Tag Archives: nine patch

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

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