The stars for Jen…

Jen requested a block in “tertiary” colors.  I am really not very good with colors, but since I own three (yes, three) color wheels, I thought this would not be too tough – that’s what I thought.

Jen bat um einen Block in “tertiären” Farben. Ich bin wirklich nicht sehr gut mit Farbewahl, aber da ich drei (ja, drei) Farbräder besitze, dachte ich, das wäre nicht zu schwer – ja, das dachte ich mir so….

And since she gave us the freedom to make the star in any size, I made these two for her:

Sie hat uns erlaubt, die Grösse der Blöcke selber zu bestimmen; ich habe dann diese zwei für sie genäht:


The larger one is 8″ and the smaller one is 5″.

Der grosse Stern ist 8″ und der kleinere ist 5″.

I hope she likes them! (and that the colors are right)

Ich hoffe sie gefallen ihr (und auch dass die Farben passen).


A Dog Gone Cute Block for Ann

I wrote about this block a while ago, and until now, couldn’t find the time to post about it. In August, Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting very fittingly chose a dog block, designed by Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts.

Elizabeth Hartman sample

Ann asked that we choose a block that looked like a dog we’d had as a pet. I have only owned cats as an adult, but when I was little, our family had two dogs—Shamrock and Sandy. Sham was a great dog, a mutt, who was mostly German Shepherd. She was gentle, smart, and the most wonderful dog ever. Dad used to tell us he’d see her every day in the pet store window as he walked home from work, and one day he just couldn’t resist her and he brought her home. Lucky us!

Flynn family summer of 1963 reduced size

Sandy was our adopted dog. Someone let her out of a car right in front of my two brothers, and we took her in. Sandy was a bit untamed, but she quickly responded to our loving care. She came along just in time for Shamrock who in her old age wasn’t eating well and who would often wander too close to the street when we let her out to relieve herself. Sandy would protect her from the dangers Sham could no longer see, and by her simple presence, also encouraged her to eat more. Sandy probably gave Shamrock a few more years of life and I’m forever grateful for that.

Here is Sandy (on the left), with Heather (in the middle). Heather was the first of my Aunt Betty’s Scottie dogs. Shamrock is there on the right.

sandy heather and shamrock reducedI chose greens for my block because Shamrock was Irish <grin>. I modified the pattern to match her sweet floppy ears and her coloring. Ann, I hope you like your block! It’s in the mail to you.

Ann block1

Jen, I’m working on yours now. First stop, a look at my color wheel so I can pick appropriate tertiary colors. Man, your quilt is going to look wonderful! What a great idea for the coloring.

Janice, at least I’m not officially late on yours. <grin> Love your block and all it’s possibilities!

You know, I love being a part of this bee and sewing up the blocks each month! I’ve just started a new job so time is short but with a little patience you will all soon have blocks from me.

Ann block 2

Blog signature 2

October Block Tutorial

It’s my turn to be queen!    Yay!  And I am queen in two different bees for the month of October (yes, I am a little early) so there is going to be some major happy mail coming my way.   Fellow hive mates, you will be helping me make my first ever quilt for my own bed!  I am so excited!!   Getting blocks in the mail will be like getting housewarming gifts!

I don’t think the block I’m going to have you make has a name.  At least, not that I know of.  It’s just a bunch of HST’s and squares arranged in a pleasing way.  Here is a sample of them sewn together.  My favorite thing about this block are all the secondary patterns created when you put them together facing different directions.

There are diamonds

There are X’s

Plus signs (this one has a diamond in the middle of it)

And stars!

All from one single block!  It is hard to only make one or two of these blocks because you want to see the secondary patterns develop as you put them together.  I timed myself and from cutting out fabric to a finished block took me less than one hour and that was even after having to rip out a row and sew it on right.    If you hate making points match up, don’t worry.  I am not super picky about that.  Once all the blocks are put together, it is the overall effect that holds your attention and not whether the points are perfect.  I love the personality of a patchwork quilt, imperfections and all.

OK, let’s get down to business!  (click HERE for simplified directions without all the detail)


You will need two  contrasting fabrics for each block.     They don’t have to be the same color, as long as one is light and the other one dark.  If you’re unsure, just choose one favorite fabric of yours and then a low volume or white on white fabric to go with it.

NOTE:  The fabrics in the shown sample are kind of old fashioned and dated but my preference is for bright and modern.

For you that like to fussy cut, even novelty fabrics are perfectly ok as long as they contrast with the partner color and are on the bright side.  Did you notice the frogs and the bees?

If you don’t have any brights, just choose your favorite.  Small scale prints  that read mostly as one color work best; however, if you do use a large scale print as one of the choices, it works best if the other fabric is a solid or a tone on tone.   Let me show you how one fabric can be both the light and the dark in two different blocks.  Here we have the orange as the dark fabric in one block and as the light fabric in another block.  Again, the key is contrast.


One 5 3/4″ square and four 2 1/2″ squares from each of your fabric choices.  That’s it!  This will make an 8 1/2″ block that finishes at 8 inches.   Since it is so small, please make two blocks and no need to sew them together.


Eight 2 1/2″ HST’s using any method you prefer.  Following is my favorite method:

Take the large square of each color with right sides together.  Draw lines from corner to corner on the lighter color like this:

Sew 1/4″ inch away from the line down one side and back up the other on both of the drawn lines.  I forgot to take a picture of this step so I am borrowing this from a tutorial I already have.  Here are the sewn lines:

Next, cut on both of the drawn lines and without moving the block cut from the middle of the left side to the middle of the right side and from middle top to middle bottom like this:

You will have 8 little half square triangles in no time!  Trim these HST’s to 2 1/2″ and for best results, please press open.    This is the only place I will ask for this.

Now for the arranging.  It works easiest if you start with the four light squares and arrange them like this:

Then add 3 HST’s on each side of that row with the darker side toward the four light squares you had in a diagonal line.  You’ll end up with three butterflies.

 Then take the four dark squares and add two of them to each side like this:

And then the final two HST’s with the light side pointing toward the corners.

Sew together one row at a time and wait until you have all four rows sewn together before you press.  Press the seams on the first row one direction (doesn’t matter which way) and the the second row the opposite direction, alternating directions for all  four rows.  I tried doing it with pressing the seams open but it really does work better to be able to nest the seams together.  Your points will come out better.

And now you should have a nice finished block.  I am looking forward to seeing every color of the rainbow appearing in my mailbox!  HAVE FUN!

P.S.  I’ve already had one person tell me she was a little confused by what colors I want.  I prefer bright and bold colors in either tone on tone or a small print, but really just about anything will work. The main goal is to have high contrast.  If you are having trouble figuring out what to choose, just use a low volume or white for the light color.

Here are some examples of fabric pulls I will probably be making from my own stash.  Hope this helps!  And yes, although I donn’t have a purple example here, I like purple too.  Anything goes!

Have fun!!

Tu-Na Quilts: A Star for Jen

Tu-Na Quilts: A Star for Jen

This was my first Lemoyne Star block I’ve ever made. It proved a tad more difficult than it should have been. After the third time taking apart the center, I said it was going to have to be good enough.

tunaquilts 3a

It measures 12..5″.

Jen asked for complementary tertiary colors. I had no idea what that meant so I had to ask someone for help; Mr. Google came to the rescue. I found this site to be helpful I learned a little about colors. I hope I got it right. This one is a deep orange with teal.

But the centers just didn’t meet exactly and that bothered me so I decided to make another one.

tunaquilts 4a

This one is the closest to magenta and amber that I had in my stash. There’s no way Tu-Na Helper is letting me go shopping for awhile (the credit card bill arrived from our Quilt MN Shop Hop and the numbers were so large even I could see it) so it had to do. Jen, I hope you like it.

The center still isn’t perfect but you’ll get it anyway. Here’s a pic of both of them.

tunaquilts 5a

Fooled you! This little star is only 4.5″ square. And the centers still don’t meet well. Oh, well, I’m learning and I hope Jen likes it anyway.


What I Learned Today:

  1. Lemoyne stars don’t have to be perfect to be nice.
  2. Complementary tertiary colors do look great together. It will be fun to see this quilt come together.
  3. The more you mix colors together the more gray they become.

Questions: Did you know there are only 6 tertiary colors and can you name them? Did you know there are quaternary and quinary colors*? Do you spell grey or gray? I couldn’t name them before. I’ve discovered a lot.  For me, it’s always been a bit gray outside when the sun doesn’t shine.

*”Quinary colors are, roughly, varying shades of gray, this is why there are no specific names beyond the tertiary colors. The more you mix the colors the harder it is for the human eye to detect those differences.”

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

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.

Tu-Na Travels: A Bit about Where I Live

Tu-Na Travels: A Bit about Where I Live


As part of Sue’s block requirement way back in February, she asked us to post a bit about where we live. I didn’t do that then but promised I’d do it. Time got away.

Most of you know I live in two states: North Dakota when the weather is warm and Arizona when the weather is warm. You read that right. We spend the nice days of spring, summer and fall in North Dakota and the nice days of fall, winter, and spring in Arizona. That way we don’t experience the temperature extremes of either. It’s the best of both places.

I’ll keep this short. I found a couple of pics that I took on our way back from our Arizona home in May.

I’ve spent most of my life in North Dakota. We have clean air and blue skies.

tunaquilts 1a.jpg

Yes, that’s an oil well. Parts of North Dakota have oil. Unfortunately, not where I live.


We also have lots of open land. One could drive for miles without encountering another vehicle. There’s much space between farms. We’re known as a major U. S. producer of wheat and durum. The semolina (flour) in your pasta just might have originated here.

tunaquilts 2a

My brother and his boys are farming the farm where I grew up. In addition to wheat, they raise soybeans, sunflowers, canola, beef cattle, and kids (the human kind).

tunaquilts 6a

North Dakota also has several large wind farms. We have wind-lots of it.


So why do I leave all this and head to Arizona? The answer is simple, to get some of this

Chihuly summer sun 1a

SUN!! (This is one of the Chihuly glass sculptures that had been on display in the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. It reminds me of the sun.)


to get away from this.

tunaquilts 5a

While we do head south for the winter, we still fly back for the Christmas holidays so we still get to see some of this white stuff for a couple of weeks. Last winter we saw a lot of it including being in a blizzard which stranded 16 people in my house for 3 days.


What I Learned Today:

  1. The geese are heading south already. They’ve been spending the night in the field by our house.
  2. We are making plans to do the same (head south not spend the night in the field).

Question: If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Do you think it’ll ever be possible? I’ve always thought I’d love to spend some time living beside the ocean. My husband, affectionately known as Tu-Na Helper on my blog, wants to buy a lake home in Minnesota where they have mosquitoes and ticks. But I’ll always call North Dakota home.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

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

Tertiary, she says!

I must not have been paying very good attention in any of my art classes in school because I had no CLUE what a tertiary color was!  So thanks, Jen for the lesson in color although  I am still not sure what I picked are proper tertiary colors.  One is definitely marigold,  the other is somewhere between blue and purple but not sure if it falls in the category of tertiary.

I was so excited when the points on the inside block all matched!  YAY!
jens block points
I must have gotten a little cocky and needed humbling because the very next thing I did was this . . . These are supposed to be the same.  Ugh.

jens block goof

After several ripping sessions to rectify multiple goofs, I FINALLY got the block done.  Hope you like, it, Jen!

jens blockJanice