Tag Archives: Tu-Na Eats

Tu-Na Eats: Virtual Cookie Exchange

Now this is my kind of eating!! I hope you also enjoy this no-calorie trip to other quilt bloggers who have set aside their rotary cutters and fabric and have reached for bowls and spoons in order to whip up some fun seasonal treats for you to enjoy. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite that will become part of your family tradition.

Welcome to the Virtual Cookie Exchange hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt. Thanks, Carol. You will find the list of participating bloggers at the end of this post.

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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.

tunaquilts 38a

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

tunaquilts 1aa


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.


tunaquilts 4a

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″. 

tunaquilts 7a

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).

tunaquilts 10aa

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.

tunaquilts 13a

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.

tunaquilts 16aa

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.

tunaquilts 17a


tunaquilts 19a

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.

tunaquilts 20a

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

tunaquilts 21a

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″.

tunaquilts 22aa

Iron interfacing onto back side of backing fabric.

tunaquilts 24a

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.

tunaquilts 26a

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.

tunaquilts 37a

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 Eats: Painted Christmas Cookies

My oldest son was about three when we started making these cookies. That first year, we had a Christmas party with several of his little friends and all the kids used paintbrushes to paint the cut out Christmas shapes.


The kids gather around the table painting and having fun. This pic was taken a couple of years ago although it feels just like last year. The cookies are painted before they are baked. When I first started this tradition, I bought a package of paintbrushes that I keep in the kitchen to be used only for this project.

The kids were proud of their accomplishments, even though those made by the younger ones contained many holes from pushing the brush too hard.


The “paint” is made with egg yolks, water, and food coloring gel (not the liquid kind). These cookies pictured here are done and ready to be transferred to a cookie sheet and lightly sprinkled with sugar before baking.

A family tradition was begun. Through the years, the kids’ painting skills grew and we continued to make and paint these cookies at Christmas time. Eventually daughter-in-laws and a son-in-law were added to the family and the cookies took on a real artistic flair.


Close-up before baking


After baking


Before baking


After baking

There were a few years that time got away from us finding us rolling and painting them on New Year’s Day. A few years we even forgot. But for the most part, it’s been a yearly tradition in our family. While they look complicated to make, they are very easy.


Don’t these look too pretty to eat! I think they look like stained glass.

This same idea makes really pretty Easter cookies using bunny, butterfly, flower, carrot, and an oval (for an egg) cookie cutters. I hope you give them a try. If you do, let me know what you thought and how yours turned out.


You don’t need artistic ability to paint these cookies. Even a few simple details make them look festive.

Painted Cookies Recipe

Make your favorite rolled cookie dough or use store-bought cookie dough. I’ve included my all-time favorite rolled cookie dough recipe—I use none other when needing a rolled cookie dough.

Roll the cookies to 1/8-1/4″ thick. (I roll them to about 3/16″ or so as I like a thicker cookie). After years of practice, I don’t measure anymore but just guess.) Cut out the cookie shapes using cookie cutters of your choosing. To make rolling out the dough easier, I wipe my counter with a damp cloth and immediately sprinkle a fine dusting of flour over it.

Mix the egg yolk paint using the recipe below. Using a fine paint brush, paint each cookie as you desire. Let one color dry before adding another color on top of it—it doesn’t take more than a few minutes (this is so that the colors don’t mix or run). Sprinkle lightly with sugar (optional) and bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!  

Rolled Cookie Dough


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Mix flour, butter, baking soda, baking powder and salt with a pastry blender or fork (like you would if you were making pie crust). In another bowl, beat eggs with a mixer, add sugar and blend well. Mix in vanilla. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture by hand. Roll into a ball and refrigerate at least an hour for easier rolling. If refrigerating overnight, remove from refrigerator 2 hours before using.

Egg Yolk Paint


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 teaspoon water
  • Food coloring paste or gel (NOT liquid food coloring) in your desired colors. (This paste or gel can be found at cake supply shops and hobby shops that carry food decorating supplies such as Michaels,  Hobby Lobby, some JoAnn Fabrics, and can even be ordered online—I have no affiliations to any of these.)

Directions: Mix egg yolks and water. Divide into small containers like miniature muffin pans or liquid medicine cups. Add paste/gel colors and stir well. Use a new paint brush for each color. You don’t need a lot of “paint” as it goes a long way.

Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop List


Here’s the list and links to other cookie bakers waiting to share their special treats and recipes with you. Be sure to click on the first link below to visit Carol at Just Let Me Quilt to enter the giveaway. Thank you Carol for hosting this virtual cookie exchange.

December 5

Just Let Me Quilt – Giveaway

Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats Thanks for joining me here.

Kris Loves Fabric


December 6

Creatin’ in the Sticks

Brenda’s Quilting Blog

Bumbleberry Stitches


December 7

What’s Up With Kim

Granny Can Quilt

Rosemary’s Recipe – posted at Just Let Me Quilt


December 8

Deb’s Rustic Quilting

Treasured Nest

Just Let Me Quilt

Thanks for stopping by. If this is your first time here, welcome to my blog where I write about the things I love: quilting, traveling, and eating—well actually cooking and baking but that doesn’t sound as good. Click here to find out more about me. I started my blog in April 2016 and wrote an introductory post for the New Quilt Bloggers Hop that you can find here. This summer my husband and I spent 9 days traveling around Minnesota visiting 72 quilt shops and I wrote many posts about those adventures. You’ll find the first post here. But don’t stop there, continue to check out  the other posts about the quilt hop so you don’t miss all the fun, frivolity, and loot I acquired on that trip; plus you’ll get to visit some very cool quilt shops and see some spectacular pics of the trip.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I gain weight just by thinking about these cookies.
  2. I miss having my little ones running around the house. My house is now too quiet and time has gone by much too fast.
  3. Christmas seems to come faster every year.

Question: What is your traditional family food/dessert/treat for the holidays?

Linking to:

Beth at Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday (button on the sidebar)

Beth at Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making (button on the sidebar)

Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social (button on the sidebar)

Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? (button on the sidebar)

Tu-Na Eats: Ghost Pie

I expected some special visitors Halloween evening so I whipped up a little treat earlier in the day.


My mom taught me how to make a nice scalloped pie edge.


Each Halloween (well most of them) for as long as I can remember, I’ve made a special treat for our kids.


I fill a baked pie shell with chocolate pudding. This year I used a cook and serve pudding but some years I use instant; it all depends on how much  time I have. After pouring the pudding into the pie shell, I cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from forming a hard crust.


Although our kids are grown, my grandson was coming to trick or treat and that gave me just the reason I needed to continue the tradition.


 After the pudding was set and cold (3-4 hours for cooked), I topped it with dollops of prepared whipped topping spreading it into the shape of a ghost. (Stir the topping first in it’s container to make spreading easier). You probably could use a stiff whipped cream if you were to eat it right away. Usually, I add brown M&Ms for eyes; none were to be found in this house today so this ghost has chocolate chip eyes instead.


Ding Dong…Trick or Treat…Run to the door to see who it is.


It’s Buzz Lightyear (my grandson) and Woody (my son).


After we all ate a piece of that ghost pie, they said goodbye and were off to ring other doorbells. So I went up into the attic to help my husband check for bats. After all, isn’t that what everyone does on Halloween night?

What I Learned Today:

  1. One is never too old to stop dressing up for Halloween. (I am dressed up as a quilter–see the threads on my shirt).
  2. Watch out for that bottom step on the ladder.
  3. There are no bats in our attic. I had to see it for myself.

Question: How did you spend your Halloween? What are your Halloween traditions?

Tu-Na Eats: Apples, Apples, and More Apples!

Twenty-nine years ago it may have seemed like a good idea to plant a dozen apple trees.



Through the years, we lost a few trees to deer and the cold winter weather but we replaced most of those. We now have eleven trees remaining with nine of them having started producing in earnest in the last five years or so. However, last year due to a cold spell on Mother’s Day which froze most of the blossoms, we only had 6 surviving apples—actually only 5 since a wild turkey got one before we did. 


This pic of one of our trees was taken by a friend of mine. You can see how loaded those trees are! Photo used with permission.


Imagine our surprise when every tree in our apple orchard produced abundantly this year.



The tree branches were bowing under the weight with some resting on the ground making for easy picking for me and others.


Mom and I are picking while our exchange daughter looks on. She is the one who received the plus quilt I made recently and which I’ll be posting about soon. Photo used with permission. Isn’t the sky in this pic interesting?

This past month, I have almost (but not quite) had my fill of fresh apple slices. 


Here’s some Honeycrisp and Prairie Spies. We have two trees of each of these.

In addition, I’ve sauced them,


Naturally pink applesauce comes from some of the apples due to cooking them and running them thru the food strainer with their skins on.

turned them into delicious pies, 



crisps, baked apples, and apple dumplings.


This is the first time I’ve ever made an apple dumpling. It was delicious!

I’ve even canned several jars of cinnamon apple rings.


I plan to make a few more jars of these.

My husband took 4 gallons of cider to a local vintner to be made into wine.


These are a couple of bottles left over from several years ago. We had two batches of different wine made: one with cinnamon and one without. Our latest batch won’t be done until sometime next year. Once it is finished, the vintner calls us to schedule an appointment to finish it up. At that time, we bottle it ourselves, cork it, and put on our own label. Notice our family crest which is on every bottle of wine that is made for us–even the rhubarb wine (but that’s another post).

My husband and I work together to dry many of them, some plain and some sprinkled with cinnamon.



Dried apples make a sweet snack. We’ve made about 24 gallon bags of plain and 6 quart bags of cinnamon apples that have mostly been given away to family and friends. We are still dehydrating as there are still plenty of apples to be done this way.

And we’ve given lots of apples away to friends and family. We’ve even sold 5 boxes to a local food co-op.


I just love this pic that my friend took of some of our Prairie Spies. I think they make excellent pies but are not good keepers due to easily being bruised. They’ve now had a good frost–down to 26 degrees F.–which helps make them sweeter and maybe will help them keep better. Photo used with permission.

But the majority of those luscious red or yellow apples gets pulverized into cider with our hand-crank cider press.


We work in our car garage to keep flies and wasps under control. First the apples are loaded into the hopper to be chopped into little pieces. My friend S. sure enjoys helping us out and has come several times. I think she’ll be back to help us again as she left behind not one but both of her great Norwex cleaning cloths that were used to wash the apples.


This friend of ours has cheerfully come every time we’ve cidered this year. Either D. really likes to help or he enjoys our company. I know that we couldn’t have done this much without his help and we are grateful to him. The motor runs the chopper but the press is hand-cranked.


About 16 pounds of apples goes into a gallon of cider.

It’s quite a process and we rely on family and friends to help us.


We wash, rinse, quarter, and cut out the stem and blossom ends (just because I think that is where the dirt hides even with good washing). The core is left in the apple to be crushed. We have lots of fun that just doesn’t seem to end this year.

Even the little ones bring apples from the trees or put them in the water. They taste test some of them too.



Everyone’s efforts are rewarded with a meal or two at our table (including at least one but usually several apple items) and lots of cider and apples to take home. 


The gallons are not completely full allowing for expansion during the freezing process. We’ve learned from experience that there needs to be lots of head room now to avoid cleaning out a very sticky freezer later.

So far we’ve made 213 gallons of cider this year. That’s a lot of washing, cutting, and pressing of apples happening at our house over the last four weekends.



So where do we store all this cider? We keep a few gallons in the refrigerator to drink for 7-10 days. The rest gets put in the freezer. No, we don’t have enough freezer room for it all ourselves nor could we drink all of it even if we did. So we call our friends and family for help. Unfortunately for us, they are no longer answering our calls and we still have 3 trees left to pick.

What I Learned Today:

  1. There is nothing as good as a freshly picked apple; it is sinfully crisp and sweet.
  2. I am running out of apple recipes to make.
  3. The difference between apple cider and apple juice is that apple cider is unfiltered and uncooked and apple juice is clear because it’s been filtered and is cooked. Cider can be pasteurized (that’s usually how you find it in the store).
  4. My husband and I prefer to drink fresh-pressed raw apple cider but we tell others how to pasteurize it if they want.
  5. It’s nice to have a large family and lots of friends especially during apple harvest season.
  6. My husband is planning one final cider-making fun day for this season; that’s what he said last week.

Questions: Are you an “eat them fresh” or “bake with them” kind of apple person? What do you make with apples?

Linking with

Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social (button on the sidebar)

Beth at Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday (button on the sidebar)

Silly Mama Quilts

Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? (button on the sidebar)

Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making