my way.


What I Learned Today:

  1. There’s been way more writing happening than sewing in my house lately.
  2. The poodle block is actually quite easy when separated into steps.
  3. I do miss being in Paris.
  4. Beth, over at Cooking Up Quilts, mentions my coneflower double star block that now belongs to Cathy, on today’s Main Crush Monday post.  I miss that stunning block but I have those fabrics safely tucked in their own bin for a quilt using that same block pattern for me. I stop to admire and pet them every now and then. Anyway, Thanks Beth!! I’m honored!!!
  5. I “pet” fabrics? Hmmm, this household is going to the dogs.

Question: Where have your travels taken you? I’ve been to London. I’ve been to France, and Germany, and traveled the U.S. extensively. But we honeymooned in Canada.

Linking to Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Moving It Forward, Design Wall Monday, Let’s Bee Social and Midweek Makers, Jo’s Country Junction, Mama Spark’s World, Katie Mae Quilts, Silly Mama Quilts WIPs, Wednesday Wait Loss


Tu-Na Quilts: She’s Arrived!!!

The proud parents and Dr. Tu-Na are pleased to announce the arrival of Lily Rose at 2:41pm Central Time today. She measures at 7.5″ x 8.5.”

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Here she is on the delivery table (ironing board) shortly after birth. I notice I still need to cut the cords (thread) yet.


Mom and baby are doing fine. Delivery went faster than expected.

Dad is snorting to all that Cha Cha (grandma) says that Lily has her mother’s nose. 

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The doctor, however, is tired and may go take a nap.

(The free pattern for this adorable small elephant can be found here on the Sew Fresh Blog. Thanks, Lorna! See my previously written post here (Tu-Na Quilts: We Have an Elephant Parade) for more info about this new mom and dad.)

What I Learned Today:

  1. Being creative is tiring!
  2. So is writing two blog posts in one day!

Question: A baby elephant is called a calf. A baby rabbit is called a kit —short for kitten. Who knew? What are other babies called?

Thanks for stopping by,

Karen A.k.a. Tu-Na, DOQ (Doctor of Quilting)

Linking to Wednesday Wait LossSew Fresh Quilts, Silly Mama Quilts WIPs, and Midweek Makers.

Tu-Na Quilts: We Have an Elephant Parade

Maybe two elephants don’t really make a parade yet but this elephant couple is expecting their first baby and it’s coming soon. Well, actually, an elephant baby is called a calf and then this could be a parade.

elephant 1a

The free pattern can be found on the Sew Fresh Quilts blog by Lorna.


Did you know that the gestation period of an elephant is 617-645 days— almost 2 years? Elephants have the longest gestation period for mammals. I wonder if there is any living thing that is longer? And I thought 9 months was a long time to be pregnant.

elephant 3a

It’s a good thing that this baby quilt has not been in the works for 2 years. I better get working on it to get it finished. Besides that, this little one (elephant) will be making his or her appearance soon–maybe even this afternoon. Will it be a boy or girl?

elephant 4a

I first posted about this quilt here (Tu-Na Quilts: Let’s Make Elephants). The pattern for this large (8.5″ x 11.5″) elephant can be found here on the Sew Fresh Blog.

Update: The baby elephant has arrived!! Read all about it on this post if you missed all the excitement (Tu-Na Quilts: _____’s Arrived!!!)

What I Learned Today:

  1. Thinking about a project takes more energy and time than just sitting down and doing it. Those elephants were rather easy to sew.
  2. Work more and procrastinate less.
  3. I’ve learned a lot of group names from you. It’s been fun and interesting to read your responses. If you think of more, go back to here (Tu-Na Quilts: A French Poodle for Moi) and comment. It will help me gear up for our Trivia night when I go back to AZ.

Question: Pick an animal/bird/insect/reptile/etc. What is its gestation period? Here’s one to get you started. Rabbits spend about 31 days in “the oven.” And that explains why we have so many rabbits running around our yard and in the garden this year.

Linking to Wednesday Wait Loss, Sew Fresh Quilts, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Finished or Not Friday, Sew Can She.

Tu-Na Quilts: A French Poodle for Moi

June is my month in the Bee Inspired Group to be the Queen Bee or the Hive Mama or the Bee Boss or whatever we call ourselves when it’s our month to ask our Bee mates to sew a block for us. I gave them all a heads up last month to check their quilty passports because we would be heading to a destination far away. This is so exciting!

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I got my inspiration for a block from several sources, one of which is this lovely piece of fabric I happened upon while my mom and I were fabric looking (not shopping since I never intended to buy anything) early this winter.


I could also title this post “How a Free Fat Quarter cost me $68.00” because this was not the only piece I found.

We each had coupons for a free fat quarter (no purchase needed) which is why we happened to be in that quilt shop in the first place. Well once I spied this piece on the clearance shelf I just had to have it as it was perfect for my Parisian themed guest room. At the time of purchase, I had no idea how I would use it. But you all know that’s just how it is sometimes…a lot of times.

I remembered seeing a poodle pattern on the blog The Objects of Design. If you haven’t had a chance to check out her blog, you are definitely missing some real talent and some other fun free block patterns.


Isn’t she cute!! I want to make a few more.


I posted the links to this free pattern and tutorial, some construction tips, some pics of the room where the quilt is intended, and the inspiration behind this block on the Bee Inspired Blog. You can find it here.

There will be a pack of proud French poodles posting my way soon. I’ll be sure to take some pics of them when they arrive.

What I Learned Today:

  1. A group of dogs is called a pack or kennel.
  2. A group of crows is called a murder—I actually learned that last month from Velda and her crows so I guess I learned today that I still remember that little piece of trivia.
  3. I only have to mail out two blocks for the other two Bee groups to which I belong.
  4. June will go very fast anyway.

Question: Let’s have a little fun with groups. Pick out an animal or a group of people or group of something and tell us what a group of them is called. Here’s another one to get you started: A group of elephants is called a parade or herd. Speaking of elephants, I better get busy sewing a little parade of elephants on that baby quilt soon as that baby is not getting any younger or smaller!

Linking to Monday Making, Moving It Forward, Main Crush Monday, Sew Fresh Quilts, and Midweek Makers, Katie Mae Quilts BOMS Away,

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate and read all your comments, suggestions, and questions. I reply by email and often here on the blog as well as time permits. But sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I get behind. Just know that I value your taking the time to comment. Until next time, keep that needle flying!


Tu-Na Quilts: The May Bee Blocks Were on Their Way Before Month’s End

May’s Bee blocks were so much fun to make and again were hard to send away as I wanted to keep them for myself. I thought by doing these Bees I would be able to narrow down all the quilts I want to make but instead I’ve lengthened my list.

I may not have made much progress with the elephant quilt this last week as I was busy with cleaning the sewing room and organizing the stash but the May Bee blocks are done and gone. I’ve also made my own block to request from my Bee mates which I will reveal on another post.


This 16″ faux nine patch in a nine patch block went to Irene in North Carolina.


Irene, who is a member of the Bee Inspired Group wanted pale grays or soft gray and white fabrics with no other colors. Yes, that itty bitty 9 patch almost in the center has pieces that finish at 1/2.” The slightly larger 9 patch in the center of the block has pieces that finish at 1.5.” I find it amazing how big 1.5 inch pieces are after working with 1 inch pieces. You can read Irene’s story and get the pattern tutorial here if you’d like to make some for yourself. She’s making this quilt for herself and I also included a little reading material within that block just in case she can’t sleep.


Since it was quite large, I carefully folded it and put it in a small manila envelope. It mailed for 70 cents.

The next block I tackled actually took longer to pick out the fabrics than to sew it. I had pulled so many different fabrics but finally settled on this.


These cats went to Jan in California.


Each cat block is 9 1/2 inches so she asked for two sewn together. I’m glad she did as they look so cute next to each other. Jan’s post and simple tutorial can be found here. The pattern comes from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. If you’d like to make a batch for yourself, you can watch Jenny demonstrate these Pins and Paws Blocks here. Jenny is fun to watch and she makes sewing anything seem so easy.

I put these cats in a legal size envelope but they were overweight so it cost 70 cents to mail with a word of caution from the postal worker that fabric gets caught in their machines. So I’m hoping these little beauties make it safely to California.

Finally, the last block for the month was completed and I had a really hard time sending it off. Luckily for me, I have at least a yard of each of the fabrics and they have been set aside so I can make a stunning star quilt for myself.


Cathy in Montana is the recipient of this beauty.


The pattern and tutorial for this 12 1/2″ unfinished Double Star block can be found here. While it looks complicated and I dreaded doing it for a long time, actually almost all month, it really went together well. I learned a new way to make those flying geese that didn’t waste fabric. I was really leery about that method on the tutorial but it worked really well. I followed Cathy’s advice to  increase the 2 7/8″ pieces that are used for the half-square triangles (the teal dot and navy on my block) to 3″ and trim after sewing. 

Cathy asked us to choose a fabric to fussy cut for the center and then match another fabric for the accent points. She’s hoping for a rainbow of colors. To round out the quilt and to provide some color consistency to it, she asked for navy, white, and gray fabrics and told us where to locate them in the block. I can’t wait to see her quilt as I think it will be stunning. It mailed for 49 cents.

I must admit that when I first pulled that coneflower fabric off the shelf, I thought it to be rather ugly but I needed something that could be fussy cut. So I looked at what I had for the accent and settled on the teal dot. Wow! Now I want to make a whole quilt of teal coneflowers.

Oh, and I have ugly yellow coneflowers with a green background and ugly pink coneflowers with a brownish background. I wonder what I could pair them up with?

What I Learned Today:

  1. There’s always more than one way to solve a problem or make flying geese blocks.
  2. Joining three Bees might have been a mistake as it was supposed to help me narrow down the list of quilts I want to make but has instead increased the list.
  3. Sometimes the things or projects I dread the most actually end up being the best.
  4. I need to be sewing in my sleep or hire someone to sew for me so that I can start and finish making all the quilts I want.
  5. My quilting life is so full of choices, decisions, and endless possibilities.

Question: Have you ever had any difficulty mailing fabric or hearing that it got caught in the postal machines?

Linking to Sew Can She, Monday Making, Em’s Scrapbag, Main Crush Monday and Sew Fresh Quilts. Katie Mae Quilts BOMS Away