August is here, and it’s my turn to be Queen!

August is here, and it’s my turn to be Queen!

This was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I had a really hard time finding a block and deciding what to do, but I’m happy with the block I chose.

I’ve been admiring the Elizabeth Hartman critter patterns and looking forward to trying them out, but in the meantime I found this quilt-a-long from a few years ago that has a similar feel.  I apologize for doing another dog block so soon after Karen’s poodles, but I just love these guys.  They remind me of my boys, Bucky and Leo…and after all, my blog is named after Leo’s brown paws.

The quilt-a-long, which happened in 2015, is from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.  The original “Dog Gone Cute” blog page is here.  Here are the details for our bee blocks:

  1. Please do the large blocks (18″ x 12″)
  2. I’d like the background to be white, or a white on white print.
  3. The dog face should bright color.  Prints and batiks are fine, but the fabric should read as one primary color (red, blue, orange, purple, green…you get the idea).
  4. Eyes and nose should be black, or a black print.
  5. for the contrasting part of the faces, I used grays.  You can use another coordinating color with your face fabric if you like.  I was struggling with this fabric as the background is white, and I wanted something to stand out both against the dog face and the background.  I think the gray worked well.

She has 8 different dogs to choose from.  You can choose whichever one you like – I’ll give you some tips on that here in a minute.

This is some inspiration for what I have in mind.  This was a quilt completed by Gina at Quilts and Cakes (blog post here) from the original Quilt-a-long in October 2015:

sample dogs

The links to the block patterns:

Quilt-a-long kickoff post (interesting for background purposes)

Blocks #1 and #2

Blocks #3 and #4

Blocks #5 and #6

Blocks #7 and #8

My suggestion, and request actually, is that you think about a dog who had some meaning to you and find one of the block patterns that most makes you think of that furry friend.  If you are not a dog person, that’s ok, I can recommend some pups to use as inspiration!

I did do some block testing and have some thoughts to offer.

I decided my Leo looked like block 5, and my Bucky looked like block 3.  Block 3 was much easier than block 5, but both came together very well.

For each pattern, there is a table with cutting instructions.  I copy/pasted that table into Word and printed it out.  I crossed out the small block column to help me avoid confusion, wrote the colors of the fabrics I was using in each section, and crossed off the pieces as I cut them:

cutting tables

I then cut all the pieces, and pinned letters on them so I knew which ones they were.  This was REALLY helpful, as with them marked I could just walk through the rest of the tutorial.

cut blocks

From there, I just went step by step through her instructions.  It was really straightforward, and actually didn’t take too long.

This is my Leo (Mr. BrownPaws):

leo block

and my Bucky (I got to try out my new Moda Grunge Hits the Spot!):

bucky block

and I had to make the boys pose with their blocks (Leo insisted on bringing along his parrot stuffy):

leo and his block

bucky outtake 4

Many outtakes were required, for which they were rewarded with ice cream later:

 

 

If you don’t have furry friends to use as inspiration, here are a few more of mine, past and present:

 

The big one is of our Sporty and Katie, who have now passed.  Upper right is Maggie, our corgi.  Middle right is Sandy, our crazy Jack Russel Terrier who left us 3 years ago.  And the bottom right is Sporty after we adopted our two boys, Bucky and Leo.  All of our furry kids have meant so much to us, and we love them all.

I hope you enjoy making the blocks – I look forward to seeing what you all create!

 

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These Blocks Inspire Me!

July was my month as Hive Queen for the Bee Inspired online bee. So what does that mean? Did I get a crown or something?

New Years 2015 1

Alas, no crown for me! <grin> Being Hive Queen does mean however that I get to choose a block and my bee mates will each make that block for me. Makes me feel like a queen, and I don’t have to wear a funny crown! Win-win.

I chose a block of my own design, which I call Irish Eyes. My intention (once I receive the blocks from my bee mates) is to create a modern Irish Chain quilt.

Sample quilt 1

Let’s take a look at the blocks I’ve received so far. The first block I received was from Irene @ Patchwork and Pastry. Somehow this doesn’t surprise me. I could be wrong, but it seems that Irene is almost always the first one done with the block for that month.

Irenes block 1

I’d asked everyone to send a scrap bit of the fabrics they’d used in their blocks, to help me make the border for my planned quilt and Irene sent two! Isn’t she sweet?

Next, I received a block from Velda @ Granny Can Quilt. Not to be outdone, Velda sent me two blocks! She also sent some fish fabric by Kaffe Fasset. How did she know I love his fabrics?

Veldas block 1

Sue’s block (Sue @ Seven Oak Street Quilts) arrived next, along with a bright square of matching fabric. I had asked my bee mates to place the darkest green fabric in the center of the block, with gradually lighter greens radiating outwards. Isn’t Sue’s block wonderful?

Sues Block 1

It was only a day or two later that Emily’s block (Emily @ The Darling Dogwood) arrived. Like Irene, Emily included two lovely scraps of green fabric.

Emily's block 1

I received Paige’s block next (Paige @ Quilted Blooms). Her block includes the loveliest bright greens! Isn’t it beautiful? Paige included three strips of green fabric matching the fabric she used in her block. I’m simply overwhelmed by her generosity! The scraps that each of my bee mates have sent will really help me make a wonderful coordinating border for my quilt.

Paige block

Here are the blocks all together. To add to this wonderful collection, I have the block I made as a sample, and a block I received from my friend Alice. Alice saw my block tutorial (it’s here) and she loved it so much she made me a block! You can pick out Alice’s block easily–she adores shiny fabric!

Blocks I Have Gotten So Far 1

A few more blocks are on their way, and I’ll share them when they arrive. We are an international group and sometimes blocks take a while to get here. We are also a group of busy quilt bloggers and so sometimes, the business of quilting must take precedent. Frankly, I hope they take their time because I love the anticipation!

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Yippee, It’s My Turn at Hive Queen!

Yippee, It’s My Turn at Hive Queen!

This month is my turn at hive queen, which means I get to choose a block for the other Bee Inspired bee members to make for me. I had a tough time choosing, but in the end I designed a block I’m calling Irish Eyes.

Irish Eyes block signedI’m Irish you see, and the truth is I’ve always wanted to make an Irish Chain quilt but I could never decide if I liked single Irish Chain or Triple Irish Chain quilts better.

Lately, I’ve been wanting to make something that looks like an Irish Chain but with a modern twist. I’ve been trying to design my take on a modern Irish Chain block for some time now, and becoming Hive Queen this month was the push I needed to finally decide on something.

The block finishes at 12” and uses the No Waste Method Flying Geese method. Here’s what you’ll need to make one block:

White
(4) 4-1/2” squares
(8) 2-7/8” squares
(2) 1-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangles
(2) 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” rectangles

Dark Green
(1) 2-1/2” square

Medium Green
(1) 5-1/4” square

Light Green
(1) 5-1/4” square

Use (1) 5-1/4” Medium Green square and (4) 2-7/8” squares to make (4) Flying Geese using the No Waste Method. If you need help with that, click here to view my tutorial.

Repeat, using (1) 5-1/4” Light Green square and (4) 2-7/8” squares to make (4) more Flying Geese. Sew (1) 1 Medium Green and (1) Light Green Flying Geese together. Repeat with remaining Flying Geese.

If you don’t want to use the No Waste Method, the flying geese finish at 2″ x 4″ so you can easily substitute stitch and flip for example, by using one 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ green rectangle and two 2-1/2″ white squares for each flying geese unit.

Flying Geese units 1To make the Center, sew (1) 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” rectangles to either side of (1) Dark Green 2-1/2” square.

Making center 1Sew (1) 1-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangles to the top and bottom of the unit.

Making center 2

Layout the Center, (4) Flying Geese units, and (4) White 4-1/2” squares as shown. Sew the block together in rows, then sew the rows together. Trim to 12-1/2”.

Unsewn block with glying geeseHere’s what I might make with my blocks. I just love this, and all the quilting possibilities it presents. But mostly I’m psyched by the idea that I’ll have a quilt that reminds me of my Bee Inspired bee mates!

Sample quilt 1

Now what I’m hoping for here is a scrappy look. So in the instructions above, the light/medium/and dark greens are relative, and not literal. If you look at my sample block you’ll see that my lightest green isn’t really all that light, but it is lighter than the other two. I really would like bright greens, fully saturated like the ones shown here. The greens you use can be darker, but please don’t use a green that’s light or pale. Pale just isn’t me. <grin> Also, I’m looking for the greens to radiate out from the center, from relative dark to light.

The background should be a white tone-on-tone or low volume like the one shown here.

I hope you all like making this block! Thanks for the push I needed to finally design it! <grin> If you notice from my quilt layout, I could use some scraps of green from the blocks you make. So if you could, I would love a 5-1/4″ square of one of the greens you use, or a finished flying geese unit if you’re so inclined. Can’t wait to see what everyone creates!

Tu-Na Travels and Quilts: Day 8 in Paris and Assembling the Poodle

Tu-Na Travels and Quilts: Day 8 in Paris and Assembling the Poodle

We started the day early as our museum pass was about to expire and we still had more things to see. Here’s a few of the highlights of the day.

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I thought street performers were found only in New York. This one amazed me since I thought he was a sculpture.

We visited Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame Cathedral, and a modern art museum. I’m not sure where I found my energy to keep going day after day.

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About 1/5 of the stained glass windows were covered with scaffolding on the inside of the building; they were being cleaned and restored, if needed. Even so, the place was magnificent. There are 1,113 stained glass windows with each one depicting a different story from the Bible. Next time I go, I’m taking a pair of binoculars to see them closer.

We stopped for some crepes at a cute little Creperie right outside the modern art museum.

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In the modern art museum, we saw art works by Matisse, Picasso, and others. Here’s just a sampling. Click on each pic for more info. There were some really nice pieces as well as some that were, well, interesting.

 

And some that were really off the wall.

 

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Yes, that’s a chair hanging on the wall. There was another one: a fold-up bag chair but I figured you all know what one looks like .

 

What I learned today…Mercredi April 23, 2014

  1. French onion soup tastes much better in France than at home.tunaquilts 29a
  2. How to eat a real French crepe: First, eat some of the extra filling. Second, spread the remaining filling. Third, roll it up. Fourth, cut it in half to share with husband knowing he’s doing the same with his.
  3. Six consecutive days of a Paris museum pass was a lot to do. We visited the Louvre twice, the d’Orsay, Rodin, modern art museum, Notre Dame, St. Chappel, Notre Dame Crypt Archeological museum, d’Orangie, Invalides, Army museum, Napoleon’s tomb, Arc of Triomph, and Palace at Versailles. I think we got our money’s worth. There were only 47 other museums listed on our pass that we didn’t get to. We tried our best.
  4. Shoe shopping in Paris should be easy; every other store in the Chalet and Les Halies sections are shoes stores. Good to know if I need to buy more shoes.
  5. The half-size dishwasher in our furnished apartment is just the right size.

Poodle Block Tips:

Now onto Part Huit (8) Some Assembly Required. This will complete the poodle block. (You will find links to Parts 1-7 at the very end of this post.)

Using Sally’s tutorial for her right facing poodle found here on The Objects of Design or my tips below, let’s begin arranging the pieces. Think of it as putting a puzzle together. Hint: Use a large flat tray, design board or cutting mat that you can move closer to your machine, unless you need lots of exercise.

I will begin assembling this pooch one row at a time. Let’s think of it as a row by row. A picture follows each row description. If you laid out the frame already, you’ve already got some pieces in place. I’ve enlarged the labels only in that specific row to further help you. Be prepared to be amazed and amused as your playful puppy begins to grow right before your eyes, kind of like they do in real life.

Row 1: Top left corner, top of headtop right corner

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Row 2: Tail, Extra tail piece made in part 7, Above back, Ear, Eye, Nose

 

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We’re using one of the unlabeled pieces from part 7.

 

Row 3: Behind rear under tail, Body, Chest

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Row 4: Lower left middle, Under Belly, extra front leg piece made in part 7

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Here’s the other unlabeled piece that was made in part 7.

 

Row 5: Bottom left corner, Foot poof, Bottom middle, Foot poof

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Extras to add: Add the Right side under muzzle piece to the right side of the block and the two pieces labeled Foot to the bottom of each Foot poof

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That should be all of your pieces. Now the fun begins; bringing life to this little fella by using needle and thread.

 

You might be scratching your head, hopefully with your hand and not your foot, and wondering where to begin. There’s a logical sequence that makes it come together quickly. Just follow the pictures below and the list of seams to sew in order and you’ll be well on your way to petting this playful pup. The red numbers on the pictures below correspond to the number of the seam that you will be sewing. I’ve listed it out here for you too. Start with number 1.

Hints to remember: Check the two pieces that you will be sewing to see if you’ll be sewing two flip triangles or seams on top of each other (it will get a bit bulky). If so, just flip one to the other direction. Doing so will also help you nest those seams tight. But it’s not the end of the world if it just doesn’t work out; don’t go ripping it all apart to make it lay down. Just say, “I did my best” and let it roll over you.

The First Seams (Sew right sides together 1/4″ scant seam allowance for all the seams, press to the side—I found that most pieces had a natural tendency to lay to one side or the other)

  1. Top left corner onto Top of head
  2. Top of head to Top right corner
  3. Eye to Nose
  4. Chest to Ear
  5. Extra piece to Under belly
  6. Foot to Foot Poof
  7. Foot to Foot poof
  8. Lower left middle to Behind rear under tail
  9. Extra piece to Tail
  10. Above back to Body

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Now let’s see what we’ve got!

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You can see there is progress as there are less labels. I keep at least one label on each section while sewing so I don’t get confused.

 

We are getting closer to done with each seam and this little guy will be ready to play.

Next seams to sew: The numbers correspond to the seams in the picture below.

  1. Nose to Right under muzzle
  2. Right foot poof section to Bottom middle
  3. Bottom left corner to left foot poof section
  4. Tail section to Behind rear under tail
  5. Back/Body section to Ear section

tunaquilts 33aa

Now let’s take a look at what we have.

 

 

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Just a few more seams to sew.

  1. Left foot section to the right foot section.
  2. Under belly section to Above back/body section.

tunaquilts 38ab

Now your pampered pooch should be looking something like this:

 

tunaquilts 35a

Just four more seams and he/she will be begging for treats.

Sew the last four seams:

  1. Tail section to Body
  2. Feet section to the body section.
  3. Muzzle section (that would be his mouth/eye/nose section) to the body.
  4. For goodness sake, sew on the top of his head so you can pet him!

tunaquilts 35aa

Voilà! Meet Cherise, my newest, darling, little poodle. She’s not only playful and perky but she’s also a little bit on the wild side. I caught her hanging out with the boys: Marcel, Odie, and Tigg. I’ll have to sew her in the middle of the quilt so she doesn’t escape.

 

tunaquilts 37a

This is a 14″ unfinished block which will finish to 13.5.” Mine was right on probably due to my squaring up each of the pieces while prepping them and watching that scant 1/4″ seam.

 

What I Learned Today:

  1. Writing this specific post was very difficult. I kept getting the pictures mixed up. Let me know if you have questions or if I’ve made a mistake.
  2. When taking pictures of lots of pieces, make sure there is space between each piece so they can be seen as separate units and not a mess.
  3. I learned how to use more features in the photo editor program, Paint. It was a real time-saver or I would have had to remake this block. Maybe, someday, I’ll show you the bloopers.
  4. I’ve run out of days to post this month. I’m heading to the lake tomorrow and I won’t be back for a week.  To my American readers, have a Happy Fourth of July! To all of my other readers, have a Happy Day!
  5. No more poodles arrived today. I’ll post when they show up.
  6. Homemade macaroons taste wonderful. I will be sharing about that experience when some of those poodles arrive.

Question: If you were to give a French poodle a name, what would it be?

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.

Au Revoir

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Here are the previous poodle posts just in case you need to catch up to figure out what is going on this month at Bee Inspired. We’ve all gone on vacation—don’t we wish—to Paris. Well, maybe at least in our minds and imaginations.

Tu-Na Quilts: All Aboard. Fasten Your Seatbelts. We’re Taking Off for… You will find the pattern link for the poodle block in this post as well as why I chose this block.

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

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two in Paris and Poodle Block Cutting Tips which includes Part deux (2): Cutting and Anatomy Labeling.

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three in Paris and Prepping Those Furry Pieces which includes Part trois (3): Prepping the Furry Accent Pieces (Foot poofs, Tail, and Ear). 

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four in Paris and Prepping the Poodle Body Parts which includes Part quatre (4) Prepping the Poodle Body Parts.

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five in Paris and Prepping the Background Pieces which includes Part Cinq (5) Prepping the Background Pieces.

Tu-Na Travels and Quilts: Day Six in Paris and Building the Frame Around Our Pampered Pooch which includes Part Six (6) Building the Frame Around Our Pampered Pooch.

Tu-Na Travels and Quilts: Day Seven in Paris and Finishing the Leftovers which includes Part Sept (7) Prepping the Last of the Extra Pieces.

Linking to Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? and Finished or Not Friday.

Tu-Na Travels and Quilts: Day Seven in Paris and Finishing The Leftovers

Tu-Na Travels and Quilts: Day Seven in Paris and Finishing The Leftovers

Today we explored the Rodin Museum and saw beautiful sculptures and a few paintings by some great masters.

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Young Woman in a Flowered Hat

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The Kiss

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It was a lovely day for a walk outside in the Rodin Sculpture Garden where the gardens were in full bloom with flowers larger than I have ever seen.

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Yes, there were sculptures in the garden.

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Is this the pose you take when contemplating your next quilt project?

This sculpture is called The Thinker.

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Or maybe it’s the pose you take when you just discover a mistake.

On our walk back from dinner we spied this itty bitty car. I’ve never seen one so small. Have you?

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I am 5 feet 4 inches and tower over this car.

Some days we would stop at a pastry shop and pick up dessert. Here’s what we shared tonight.

 What I learned today…Mardi, April 22, 2014

  1. The lilacs in full bloom in Paris smell better and look more brilliant than at home.tunaquilts 13b
  2. Chocolate ice cream tastes better in an outdoor café in the Rodin Sculpture Garden in Paris than at home.tunaquilts 15a
  3. I can start a conversation with anyone whether we speak the same language or not. This is not surprising to my husband. I sat down on a bench beside a French woman in the Rodin Museum. We talked with signs and expressions and a few words. She conveyed to me that her feet hurt and I acknowledged and I tried to express that the art work of Maplethorpe (special exhibit at the Rodin Museum that our husband’s were looking at) was not interesting to me but she liked it. We understood each other perfectly at least that is what I think. I also started a conversation with a woman from Britain and later her husband joined us and we visited for almost a half an hour. We will be leaving Paris soon and heading to London. This lady told us to plan to come back to England again and see more of the country side. She said, “Going only to London to get a flavor of England is like us going to New York to get a flavor of the United States.” I can see her point. It was interesting to talk with them and fun to listen to them talk. They probably thought the same.

Poodle Block Tips:

Now onto Part Sept (7) Prepping the Last of the Extra Pieces (You will find links to Parts 1-6 at the very end of this post.) We are nearing the finish line.

I like to refer to these pieces as the leftovers because by now you’ve used most of your pile of extra pieces so we need to something about those that are left over. In fact, after this part, all your extra pieces should be gone.

You will need the following pieces:

  • Two 1.25″ x 2.75″ background rectangles
  • One l.25″ x 2.75″ body rectangle
  • One 1.25″ x 2″ body rectangle
  • One 1.25″ body square
  • One 1.25″ x 4.25″ body rectangle
  • Eye
  • Ear

tunaquilts 28a

So let’s lay them out and stitch them according to Sally’s tutorial for her Right Facing poodle tutorial on The Objects of Design or my picture below.

  • Place the 1.25″ body square right sides together on the bottom of the 1.25″ x 2.75″ background piece. Flip that corner in the direction shown below. See Part (3) Prepping Those Furry Pieces if you need a refresher on how to do that.  Trim this piece to 1.25″ x 2.75″. This part will go up by the tail.
  • Place the 1.25″ x 4.25″ body rectangle on the right side of the ear. Sew together using a 1/4″ seam and press towards the body rectangle. Trim to 3.5″ x 4.25″.
  • Place the eye piece right sides together on the top of the 1.25″ x 2″ body rectangle and stitch a 1/4″ seam as shown below. Press towards the dark side. Trim to 1.25″ x 2.75″.
  • Place the 1.25″ x 2.75″ background right sides together on the 1.25″ x 2.75″ body rectangle. Stitch 1/4″ seam down the long side. (The arrow in the picture indicates putting them right sides together.) Press towards the dark side. Trim to 2″ x 2.75″. This part becomes the front leg.
tunaquilts 29a.jpg

I finally found my Sewline pencil for marking lines. It was right where I store it, in the tool caddy. Now, why didn’t I look for it there before?

Now stand back and admire your hard work. All the pieces are prepped and we’ll be ready to assemble this sweet poodle block next time.

tunaquilts 30a

Coming soon: Part Huit (8) Some Assembly Required. This will complete the poodle block.

Announcement:  More Poodles Have Been Sighted Running Around My House!!

My knight in shining armor, ok. maybe not the knight below, but my husband

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We saw much armor today as we also went to some military museums and saw where Napoleon was buried.

came in from the mail box a couple of days ago saying, “Woof, woof. Woof, woof” I knew that meant there must be poodle mail for me.

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The boys have arrived from Canada with a sweet note from Velda, Granny Can Quilt.

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Velda’s note says this one is Odie. He is a star in her heart. Look at that gorgeous star fabric.

She made him to commemorate her real poodle named Odie who only roamed around her house for two years but will remain in her heart forever.

Odie

Here’s Odie showing his ability to fit in with his human family by sitting all proper on the couch. This picture was taken by Granny Can Quilt and used with permission.

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Here’s Tigg. He’s modeled after one of Velda’s poodles at home.

Tigg

Tigg is a handsome fella (just look at that pose). He is the senior poodle in Velda’s house. This picture was taken by Granny Can Quilt and used with permission.

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The guys came bearing gifts! Velda sent some 1.5″ strips for me to cut into squares for my postage stamp and a pink square for the cornerstone of this quilt.

Thanks, Velda!! These poodles are gorgeous and I will definitely make use of the strips. Your hard work is much appreciated!

What I Learned Today:

  1. It’s nice to have technology that allows me to find quilting friends all over the world.
  2. My husband caught me sneaking a taste of his favorite mint ice cream in the pic above. I had not seen that one before.

Question: Chocolate or Mint or____? I’ve always loved chocolate but strawberry is a favorite, too, when I splurge.

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.

Au Revoir

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

Here are the previous poodle posts just in case you need to catch up to figure out what is going on this month at Bee Inspired. We’ve all gone on vacation—don’t we wish—to Paris. Well, maybe at least in our minds and imaginations.

Tu-Na Quilts: All Aboard. Fasten Your Seatbelts. We’re Taking Off for… You will find the pattern link for the poodle block in this post as well as why I chose this block.

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

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two in Paris and Poodle Block Cutting Tips which includes Part deux (2): Cutting and Anatomy Labeling

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three in Paris and Prepping Those Furry Pieces which includes Part trois (3): Prepping the Furry Accent Pieces (Foot poofs, Tail, and Ear) 

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four in Paris and Prepping the Poodle Body Parts which includes Part quatre (4) Prepping the Poodle Body Parts.

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five in Paris and Prepping the Background Pieces which includes Part Cinq (5) Prepping the Background Pieces.

Tu-Na Travels and Quilts: Day Six in Paris and Building the Frame Around Our Pampered Pooch which includes Part Six (6) Building the Frame Around Our Pampered Pooch.