Tu-Na Quilts: It’s Cute as a Button

Welcome to the Modern Plus Sign Quilts Book Blog Hop

I’ve always had a fascination with buttons. When I was young, I remember sorting my mama’s button box into piles of colors and then using a needle and thread to string them into long strings. I’m sure my mama did it to keep me busy. Little did she know it would lead me to collecting buttons. You’ll find the buttons pictured below residing inside blue vintage Ball jars on a shelf above my window in my sewing room in my summer house.

Continue reading


Tu-Na Quilts: Winners Announced

Marian at Seams to be Sew has announced the winners of the X-Block rulers/templates and will be emailing them. If this is you, please watch your inbox for an email from her.


Winners for the X-Blocks Template Rulers

| Liz H | Susan R | Lori S | Elaine S | Sherry N |

The remaining posts for the Quilt Qwazy Queens Blog Hop continue on Monday. You can see the list of participating blogs as well as my post for the hop here.


In the meantime, Happy World Wide Quilting Day!!

What I Learned Today:

  1. Two cups of cream is about 1/2 cup too much when making caramel for caramel rolls. The rolls soaked up too much of the liquid causing them to be soggy. But they still taste good.
  2. I guess I’ll just have to make another batch to get it right.
  3. Seven in the morning comes early for me but not for those living full-time here in Arizona; by 7 am it’s almost time for lunch for them.

Question: How will you spend World Wide Quilting Day? I will be helping my quilting group sell bake sale items (minus my soggy caramel rolls) at a craft fair today. I also made puppy chow, Scotcheroos and Glazed Orange Scones, too. Then I’ll do some sewing. I finished the Elephant quilt top so I need to decide on borders or not.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.


Tu-Na Quilts


Tu-Na Quilts: Embracing That Embarrassing UFO

Welcome to Quilt Qwazy Queens Blog Hop hosted by Marian at Seams to Be Sew. You’ll find the list of other participants at the end of my post who are also offering daily giveaways. Thank you, Marian, and thank you to our sponsors listed below.

button 2


If things went well, if all seams were equal, if all seams were straight, if there were enough hours in the day,  if the seam ripper gathered dust rather than threads, if I were better at decision making, if I knew how without making mistakes, then maybe — my projects wouldn’t stall and become UFOs (Unfinished Objects).

I started this elephant quilt over a year ago and posted about it here in Tu-Na Quilts: Let’s Make Elephants. After completing all the blocks and sewing some into rows last spring, I packaged them all up and headed to my summer home.


I used Lorna’s (Sew Fresh Quilts) pattern found here to make a couple of elephants and posted about them here in Tu-Na Quilts: We Have an Elephant Parade. 

elephant 1a

Dr. Tu-Na helped deliver that cute little elephant to the proud parents here in Tu-Na Quilts: She’s Arrived. Lorna’s pattern for this baby elephant can be found here.

elephant 9a

Meet Lily who is now lovingly snuggled between her mom and dad on this quilt that I titled “She Has Her Mommy’s Nose.” This quilt is no longer a baby quilt since the baby is now almost 1 1/2 years old. But it will still be plenty big enough for her to use on a toddler bed and drag around the house.

I then stitched the remaining blocks together into rows. It then sat all summer on the pool table (a good use for our pool table) until I put them in their own bin so they could travel south with me for the winter. I’d discovered that the rows that I had sewn on my new Bernina using a quarter inch foot were different lengths than the ones that I sewed this summer with my 25 year old Pfaff Creative 1475 using a quarter inch foot and moving the needle to the right to get a scant 1/4″ seam. I never thought to check my Bernina initially. I later discovered it produced a very very scant 1/4″ seam. Each block was off by about 1/8″ but when added up by 9 seams made each row about 1 1/8″ too long. So it sat. For a long time. A very long time. In the meantime, that baby grew and grew. 

When Marian revealed the UFO theme for the Quilt Qwazy Queen blog hop, I knew just which project needed to be moved along. 

I’ve made progress. I fixed all the seams in the blocks that were too long. Instead of ripping them all apart, I just sewed a proper seam line. Yes, I opted to ignore the fact that I had two rows of stitching.

tunaquilts 3a

Some people might have ripped out those seams. I decided the only way this project was going to get done was to not worry about ripping and just sew that extra seam making the finished blocks exactly 4.”

I could do so because I was pressing the seams towards the side and not pressing them open. 

I’ve only got two seams left! This is so exciting. 

tunaquilts 1a

One of my favorite blogs has a great article about why our UFOs languish. You can read what Stitched in Color writes about What Makes You Stall (and what to do differently).

tunaquilts 2a

I might actually get my OMG completed this month. This one is looking good.

The elephant quilt might actually become a finished quilt top this month. I’ve listed it as my One Monthly Goal for three months. If I don’t get this sweet little quilt finished, I’ll have to make my April OMG to quilt and bind it. But at least I can celebrate that I’ve made progress even if I took a slightly embarrassing long time to get to this point!

Thank you to our sponsors 





Note: The X-Blocks giveaway closes tonight (Thursday) at 11:59 PM est so don’t delay in entering (this giveaway has now closed- winners to be announced soon).

The Fat Quarter Shop giveaway is open for a few more days. There are giveaways going on each day so visit each of the bloggers listed below.

Fat Quartershop


Click here to go to Rafflecopter to enter to win $150.00 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop.


Visit Fat Quarter Shop and let them know you appreciate their sponsorship.




This giveaway has now closed:

And the winners are…

Liz H.
Susan R.
Lori S.
Elaine S.

Sherry R.

Each of the above have won one of the following rulers/templates. They have been emailed. Click here to go to Rafflecopter to enter to see the winners names.

Visit BasiX X-blocks and let them know you appreciate their sponsorship.

 Join These Bloggers Promoting Their UFOs

Thursday, March 15, 2018

| Quilting Queen OnlineTu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats |
| Melva Loves Scraps The Quilted Snail |

Friday, March 16, 2018

FunThreads DesignsElizabeth Coughlin DesignsQuilting with Vanda |
| Life in the ScrapatchThrift Shop Commando |

Monday, March 19, 2018

Just Because QuiltsMooseStashQuilting | Pumpkin Patch BC |
Quilting Affection DesignsMs. P Designs USA |

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Words & StitchesSew Many YarnsQuiltin’ Grandma’s Blog |
Books, Hooks, Sticks, etc. | Adventurous Applique and Quilting |

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Kathy’s Kwilts and MoreSeacoast Quilter |
DesertSky QuiltingSeams To Be Sew |

What I Learned Today:

  1. There’s a weight being lifted from my shoulders. I wonder if it’s those elephants.
  2. World Wide Quilting Day is Saturday, March 17th. 
  3. All quarter inch feet are not created equally.
  4. Technology is difficult understand. Understanding how to add code is impossible.

Question: What makes your projects stall?

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

UFO Busting at Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

Pieceful Sunday at JANDA Bend Quilts



Tu-Na Quilts: It’s Happening – The Modern Plus Sign Quilts Blog Hop

There’s a new book on the shelf – Modern Plus Quilts by Cheryl Brickey and Paige Alexander.

Modern Plus Sign Quilts Cover

Photo courtesy of C&T Publications

Signed copies of this book are available for purchase either at Cheryl’s Etsy site here or Paige’s Etsy site here. The book is also available in softcover as well as a digital version through Amazon here.

I’ve had a sneak peek at this book and I can tell you that the pictures of these modern plus sign quilts are beautiful and the quilts themselves are amazing. You’ll be looking at them and adding many to your “Must Make” list. Here’s what Amazon suggests about this book:

“Add to your quilting repertoire with the universally popular plus sign! These 16 bold, graphic designs range from modern to traditional, with something for every skill level and style. Detailed instructions and illustrations walk confident beginners and intermediate quilters through traditional piecing, paper piecing, and fusible machine appliqué to create baby quilts, throw quilts, bed quilts, and more. “

About two years ago, Paige emailed me and asked if I’d like to sew a block that would be included in this book. Of course I said yes. I was asked to keep it a secret so I didn’t even take pictures of it. And then I forgot about it. I sewed one of the smaller plusses for the quilt featured on page 37. I guess you’ll just have to buy a copy to see it.

The blog hop for this book starts today, Monday, and showcases many bloggers featuring projects made from their interpretations of one of the quilts from the book. I’ll be posting on the 20th but I thought you might like to know now. There are also prizes. In fact, visit Cheryl’s and Paige’s blogs today to enter to win 8 fat quarters of Tula Pink fabric (Enter soon as this giveaway is only open for 6 more days). 

Monday, March 12th   

The big kick-off of the blog hop from the authors including a giveaway!

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs

Paige @ Quilted Blooms

You won’t want to miss any of these upcoming posts from these bloggers each featuring their take on one of the two featured daily quilts. 

Tuesday, March 13th

Signature Plus

Soma @ Whims and Fancies

Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting

Kitty @ Night Quilter

Tribal Plus

Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts

Afton @ Quilting Mod

Shelley @ The Carpenters Daughter Who Quilts


Wednesday, March 14th

Plus Surround

Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal

Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch

Abigail @ Cut & Alter

Kaleidoscope Plus

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl

Sandra @ mmm! quilts

Karen @ Run Sew Fun


Thursday, March 15th

Postage Plus

Linda @ Flourishing Palms

Bernie @ Needle and Foot

Liz @ Savor Every Stitch

Stacey @ Stacey In Stitches

Rick Rack Runner

Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty

Patty @ Elm Street Quilts

Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog


Friday, March 16th

Row Addition

Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts

Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts

Transparency Chains

Ruth @ Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner

Christa @ Christa Quilts

 Monday, March 19th

Jessica @ Quilty Habit

Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs

Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter

Julie @ The Crafty Quilter


Tuesday, March 20th

Tish @ Tish N Wonderland

Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine

Emily @ The Darling Dogwood

Wanda @ Wanda’s Life Sampler

Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats Join me as I buckle down and button up a project that is super cute! (Update: This project has now posted here.)

Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good


Wednesday, March 21st

Anja @ Anja Quilts

Kate @ Smiles from Kate

Sue @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts

Carole @ From My Carolina Home

Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts


Thursday, March 22nd

Debbie @ Esch House Quilts

Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting

Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne


Friday, March 23rd

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs

Paige @ Quilted Blooms

What I Learned Today:

  1. I am very good at keeping secrets.
  2. I’d like to write a book.
  3. I have no idea what I’d say. That would be a first for me—being at a loss for words.

Question: If you wrote a book, what would it be about? My mom has always said that I should be writing children’s books. But I’m thinking there’s no way I could top Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. Maybe I just haven’t given it serious thought.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Tu-Na Quilts: My Blog Card

Last summer Tu-Na Helper helped me design a business card with my blog site information. I’d been thinking I needed a type of blog card for awhile even though my blog isn’t a business or doesn’t have sponsors. We sent our order into Vistaprint (no affiliation). The cards didn’t arrive in time for me to take with on our Quilt MN Shop Hop trip but I’ve used them a lot since.

tunaquilts 3a

Here it is all shiny and new. It’s a regular-size business card (2″ x 3.5″). The price was very reasonable (about $15 which included shipping). The quality of heavy card stock and ink is excellent even though we chose the standard options. I am very pleased with how they turned out.

I tuck one in each Bee Block that I mail away. I pass them out to my new friends in my quilting group. When I meet another quilter either shopping or at fun functions and the conversation drifts to quilting or reading quilt blogs, I reach for my supply in my purse to hand them one.

tunaquilts 1a.jpg

I ordered 500 of them and probably could have given them all away on the Quilt MN shop hop last year if they had come in time.

In August, I even included one in my giveaway box that was won by a reader living in New Zealand.

tunaquilts 3a

There’s my card with all of the stocking stuffer items. You can read more about the giveaway winner here and my Fourth and Final Stocking reveal here which contains links to my tutorials for the stocking as well as all the pincushions shown above: pillow, pail, thimble necklace and strawberry.

What I Learned Today:

  1. It’s the little details that are important.
  2. It’s the little details that are the most fun to make and give.
  3. I’ve only got 5 days left to make the next front door wall hanging. St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday and the quilt welcoming my guests by my front door is pink and has hearts.
  4. Those blog cards are sure handy. I’ve probably used 200 of them already.

Question: How do you let others you meet know about your blog?

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Tu-Na Quilts: Quilt Qwazy Queens is Coming This Week

Marian at Seams to Be Sew is hosting the Quilt Qwazy Queens Blog Hop this week. The topic is UFOs — the project variety not the alien kind.

button 2

In preparation for this event, I’ve worked on the elephant quilt. You know, the one that’s been hiding in my closet out of my sight up to now but not out of my head or my heart. Join me Thursday to see how far I’ve come.

elephant 3a


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

There will be prizes from these sponsors:
The Fat Quarter Shop
XBlock Rulers
Timeless Treasures
Studio 180
Quilters Dream Batting

What I Learned Today: 

  1. Breaking a task into small portions really seams to help.
  2. The problem with the elephant quilt wasn’t as bad as I remembered it.
  3. Sometimes, the best way out of a situation is to take the easiest approach.
  4. March is flying by.
  5. Fresh squeezed orange juice is the best; I am not tired of it, yet.
  6. There’s so little time and so many projects and blocks I want to make.

Question: Do you have any UFOs or do you work on only one project at a time? I definitely have MPD —Multiple Project Disorder.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Tu-Na Quilts: Can It Get Any Smaller Than This?

Welcome to Day One of the Small, Smaller, Smallest Blog Hop


This blog hop is hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt. Thanks, Carol, for including me. Your hops are always so fun.

You’ll find the list of talented makers to visit at the end of this post. 

The Mission

Our mission is to create something that is small, smaller, or even smallest. Sounds challenging. It is! Let me know if I succeeded.

The Problem

Tu-Na Helper and I are still using the mug rugs that I made for Valentines Day. You can read more about them here and here. It’s March already! 

tunaquilts 3a

The coffee cup pattern (Mug o’ Love) designed by Sewhooked can be found here. The rose pattern designed by Jitka Designs can be found here.

The Solution

This hop is a perfect opportunity to satisfy that problem. Even though Tu-Na Helper and I are not of  Irish heritage, I think some new St. Patrick’s Day mug rugs would be perfect. After checking my Craftsy pattern library (no affiliation) and finding a couple of interesting patterns that I had previously downloaded, I decided to print out the pattern pieces. Janeen at Quilt Art Designs designed both of these patterns. The Shamrock pattern is still available here.  However, I was not able to find the exact Leprechaun Hat pattern listed on Craftsy anymore. I emailed Janeen and if she has it listed somewhere else, I’ll come on back and update this post with the info. Just in case you want to challenge yourself. (Update: Janeen has a similar  (but larger) hat pattern listed for sale here. It looks easier).

tunaquilts 4a

Both of these mug rugs are 5 .5″ square.

The Implementation

Size Matters

Our Valentine’s Day mug rugs are 5.5″ counting the binding and I want the new ones to be the same size. The Leprechaun Hat pattern is the right size to match the others. However, the Shamrock pattern was too small; it was only 4″ unfinished. No problem; I just sized it to print at 125% and it was perfect. This quilt math problem was easy.

Putting It All Together

After looking at both of these patterns, I decided to tackle the shamrock first. After all, if I got stuck on making the hat one, I’d still have something to show you. It sewed together rather easily.

tunaquilts 11a

I’m always impressed by the backs.

After sandwiching with some leftover Warm and Natural, I quilted a diagonal crosshatch in both directions using green thread. A 1 1/8″ single binding finished the edge. 

tunaquilts 3a

Now Things Got Interesting

After printing and then cutting out the Leprechaun hat pattern, I found the pieces were indeed small. And there were a lot of them.

tunaquilts 6a

12 Pieces to be exact. I used color pencils to color in the fabric colors so I wouldn’t get confused. I finished the buckle part first. Not as bad as I thought it might be.

So I chose three of the hardest ones to do first. This way if I couldn’t figure them out, I wouldn’t have wasted my time doing all the easy ones first. In other words, I could still walk away and no one would know I tried.

tunaquilts 8a

My magnifying glass came in handy. These pieces were too small to color code with color pencils.

I haven’t done a lot of paper piecing but enough to know the basics and to have lost count of how many blocks I’ve actually paper pieced.

tunaquilts 14a

I stapled swatches of the fabric to the color sheet so I would be able to pick the right one. It got quite confusing with those small pieces. 

tunaquilts 13s

I’ve learned a few tips along the way. I use a piece of card stock (it was an advertising postcard that came in the mail) in the fold line and the add-a-quarter ruler to cut the seam allowance.

tunaquilts 9a

Another tip is not to press on the paper side but only on the fabric side. This is to prevent the ink from transferring onto your fabric. I also use a dry iron (no steam) and wait to spray with Best Press (no affiliation) until after I’ve removed the papers).

tunaquilts 10a

I also use a tweezers to help remove the papers after I’ve sewn a seam. Once the seam is sewn, I remove the paper from behind it leaving the rest of it intact. This way it doesn’t get sewn into the next seam and become impossible to remove.

I still make a fair amount of mistakes, usually in my first couple of pieces. But then I develop a rhythm and can’t stop.

tunaquilts 12a

The back is amazing. This pattern sewed together very well. Hats off to Janeen!

tunaquilts 5a

Doesn’t it look fantastic! Tu-Na Helper likes his new mug rug.

tunaquilts 2a

The back is “Lucky Me!” by Shelly Comiskey for Henry Glass & Co.

The Celebration

Join these talented makers this week as we celebrate Small, Smaller, and Smallest:

March 5

 Kris Loves Fabric

Creative Blonde

Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats Thanks for stopping by.

Lily Patch Quilts

Needled Mom

Quilt Fabrication

Sew Many Yarns

Meanderings Along Lizard Creek

Melva Loves Scraps

 March 6


Vroomans Quilts

Creatin’ in the Sticks


Quilt Doodle Designs

Den syende himmel


Quilt Taffy

Hazel’s Daughter

  1. I do love a challenge.
  2. This challenge almost got the best of me. But I succeeded.
  3. I must now be an intermediate paper-piecer. The Leprechaun Hat pattern stated it was on an intermediate level.
  4. Tu-Na Helper thinks I’m making new mug rugs for each season and holiday. Hmmm. I guess it’s beginning to look a little like I am. No promises, though.
  5. Life’s too short not to celebrate something everyday.
 Question: What do you do for St. Patrick’s Day? It’s fun to celebrate…anything. So we take this opportunity to wear some green, eat some corned beef and cabbage if we eat out, and just have some fun. Maybe I’ll get time to make a new outside wall hanging for the day, too.

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read and would like to receive notifications when I publish more posts, follow me using email, WordPress, or Bloglovin. You can read more about me here and about my first quilt and the whopping amount I sold it for here.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again. 

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quiltfabrication

Tu-Na Quilts: One Monthly Goal for March

Tu-Na Helper asked, “How are you coming along with your one monthly goal?” I sighed as I knew he knew the answer. For the second month in a row, I did not complete my one monthly goal. Some of you may think that’s not bad. However, it was the very same goal for both months.

I’ve been busy sewing a lot of other things (some are pictured below)

and no matter how hard I think about working on that Elephant in the Closet it just doesn’t sew itself. I’ve even dreamed it was done and am disappointed when I check the sewing area and see it still in rows.

So I’m going to try it again but in a slightly different way.

My one monthly goal for March is to finish the elephant quilt top

tunaquilts elephant 28a

All the blocks are sewn into rows but half of the rows are not the same size. I need to adjust the seams and make them the blocks the same size. That’s why it stalled.

I’ve had some suggestions on how to proceed so I’m going to put some of those into action starting with reducing my expectation. You see, I wanted to have it completed and in the mail. Now, I’ll focus on just getting the top done this month. I am one that loves to rise above and do more than is asked so I just might surprise myself and actually get it quilted or even finished. But at the very least, it will be a finished top by the end of March. I suspect that once I actually move the top from the end of the ironing board where it’s been hanging out for over a month, that I will work on it for longer stretches of time. I’ll keep you informed.

March will be a busy month so I’m taking Yvonne’s (Quilting Jetgirl) suggestion seriously and working on it for 15 minutes a day to move it along starting today. Well, later today as I have to go to our village’s photo show as Tu-Na Helper has some of his pictures in it and then clean the house as we’re expecting overnight guests and pick some lemons to make a pie and some oranges to juice since it’s been a couple of days since we’ve had fresh orange juice and there’s 4″ of binding left to sew for the small blog hop project because my day is tomorrow and finish writing that post and…..

What I Learned Today:

  1. Admitting defeat is humbling.
  2. Admitting defeat is embarrassing. 
  3. I am motivated not to repeat this goal next month.
  4. Being stuck in a rut is difficult.
  5. I have to make time for “Later” or it won’t happen.

Question: What motivates you to get out of a rut or take action?

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

One Monthly Goal-March Goal Setting Link-up at Elm Street Quilts

Tu-Na Travels: Finding Fabric

Tu-Na Helper and I spent a long weekend in Austin, Texas returning late on Monday. While there, we browsed through several thrift shops. Why? Because I love a good deal and one never knows what they might find.

I found 5 3/4 yards of this beautiful elephant fabric.

tunaquilts 2a

The colors are vibrant. It felt lovely and soft. Although it hadn’t been washed, it still smelled good telling me that whoever had it took good care of it.

The price tag read $5.00. But it wasn’t 50% off day.

tunaquilts 1c

The fabric is “Elephants” designed for Exclusively Quilters. Exclusively Quilters is known for producing fabric with realistic looking animals. Look at all those color dots on the selvedge! 

Did I buy it? Need you ask.

tunaquilts 3a

5 3/4 yards is a lot of fabric but it still fit in my personal bag for the flight home.

What will I make with it? Not sure yet. What would you make with it?

What I Learned Today:

  1. I enjoy a good find.
  2. Good finds are getting harder to find.
  3. Shopping at thrift shops is addicting.
  4. I could be addicted to worse things.
  5. Contrary to what Tu-Na Helper says, I don’t need to have a plan in order to buy something. My plan will eventually come.

Question: Would you have purchased it?

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Tu-Na Quilts: Making Time to Sew

I’ve tried them all: lists, deadlines, motivators, organization strategies, and goal setting. Somehow, making time to sew eludes me. I’m finding myself pushing back the deadlines more and more. After all, I’m living the retirement dream in a 55+ Active Adult Community that has 92 clubs and activities in sunny and warm Arizona during the winter. That in itself is a lot to keep me busy.

I’m hoping to gain ideas from this Sew Much Fun Blog Hop to help nudge me back into my sewing room. In the meantime, here’s a few ideas that at times have helped me stay or get focused and maybe they will help you, too.Sew-Much-Fun-Blog-Hop-1000x1000[1]

Making Time to Sew

Some sewists strive to sew for at least 15 minutes a day. There’s even a blog, Life in Pieces, where you can link a post with your time accomplishment each Sunday. If this is for you, start keeping track of your daily sewing times.

2018 15 minute badge

I started. It lasted 3 days. While I haven’t joined the linky party there yet, I thought you might like to know of that resource. You just never know, I might show up there one of these weeks.

Some days, I’ll sew for hours and hours and deep into the night. Some days, I don’t even touch my machine. I enjoy reading quilting blogs and am often amazed at how much some of my favorite bloggers get done. For example: Karen at Quilts…etc., Julie at Pink Doxies, and Sally at The Objects of Design, whose clocks all seem to have more hours on them than mine.

I’m starting to realize that it’s not so much about setting aside time to sew as it is about creating a balanced life and not wasting the time I have in order to do all the things I want.

Finding Accountability

I’m finding that I need more than just the effort of making time to sew in order to move projects along. I need acountability partners. There’s a number of blogs that offer weekly or monthly linky parties. Some sewists find linking their WIPs or UFOs or goals helpful to keep them on track towards a finish. Here’s just a few of my favorites that I visit regularly even if I don’t link:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts every Monday

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter every Wednesday

UFOs at Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland every Saturday

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict every Friday

One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts link your one goal for the month in the first week then return at the end of the month to link your completed goal

Yearly Finish-A-Long is sponsored by a number of bloggers. Write a blog post with your quarterly goals and link to one of the blogs each quarter. Then at the end of the quarter, link a blog post with your completed goals. You can find more info here.

Sewing Something Fun

No matter how often I create with fabric, I am more willing to spend time and happily return to it each day if I am making something I enjoy or like. I love fabric and I love sewing. Oftentimes, those two don’t meet. 

tunaquilts 1a

I recently made this fun block. It was difficult and I spent a good part of 3 days working on it. You can read more about it here and find the free pattern here

Keeping It Real 

Whether I am thinking of the size of my project or tidying up my workspace at the end of each day or a project, I try to be realistic. If I only have a week to make a quilt, a lap size might be doable, a king size is not. I learned that the hard way. If I have no room on my cutting table to cut fabric, I try to take a few minutes to tidy up before continuing.


I am a messy cook and a messy sewist. I need to heed my own advice.

Reducing the Pressure

I like my blocks to be perfect. No matter how hard I try, they often are not. I am now striving for making them good or better. I make a lot of “good” blocks, and many “better” blocks and even a few accidently have fallen into the “best” category.

Good blocks will still make a wonderful quilt that someone will love and snuggle with. Better blocks still make a wonderful quilt that someone will love and snuggle with. Best blocks get hung on the wall as no one should touch those masterpieces. Who’s judging them? Me, of course. I’d rather have my blocks sewn into quilts to be used and loved than hung on my wall for only me to see and admire. 

tunaquilts 3a
I finally made time to catch up on these bee blocks several weeks ago. You can find the pattern here. The more I pressed those blocks, the more they looked puckered. Perhaps it was the fabric. Although not all the seams looked puckered. Perhaps I wasn’t careful enough cutting with the grain. I mailed them anyway even thought they were not perfect. Hopefully, Paige won’t get hung up on not seeing the forest for the trees. 

I’m getting better at overlooking and then forgetting about those minor little imperfections as well as embracing those unmatched seams and chopped off points as things that give my quilts character. 

Oftentimes, pressure is self-induced.

tunaquilts 3a

However, this Bee block I finished earlier this month turned out beautifully. I sent it to Emily of The Darling Dogwood to include in her bookshelf quilt. She asked for a shelf of books from 13-16.5″ long but would take whatever we sent. This one turned out 29″ in length. I wrote more about it on the Bee Inspired Blog here.

The block above is a perfect example of why it takes me a long time to accomplish things. I complicated a very simple block by making it larger than necessary and including a very interesting but complicated extra item. But I had so much fun doing it!

Handling DSD — Distracted Sewing Disease

Admission to having DSD—Distracted Sewing Disease—leads to coming to grips with it and working with it. The only known cure for it is stopping to quilt altogether. For me, that’s not an option. So I will just have to learn to cope and live with it.

I work on multiple projects. This is normal for me. Do you do the same? To help me keep organized, I put all items for one project in it’s own plastic bin with a cover that snaps shut.  

tunaquilts 1a

Here’s just one of my many bins. 

This includes the pattern, fabric, AND notes as what needs to be done or purchased, where I am in the process, ideas I have, etc. This way when I feel in the mood to move that particular project along, I can grab the bin, read my notes and know exactly where I’m at.

In the event, my DSD surfaces at a moment’s notice and I find myself starting yet another new project, I usually just go with it making sure I have a bin to put it into. After all, I don’t want to stifle my creativity but I want to stay organized in the process.

tunaquilts 2a

This is a class project with my AZ group. I’ve included all the fabric and thread I need for this project.

For those of you who also suffer from this disease, you can join others and link up your distracted sewing projects, also called squirrels, or Drop Everything and Make It Moments  (DrEAMi Moments) at Musings of a Menopausal Melon – mmm quilts! on the last Saturday of each month. But be warned; you might find more projects there making you drop everything and make them!

Join These Bloggers 

Check out these other bloggers to see how they Make Time to Sew.

Faith and Fabric (our hostess) Thanks, Jen

Faith and Felt Obsession

Fabric Engineer

Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats You are here. Thanks for stopping by.

What I Learned Today:

  1. There is no clock in my house that says “Sewing Time.” I have to make it a conscious decision.
  2. I love the process of quilting: cutting, sewing the pieces together, being distracted by another quilt and making a block from that one.
  3. I enjoy the process of quilting; it’s a bonus when I actually finish something.
  4. Sewing/quilting is only one of my priorities in my life. Life is too short to worry and fret over not producing enough quilts or becoming overly concerned that I haven’t sewn anything today or even this week.

Question: Do you prefer to sew in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Do you find yourself spending more time at your sewing machine in the summer, fall, winter, or spring? I like evening sewing but it comes with the problem of needing really good light. I used to sew a lot during the winter until we moved to Arizona during the colder months. Now I find it hard to sit inside and sew on a nice sunny day and we have a lot of those.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.


Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict