Tu-Na Quilts: The Best of 2017

Visitors from 72 countries stopped by Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats and have left over 1600 comments on the 98 posts I published this year. I was honored to receive 453 comments on the twelve 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop posts. I’ve been unable to reply to all of them but know that I have read and appreciated every one of them. Thank you for taking the time to stop and chat, ask a question, leave an answer, or offer some help. I’ve learned so much from my readers.

I’m excited to have almost 450 followers by email, WordPress, and Bloglovin. Thank you for taking the time to not only read what I write but want to follow so you don’t miss a post. I’ve only been blogging for 1 and 1/2 years and strive to make my posts interesting and entertaining. If they sometimes read a bit humorous, it’s an added bonus for both of us.

There’s a year-end party happening over at Meadow Mist Designs. Cheryl has invited us to reflect on our year by sharing five of our top posts.

I’ve chosen to reflect on a variety of posts that were either enjoyed by my readers or that I enjoyed writing.

Meadow Mist Designs1. Some of my readers have said they like my witty writing style. Most of my stories are true-life events that aren’t planned but just kind of happen like my purple thang story that I wrote about here.

tunaquilts 67a

I was laughing out loud as I reminisced the event leading to the writing of this post. Tu-Na Helper actually had to come and see what all the commotion was about.

2. The 2017 Quilt MN Shop Hop was an exciting adventure this year. We had not planned to attend but decided at the last minute that it would be a good diversion for me and give me something else to think about rather than my upcoming eye surgeries. Counseling would definitely have been cheaper but not nearly as much fun.

tunaquilts 10aatunaquilts 11aa

One of the highlights of the trip was meeting some of my followers like these two above. This fun banter between sisters happened on Day 6. You can read about it here. That same day I discovered a heartwarming story about Grandma Sue and how she’s passing on her love for fabric and joy of quilting on to her grandchildren.

tunaquilts 18a

The Story of Grandma Sue didn’t stop there. I was contacted by the local paper in Park Rapids for permission to print the story of Grandma Sue and her grandkids in their Generations insert. I was shocked and thrilled. Of course, I said yes. Grandma Sue emailed a photo of it and then mailed me a copy of the paper.

tunaquilts 1a

Another highlight of the trip was interviewing shop owners and staff to get to know the creation story behind their shop. It’s hard to pick just one more day of the hop since they were all so much fun. Instead, I’ll just share the Shop Hop page here that I created in my header which has links to all the days and then you can pick the ones you missed or want to read. 

3. I held my first giveaway during my participation in the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop.

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I offered the stocking and all of it’s contents: the pincushions that I showed how to make: strawberry, pillow, pail, ring, and thimble pincushion necklace. I also included pins, seam ripper, and some Quilter’s candy. Jean emailed me this pic after she opened the box.

While I was deciding whether to open the giveaway to International readers or just keep it to the U.S, I told Tu-Na Helper my dilemma about not wanting to exclude anyone but I was concerned about the shipping cost. His response was “Include everyone. What’s the chance that someone from out of the country would win, anyway.” Imagine his surprise when the random number generator selected the number and then I counted the comments—all under his supervision—and arrived at the winner, Jean from New Zealand. She sent me such a heartfelt thank you that I wrote a post about it here. I “met” Jean, who blogs at All Points of the Compass, on the 12 Days of Christmas in July Hop. She even wrote a poem about the little pillow pincushion and sent it to me which I shared on Day 11 of that Hop. The random number generator couldn’t have picked a better winner.

4. The most emotional post for me to write was Tu-Na Quilts: Wanted– Sister to Help Share the Brotherly Love about the Plus Quilt and the story behind the reason I made it and the making of it.


Our daughter had always wanted a sister. She finally found one the year we decided to host an exchange student from Germany. But you can go read it for yourself but be sure to have some Kleenex handy.

5.  I live in the Sonoran desert during the winter. From the first time I spied a Saguaro, it was love at first sight. Well at least from me. I wrote this post all about them. Be prepared to see some pictures of them in the wild, some unusually rare ones, and some flowering in the spring. Oh, and you’ll also see pictures of a couple of quilts that were inspired by a Saguaro. See for yourself what makes this mighty giant worthy of it’s place here in my post review.


What I Learned Today:

  1. One can feel cold even in the desert of Arizona. Once the sun goes down, it begins to feel a bit cold in the winter. 
  2. The Native Arizonans around here wear boots and coats once it gets below 60. I find a sweater or light jacket necessary but Tu-Na Helper finally felt cold enough  today to wear a pair of jeans.
  3. The end of the month sneaks up on me all the time. I have just a couple of days left to finish my bee blocks. I’d better get busy.
  4. Sometimes memorable events are not happy ones.
  5. Maybe I have to look deeper for the cherished memory.

Question: What was your most memorable event from this year? What memory will you cherish forever? I will always remember the year I had two eye surgeries but it sure won’t be the memory that I will cherish. Instead, I shall cherish the memory of being given the gift of sight.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Best of 2017 at Meadow Mist Designs

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt

28 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: The Best of 2017

  1. Jean McKinstry

    My dear friend Walter, that I dedicated my blog title to, once wrote to me,” Nancy J, you have to capture your reader in the first lines of your story” . He isn’t here now, but I believe with all my heart that he can read my blog stories, and be captured that way. I love your posts Karen, your suggestions, stories, and all else. My memory from this year, that I cherish the most, a card from our daughter’s soon to be mother-in-law, after her husband died, with thanks to me, for our daughter’s part in helping to keep Russell at home till the end. He was older than Hugh, a gentle , kind loving and uncomplaining man who had many health problems .He faced it all so graciously with huge courage, and our daughter’s part in the last year of his life means so much. So next March when a wedding takes place, we will remember Russell, as the family did on Christmas Day, ( the first one without him there) I will think of Anne’s card with love and thanks. A sober memory to cherish, but so important. And for you, eyesight , of all the 5 senses , to have both eyes repaired, thankfulness in a huge way. Keep warm, keep happy, keep your heart and hands filled with love. ( I try to write less, but it sneaks away into a short essay). XXX And to see my name and my photo , I am thrilled and so happy all over again.


  2. peggycooperquilts

    You have certainly accomplished your goal of making your blog entertaining, interesting, and funny. I so enjoy reading it and since I am unable to travel, I feel like I am visiting the quilt shops right along with you and Tuna Helper. Thank you for including me in your journeys.


  3. piecefulwendy

    I so enjoy reading your posts, Karen, you have a delightful sense of humor! You have had a good year, for sure. (I’m still processing mine; not sure I’ll get a post written.) Memorable moments for me were moving our daughter to Florida and our 30th anniversary trip to Maine. Memories I will cherish forever, spending time with my family.


  4. Rochelle Summers

    Karen, I hope the eye surgeries solved the worst of the problems. Having had 3 corneal transplants, I am forever grateful to those who donated their organs upon the their death (or the loved ones who made the decision afterward). My greatest memory this year was of watching a grandson graduate from high school one weekend and a granddaughter the next. I still have two to go but they are a few years away. There are many bloggers out there and I enjoy reading some of them. I learn something from each. Yours is the only one I’ve seen that identifies honestly the things you learn about yourself each day, good and bad. I admire your willingness to share those things with you. I have enjoyed your “Christmas” blog posts this month and look forward to another year of sharing from you. Happy New Year.


  5. Valerie Reynolds

    F0und your blog through the best of 2017 linky. I enjoyed your highlights and looking around your blog. (I grew up in Arizona,,,,so especially enjoyed your desert Christmas decorations! We use to make tumble week snowmen with white lights inside!)


  6. Sandra Walker

    It speaks to your personality that you find the positive even in stressful life situations like a double eye surgery. Good post choices; think I only missed one! And yes Jean is such a wonderful soul, so glad you listened to Tuna Helper’s advice.


  7. Dione @ Clever Chameleon

    I’m glad I found your blog this year Karen, and I enjoyed catching up on the purple thang post today. I’m not sure I’ll be able to look at my purple thang without sniggering for some time yet. 🙂 All the best for a wonderful 2018.


  8. Lorna McMahon

    Thank you for sharing your inspirational post and taking part in Cheryl’s link party Karen. It’s been a pleasure to have been able to connect with you through blogging and to read your wonderful stories. Wishing you a very happy new year! See you in 2018!


  9. Jayne

    There is so much more to blogs than I ever would have thought when I started. It’s the best place for support, inspiration yes…but the friendships cultivated with people we otherwise would never meet. Happy 2018 to you and keep on blogging…it’s worth ever tap of the keys!


  10. marshaseiberling

    Nice to meet you. This is the first time I’ve been to your blog, finding it as the only other one currently in a linky that I just posted to 🙂 I believe it was on the inspiredquilter blog.


  11. Susan

    What a great walk down memory lane! I have to say, I LOVE saguaro! It stands for everything I miss about Arizona. Memory from 2017 … I’ll have to think about the best one, because it was a year of blessings. I like the way you’ve chosen to look at your sight memory!


  12. Kate

    It was fun to relive your year via posts. All the fun stuff and the stressful stuff. I loved the purple thang post the most. Have a very joyful New Year.


  13. Rebecca Grace

    Oh, gosh — like you, it’s the surgeries this year (for my husband’s heart) that stick out the most, although those are memories we want to put BEHIND us rather than “cherish.” I suppose the most exciting thing was bringing home the longarm quilting machine, although I’m feeling a bit guilty that I haven’t yet used it to quilt a real quilt, only practice samples. Happy New Year to you and Tu-Na Helper!


  14. Leslie Schmidt

    This was a great summary of your year of blogging. One of the things I enjoy the most from reading your posts is your list of what you learned that day. I find it very refreshing and enlightening. I first “met” you when you were posting about your journey through the MN State Shop Hop. It was fun to see places I’ve been to from your perspective, and even better to see shops I may never get to in person.
    I’m afraid the memory that sticks out the most for me was learning of the devastating health diagnoses of 3 women I know or at least feel as though I know. One of them, Nancy Zieman, has died, and one more may not live to see next Christmas. It was very unsettling and saddening. I was able to finish a quilt to give to her before Christmas.
    I hope you have a wonderful 2018, Karen! I look forward to reading more of your adventures.


  15. seamstobesew

    I always love reading your posts, your wit and sense of humor always make me smile or chuckle. It’s fun today to watch as you reminisce about the past year and the fun it brought for you. I’m so happy you decided to post this as it brings back some memories here too. Hugs


  16. smilesfromkate

    Great post Karen, what a wonderful year you have had, I so love a blogger with a sense of humour. Keep doing what you are doing, 2018 will be even better.


  17. Kathleen McCormick

    A great recap of a wonderful year! Somehow I missed this in my Christmas festivities but Inquiring Quilter sent me here for a look. Look forward to sharing another year of adventures with you in the blogworld! I love your style and it really is so much fun to read your entries!



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