It’s a Piece of Cake.

Hi and welcome to the merry merry month of May.  Its definitely spring here, there, and  everywhere in the northern Hemisphere.  So, IMHO its time to celebrate surviving another long cold winter.

At our house, when we celebrate there is always a big beautiful cake involved.  Sadly, my favourite cakes are chock-a-block full of  carbs, sugar and other things which are not great for my waistline.  So, whatdaya say we make fabric cakes instead.

Before we get to the recipe lets talk about general tools and ingredients.

  • Make your Cake dimensions as per the pattern on line
  • Choose any shade of grey, preferably a tone on tone, or small-scale print for the block backgrounds
  • Cake stands can be any shade of teal or turquoise, solids or prints are fine
  • Cake stand design – choose the one that suits your cake block parameters or modify  one that you like – or design one of your own as long as it fits within the parameters of the block
  • You choose the kind of cake that teases your tastebuds.  There are lots of choices provided.  Give it a name if possible – Turtle cheesecake, Black Forest cake, etc. (Irene, I’m really anticipating something awesome from your fabric pantry)

The pattern we are using is called “Sweet Cakes”. Its a a free downloadable pattern by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics.  I cannot give you the link to the pattern as it is encrypted, but I am happy to give you instructions on how to go there yourself to download a copy of the pattern for your own use.

Go to by clicking here

  1. Click on “Get Inspired”
  2. Choose “Free Downloads”
  3. Scroll through until you come to the Sweet Cakes Pattern. (Pattern cover has a navy blue background and 9 yummy looking cakes)
  4. Click on “Download pattern”
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “download instructions”
  6. Save the download to your computer or print it out. (I printed mine out so I wouldn’t always be having to go back to computer).
  7. Choose which cake you want to make and which cake-stand you want to put it on
  8. Bake it

Here is one I made just before Christmas.


Strawberry Torte

And, here is another one.


Orange Explosion Cake

Let me know if you have any problems getting this pattern to download.  Also let me know if you do not have the technology on your computer to download the pattern.  You may also be able to find a link to the pattern on Pinterest.

Thanks so much for baking me a cake. I’m looking forward to taking a delicious bite from each and every one.

It looks like “Murder” to me….

It looks like “Murder” to me….

This is a very short post for my “Bee Inspired” Quilty buddies across the cyber world. This month one of our group is dealing with the  worry, unease, and anxiety that comes when a family member is sick.  Karen, my whole family reaches out to yours with a sincere hope that your dad rebounds from his illness and makes a good recovery.

When Karen asked for volunteers to switch Queen Bee months  so that she could help her mom and dad, I offered, even though I had not completely decided what Block I was going to request from you.  Fortunately  my newest project was screaming for help.  I am calling the quilt “It looks like Murder to Me”.


Crazy Coloured Crows!

See my sample block below for these  fabulously wingy things.  I think  they are awaaaaay too cute.  Amirite? Just sayin….


FYI…a group of crows is a called a  “Murder”.  And, because my block is made up of  4 crows,  technically speaking each block is an actual  “Murder” of crows. Who knew…

Block Information

Please make 4 bird segments similar or not similar to the four in the block above but don’t sew them together.  I want to mix and match your crows with some I’ve made and with some plain blocks and possibly some trees I’m imagining up even as I write this.

As you may or may not know, I love love love colour, so please indulge me by

  • using  lots of brightly coloured,  or black on white, or white on black,  fabrics for the 3 1/2″ square body pieces.
  • If you used black/white fabric for the 3 1/2″ square body parts, then please use bright coloured fabric on the 1 1/2 x 3 1/2″ body rectangles (or vice versa of course).
  • The itty bitty beaks can be colourful scraps that contrast with the other fabrics.
  • Legs can be any colour that strikes your fancy.
  • The backgrounds can be as scrappy (or not!) as you like using low volume fabrics.  (I used the same fabric for all the background pieces in the lower left segment above and I think that looks great in one segment too.)
  • let your improv wings soar (pun intended).  The birds can stand facing either left or right …beaks can be big or small…legs can be straight or on an angle.  Really, seriously, whatever floats your boat.

As you can tell by my blog post, I have an unorthodox relationship with the crows that inhabit my tiny world, and I want to celebrate it with this quirky little quilt.  I cannot wait to see the finished blocks.

Ladies, when you are finished your blocks, please make a short post on our Facebook page to say they are in the mail, but don’t post any pictures of your crows…I’m planning a contest to see if we are getting to know each other well enough yet to be able to tell who made each crow.   I will post lots of pics I promise.  I’m already all a-twitter to see them…sigh…I am so pathetic. 





Gnomes and Trees and Perth

Kate's block

Here we are Kate, my Trees and Gnomes for you! I hope you like it! Like everyone else it was a new technique for me. Don’t worry it’s not as yellow as this photo makes it look. I’ll be interested in seeing the finish… for this Christmas?

Since I didn’t come back and post last month I thought I’d tell you a bit about where I live this month. I enjoyed all your posts about your towns! Maybe one day I’ll visit.


This is Perth, Western Australia (as opposed to it’s namesake in Scotland). It’s a city that’s been built in spurts on the back of mining booms – first gold in the 1890’s and most recently iron ore for China so it is a mostly modern city.



We have long hot summers and beautiful white sandy beaches so Perth has a really strong beach culture.

swan valley

I used to live in a beachside suburb but now I’m further inland close to the wine growing, micro-brewery, distillery, chocolate making area. In fact the nearest winery is a 10 minute walk away from my house. I’m not sure how long it would take to walk home ;-).  Luckily the area is a tourist drawcard and is protected from housing development and it will stay that way forever – yay!

Fremantle is the port for Perth and probably the most historic area with buildings that show the beginnings of the state as a convict settlement. It also gives it’s name to the Fremantle Doctor, a stiff breeze that blows in off the ocean in the afternoons in summer keeping the place a few degrees cooler.

Kings Park

Perth also has the world’s largest inner city park, Kings Park. It has areas of botanic park and bushland. The first photo was taken from there since it overlooks the city, and this photo shows a boab tree from the Kimberley region in the tropical north (Western Australia is a big state) which was transported on the back of a truck to preserve it from destruction when they were putting a road through.


Perth’s other drawcard is Rottnest Island, known locally as Rotto. It’s a small island, about an hour by ferry off the coast, that is a short holiday destination for locals. There is a bus service but no cars and you get around it by cycling or by walking. It’s all about the beaches again here as well. It’s a good place for a day-trip but a great place to stay for a weekend. It’s claim to fame is that it is one of the few places to home the cutest little version of kangaroo ever – the quokka. They actually gave the island it’s name when the Dutch explorers mistook them for rats (I would hate to come across a rat that size!).

January Block for Sharon

sharons-bee-blockI loved making this block, Sharon. I love a paper pieced block anyway so I was over the moon with that and the block was simple and easy to put together. I actually think it took me longer to choose the fabric for this than to sew it – I deliberated for days and had fabric strewn around the lounge. I’m still not sure but I hope you like it!

It’s all packed and ready to post!




Me and My Brown Paws

Me and My Brown Paws

Hello, I’m Ann of BrownPawsQuilting.


This is me and my pup Bucky.  He’s my bud.


This is the whole (canine) furry family – Leo (BrownPaws), Bucky, and our corgi Maggie.  The cats chose not to participate in the family photo.

I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico and work as an engineering manager.  I’ve been quilting for about 20 years, but started my blog just under a year ago.  I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people via the blog and via social media, and have learned so much in the past year – both about blogging and about quilting.   This group will be my first try at a Bee, and I’m anxious to figure it all out!

You can read more about me on my page and on my New Bloggers Blog Hop stop.   Some quick hits:

  • We spend a lot of time in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  This is my sewing location when I’m there (it is a small place so I only do cutting and piecing there):


  • I changed jobs about 6 months ago, leaving a place I had been for 23 years.  It has been quite an adjustment and I’m working hard to keep focus on my sewing!
  • I also recently bought a long arm, which was something I wanted to do for a long time.  Now I am working up a very steep learning curve.  This quilt is my first quilt top I’ve finished on the long arm.  It is a bow tie quilt top I made several years ago and figured it would be a good one to start playing with:


  • I used to do a lot of work with dying fabrics and using those fabrics in my quilts.  I haven’t done as much of that recently, but I do really love working with the colors.  This is my wedding quilt I made several years ago.  I had people sign the light purple pieces at the reception.full-quilt


  • I also enjoy reading (mainly audiobooks right now), music, Star Wars, and am a very large University of Wisconsin Badger fan – hence the dog named Bucky!

These are two recent things I’ve been working on…

The Sugar Block Club 3.0 blocks – blocks are all done, just need to figure out a layout…


Embroidery blocks for a Moda Bake Shop Pattern called the Bee-utiful Quilt-a-long.  The embroidery has been fun.  So far I’ve completed twelve of the twenty total blocks.



Thanks for adding me to the group – I look forward to getting to know you all and working on our blocks!


G’day from Orstralya

I’m Sue and I live and work full-time in Perth, Western Australia. It’s summer here at the moment so while the rest of you are shovelling your way through snow we are sweltering through a forecast top of 42°C which, in my opinion, is just unnecessarily hot!


I generally avoid posting photos of myself but, for you… this is a photo I took on my camera when I first got it. It has a selfie mode where the backscreen folds up so you can see yourself and I was playing around with it to see how it worked. It was never meant to see the light of day as you can see from my paint spattered gardening t-shirt but it has turned out to be one of my best photos, perhaps because I’m not trying too hard. And those reading glasses – I think I’ll wear them more often!

I’m from the generation that learned to sew as a youngster which I pretty much only dabbled in up until my late 30s when I decided I wanted to do a bit more. My garment sewing needs much improvement and is frankly disheartening. Enter quilting which I discovered when I visited a few local fabric stores that were converting from hybrid dressmaking sewing stores to quilting only as the popularity for the craft picked up in Australia. I was filled with the enthusiastic obsessive passion of the beginner quilter which wore off and then returned when I discovered modern quilting. I love the simplicity of the minimalist designs and they really suit the amount of time I have available to sew as well.

This year will be my first time for participating in a bee and I got a place in Hive 1 in Stash Bee as well. I’m not the type of person who leaves deadlines till the last minute so you can expect your blocks on time!

I’m up in February but before then I’ll post a bit of info about keeping postage costs down for the long trip out here, I just need to double check my facts first.

I’m so excited to get started!

Sue xx

Tu-Na Tells All: Well Almost All

Hi! Since this is my intro post I thought I’d share a bit of who I am, what I do, and how I manage to function between two houses. Yes, that’s right; read on.

My name is Karen and sometimes I comment on your blogs as Tu-Na Quilts, Karen, or Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats (that is the full title of my blog) depending on what blog reader I’m using at the moment. I know I should be consistent and I will work on that. If you don’t know why I’m Tu-Na, check out this blog post. If after reading all of this, you still want to know more About Me or want to read my intro post for the New Quilt Bloggers Hop last June because you might have missed it, just click on those highlighted areas.


We’re taking new family pics this year. It’s time to update the old model.

I am a mom of five grown children and four young grandchildren. I spent the first 23 or so years being a mom-at-home and then went back to work in Early Childhood Education when my youngest was in second grade—I even earned a Master’s degree at age 53. After working for a few more years, I decided to retire early and do what I really enjoy doing the most: quilting, traveling, and eating (cooking and baking). In April of 2016, I decided to document my journey doing those things and created my blog. I made my first quilt when I was 16. It was an unusual quilt resulting in a marriage proposal—which I turned down. I have no pics of that quilt. You’ll have to read my bl0g post here to find out what happened to it.

Once my husband (whom is often referred to as Tu-Na Helper on my blog) retired, we made a decision to escape the cold winter.


This pic was taken several years ago but ND has had an abundance of snow again this year; they had three blizzards in two weeks dumping over 36 inches of snow. My son said he’s shoveled a 5 foot snowdrift from in front of our door. He’s getting the house ready for our return trip for the holiday. Yeah, it seemed like a good idea when we booked our tickets in July. Now I’m wondering what were we thinking. We’ll be in for over a hundred degree difference in weather.

Now when the weather turns cold and snow is in the forecast, we head to our house in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area. We made it there just in time this year as we encountered snow in Denver on our way through. Luckily it was swirling in the air and not accumulating on the ground yet. We stay in Arizona until the weather turns warm up north and then head back to North Dakota. (You may have heard about the oil protest stuff going on here. My house is only 50 miles from their encampment.) We left Arizona last year when the Saguaro Cacti were blooming and it was 106° the day before.

I can hear many of you asking why my husband is called Tu-Na Helper. He guest wrote a post explaining it here. This past summer we spent 9 days driving around the state of Minnesota on their annual Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop and I put him in charge of photographing the interior and exterior of shops while I interviewed (for a daily post on the blog) and shopped.


Finally, a bit about how I manage working/quilting between two houses. It’s not easy as what I need, be it a tool or piece of fabric, is usually at the other house. Since I’ve only been traveling between two houses for three winters now, I’m still in the acquiring-stash-and-a-second-set-of-tools-in-the-Arizona-house stage.

I’ve been using my 50% and 60% off coupons from JoAnn’s Fabrics to help with buying tools for either house. So how’s that working for me? Last winter I took my big 15″ square ruler to AZ. I purchased another one there to bring back to ND as I couldn’t pass up that great coupon. You guessed it; when I left in the spring, I forgot that ruler in AZ so that meant I had to buy another one in ND as I needed it to square up some 14.5″ blocks. I still have both of those two large square rulers in AZ and one in ND.

As for fabric, after the MN Shop Hop this summer, I have a nice selection (stash) in ND. I’m working on acquiring more stash in AZ. Besides that, can one ever have too much? Being in a scrap bee will be interesting in AZ as I hardly have any scraps at that house yet. I guess that’s just an excuse to go out to visit some new quilt shops and raid their clearance section. I’ve taken all my 1930s repro fabrics to AZ as any of those projects will be done there.

I am a big thrift shopper and enjoy looking for bargains. We live within a 10 mile radius of over a hundred Goodwill, thrift, and antique shops (the Phoenix metro area has 75 Goodwill stores alone). Only once so far, and that was recently, have I ever found some quality quilting fabric at them.

Each year I’ve been dragging my beloved 20 year old Pfaff Creative 1475CD sewing machine back and forth between houses. This year, to lighten our load as we drive a Prius and we want to get to the stage to be able to fly back and forth, I decided to leave my Pfaff in ND and look for a good used machine. After all, I figured I’d have a better chance of finding a good sewing machine in AZ due to all the people selling out and moving out or moving on.


I often sew with my mom. Here we’re working on a project in my kitchen/dining room. People often say we look alike.

Needless to say, I looked for a couple of weeks and finally decided I had to buy new. I’ll be posting about that sometime after the New Year on my blog. In the meantime, I’ve scheduled a bunch of great pics of how Arizona decorates for the holidays so pop on over to my blog to check them out. And then look for some interesting Happy New Year from North Dakota pics to come.


Here’s one of my favorites found in my housing development. His nose looks like it’s a little bent out of shape though.

Enough about me, now it’s your turn.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Posting pics from my site’s media library onto this site isn’t easy even though both are but I think I’ve got it figured out.
  2. I probably wrote way more than I needed for an intro. Sometimes it’s hard to stop when one is on a roll.
  3. I’m probably the only one who finds my life fascinating and that’s probably how it should be.
  4. At times, I can be so full of it….


Hello all.  I just thought I’d take this opportunity to introduce myself to the group.

I am retired…Hubby and I moved home to PEI Canada from Alberta in July 2014.  We absolutely love the simple life we share with our two man cats, Ed and Phinny and a big black Standard Poodle, Tigg.  We are adding another poodle puppy to our pack later in December. O yeah, we also have 3 adult kids, along with two wonderful son-in-laws and two grandkids, one grown up and living in Victoria BC, the other only 10 years old.

I started quilting on a whim around 20 years ago and immediately fell in love with this art form. I describe myself as a contemporary quilter because more often than not, I am drawn to big beautiful bold colourful quilts made with modern fabrics.  I love love love taking a traditional block and making it look all shiny and modern by using something fabulous from Alexander Henry or Tula Pink to name a couple of my current fave fabric designers.

I often have many projects underway at the same time….Right now I am 2/3 finished a quilt from a pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful called Chic Picnic.  I am also working on two Splendid Sampler quilts…(this was a huuuuge unwieldy commitment which may or may not get finished in the next month or so…I  quit making blocks in October because I already have enough for my quilts). Also tucked away in a cupboard is a partly finished Gene Pool quilt from a pattern by Jen Kingwell (another favourite designer of mine), that I bring out every month or so to work on for a few days. On American Thanksgiving I finished my “100 Blocks in 100 Days” challenge. YAY!  This quilt top is ready to go to be long-arm quilted, early in the New Year. In August I joined a Canada Wide “Patchwork City” QAL that has another 6 months or so to go.  Just last month the PEI Modern Quilt Guild  sent out sign up sheets for its 2017 Round Robin quilt group and our 2017  Behive groups.  I signed up for both. So, as you can tell I spend lots of time every day in my sewing room and I love it.

There is not much more to tell anyone about me.  I blog somewhat sporadically at so feel free to pop over there to visit.  Finally here is a photo of me so you can all put a face to my name.

I am really excited to get to know each of you over the next year or so. Let’s have lots of fun and share our creative ideas!