Tu-Na Eats: Painted Christmas Cookies

My oldest son was about three when we started making these cookies. That first year, we had a Christmas party with several of his little friends and all the kids used paintbrushes to paint the cut out Christmas shapes.


The kids gather around the table painting and having fun. This pic was taken a couple of years ago although it feels just like last year. The cookies are painted before they are baked. When I first started this tradition, I bought a package of paintbrushes that I keep in the kitchen to be used only for this project.

The kids were proud of their accomplishments, even though those made by the younger ones contained many holes from pushing the brush too hard.


The “paint” is made with egg yolks, water, and food coloring gel (not the liquid kind). These cookies pictured here are done and ready to be transferred to a cookie sheet and lightly sprinkled with sugar before baking.

A family tradition was begun. Through the years, the kids’ painting skills grew and we continued to make and paint these cookies at Christmas time. Eventually daughter-in-laws and a son-in-law were added to the family and the cookies took on a real artistic flair.


Close-up before baking


After baking


Before baking


After baking

There were a few years that time got away from us finding us rolling and painting them on New Year’s Day. A few years we even forgot. But for the most part, it’s been a yearly tradition in our family. While they look complicated to make, they are very easy.


Don’t these look too pretty to eat! I think they look like stained glass.

This same idea makes really pretty Easter cookies using bunny, butterfly, flower, carrot, and an oval (for an egg) cookie cutters. I hope you give them a try. If you do, let me know what you thought and how yours turned out.


You don’t need artistic ability to paint these cookies. Even a few simple details make them look festive.

Painted Cookies Recipe

Make your favorite rolled cookie dough or use store-bought cookie dough. I’ve included my all-time favorite rolled cookie dough recipe—I use none other when needing a rolled cookie dough.

Roll the cookies to 1/8-1/4″ thick. (I roll them to about 3/16″ or so as I like a thicker cookie). After years of practice, I don’t measure anymore but just guess.) Cut out the cookie shapes using cookie cutters of your choosing. To make rolling out the dough easier, I wipe my counter with a damp cloth and immediately sprinkle a fine dusting of flour over it.

Mix the egg yolk paint using the recipe below. Using a fine paint brush, paint each cookie as you desire. Let one color dry before adding another color on top of it—it doesn’t take more than a few minutes (this is so that the colors don’t mix or run). Sprinkle lightly with sugar (optional) and bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!  

Rolled Cookie Dough


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Mix flour, butter, baking soda, baking powder and salt with a pastry blender or fork (like you would if you were making pie crust). In another bowl, beat eggs with a mixer, add sugar and blend well. Mix in vanilla. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture by hand. Roll into a ball and refrigerate at least an hour for easier rolling. If refrigerating overnight, remove from refrigerator 2 hours before using.

Egg Yolk Paint


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 teaspoon water
  • Food coloring paste or gel (NOT liquid food coloring) in your desired colors. (This paste or gel can be found at cake supply shops and hobby shops that carry food decorating supplies such as Michaels,  Hobby Lobby, some JoAnn Fabrics, and can even be ordered online—I have no affiliations to any of these.)

Directions: Mix egg yolks and water. Divide into small containers like miniature muffin pans or liquid medicine cups. Add paste/gel colors and stir well. Use a new paint brush for each color. You don’t need a lot of “paint” as it goes a long way.

Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop List


Here’s the list and links to other cookie bakers waiting to share their special treats and recipes with you. Be sure to click on the first link below to visit Carol at Just Let Me Quilt to enter the giveaway. Thank you Carol for hosting this virtual cookie exchange.

December 5

Just Let Me Quilt – Giveaway

Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats Thanks for joining me here.

Kris Loves Fabric


December 6

Creatin’ in the Sticks

Brenda’s Quilting Blog

Bumbleberry Stitches


December 7

What’s Up With Kim

Granny Can Quilt

Rosemary’s Recipe – posted at Just Let Me Quilt


December 8

Deb’s Rustic Quilting

Treasured Nest

Just Let Me Quilt

Thanks for stopping by. If this is your first time here, welcome to my blog where I write about the things I love: quilting, traveling, and eating—well actually cooking and baking but that doesn’t sound as good. Click here to find out more about me. I started my blog in April 2016 and wrote an introductory post for the New Quilt Bloggers Hop that you can find here. This summer my husband and I spent 9 days traveling around Minnesota visiting 72 quilt shops and I wrote many posts about those adventures. You’ll find the first post here. But don’t stop there, continue to check out  the other posts about the quilt hop so you don’t miss all the fun, frivolity, and loot I acquired on that trip; plus you’ll get to visit some very cool quilt shops and see some spectacular pics of the trip.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I gain weight just by thinking about these cookies.
  2. I miss having my little ones running around the house. My house is now too quiet and time has gone by much too fast.
  3. Christmas seems to come faster every year.

Question: What is your traditional family food/dessert/treat for the holidays?

Linking to:

Beth at Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday (button on the sidebar)

Beth at Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making (button on the sidebar)

Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social (button on the sidebar)

Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? (button on the sidebar)


Tu-Na Quilts: Trunk Show 2016

Here’s some of the quilts I am particularly proud of that I’ve made in the past. I’m linking to Whims and Fancies Trunk Show which showcases quilts. You are invited to check them out (click on this button below) after you get done reading here that is.

Online Quilt Trunk Show | Whims And Fancies

This summer I made a plus quilt for our exchange daughter (blog post still coming about it) and gifted it to her in August. You can read more about the quilt by clicking here.


I made two Little House Quilts using Amy Friend’s idea and many of her free patterns found on her During Quite Time Blog. I made the quilt below for my friend’s granddaughter. Click here to read the story of why I made it and for the links to the free patterns.

Gianna's quilt 1a

I made the quilt below for my grandson. I designed the covered wagon block. Close-up pics as well as my post explaining why I chose the blocks I did and links to the patterns (except for the covered wagon) can be found by clicking here.


I like this side by side pic so you can see the differences of these two quilts. The one on the left is definitely more girly and rightfully so since it went to a little girl.


I also made two pixelated giraffe quilts. This first one was for my granddaughter. There are 714 squares that finish at 1.5 inches of quilty cuteness here.

Katherinas quilt 1bbb

Nothing warmed my heart more than when she gave her taste of approval.


I used Minky for the back of both giraffe quilts. They were my first and second attempts at free-motion quilting on my home sewing machine and I loved it. My grandson’s quilt was a bit bigger with 714 squares finishing at two inches. If you look close you can see how I added an eyeball and nostrils when I quilted it. I think he was a bit excited to get it, too.



I have more quilts to show and share but time is running out to get this submitted. I hope I’ve whetted your appetite and that you’ll come back to read more.

Thanks for visiting. If this is your first visit here, welcome to my blog. You can read more about me here and here. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read and want to keep up with my adventures, I invite you to follow me by one of the methods found on my sidebar.

What I Learned Today:

  1. There’s nothing like a deadline to motivate me to action.
  2. I am way behind in posting about my quilting, traveling and eating adventures.

Question: What have you been up to lately? For me, I’ve just arrived at my winter home and am busy unpacking, restocking the pantry and refrigerator, and getting reacquainted with the area. I often joke about us being back again at our cabin at winter camp for seniors. First item of business this week is buying a sewing machine since I left mine at my other house. Advice and recommendations are definitely appreciated.




Tu-Na Travels: In Search of the Sun

I can hardly complain about the weather here in North Dakota this fall. It’s been sunny and warm in the mid 70s which is unheard of for this time of year. But I know it won’t last. Winter’s coming and I hear it’s coming on Thursday. So it must be time to seek a warmer and sunnier climate.


My first clue that it’s time to migrate south was when I needed to wear socks with my Birkenstocks. I hardly wear any other kind of shoe. These came directly from Germany. I look a little wild with those striped animal socks.


We will be driving to our other home in sunny Arizona today. I’ve packed lots of fabric from the quilt hop and other sewing projects so I’ll be continuing to create this winter. I’ve got a couple of quilts that have upcoming deadlines but first I have to get settled in for a long but sunny winter.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Deciding what to take from my fabric stash is hard to do. I want to take it all with me but I can’t because space is limited in our Prius.
  2. No one can pack a car like my husband can. My mom can tell you that, too. He has a reputation to uphold and he continues to maintain it.
  3. I’ve probably packed way more projects than I can get done in one winter.

Question: Do you now or would you like to in the future spend the winter where it’s sunny and warm?


Tu-Na Quilts: My Mama Always Says…

“If you don’t want to rip, you shouldn’t be sewing.”

Over the last couple of years, my mom and I’ve spent a lot of time quilting together. According to my husband, it seems like that’s all I’ve been doing. However, I know years from now when I look back on our time together I will say it wasn’t enough.


We are working on Sew Fresh Quilt’s Modernitional Bear Paw Quilt together. Mom contributed some fabrics.


During these quilting sessions, I write down mom’s words of quilting wisdom. My plan is to share these bits of wisdom with you from time to time in a series that I’ll call “My Mama Always Says.. I hope you will find them interesting and helpful, too.


Welcome to

My Mama Always Says..:

Where years of experience and bits of quilting wisdom guide me on my quilting journey.



So just why would mom say that I shouldn’t be sewing if I don’t want to rip out my mistakes? I don’t know about you but I make a lot of sewing mistakes. Maybe it’s because I am a perfectionist or maybe it’s because I just want it to look nice. Then again it might be that I just want it to look right or maybe it’s because I am still learning. Nonetheless, I’ve come to the realization that nothing is always perfect. So I’ve begun to hold my seam or block at arm’s length. If I don’t notice that the seams don’t meet just right from that distance, then it’s good enough.


I caught this mistake before I went any further. Can you find it? Yes, that little triangle piece was the wrong color. It still required taking 3 seams partially apart.


For those times when it’s not good enough, I’ve found an easy and fast way to rip it apart.


Using my seam ripper, I carefully slide the pointy end under the stich to cut the thread. I continue to do this on the same side about every 6-8 stitches or so. I’ve sewn two seams using black and white threads and am ripping out both. 



Turning the piece around to the other side, I use my ripper to gently pull on a stitch. It will release and then I can pull the thread with my fingers. If it becomes stuck, I just wiggle it back and forth and it will release. This makes for a very fast way to unsew that wrong seam. Having a sharp seam ripper helps too. Yes, they do get dull.


If my stitches are very close together, I’ll use this method.


Opening the seam, I slide the pointy end of the ripper under a stitch or two to cut the threads. Then I gently tug on the fabric. It helps to keep one side taught with a finger as shown. This method takes a little longer but safely picks open that seam.


Recently, I showed our exchange daughter K. my latest sewing project and she pointed out a mistake right away.


I started this in the summer but, you know, life happened: quilt hops, trips, toothaches, and apples. So I am back sewing on it.


I had looked at these blocks many times and had never seen the mistake. So I sighed, picked up the seam ripper, and remembered my mom’s words of wisdom, “If you don’t want to rip, you shouldn’t be sewing.” Thanks mom. You are right, as usual.


Now it looks better. This is the after picture. The piece by the yellow arrow was turned wrong and needed to come out and be reset. It took several tries but, as you can see, I did get it back together again.


What I Learned Today:

  1. Ripping apart a seam by any other name—unsewing, unpicking—is still a pain in the backside.
  2. That old TV show, Father Knows Best, didn’t tell the whole story; Mother knows best, too.
  3. No one, including mom, ever said I had to be happy about ripping out those seams.
  4. I’d rather find the glaring error now before it’s been quilted and too late to do anything about it.
  5. There is no such thing as perfect; good enough can be just right, too.
  6. A set of fresh eyes (by that I mean someone else) helps in finding errors.

Question: Do you spend a lot of time ripping apart your mistakes or are you a “that’s good enough” type of sewer? What’s your “go to” method of ripping apart your mistakes?


Monday to:

Show & Tell Monday with Bambi

Em’s Scrapbag at When Life Falls to Pieces Make A Quilt for Move It Forward

Beth at Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday (button on sidebar).

Beth at Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making (button on the sidebar).

Scraptastic Tuesday (button on sidebar).

Tuesday to:

Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for Tips and Tutorials Tuesday (button on sidebar).

Wednesday to:

Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Be Social (button on sidebar).

Tu-Na Quilts: Blogger’s Quilt Festival Update

You may recall that I entered two quilts in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival in September. I wrote about the Little House Quilt here and the Plus Quilt here. While both of those quilts received votes neither received enough to win in their categories.

The Plus Quilt received 34 votes. That’s more than just my family and friends voting for it and so I thank you so very much. All of the quilts that were entered were gorgeous and I spent many hours looking at them and reading the posts.


While my quilts didn’t get enough votes to win a prize, I did win something for leaving a comment on Amy’s Creative Side blog. Thanks, Amy! She notified me of the win and then I proceeded to forget all about it. I was full-swing into the apple harvest (read about that here) and had other things on my mind. Three weeks later, I found this in my mailbox.


Next Steps in Machine Quilting: Free-Motion & Walking-Foot Designs by Natalia Bonner


I haven’t had much time to read it (we are still drying apples and making lots of apple dishes and desserts) but it looks incredible and I know I will use it a lot when I quilt. The book includes many diagrams of how to sew the various patterns and I can’t wait to have time to practice some of them.


It was even autographed by the author!


I have Natalia’s previous book, Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting, and found it to be interesting and helpful when I was quilting the giraffe quilts. This new book will surely raise the bar (or should I say “raise the presser foot”) for me as a quilter!

What I Learned Today:

  1. I like reading quilting books just as much as my husband likes to read his sci-fi paperbacks.
  2. Sometimes being forgetful is exciting as it gave me this nice surprise.

Question: Do you read quilting books just for fun or do you read them to learn to do?

Linking to Sew Fresh Quilts, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? and Finished or Not Friday (buttons on the side bar)



Tu-Na Eats: Ghost Pie

I expected some special visitors Halloween evening so I whipped up a little treat earlier in the day.


My mom taught me how to make a nice scalloped pie edge.


Each Halloween (well most of them) for as long as I can remember, I’ve made a special treat for our kids.


I fill a baked pie shell with chocolate pudding. This year I used a cook and serve pudding but some years I use instant; it all depends on how much  time I have. After pouring the pudding into the pie shell, I cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from forming a hard crust.


Although our kids are grown, my grandson was coming to trick or treat and that gave me just the reason I needed to continue the tradition.


 After the pudding was set and cold (3-4 hours for cooked), I topped it with dollops of prepared whipped topping spreading it into the shape of a ghost. (Stir the topping first in it’s container to make spreading easier). You probably could use a stiff whipped cream if you were to eat it right away. Usually, I add brown M&Ms for eyes; none were to be found in this house today so this ghost has chocolate chip eyes instead.


Ding Dong…Trick or Treat…Run to the door to see who it is.


It’s Buzz Lightyear (my grandson) and Woody (my son).


After we all ate a piece of that ghost pie, they said goodbye and were off to ring other doorbells. So I went up into the attic to help my husband check for bats. After all, isn’t that what everyone does on Halloween night?

What I Learned Today:

  1. One is never too old to stop dressing up for Halloween. (I am dressed up as a quilter–see the threads on my shirt).
  2. Watch out for that bottom step on the ladder.
  3. There are no bats in our attic. I had to see it for myself.

Question: How did you spend your Halloween? What are your Halloween traditions?


Tu-Na Travels: Sometimes I Win and Sometimes I Lose

We checked our mailbox after returning home from a recent trip and found this interesting package.



The manila envelope contained my and my husband’s stamped passports and two little brown envelopes each bearing this thank-you note. Since his name was on the outside envelope, I reluctantly relinquished one to him.

While we didn’t win the Grand prize trip to Alaska or one of the twenty $100 shop hop gift certificates for completing all of the shops on the 2016 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop or any of the regional drawings from several of the sections, we did get this prize for finishing the state. Just in case you missed it, click here and then click here to read about our adventurous last day on the hop.



Inside each envelope was a beautiful hand-crafted necklace and a shop hop pin. I got the peach necklace (the one on your left).


My husband and I were among the 99 people who traveled around the entire state of Minnesota July 29-August 14, 2016 visiting ALL of the 72 participating shops. Those were pretty good odds to win the big trip but just not good enough for us. My husband reminded me that winning wasn’t the focus of the trip. He was right but it sure would have been fun.


This year’s shop hop pin is only 1″ square. Thanks Quilt Minnesota for a fun time and thanks for the statewide finish prizes.


What I Learned Today:

  1. The 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop is only about 9 months away (July 28-August 18, 2017).
  2. I better start sewing faster to justify needing to go on it again.
  3. Winning is fun but losing is disappointing.
  4. I have many good memories from our 2016 Quilt MN Shop Hop trip and that’s the best prize of all.

Question: What have you won or lost recently?

Linking to Can I get a Whoop Whoop and Main Crush Monday  (buttons on the sidebar).