Tag Archives: pincushion

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 8 – Pin Cushion

Welcome to the eighth block reveal for the Sew Let’s QAL

This QAL is brought to you by Partners in Design: Where Friends and Fabric Meet.

Presenting: Pin Cushion

Usually, the tomato pincushion is red but I made an heirloom variety.


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Tu-Na Quilts: Giveaway Winner Annonced

I’ve been so busy driving and shop hopping all around Minnesota that I failed to finish this post with the winning name from my 12 Days of Christmas in July Giveaway post. So here it is, a bit late, but at least “now you know the rest of the story (Paul Harvey).” This was my first giveaway at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats in celebration of the things I learned that day here.

Under Tu-Na Helper’s close supervision, I plugged in the numbers to a random number generator from the internet. There were 110 comments left on the giveaway post here. Number 2 is the lucky recipient of the Christmas stocking and all the goodies it holds.

Random number generation / Random Numbers

Generate number between 1 and  110 = 2

Congratulations to: Jean McKinstry July 25, 2017 at 3:03 am

“I met you during the 12 days of Christmas Blog hop, and you are now on my blog list, I follow you with Blogger.” 


Jean wrote the comment above on the day of her birthday. She must be very lucky, indeed. I met Jean, too, during the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop. Jean is from New Zealand which explains why she was commenting at 3 (my time) in the morning. She blogs over at All Points of the Compass and was smitten by that little pillow pincushion I made here and wrote me a delightful poem about it which I published here on the Eleventh Day of that Blog Hop. 

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This is how the parcel looked after traveling thousands of miles. (Picture by Jean McKinstry and used with permission)

I emailed Jean for her shipping address and apologized profusely as in my rush out the door for the Quilt MN Shop Hop I had forgotten to take along the box, the stocking, and all of it’s contents. She waited patiently for me to get back home to mail all those goodies to her. They’ve now been packaged, mailed, and received.

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(Picture taken by Jean McKinstry and used with permission.)

Surprisingly, the package didn’t take long to get there. Jean wrote me a lovely email thank you note extolling the virtues of everything in that box including the Ziploc bag that I used to contain it all. Had I known that a bit of plastic would have been so well received, I would have included a couple extra bags.

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I think Jean rather enjoyed opening that package and savored every minute. Jean was also the first recipient of my new blogger business card which I will tell you more about soon.

When I read her note, I decided it was just too good and heartfelt to delete so I thought I’d share her kind words with you (with her permission, of course).

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Here’s a close-up of that thimble pincushion necklace.

“Hello  Karen

The mail arrived on Friday!!! There are so many goodies inside, I am thrilled beyond anything you could imagine. The pins, so fine and extra-long, a seam ripper, that is fabulous, a super wide shaped hand part, M&M!!! They will get shared around. The neck thimble, purple, a colour I love, and the goodies you have made. The little bucket will go on my window-sill by the sink bench, so I can see it all the time,  my tiny pin cushions, the one with a pinwheel, and so  lovely, And a strawberry, that might be a decoration on a Christmas fabric tree,

Thank you so much for them all. The little flower basket card, your card, and the wrapping and bright green bag, all made this so truly wonderful.

Then, I almost forgot, the great zip lock bag. We have them here, but yours are so much better.

Can you tell how thrilled I am? On a scale of “ how is the pain from 1 to 10?”, this is off the Beaufort scale of gale force wind!!!

Fondest greetings


Jean’s been busy using the items she found in her Christmas stocking.
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Evidently Jean’s had to use the seam ripper several times today and it looks like those pincushions are earning their keep.

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“… the tree farm really gave them a good workout. Phew, they all needed a rest afterwards!!!” (Jean) 

 What I Learned Today:
  1. Time goes by much too fast.
  2. Giving feels so good today.
  3. It’s nice to know that my hard work and the items I put in that stocking were appreciated.
  4. How good it feels to receive a nicely worded thank you note. Thanks, Jean, for a lovely note and making my day sweet.
  5. I need to be more specific and put more thought into writing my thank you messages. Thanks for the lesson, Jean!

Question: Do you write Thank You notes? I am guilty of not writing thank you notes like I should. I often pick up the phone to say thanks or send a short email as a quick way to say thanks. Receiving Jean’s emailed thank you note was special; it shows that she put a lot of time and thought into writing it.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Wait Loss Wednesday at The Inquiring Quilter

Tu-Na Quilts: The Third Stocking Stuffer Reveal—How Much Can It Hold?

To answer that question, that little quilted stocking actually holds a lot! So far we have:

Let’s see what else it holds.

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There’s an itty bitty Pretty Pillow Pincushion. It measures 3.5″. The center pinwheel block is only 1.5″.

I’ve been wanting to try sewing some of those Marvelous Mini Monday blocks from the Temecula Quilt Co. but have been warned that they are tedious and tricky. I decided to prove to myself that I could indeed make them. I chose this pinwheel block (free pattern found here) but didn’t want to sew them into a mini quilt. After some thinking, I decided it would be perfect for a little pillow pincushion similar to the one I’d seen on Crazy Mom Quilts found here.

I didn’t find it difficult at all as long as I paid close attention to cutting accurately and using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.  I think I’ll be making more of these Pretty Pillow Pincushions. Maybe you’d like to make one, too.

Materials Needed:

  • Two 1 3/4″ squares cut from a dark print
  • Two 1 3/4″ squares cut from a light print
  • Two 1″ x 2″ and two 1″ x 3″ pieces for inner border
  • Two 1″ x 3″ and two 1″ x 4″ pieces for outer border
  • 4″ x 4″ square for back
  • 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ square of batting
  • 3 3/4″ x 3 3/4″ square of fusible light or medium weight interfacing
  • Crushed walnut shells or other stuffing (See my post here for more discussion about crushed walnut shells and making a crushed walnut shell dispensing bottle-a.k.a. mustard bottle)
  • a small amount of poly fiber fil or stuffing
  • Thread

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Shorten your stitch length to 1.5. All seams are sewn with a scant 1/4″ unless noted.

Make half square triangles using the squares. With right sides together, place a dark and light square together. Placing my handy little ruler with the line that will connect the points, I drew a diagonal line 1/4″ on each side that line. Do this with the other set. Sew just a tad bit to the left of the line as shown in the pictures below.


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See how my stitching line is just on the inside of the drawn lines

Lay your ruler edge across the points, approx. down the middle between the stitching and cut. This will give you two itty bitty blocks. Do this with the other squares.

Press seams open (I always use spray starch when working with small pieces.) Square block by lining up the diagonal line on your ruler over the seam edge and trimming to 1 1/4″. 

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I think trimming accurately here ensures the block will end up the correct size.

Do this with the other set of squares so you will finish with four itty bitty pieces. Arrange them as in the pattern pictured below and sew the top two blocks together (seam 1 as noted in the picture below). Then sew the bottom two blocks together (seam 2 as noted in the picture below).

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Press seams open and then sew the two halves together. Press seam open.

Square your block to 2″. There is your cute itty bitty center for your Pretty Pillow Pincushion.

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Add the side borders by sewing right sides together joining seam 1 (as pictured below) first. Press seam toward side. It will go there naturally because of the bulk. Then sew the other side border seam 2 (as pictured below). Press seam toward side.

Now you are ready to sew on the top and bottom border pieces. Sew the top seam (3 as pictured below) onto the top and press towards the side. Sew bottom border (4 as pictured below) and press seam towards the side.

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Are you ready for the last border? Sew side seams first (1 then 2) and press seams to the side. Sew on top border (seam 3 as pictured below) and then sew on bottom border (4 as pictured below). Press seams to the side.

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It’s only 4″ square with the center pinwheel only 1.5″. What can I say? I dabble in small pieces. Do you?

Center the top on the batting square. Pin in place.

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Lengthen stitch length to 3.0 and quilt as desired. I quilted straight lines about 1/4″ apart in the borders only.

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Since this block is so tiny, I only had to sew four rows to quilt it. I did not quilt the center. I figured there was plenty of stitching there already.

Square to 4″.

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Iron interfacing onto back side of backing fabric.

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The backing extends beyond the interfacing around all sides. This allows me to heat set it without risk of getting the sticky stuff on my ironing board or my iron. An alternative would be covering it with a cloth. Follow the manufacturer directions to heat set it.

Reset stitch length to 1.5. Place top and backing with right sides together and stitch 1/4″ inch around all sides leaving about a 2 inch opening for turning on one side. Backstitch at both ends.

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Trim corners at a diagonal. Trim close but not too close.

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Trimming off the corners reduces the bulk.

Turn right side out and gently push out corners. I use a knitting needle. Fold seam allowance of opening under and press to aid you when closing the opening.

Fill with crushed walnut shells. I love the crushed walnut shell dispensing bottle I made a.k.a. mustard bottle. I’ve not only used it for all three of these pincushions I’ve made for the blog hop but also for many others. Shake the pillow and tap it up and down on the table to help settle the walnut shells. Use your finger to push them down, too. You want the pillow to be filled full so it is firm. It will settle and soften as you use it. Work to get some into the top corners.

Once it is filled as full as you want, add a bit of poly fiber fil or stuffing to cover the shells exposed at the opening. This helps keep them in the cushion while you sew. Hand sew the opening closed with tiny, close stitches.

This one is almost too cute to stick pins in.

But that’s what it’s for.

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The 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop continues:

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Bells are Ringing…Silver Bells…Jingle Bells—Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop

 Confessions of a Fabric Addict Today’s assignment is just as I suspected; finishing the final quarter for the Santa’s Trip Around the World Quilt so be prepared for a new assignment tomorrow. Sarah’s also sharing a bunch of ideas for cute. little gifts to give quilters. You may just want to make one of each for yourself, too.

Mel’s Quilting Blog Meloney’s sharing a trio of little gift ideas that are perfect for teachers, or guild members, or neighbors. No one on your list needs to be left crying or looking for a tissue. Go see for yourself.

Resourceful Momma Mel persevered some obstacles to create a cute little project for the hop. She’s even offering it as a free pattern download. Those of you who enjoy embroidery or want to learn, this is your chance to create a cute center block for your wall hanging, table topper, or pillow cover. Who can resist that impish smile?

Cheryl’s Teapots2Quilting If you haven’t come up with an idea or two for Christmas this year, stop by Cheryl’s blog. Her post is filled with suggestions and examples, that should please someone on your list. Make a few extras, just in case you forgot to check it twice!

Remember to leave comments on each of these 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop posts so you can qualify to win some fabric giveaways of Tula Pink’s new holiday line, Holiday Homies, generously donated by Free Spirit Fabrics!!! You have through July 26th to leave comments on all of the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop posts. So hopefully, you’re not too far behind in reading and commenting on them.

Please note: Sarah has notified us that she needs to delay the announcement of winners until August 4th due to a family emergency. Winners will be notified by email then. I will be posting a list, too, as soon as I see it.

Here’s an updated picture of the prizes you could be winning if you are commenting on each of the blog posts.


I posted my 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop post on Monday, July 14, 2017 where I showed how to make a mini quilted stocking and a ring wreath that kids can make. Click here if you are looking for it. My first stocking stuffer reveal happened here and the second stocking stuffer reveal happened here. Here’s a picture recap of what I’ve created for this hop:

Coming soon on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats:

  • Tuesday, July 25th, 2017Tu-Na Quilts: The Fourth and Final Stocking Stuffers Reveal—Does The Fun Have to End? (Do you see the s on the end of Stuffers? I bet you know what that means.)

What I Learned Today:

  1. My husband reads my posts. I forgot to list what I learned on yesterday’s post. He asked me about it when he was checking his email.
  2. Work on my posts earlier in the day so I am not tired and forgetful.
  3. My grandson has a lot of energy. My son, his wife, and my grandson have moved in with us for a few weeks while they wait to get into their new house.

Question: Let’s talk about Christmas yard decorations. How do you decorate the outside of your house or yard or do you enjoy the decorations of others? What’s your favorite outside decoration you’ve seen? My husband hangs lights from the edge of the roof around our gazebo. Then he puts green garland around the rails and ties on pretty red velvet bows. It looks so festive.

We have a street in our town in North Dakota where each year all the houses and trees are lavishly decorated for the holidays. It’s a highlight of the season causing nightly traffic jams as tours cascade down “candy cane lane.” It is beautiful!

However, the residents in our Arizona city decorate their yards quite a bit differently. I posted pics each day from Dec 13-25, 2016 showing these unique Christmas decorations. I also posted pics each day from Dec 26-Jan1 showing how last winter’s weather decorated our North Dakota landscape for the holidays. If you missed any of these, you can find them in the archives on the sidebar, click on December 2016 and scroll through the month. There’s also one on January 1, 2017.

Here’s three of my favorites.

Thanks for all the kind compliments and fun responses to my questions that you’ve shared. I’ve read and appreciated every one. I am just a bit behind in replying. After all, Christmas, even in July, is a hectic season.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

  • Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
  • Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
  • Moving it Forward Monday at Em’s Scrapbag
  • Oh, Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework
  • Linky Tuesday at Freemotion on the River
  • Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
  • Wait Loss Wednesday at The Inquiring Quilter
  • Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Tu-Na Quilts: Tu-Na Quilts: The Second Stocking Stuffer Reveal—You Mean There’s More?

Yes, there is!

I’ve already revealed this cute little pincushion here on Monday’s post. I made this stocking as one of the projects on my 12 Days of Christmas in July blog post and filled it with lots of goodies that make good stocking stuffers for sewists and quilters. If you missed the stocking tutorial, you can find it here.

It’s time to see what else is hiding in this stocking.

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I made the berry shape using this simple tutorial from A Quilter’s Mission found here. She just cuts a circle out of fabric and cuts the circle in half. I used a 5″ circle because I didn’t want a huge strawberry. This size makes a 1.5″ long berry, not counting the leaves. I think this shape makes a nicer, rounder berry.

However, I used the free pattern for the leaves found here at The Sewing Loft. You can download and print the free pattern by clicking on the download button located at the end of her blog post.

Since I’ve already given you two links to tutorials for these strawberries, I won’t go into much detail here. But I do want to include a few construction tips if you decide you want to make a batch of these juicy, yummy strawberry pincushions for yourself or those on your list.

  1. I used quilting cotton for the berry and felt for the leaves.
  2. I suggest making more than one pincushion since you’ll have gathered all the supplies anyway. This way you’ll have some to keep and some to give away. Besides, if you are using the circle like I did, you’ll have an extra half circle anyway so you might as well make two.

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    This berry patch is just getting started. I’ve sewn the only seam required by a sewing machine.

  3. Sew the running or gathering stitch with heavy duty thread, such as hand quilting or upholstery thread, on the RIGHT side of the fabric. This allows you to gather it nicely and tie it tightly when done.

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    I used two strands of hand quilting thread to run a gathering stitch about 1/4″ from the edge. I tied a secure knot at the beginning only. Leave an 8″ tail at the beginning. If you are careful you don’t even have to remove the needle during the pulling stage.

  4. Make yourself a Crushed Walnut Shell Dispensing Bottle. See this post for instructions on how I turned a mustard bottle into this handy tool.

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    This bottle really works well when filling tight spaces.

  5. Once you think you have enough crushed walnut shells in your strawberry, use your finger to push them into place. You can even shake or pound your strawberry on the table to help them settle and make room for more. Stuff it well.

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    You want your berry full and firm. But if you overfill it, you won’t be able to close it at the top.

  6. Then top with some poly fiber fil.

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    The fiber fil or stuffing helps give a nice shape to the top, helps you sew the opening shut, and helps keep the crushed walnut shells inside.

  7. Once your strawberry is full but not overly full, pull on the gathering threads to bring the opening together and tie a knot. Thread these thread ends through a needle (if you removed the needle already) and tightly sew the opening shut.

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    Do the best you can to close it up tight.

  8. Attach the three separate leaves, from The Sewing Loft pattern template, first. Then I fold and bunch the joined leaf shape and stitch it on top. I used two of these per berry.tunaquilts 5a
  9. I just happened to find this white plastic ring in my craft supplies. I parted some of the leaves in the center and sewed it on the top. Because every strawberry pincushion that I’ve ever seen has had a ring.tunaquilts 11a

And there you have a sweet little strawberry pincushion.

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The 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop continues:

Friday, July 21st, 2017

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas—Day Eight

Confessions of a Fabric Addict Sarah’s giving us the next set of instructions which includes more of the same of yesterdays. You should be seeing your quilt starting to take shape now. Unless you’re a tad behind, like me, but don’t fear, I bet we’ll be doing the same assignment for the next few days. She’s also sharing a couple of ideas on how to start your holiday morning right with a cute breakfast idea the kids, of any age will love as well as sharing some snacks and treats.

 Katie Mae Quilts If you think your quilt borders are getting rather boring, you might like to check out Kate’s technique for a jazzy new idea and great instructions on how you can make it too.

Quilted Blooms Hands down! Paige has designed one clever pillow cover that will get the whole family involved. If you agree that Christmas is a great time for creating new memories or traditions, this idea won’t disappoint.

QuiltFabrication Susan’s designed a fantastic coaster idea; they can’t get any prettier or more festive than that. Using her easy tutorial, which includes lots of pictures, you’ll be making lots of these to tuck in Christmas stockings this year. The people on your Christmas list will be thanking you for sure.

Remember to leave comments on each of their 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop posts so you can qualify to win some fabric giveaways of Tula Pink’s new holiday line, Holiday Homies, generously donated by Free Spirit Fabrics!!! You have through July 26th to leave comments.


Coming soon on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats:

  • Sunday, July 23rd, 2017Tu-Na Quilts: The Third Stocking Stuffer Reveal—How Much Can It Hold?
  • Tuesday, July 25th, 2017Tu-Na Quilts: The Fourth and Final Stocking Stuffers Reveal—Does The Fun Have to End?

What I Learned Today:

  1. I’m hungry for some strawberries!
  2. I can clean a bathroom in 10 minutes. Company’s coming. They are willing to take the risk.
  3. The apricot tree has apricots that are needing picking.
  4. I must be a very giving person. My husband now has a cold.

Question: How fancy do you wrap? Do you wrap your gifts with Christmas paper or put them in bags? I stocked up on Christmas gift wrap years ago and am still using up that supply. It was quite a good after Christmas sale so it will be a few more years until it’s all gone. Some years, if I can’t find the gift tag, I just write the name on the package or a piece of the gift wrap. No fussing happening around here.

Linking to: