French Poodle for Karen!

Poodle done!  And now I’ll search my stash for some pink or wine to send with it.  Karen, thanks so much for making up those labels for us.  That was a SUPER help!


If you have a rotating cutting mat, this project is a good one to pull it out for!

rotating cutting mat

I was so excited to get this done that I took a picture right away.  It could use a good pressing.  🙂  Now to search my stash for a nice pink or wine for Karen’s happy mail!



Tu-Na Travels: Day Two in Paris and Poodle Block Cutting Tips

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two in Paris and Poodle Block Cutting Tips

On the second day of Paris, my true love gave to me:

A walk to the Eiffel tower during the day and another one at night,

and some great looking and delicious French desserts.


This was our first selfie we ever took. By the end of the trip, we would become better at it. My sister took many of our selfie pictures of our Europe trip and created a calendar with them which she gifted to us for Christmas that year.


We would hike that “your apartment is two blocks from the tower” route many times during our ten day stay. All I can say is that our travel agent has a different definition of two blocks than we do. Paris is a great city to walk around. While we bought an unlimited subway pass, we didn’t use it very much. We got lots of exercise.


I never tired of looking at the Eiffel tower. In fact, I think we walked past it at least twice daily and many days again at night.

Paris is filled with cute little pastry shops and yes we did our fair share of sampling. We often walked past the pastry shop close to our apartment and bought dessert for later.


This is a no-calorie picture but do wipe the drool from your phone or keyboard. Standing in front of this counter admiring the beauty and freshness, it would take me a long time to decide which dessert I would have. We often bought two different ones and cut them in half and shared. I think my husband suggested that as a way to decrease the time spent in front of this counter and increase the time spent elsewhere.


No trip to Paris would be complete without tasting some delicious macaroons which cost over 5 Euros a piece. I overheard a conversation between two women about where to buy the best macaroons. (Obviously, I missed something in the conversation as they also were the most expensive ones we found.) My husband and I were able to locate that place and do concur that they were good, but not as good as the ones my niece has learned to make.

What I learned today….Jeudi April 17, 2014

  1. The word dessert is spelled the same way in English and French.
  2. More things I miss about Germany…the amplemann (little man on the traffic light). When he turned red, all pedestrians stopped as fines are high to cross the street there. In France, it (walk/don’t walk lights) appears to be merely a suggestion.   Wurst (sausage). There are only four kinds here.   Bread. The baguettes here are good but the bread and rolls we had in Germany were excellent and had a nice crust.
  3. Order tickets online and in advance to go to the top of the Eiffel tower. We waited in line for over an hour and a half this afternoon and when we got to the ticket counter, all of today’s tickets to the top were gone as they only issue so many per day. (Really, we were the first people they turned away that day.) We did walk up to the next level for a spectacular view of Paris. One lady told me she ordered her upper level ticket in September. We might try again but go earlier in the morning.
  4. How to set my priorities straight when shopping for lunch at the food market across the street from our apartment. Grab a food basket and put in a bottle of French wine, then some really good and expensive cheese (because the cheese lady behind the counter didn’t speak English and thought I meant expensive rather than good tasting), and fresh strawberries. Finally, add some French pastries on top.
  5. To ask Parlez-vous anglais (do you speak English)?

Poodle Block Tips:

Previous posts:

Tu-Na Quilts: All Aboard. Fasten Your Seatbelts. We’re Taking Off for…  You will find the pattern link in this post.

Tu-Na Travels: Day One in Paris which includes Part un (1): Pattern and Fabric Selection

Now on to Part deux (2): Cutting and Anatomy Labeling

(Sorry this post was delayed due to an important delivery I needed to make Tu-Na Quilts: We Have an Elephant Parade) and Tu-Na Quilts: ___’s Arrived!!!

I am using the Right facing poodle from The Objects of Design.

Cutting Tips:

  • Use a cutting check list and labels. To help save some time, I made a cutting check list and labels for the parts of this block. I improved the one I previously  posted by adding label names (in red) onto the cutting checklist. So refer to the pdf and save yourself some time. Maybe it’s the teacher in me (ok. early childhood educator) or the quest to make things easier and simpler that keeps me coming up with new and improved ways to do things. You can download the labels and cutting checklist here Right facing poodle cutting checklist and labels
  • Strive to cut accurately. This pattern calls for quite a lot of small pieces. I’ve had to learn the hard way when working with small pieces in other projects to insure that my blocks turned out the right size and not too small. The key, I found, is in accurate cutting….and using a scant 1/4″ seam when sewing.

When I cut, I line up the ruler making sure that the edge of the fabric covers the window (look at the arrows). It doesn’t seem like much but over several pieces and many seams, it can add up. Since I’ve started doing this my blocks are coming out closer to the sizes indicated in pattern directions.

Let’s Begin. It’s easy as 1, 2, 3.

#1. Cut the strips. Following the cutting checklist or Sally’s tutorial, cut the fabric into strips using the measuerements given.


I like to check them off as I go along which is why I like to print out a checklist. Here are all the strips laid out. Since I was using some fat quarters, I had to cut several lengths to get strips that would add up to the length of the measurements that were given.


I cut some 1.5″ squares for my postage stamp quilt right away.

#2 Cut the strips into pieces.  Following Sally’s tutorial or the cutting checklist, cut the strips into pieces. The new and improved pdf cutting checklist includes the label name to attach to the piece as it is cut. I’m thinking of ways to save you some time.


Here’s all the pieces ready to label.  So I had to follow the tutorial and measure them all again in order to put the label on. It was at this point that I thought, hmmm, there’s got to be a faster and easier way to label these than having to go and remeasure. So I came up with the idea of including the label on the cutting checklist so you can cut and label as you go.  


#3. Label the pieces.  Using the labels provided in my pdf, label right after you cut the piece and then set it aside. If your sewing room is prone to visits by little whirlwinds or small wild tornadoes or if you like to keep your windows open, I highly suggest pinning or clipping them on with Clover Clips.


There looks like a lot of pieces but once you’ve got them cut and prepped, it sews together quickly. Sally says in her tutorial that once you are done cutting you’ve finished the hardest part.

Note: Not all pieces will be labeled. All the pieces without labels are extras and used for the corners or will be sewn onto other pieces. It will all become clearer.


I’ve set aside the extra pieces without labels. I’ll be using them soon enough.

These labels were a hair saver for me. The first time I made the block, I came back from lunch and had to remeasure and figure out what was what and ended up cutting more pieces only to find them later. There was lots of hair-pulling going on as I wondered if I’d gotten in way over my head with this poodle block idea. So I thought making some labels would save both of us time and hair.

That’s it for part deux. Coming soon: Part trois (3): Prepping the Furry Accent Pieces (Foot poofs, Tail, and Ear)

What I Learned Today:

  1. Reviewing the 4890 pictures of our Europe trip took much longer than I expected as my husband and I talked, laughed, and cried over the memories.
  2. We thought the French macaroons were delicious until we tasted the ones made by our niece for her high school graduation last year. I don’t think she has any French heritage in her. I need to get her recipes.
  3. We need to plan another trip to Paris; I better start saving.
  4. I have no fabric will-power. I stopped at one of my local quilt shops yesterday and bought 28 yards of fabric at $6.99 per yard. All were current designs from great manufacturers like Moda, Robert Kaufman, etc. This seriously cut into plans for  #3 above.
  5. I miss the little whirlwinds and small wild tornadoes that I used to have swirling about my house. They grew up and moved away much too fast.

Question: Have you eaten or made a macaroon? What’s your favorite dessert item? While I’ve never made a macaroon, I want to get my niece’s recipes and try. She made a strawberry macaroon that was absolutely delicious as well as several others that were almost as good. My favorite dessert is homemade Strawberry Shortcake. Yum!!! I think I will make some for dessert on Sunday. However, I don’t have whipping cream and a drive to the grocery store would mean I’d be going very close to that quilt shop again. Definitely a problem!!

Au Revoir

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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.

Linking with Yvonne for Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

Tu-Na Travels: Day One in Paris

Tu-Na Travels: Day One in Paris

I set foot on Parisian soil for the first time in mid April of 2014. My husband and I were on a month long voyage to Europe with stops in Germany, Paris, and London. We had just taken the TGV train from Stuttgart to Paris. During my stay, I wrote in a journal about the things I learned and I want to share them with you.

Paris signa

This sign welcomed us at the TGV station in Paris.


But first a little story about some good-looking French men.

Our travel agent had secured an apartment for us two blocks from the Eiffel tower. I was so excited hoping that I could draw back the window drapes and have a view every morning of it.

Eiffel tower 17a

There was construction happening at the tower. Part of the floor was being replaced with glass.

Anyway, after debarking from the TGV and dragging four suitcases (two for each of us) plus our personal packs (backpack for my husband and a large, very large purse for me), we walked to the subway station entrance so we could travel to that apartment. I peered down, down a very long steep set of stairs leading to the underground station. As I was about to start hoisting my two bags down all those steps, I heard a voice.

“Mademoiselle, S’il vous plaît.” He repeated it again. This melodic sound came from a tall, dark haired, good-looking, French man who was now standing right beside me.

suitcases 1a

O.K. So this is a recreation of the moment but those are the same suitcases, although a little more worn than then.


“Oui, oui, Merci,” I feebly uttered with the accent of a frog as he grabbed one of the suitcases and bounded down the steps. I stood at the top just watching him for a few seconds while another handsome French man grabbed the other suitcase and trotted down those steps as if he were moving on level ground.

I was still standing at the top mesmerized by what had occurred as my two suitcases were gently placed side by side at the bottom and the bearers quickly disappeared into the crowd. They had sailed past my husband as he struggled to navigate those steep stairs while heavily laden with more weight and bags than we should have brought.

I hoisted my purse on my shoulder and hopped down the stairs while my husband, mouth opened, looked up at me in utter amazement wondering what had just happened.

My first impression of the city was that young French men are very helpful.


What I Learned Today….Mercredi April 16, 2014

  1. The TGV’s (train) top speed between Stuttgart and Paris was 320 kph. Do the conversion. It was a very smooth ride! We made the trip in 3.5 hours. No conversion needed.
  2. How much I miss Germany: the clean cities, the quiet streets, the three-ply soft toilet paper.
  3. I’m feeling 30 years younger. I had three hot French men in their 30s call me “Mademoiselle” and offer to carry my suitcases up and down the stairs at the train station. Of course, I let them!
  4. One can’t always trust their travel agent. Our apartment 2 blocks from the Eiffel tower takes us 25 minutes to walk. Obviously it is more than 2 blocks. I wonder what conversion we should have used.
  5. I can’t escape from McDonalds, Starbucks, Burger King, Ford and Chevrolet even in Europe! They’re all over. Our apartment is four floors above a McDonalds and there’s a Starbucks across the street.

I hope you enjoyed today’s little memory about my first day in Paris. I’ll be back with more as I have a hot date this afternoon with my sewing machine to make another French Poodle since, now after writing this, I’m feeling in the mood.

In addition to sharing some other Things I Learned during my Paris trip, I plan to pop in and out this month with some tips and tidbits about the Poodle block I’ve chosen. So if you are feeling like it is a bit over your head, rest assured more info and pics are coming. But if you are confident to tackle it on your own, go right ahead as I think most, if not all of you, are seasoned quilters and I’m probably doing this only for my benefit.

Part un (1): Pattern and Fabric Selection

I covered this on my first post so check it out here (Tu-Na Quilts: All Aboard. Fasten Your Seatbelts. We’re Taking Off for….) on the Bee Inspired Blog if you missed it. Basically, I am asking for blacks and whites. But if you have an elusive black with only pink/wine/burgundy/raspberry/white or white with pink/wine/burgundy/raspberry/black that might make a good body. Let me know if you have questions.

I wrote a post about the poodle block on my blog Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats and we are having a fun game naming groups of things. Did you know that a group of dogs is a pack or kennel and a group of giraffes is a tower? So pop on over here (Tu-Na Quilts: A French Poodle for Moi) to be part of it and comment with the name of a group of something. I wonder who came up with some of those names.

Here’s my fabric selection for this new poodle. 

poodle block 2a

The black with white flowers shown on the bottom left will be the background. The Zest for your nest (middle) fabric will be the body and the white with black swirls shown on the right will be for the furry accents of ear, foot poofs, and tail.


Coming soon: Part deux (2): Cutting and Anatomy Labeling.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Memories are so sweet and pictures help jog it.
  2. I miss Paris.
  3. Maybe it’s time for a new set of suitcases. No, maybe not, as these have too many memories. Besides that, after one trip on the airlines, the new ones would be looking very close to these anyway.

Question: Have you been anywhere fun? Do you have a memory of that trip you’d be willing to share?

Au Revoir,



April and May Brown Paws Blocks

Here we are into June, and I haven’t yet posted about my April and May blocks.  Both were fun to do, and I’m happy with how they came out.

This was April – fun birds for Velda from GrannyCanQuilt.  My first block is this one:

first birds

I’m also making my own set of blocks from a Me+You bundle of batiks, duplicating each of the monthly Bee blocks.  These are the bird blocks I made from my own quilt:

me+you birds

I just love these blocks, and they are a great way of using up scraps.  I might start making my own set of blocks for a big bird quilt!

For May, Irene of Patchwork & Pastry went a very different direction.  She was looking for a very subtle palette with an assortment of grays.  At first I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough grays to  get this block to come together, but I was really surprised with the selection I had.  This was my fabric pull – the photo is in monotone to check the values:

Gray block fabric pull

Her block was a series of 9-patches gradually increasing in size.  Here it is coming together:

gray first piecing

Look at that cute bitty 9-patch!

small 9 patch

And the final block:

gray full block

I’m really pretty happy with it – it came out a bunch better than I thought it would.  I’m going to have to figure out how to adapt this block to my Me+You color palette, which is a lot more colorful.

I hope Velda and Irene like their blocks – both have been sent off.

Now on to French Poodles in June!







Tu-Na Quilts: All Aboard. Fasten Your Seatbelts. We’re Taking Off for…

Paris! Oui, oui, s’il vous plaît. Mes chers amis quilty, un voyage au beau Paris serait tellement merveilleux.*


I apologize for the blurriness. I was in a hurry as we were leaving to head north and remembered to grab a couple of pics. My husband took these pics and we had them made into prints. They are displayed in our guest room.


It was always a dream of mine to visit Paris. Three years ago, it became a reality. I thought you might like to go too.

I have a number of fun and funny posts planned for this month so I hope you’ll check back here often so you won’t be left behind.

My inspiration for my quilt block comes from several sources. I’ll share one now and another on another post. Early this winter my mom and I were shopping for fabric (well, we were just looking) and then I spied this.


It would be perfect for a quilt in our guest room in Arizona. So I bought all that they had which was about 2 1/2 yards because…why not? I think it would be perfect for the sashing.

“What kind of quilt are you going to make?” asked my husband (who is also lovingly refered to as Tu-Na Helper).

Since Velda had already taken my bird idea, I had to come up with another plan. So I looked closer at that fabric and spied this cute little poodle.


Do you see that cute little poodle? The background is bright white although it looks bluish here.


I don’t have a dog but if I ever did it just might be a poodle, a French Poodle. A French poodle block would be perfect to go with my Paris themed guest room.




I found this wonderful addition to our guest room at a thrift shop. In fact, the headboard, each of the two identical lamps, side tables, and the mirror with hooks as shown in the picture above were all found at different thrift shops.


I thought a French poodle quilt would add some whimsy and warmth to our guest room. So that’s going to be our block that I invite you to make for me.


Isn’t she adorable? Although, I think I’ll make it again and use the dots for the body and the swirls for the furry accents.


Pattern: You can find the tutorial and pattern for this adorable poodle here on The Objects of Design blog. You’ll be making the right facing poodle. I am also in Stash Bee Hive 9 and they will be making left facing poodles for me later in the year. 

Fabric selection: You will only be using 4 different fabrics (one for the background, one for the poodle body, one for the furry accent parts, and a solid black for the eye and nose). 

Background possibilities (referred to as White in the pattern tutorial): Please choose one fabric (not scrappy).

  • white on white
  • white with black
  • white with dark gray
  • black on black
  • black with white

Poodle Body (referred to as Light fabric in the pattern tutorial): Your poodle should be the opposite color of your background. Here again, choose one fabric–not scrappy. Example: If you select a black background, then choose a white fabric for the body.

Body possibilities:

  • white on white
  • white with black
  • white with dark gray
  • black on black
  • black with white
  • white or black with pink or wine or burgundy but no other color except gold or silver (I don’t have any samples but thought I’d throw it out there just in case someone has something like that as I think it would make a great poodle body or furry accent.


amb_47 Light wineAmerican Made Brand Fabrics has a wine color (AMB 47 Light wine) that looks like it matches nicely (but then I am just looking at it online and not in person). I included it here to give you a color sample.

Furry Accent (referred to as Dark fabric in the pattern tutorial): Please select a complimentary fabric to your body selection. If using a white fabric, find one that is also white but has lots of contrast that will make it stand out or read as a darker version of your color choice.

Nose tip and eye: Solid black

My quilt will not be all black and white. The cornerstones will be pinks and wines and burgundy. There might be a pink or burgundy flange binding too.


Here’s some pinks and wines with one burgundy/gold that I have that I thought would make nice cornerstones. What do you think?


I am using the picture on the wall in that guest room for inspiration.


If you have a 4.5″ square of pink, pink/white,  white/pink, wine, or burgundy fabric that you’d like to include in the cornerstones, I would really appreciate it.  I would also love to receive a 1.5″ square of each of the fabrics (except the solid black) that you use in this block so I could include it in my postage stamp quilt.

Hints: I dabble in small pieces and there are a fair amount of small pieces in this pattern. To make things a bit easier for you, I made up some labels in the pdf below. Just print, cut them out, and lay them on the anatomical parts so you don’t get confused. Believe me, without labels, when you come back to your sewing machine after your lunch break, you won’t know the ear from the rear.

My next hint is to use a scant 1/4″ seam. Measure and trim as needed. The block will be 14″ unfinished.

Hint number three pertains to pressing seams. The block will be sashed so I won’t have to worry about nesting seams. However, I prefer the seams in the block to be pressed to the side, usually to the dark side (I just finished watching episode 1 of Star Wars so I couldn’t resist putting that in). But there will be times that doing so will make for a very bulky seam so you will need to watch for that and press in the direction that makes the most sense so as to avoid that bulk.

Lastly, read the tutorial through before starting. Note the corrections as I have listed them below. There are a lot of steps. But the poodle comes to life quite quickly once all the pieces are cut and prepped. I’ve prepared a cutting check-off list for you as I found that to be helpful for me and have included it in the pdf below.

Pattern corrections (these will make more sense if you locate the section in the tutorial and note it): 

Cutting Dark fabric: Cut one 2.75 by 4.25 rectangle rather than the 2.75 by 4.75

The caption of the picture that shows the squares for flipping the corners for the dark (furry accent parts) should read: For ear: (last line of caption should say) “on upper (not lower) left corner.”

When making the Under belly, the square should be a 2.75″ light (body) not 2 inch as listed.

When sewing the Lower left middle: sew 1.25 by 2 inch light (body) strip to shortest side.

Extras: One 1.25 by 2.75 in background rectangle with light 1.25 flip in lower left.

Here’s the pdf label and cutting chart for your convenience.

Right facing poodle cutting checklist and labels

Do check back again as we explore Paris together. I will show you pics of things I saw, tell you funny stories of things that happened to me (“Oh, why do things happen to me?”  Tu-Na laments as she touches the back of her hand to her forehead.), present more poodles as I sew them, and entertain you while you sew for me.

*yes, yes, please. My dear quilty friends, a trip to beautiful Paris would be so marvelous. (ok. This was from Google translate. My French vocabulary consists of oui oui and merci).

What I Learned Today:

  1. What a muzzle is. I am not a dog person and had no idea so I had to look it up.
  2. If it can go wrong, it will.
  3. I miss being in Paris.
  4. How to change my address in our address spreadsheet.
  5. There is hope for me yet (regarding computer understanding).

Question: Have you been to Paris or anywhere in France?

Merci beaucoup. Au Revoir


Finished block for Irene

I was a bit unsure when I first saw this block, one inch pieces??????  Actually it went together quite easily, the tiny two inch UNFINISHED block was a little fiddly, and the seams on the two inch block are very slightly wonky, but all in all it was an enjoyable block to make.

IMG_4691 2

The colours are a bit skewed but grey on a grey design wall came out like a black and white photo.

Tomorrow it will be on it’s way.  I hope you like it Irene.

Smiles from Kate