Tu-Na Quilts: The Dogs Have Arrived

Tu-Na Quilts: The Dogs Have Arrived

All those cute little poodles that you sewed for me have safely arrived in Arizona. They were happy to be set free from their bag after traveling hundreds of miles by car. I am so relieved they didn’t need walking. 

 

tunaquilts 1a

There’s always one in every pack that wants to head their own way! 

 

You will notice that I received one from Wendy who blogs at Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life. She’s a follower of mine and asked if she could make me one, too. I believe Wendy’s is on the bottom right.

I’ve got them all labeled so I can identify them. Their names are so cute. They are all looking mighty spiffy!! And I think they all play so well together.

Thank you everyone for these delightful pooches! I’m thinking I will only need to make 6 more, probably all left facing and probably all with a dark background. I wasn’t able to have my other bee group make more of these poodles since it didn’t follow their 1.5 hour timeline. Although, I think only one of the blocks I sewed for that group finished within 1.5 hours. I will also be adding sashing and cornerstones.

But first I have to find Paige’s land fabric I brought with and then sew her up a couple of trees to add to her forest. It will be a beautiful quilt. And then I have to sew up a partial shelf of books for Emily. That will be sew exciting. I’m thinking I want to add something to that shelf too. Just not sure what it will be.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I need to find a space to have a design wall in this Arizona house.
  2. The day is still young so there’s still time to learn more.

Question: What’s a nice size for a generous lap quilt?

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more about my journey or follow me, please visit my blog, Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. Thank you for visiting Bee Inspired.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

 

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2018 Queen Schedule

2018 Queen assignments are here!  The fairest (and easiest) way I could think of was to get a list of “no” months from everyone.  Then I put all our names in one bowl and the months in another bowl. My assistant drew the names.

If the month was not on that person’s “no” list, match made.  Otherwise, both went back in the bowls.

So here is how 2018 looks:

January: Sharon

February: Ann

March: Jennifer Fulton & Paige

April: Emily

May: Velda

June: Jen Rosin

July: Sue

August: Karen

September: Irene & Janice

October: Kate

I think I avoided everyone’s “no” months.  I’m looking forward to another year with everyone!

December block–bookshelf

I am so excited to have arrived at my turn!  I’m not actually Queen until December, but with that being such a busy month, I figured some might want to get done early.  No pressure, I’m not in a hurry.

As a librarian and a quilter, the moment I first saw a bookshelf quilt I knew I had to make one someday.  This is the block I asked for from Stash Bee in 2016 and I have decided to make a bed-size quilt for my guest room/sewing room so I need more bookshelf blocks! I am so excited that I will see a quilt every day that has a piece of each of you in it!

first block I made

 

Second block I made.  With a theme this time!

I do not have a preferred method for this block.  Your books can lean, stand upright, be stacked, or any combination.  I am going to show you how I did my first two blocks, but feel free to use whatever method you like.  My first two blocks are similar to this tutorial from the Craftsy blog. I also tried the mini bookshelf tutorial from Don’t Call Me Betsy.  If “cut random book-sized strips” is intimidating to you, check out her tutorial.  She gives specific dimensions for her books. But keep in mind that her finished block is larger than our guidelines, so you’ll want to use fewer books and trim it to 13″ high. I also found that cutting each book to a specific size took waaaaay longer, which is why my tutorial just has you use varying widths of no set size.

Third block I made. I’m pleased with the leaning book.

Basic Details
Size: please make your blocks 13″ high and between 13″ and 16 1/2″ wide.
***Updated to add: this is the unfinished measurement and the size it will be when you mail it to me.  Thanks, Sue, for the question!***
Background fabric: solid white or off-white. (I used Kona Snow) 
Book fabrics: anything goes!  Great use for scraps!  I love novelty fabrics so if you have scraps of those, great, but honestly, everything will work in this.

Optional Embellishments & Variations
I would love one or more of the following embellishments or variations in your block, but these are completely optional, as I know I will love all bookshelf blocks.

  • Choose a theme for your bookshelf!  You see I did one with all monkey fabrics.  Anything goes here; the sky is the limit! A single color family could also be a theme.
  • Add an object to your bookshelf. Anything you might put on a shelf.
  • Add titles to one or more of your books.  The book titles in my examples are printed because I use printing on fabrics for my quilt labels and I’ve been using any extra space left on the sheet lately to print out titles of some of my favorite books.  Handwritten titles with Micron or similar fabric-safe pens are fine, too. I’ve also seen selvages used for this and that works too.

And Now For the Tutorial!
Again, method is totally up to you, but here is one way to do it. This is for the most basic row of books.

Get your book spines ready. These will be strips of varying widths and heights. Lay these out in the order you like. I found it useful to take a picture at this point to refer to later.

line them up and when you like how they look, take a picture

Cut a long strip of your background fabric.  I cut mine 8″ x WOF; if you have shorter books this may be cutting it to close, in which case do 10″ wide.  You won’t need the entire width of fabric.

Take your book spines and your background fabric to the sewing machine.  Place each spine face down against the background piece, and sew the  short end to the background piece.  Leave about 1/4″ in between spines, and chain piece.

chain piece each book spine to the background fabric

This is what it will look like when you have sewn them all to the background:

all sewn together!

Now line up your ruler and trim each book and the background sewn to it.

trim

Press each book piece.

press

Sew your books together, lining up from the bottom of the books.  This is where having a picture from before you started sewing helps!  Your backgrounds will not line up at this point.

books sewn together, before trimming

Trim your block to 13″ high.

finished block

That’s it!  Let me know if you have any questions.  Thanks so much, and I can’t wait to see what you make!

Planted Pines ~ November Bee Block

Planted Pines ~ November Bee Block

I live among pine trees, planted Loblolly pines, with my husband on his family’s century farm so for my block I decided to design a pine tree block, Planted Pines.  It was a gorgeous fall day, just look how blue the sky was in this unedited photo.

Pine TreesThese pines have just been thinned (for the 2nd time) and will be clear-cut in another 10 years or more.  Then, the process of planting and cutting will start all over again making forestry a natural renewable resource.

In the tree farming business, the tallest and straightest pines trees are most desirable bringing the most money at saw mill.  That’s why I designed my Planted Pines quilt block to be tall and lean just like the pine trees.

Planted Pines Blocks

Planted Pines blocks finish at exactly 6″ in width and approximately 18″ in height (give or take).  Unfinished size is 6 1/2″ x 18 1/2″.  The blocks are constructed from flying geese units, a tree trunk section and the ground, or more commonly referred to around here as red hills in the upstate of South Carolina.

Here are a few examples of planted pines blocks.  As you can see, they can be constructed from two, three or four flying geese units or half triangles if you wish.  How large or small and the degree of the angle for the ground is up to you.  You are welcome to add a bit of background to increase the length of your Planted Pines block.

Planted Pine BlocksPlanted Pines are constructed from a variety of more earthy greens in solids, tone-on-tones and prints with very little colors other than neutrals.  There are exceptions, a tree would be beautiful in this Kaffe Fassett print which includes a little purple.

Greens for blocksFor the tree trunks, any browns from solids to tone-on-tones will work fine.  And for the backgrounds please use creams, light tans, light gray, white or low volume.  Here are some examples.

Creams for blocksFabric for the ground or red clay has been mailed to everyone.  It’s burnt orange from In The Beginning Fabrics.  I included 2 patches should you be industrious, but one will be appreciated.

I’ve made two blocks so far…

Planted Pines Bee Block 1

Planted Pines Bee Block 2Now you have the idea, let’s start piecing Planted Pines.

Flying Geese Units 

We will start with the Flying Geese units.  These measurements are for the sew and flip method for 1 flying geese unit, but you are welcome to use the 4 at a time method.

You will need:

  • (2) Background squares 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
  • (1) Green rectangle 6 1/2″ x 3 1/2″

Planted Pines Flying Geese 1Draw a line diagonally from corner to corner,  I used a hera marker.  I also marked a line 1/2″ away from the first line.  I plan to make bonus half square triangles (HSTs).

Planted Pines Flying Geese 2Stitch on one or both lines.

Planted Pines Flying Geese 3Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ or cut between the two sewn lines.  TIP:  If you press and set the seam(s) before you trim,  you will have less distortion when pressing the bias seams.  Since I am making the bonus HSTs, I flipped the unit over and pressed the seam toward the dark.

Planted Pines Flying Geese 4Repeat with the other background square on the opposite side.

Planted Pines Flying Geese 5And now you have one flying geese unit.  Repeat to make a total of 2, 3 or 4 flying geese.  Sew the geese together with a scant 1/4″ seam.  Press the seams toward the top of the tree.

Planted Pines Flying Geese 6

Update 11/1/17 – For making flying geese using the 4 at a time no waste method: Cut (1) green square 7 1/4″ and (4) background squares 3 7/8″.  Generations Quilt Patterns has a nice tutorial.

Tree Trunk

Let’s move on to the tree trunk.  The measurements here will result in a tree trunk that finishes at 1″ wide.  But feel free to adjust your cutting to make a skinnier or fatter tree.  You will need:

  • (1) Background rectangle 6″ wide x approximately 8″ long (can vary depending on the number of flying geese units your plan to incorporate in to your block)
  • (1) Brown rectangle 1 1/2″ x approximately 8″ long 

Planted Pines Trunk 1Cut the background rectangle in half lengthwise resulting in two smaller rectangles measuring 3″ x 8″ approx.

Planted Pines Trunk 2Sew the trunk between the two background rectangles.  Press the seams toward the trunk (dark).  The important measurement here is the width of the unit which should be exactly 6 1/2″ wide.  Trim or square up the sides and the top of the tree trunk unit if necessary.

Planted Pines Trunk 3

The Ground or Red Hills

I live right at the edge of the mountains so the landscape around here is anything but level.  Feel free to make your ground as steep as you like.  I will show you how to maintain the straight of grain while piecing the trunk and ground together.  You will need:

  • (1) Ground rectangle 7″ x 4″ (approximately)
  • (1) Tree Trunk unit

Lay the tree trunk unit on your cutting mat and decide the angle of your ground.  You can audition the slope with your ruler.

Planted Pines Trunk 5Leave your ruler in place and make the cut.

Planted Pines Trunk 6Lay the ground rectangle on your cutting mat like so.  Place the tree trunk unit over the ground fabric centering it from side to side and keeping the sides parallel to to the lines on your cutting mat.

Planted Pines Ground 1Place your ruler along the bottom edge of the tree trunk unit and cut on the angle.

Planted Pines Ground 2

The tree trunk and ground should look like this. The ground should be wider than the tree trunk unit.

Planted Pines Ground 3Flip the tree trunk unit down toward the ground and align the raw edges.  The ground fabric should extend beyond the tree trunk on both sides.

Planted Pines Ground 4Stitch with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.  Press the seam toward the ground fabric.

Planted Pines Ground 5Trim the ground to 6 1/2″ wide.  A 6 1/2″ rule makes trimming a breeze.

Planted Pines Ground 6See how center of the center of the ruler goes right down the center of the tree trunk?

Planted Pines Ground 7It should look like so after trimming up, 6 1/2″ wide by aprox. 10″ tall.

Planted Pines Ground 8Join the flying geese and tree trunk/ground to complete the block.  The block should be 6 1/2″ wide.  The length should be approximately 18 1/2″, but if it is shorter or longer, it’s fine and you’ll see why in a bit.  Congratulations, you’ve completed a Planted Pines block.

Planted Pines detail sm.jpg

More about the Trees and Ground

This is a beautiful sunset behind the pines.

IMG_7856The trees were thinned this summer and here is a glimpse of the operation.

Cut treesThe trees are sorted into chip-n-saw for making waferboard used in new construction and into pulp wood for making paper.  I would like to think its going to make the cardboard bolts for holding fabric but there’s no way to know.

The trees are cut to length for hauling.  Look at the size of that blade.

Sorting treesThere is always the chance of loosing trees from high winds or ice build up.  This tree was blown over in a recent storm.

Fallen PineI’m not exaggerating  about the color of the red clay in the soil.  This is a photo of the root ball from the fallen tree.  That’s why I picked out this solid from In the Beginning Fabrics.  The color is burnt orange and I found it at my local quilt shop.

Red Clay

Planted Pines Quilt Layout

This is the layout I have planned for the Planted Pines quilt blocks.   The blocks will be sewn into vertical rows with spacing added as needed to complete each row.  That’s the reason why the length of the blocks is not as critical.

Planted Pines no seams sm wm

I plan to make a lap quilt.  I mailed each of my Bee Inspired bee mates 2 pieces of ground fabric, but if you only have time for one block, that’s just fine.  I look forward to building my tree farm from your blocks.  Please share your block(s) on social media #PlantedPinesQuilt and tag me @QuiltedBlooms.

Looking ahead to 2018

I have had such a great year with you ladies, and I am thrilled we all want to continue in 2018! Many thanks to Irene for leading us this year. I am honored to take a turn as Hive Mama next year and continue in her footsteps.

I’ve been talking to our fabulous Mastermind Kate, and we’ve set up the basic groundwork for 2018. We are going to double up on Queens in two months: March & September. This will leave November as a catch-up month.

If there are any months that you do NOT want to be queen due to whatever reason, let me (Emily) know–comment on this post, comment or PM on Facebook, or email will all work. I’m going to put all our names on slips of paper in one bowl and the months (with 2 Marches and 2 Septembers) on slips of paper in another bowl. I’ll draw a name and a month. If that name has the drawn month on their “no” list, both slips go back in the bowls. Otherwise, match made. And so on. So it will basically be a random draw with people getting to say no to certain months. I think it will be the fairest and simplest way to assign months.

I want to give our January queen as much notice as possible, so I’m hoping to announce the month assignments mid-November. (I’m aiming for November 15th, 2 weeks from today.) So if everyone could get me their “no” months in the next week, that would be great.

Enough about 2018, let’s finish 2017! I’m looking forward to Paige’s tree block and since December is such a crazy month, I’ll get my tutorial out early so we can wrap up this year!

Update on October Blocks!

Hi Ladies!

Just a quick note to show you what I’ve accumulated so far with both the blocks I have made myself and the ones I have received.  Velda, I just got yours in the mail.  Thank you!  I was hoping you would use your cute Gypsy Wife scraps on one of them and you did!

This will not be the final layout.  I am just throwing them up on the wall as they come in or as I make one.  If anyone is unsure about what I like and you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!  I like hearing from you.  🙂  A couple of the blocks I made are pretty busy and I may not use them but I wanted to try and see how they would turn out.  Ya never know ’til you try!

Don’t forget, the block is only 8 inches so please make two.  Thanks so much!  I am loving what has come in so far!

design wall 5

7fbd6-janice