Tu-Na Quilts: For Paige and Jennifer

Tu-Na Quilts: For Paige and Jennifer

Obviously I didn’t learn my lesson well enough in February (read #1 of What I Learned Today found on Tu-Na Quilts: An Hour to Spare) which means that I was behind, again. 

But have no fear, Jennifer’s cute little Shamrocks are expected to be in her hands on Saturday.


tunaquilts 4a

I said to count me in for three. But I got to making these and they practically sewed themselves so I made four.


That same day Paige will be jumping for joy as she opens her envelope from me to get her blocks.


tunaquilts 1a

Oh, dear, this is not one of her blocks.



tunaquilts 2a

And neither is this one.




tunaquilts 3a

Ahh! Much better!


Tu-Na Helper and I were visiting (not shopping since I didn’t buy anything) some antique stores and happened upon those cute little sock monkeys. I couldn’t help but photograph them as I had just finished making Paige’s blocks.

Paige is making a quilt for a teenage girl. When I found the sock monkey fabric, I knew I just had to include it.  I know a teen would love it.

However, I knew she would be orientating them the long way so now her quilt will have…


tunaquilts 6a

They were just too cute not to include even if they are lying on their sides.


a tower of sock monkeys!

What I Learned Today:

  1. I must have some British blood. When I checked the correct usage of orientating or orienting, Mr. Google said orientating is “a British thing. Orientating is the typical British usage, vs. American “orienting”.” (Yahoo) I prefer orientating.
  2. Mr. Google is wrong. I have German blood.

Question: What are your roots? Heritage, I mean, not the hair variety. Catherine the Great invited my ancestors (and their neighbors) living in Germany to come to Russia and teach the locals how to farm. They went and settled in the Odessa Region for a long time until the welcome mat was rolled up making their exodus necessary. They made their way to America. All I really know of them is that they knew how to work hard and took pride in doing a good job. 

If you enjoyed reading this and would like to read more of my adventures and even follow me so you won’t be left out, please see my blog Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats and subscribe by email, WordPress, or Bloglovin. I’d enjoy having you join my family of blog readers. 

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts



Star blocks for April

No Foolin’!  I’m not quite sure how it got to be April already.  I have been wanting to do stars for a while now and when I saw this beautiful Starry Night block designed by Cath of Wombat Quilts, I knew it was the one. (Block being used for our bee with Cath’s knowledge and blessing.)


Star: You decide if you want to make a red star with blue accents or a blue star with red accents.  You can use as few as one red and one blue fabric or make it as scrappy as you like.  I have no problem with other colors in the fabric as long as it reads predominately as red or blue.

Background: White solid or tone-on-tone.  I’d prefer one background fabric in the block as opposed to a scrappy background.

This is a paper pieced block.  You can find the pdf here.  You will need two copies of the page to make the block.  For those who have trouble visualizing, here is how the sections on the pattern break down: 1 is the star fabric(s), 2 & 3 are the accent fabric(s), and 4 & 5 are the background fabric.

I know some folks don’t like or aren’t comfortable with paper piecing.  Here are some tips that I hope will help.

Tip #1: Use fabrics that don’t have a right or a wrong side. This immediately eliminates one of the mistakes that it is easy to make when paper piecing.  If your fabric doesn’t have a wrong side, you can’t do it backwards!  Solids and batiks both eliminate a wrong side and both are fine for this block.

Tip #2: Because each section has the same elements, you can kind of chain piece which will (hopefully) help it feel less labor intensive and mean less back and forth.  I sewed all 8 #2 pieces to the #1 fabric, then trimmed and cheater-pressed (see tip #3) and by doing it this way rather than one section at a time, it went faster.

Tip #3: You don’t actually have to press each step.  Really!  I didn’t press my test blocks until I had the full segment done and you can’t tell, can you?  I used this fabulous roller from Violet Craft and it meant that I didn’t have to get up from my sewing machine until all the segments were done!  Don’t have a handy roller gadget?  Maybe you have a pastry roller or small rolling pin in your kitchen that will work just as well. A solid finger pressing will likely also be sufficient.

Tip #4: Need the visualization?  Color on your pattern!  You can see that I didn’t color all the way in, just marked a little section, but on more in-depth designs I color it all in like a coloring book.  It helps me visualize, as seeing a whole amid the pieces is not my strong suit.

This was the block where I alternated light and dark blues in the star

Tip #5: Remove the paper from the seam allowance.  You can do this before or after you sew each set of segments together.  This was a new one for me and it worked like a charm.

Taking out that seam allowance makes it less bulky

Still worried?  I’ll make you a deal.  Set whatever you think is a reasonable amount of time.  Work on the block for that long and stop when the time is up.  Send me whatever you’ve done and I’ll finish it.  Seriously.  I do not want this to be source of stress for anyone.

I can’t wait to see what you make!  Thanks, everyone!

International Bee Queens (yes, two of them)

My international bee has had two queens this month – Jennifer wanted shamrocks for her Irish inspired quilt, and Paige requested modified I-spy blocks for a girls’ charity project….

Meine internationale Gruppe hatte diesen Monat zwei Königinnen – Jennifer wollte Kleeblätter für ihre irisch inspirierte Steppdecke, und Paige ersuchte modifizierte I-Spy-Blöcke für ein Wohltätigkeitsprojekt für Mädchen ….

Each of them only requested one block, but apparently all other participants in my bee are over-achievers and made several of each! No way I could let that challenge go unmatched!

Jede von ihnen hat nur einen Block angefordert, aber anscheinend sind alle anderen Teilnehmer meiner Biene sehr ehrgeizig und haben mehrere von jedem gemacht! Auf keinen Fall könnte ich diese Herausforderung unbeantwortet lassen!

And so, here they are:  three shamrocks for Jennifer, and two I-spy blocks for Paige.

Und so, hier sind sie: drei Kleeblätter für Jennifer und zwei I-Spy-Blöcke für Paige

A special thank-you to Paige:  I have had this Minnie Mouse fabric remnant forever, and not known what to do with it (I am not into themed fabrics at all).  This block was perfect for it, since the quilts will go to teenage girls!

Ich bin Paige ganz besonders dankbar: Ich hatte diesen Minnie Mouse Stoffrest schon sehr lange und wusste nicht, was ich damit anfangen sollte (ich verwende Themenstoffe nie!). Dieser Block war perfekt dafür, da die Steppdecken an Mädchen gehen werden!

I Spy blocks for Paige

Queen Paige has asked for a rectangular I Spy block appropriate for a teenage girl.  I love I Spy quilts and I Spy fabrics!  I reined myself in and I still made 5 blocks.  Paige, I’m hoping that unicorns and fairies aren’t too juvenile for what you have in mind.  Personally, I love both and I am long past teenage years. (The unicorns didn’t photograph well; they are the middle block on the bottom.) I can’t wait to see all your blocks together!

March Bee inspired Paige