Author Archives: Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

About Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

The story behind Tu-Na came about a couple of years ago when I asked my five year old grandson, “What do you call me?” "Nana" he replied. I turned to my four year old grandson, seated across the table from him and asked, “What do you call me?” “Tutu” (which is Hawaiian for Grandmother) he replied. “So” I asked, “What should the new baby call me?” as I pointed to my two week old grandbaby being held by his mother. After a couple of seconds, my oldest grandson's face brightened and he exclaimed “Tu-Na.” While the boys don’t call me Tu-Na as they each have their own names for me, the name is cute because of how it started. I wasn’t ready to be called grandma when the oldest was born and Nana seemed like a good idea. When the second grandson came along his mother didn’t want him calling me a name that is so close to banana that most kids say nana for anyway and since we had just returned from a trip to Hawaii and learned that Tutu is Hawaiian for grandmother, it seemed like a good idea. After raising four sons and one daughter, I rejoined the workforce briefly to decide I have more important things to do. Come follow along on my journey as I document the things I love to do; quilt, travel, and eat.

Tu-Na Quilts: The Rest of the Story…

Earlier today I posted here about all the Valentine things I made this year from fabric and flour. I ended my post saying that I gave Tu-Na Helper (my husband) the mug rug and he gave me flowers. I did not know that there was still more Valentine surprises coming my way.

Tu-Na Helper drove me to the Sew and Chat Evening Session of my quilting group. I was the first to arrive and the room was still locked and dark. I could hear voices in the courtyard but didn’t really pay attention. I unlocked the room and turned on the lights. Tu-Na Helper brought in my sewing machine and supplies.

Soon the room was overrun with a dozen people carrying sheet music. I was thinking that the office had made a mistake and accidently scheduled the room for another group besides us quilters. Our quilting group’s President had now arrived and explained that they couldn’t stay because we would be using the room. The explanation came, “We’re here to sing a song to Karen.” They turned towards me and started singing, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”

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After another love song, they handed me a box of  very delicious chocolates and a bright red rose.

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What I Learned Today:

  1. I am loved.
  2. Singing Valentines are the very best kind to receive.

Question: What would you choose: chocolate truffle, raspberry cream, caramel, maple nut butter, or coconut cluster? I shared the chocolates with my quilting friends who came to sew and chat. The raspberry cream was delicious! And so was the chocolate truffle.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

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

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Tu-Na Quilts: Happy Valentine’s Day Finishes

I finished the Valentine’s Day wall-hanging I made for the Put a Little Love in Your Quilt Blog Hop last week. You can read more about it here.

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 I hung it outside and it’s been greeting our guests ever since.

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I wanted something that says “A Quilter Lives Here.” 

I used a darker scrappy pink binding to frame out the hanging. It’s under a nice covered patio and is out of the sun. Hopefully, it’ll be protected enough to last a few seasons. Now, I will have to think of the next holiday and get something made to replace it, maybe something for St. Patrick’s Day or Easter or spring. 

Last week I also baked a batch of cookies—heart shaped ones.

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And decorated them all fancy. It was a large batch so we took them to a couple of community dinners to share. They were a hit and I should have made more.

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I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe found here and decorator frosting to pipe the borders and some sayings from conversation heart candies. I only have 5 decorating tips and should look for more or bring my extras down with me next year.

This week, I finished Tu-Na Helper’s Mug Rug. You can read more about his mug rug and find the link to the free pattern here

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I chose some Chocolate Love by Audrey Jeanne Roberts for Studio e fabrics. 

I also made a mug rug for me using the free paper pieced rose pattern found here. I reduced the size and then trimmed it to 5.5″ so it would be the same size as the cup one. The rose sewed up easily.

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I quilted a diagonal crosshatch about 1/4″ apart. I used painter’s tape to mark my first diagonal lines in each direction and then my seam guide for the rest of the lines.

I made the center of the rose darker. The next couple of rows of petals were a bit lighter, and the last couple or rows of petals were the lightest.

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I used three different fabrics for the rose but could have used more as the petals are lost by all the quilting.

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I used a 1 1/8″ strip to bind them. It didn’t need a bulky double binding.  Each mug rug finishes at 5.5 inches.

I gave Tu-Na Helper his Mug Rug this morning for Valentine’s Day

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and he gave me…

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a dozen long-stemmed roses!

* Update: That’s not all he gave me! I posted Tu-Na Quilts: The Rest of the Story here.*

What I Learned Today:

  1. I sew slowly. I was at a class this afternoon and am the furthest behind with that project.
  2. Being slow isn’t all bad. I didn’t have to rip out as much as some of the others.
  3. My seam ripper is rather dull. It’s time to get a new one.
  4. Completing the Valentine Wall Hanging was Goal #10 on my post Tu-Na Quilts: My Three Month Plan for the 2018 Finish-A-Long.
  5. I’ve still got 9 other goals to complete. 
  6. I might have to speed up the sewing to get more of my goals completed.

Question: What do you do special for Valentine’s Day? When the kids were little, I would make and decorate each of them a giant heart-shape cookie.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

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

Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She

Tu-Na Quilts: Put a Little Love in Your Quilt

As quilters, we put a lot of love in our quilts we make. When Carol from Just Let Me Quilt offered this blog hop, I jumped at the chance. The only requirement was to put a heart somewhere in the quilt.

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I’ve been wanting to make a wall hanging for the front door area of our house for awhile.

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This quilt will finish at 21.5″ x 33.5.” Read on to find out why it’s missing it’s binding.

Something that says a quilter lives here. Something that says welcome. Something that I could leave up for awhile and replace with something else as the season calls. I found a free heart pattern here and began to cut some scraps. I wasn’t going to go scrappy but once I started cutting, I dug deeper into the scrap bin.

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I put a binding clip in the end of each row to show which direction I should press the seams toward. This keeps me from running back and forth from the ironing board. Although, I could use the exercise.

I changed the pattern by cutting the blocks 3.5″ so that my finished block would be larger than what the pattern called thus making my wall hanging larger. 

I used this recent purchase of #love designed by Sandy Gervais for Moda that I found in the clearance bin at a local quilt shop for some of the background pieces.

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This fabric has hearts too as well as the words live laugh love.

At this point I realized it needed something more and so I searched for a pattern of a bouquet of flowers. I settled on these paper pieced rose buds that I found in the May/June 2015 issue of Quiltmaker magazine.

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I remove the inner papers leaving the outer ones intact until the seams are sewn together.

They sewed up quickly or maybe I’m just getting better at paper piecing. 

And Then Some Distracted Sewing Happened

I started searching the internet for some free patterns for roses, just in case you wanted to make one of these wall hangings for yourself and didn’t have access to that particular magazine. You probably won’t believe me when I say that a funny thing happened on my way to find that free pattern. I found a “squirrel” project. So I dropped everything and made this cute little mug.

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You can find the free paper-pieced pattern here

I’m planning on quilting this mug rug and giving it to my husband for Valentine’s Day. He likes his morning coffee all day long. Now he’ll have a fun mug rug to set his cup on.

If you want to sew up some roses. You’ll find a free paper pieced pattern of a rose here. I downloaded it and will make it as soon as I am finished writing this. 

Back on Track Again

I quilted the heart with straight lines

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My husband bought these gloves at Menards, a department-type hardware store in the Midwest. We were sad to find there isn’t a Menards in AZ. The gloves have silicone on the underside of the fingers (you can see some of the dots) which really helps grip the fabric and makes quilting so much easier on the hands, arms, shoulders, and back.

 

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and did some free motion loopy hearts all over everything else.

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I couldn’t resist adding some ric rac stems. After all, I am the Queen of Ric Rac (self-proclaimed).

So that’s why this outdoor wall hanging still needs the binding.  (Update: This wall hanging is now finished and hanging outside my front door. You can read all about it and Tu-Na Helper’s finished mug rug and other 2018 Valentine projects I made out of fabric and flour here.)

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I chose these fabrics for a scrappy binding.

More Fun and Love Found Here

To help you spread the love or at least get you in the mood to sew up something fun for Valentine’s Day, hop on over to these blogs.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I get easily distracted and want to try new patterns. Maybe that’s why I like making sampler quilts where every block is different.
  2. That lemon pie isn’t making itself. I’ll have to make it tomorrow. Lemon Meringue is Tu-Na Helpers favorite pie. I’ll make him another one next week. 
  3. Paper piecing is getting easier. The easier it’s getting the more I like it.

Question: How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Will  you sew something special?

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter on Feb 14th

Midweek Makers at QuiltFabrication

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt

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

Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She

DREAMi at Musings of a Menopausal Melon on the last Saturday in Feb. (Hopefully, I won’t forget)

 

Tu-Na Quilts: February Goal

I didn’t do too well last month so let’s try again this month. January’s One Monthly Goal was to finish and mail the elephant quilt.

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I laid the elephant quilt on the guest bed and figured out what needed to be done to make the rows the same size. (They were sewn on two different machines and are not equal in length.) But that’s as far as it got as we were getting overnight company. So I gathered up the rows and they’ve been hanging over the ironing board ever since.

And then I got distracted making some pine trees for my Bee Inspired Bee Mate

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You can find the free pattern here.

and this super cute mixer which I wrote about here. Now you can read my post on the Bee Inspired Blog here and why I needed to sew one and who gets it.

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You can find the free pattern here.

I also spent a couple of all day sewing sessions working on a mystery quilt hosted by my Arizona quilting group.

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I picked up this tip to keep organized with the steps by putting the pieces into labeled zip lock bags..

 

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I completed these pieces for day one of the mystery quilt. I must admit that I spent a lot of time checking out the fabric choices of the other class members as well as just chatting.

 

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Here’s a wonderful batik quilt. Even Tu-Na Helper likes this one.

I did lots of volunteering in my AZ community in January: making popcorn for Monday Movie Days, clearing and resetting tables for the Sloppy Joe Lunch, being in charge of ticket sales for the shuffleboard club, and chairing the membership committee for the quilting group. That brings me to this month wondering what happened to the rest of January.

I’ve got several projects needing to be finished this month that I could list here but I want to keep this elephant quilt as my One Monthly Goal. After all it really needs to get done!

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So February’s goal is to finish this cute elephant quilt top, quilt it on the longarm, bind it, and put it in the mail.

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What I Learned Today:

  1. I suffer from MPD (Multiple Project Disorder).
  2. I am also afflicted with DSD (Distracted Sewing Disease).
  3. I have a problem with time management.
  4. There’s so much to do all the time here at “winter camp for seniors.”
  5. I need to use my time wisely as it will continue to pass quickly no matter what I do or how much or how little I get done.

Question: What do you do help with time management?

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts

WIPs at Silly Mama Quilts

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt

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

Tu-Na Quilts: Mixing Around and Having a Lot of Fun

I’ve always said that spending the winter in Arizona is like going to winter camp for seniors. There’s 92 different clubs and activities offered in our 55+ active adult community and that’s not counting the flu that’s also going around. Tu-Na Helper and I have been busy and enjoying every minute of our time here.

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I did spend some time this week mixing things up a bit and produced this cute little block. I thought you’d like to see what I’ve been up to as far as sewing related. No, I have not started a new project. But more about that later.

 

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This little beauty is 7 3/4″ X 9 3/4.” Tu-Na Helper says this one is a new digital model since it’s missing the lever. Some things just have to be left to the imagination. You can find the free pattern here on Why Not Sew.

 

I changed the pattern a bit. I treated it like paper piecing and not sewed as shown on the pattern for two reasons; I needed it to be facing this direction and I just couldn’t see myself fussing over little pieces of freezer paper. It actually worked amazingly well. 

What I Learned Today:

  1. I’ve been missed. I received 4 emails from my dear readers asking if I was ok since it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Rest assured all is well but I did enjoy knowing that I was missed. There is much fun in the sun around here taking my time. 
  2. The more time lapsed between posts makes sitting down and writing more difficult.
  3. I need to use my “real” Kitchen-Aid to whip up another lemon meringue pie. The lemons on our tree are ripe! I’ve already made three pies and we’ve had some company.
  4. Some of those lemons are so big that it only took 1 and 1/2 to make a 1/2 cup of juice.
  5. There’s no comparison between homemade fresh lemon meringue pie and lemon pie made from a box of lemon pie filling.
  6. Find another piece of fabric to use for the background in my pictures. I got a new camera for Christmas from my kids and a new light/camera stand from Tu-Na Helper. I’m still learning to use both.

Question: Do you whip things up by whisk, hand mixer, or a fancy stand mixer like the one pictured? I tried whipping cream with a whisk, once. After 30 seconds, I decided it definitely is worth using something that’s a whole lot faster.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen,

Tu-Na Quilts

Linking with:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

2018 Monthly Color Challenge (January is red) at Patterns by Jen (PB &J)

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Tu-Na Quilts: My Three Month Plan

Before I started my blog, I joined the finish-a-long party but haven’t been back since. Life happens. Because I need all the motivation and encouragement I can muster, I am linking once again. It’s an International affair hosted by a group of bloggers from around the world. You will find the link at the bottom of this post. Look out party goers, Tu-Na’s back! 

2018 Finish A Long LogoTu-Na’s January, February, and March Finish-A-Long projects

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Tu-Na Quilts: Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Closet

Yes, lets’ talk about that elephant quilt lurking in my closet. I’m making it for my best friend’s granddaughter who already celebrated her first birthday in November. So it’s officially not a baby quilt anymore. And I’m officially very late with it.

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This project became shelved when I began having eye issues. It needs a bit of seam adjustment to make the rows match.

Everyone (well, at least the blogs that I follow) talks about their one monthly goals and up to now I figured I didn’t need to set myself one goal a month. But after last year, I do need an incentive or something to help me move some projects along. So I figured I’d join the party.

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The rules are to write a post about the one item you want to move along or finish this month and link to the party at Elm Street Quilts. Then at the end of the month, write a post about your progress and link to the finish party. I figure it may be just the incentive I need to move along a few projects. Oh, and there are prizes to win, too.

I started this quilt last spring. You can read about the exciting birth of that baby elephant here as Dr. Tu-Na was present in the delivery (sewing) room. I posted about this quilt’s progress here in Let’s Make Elephants, and here  in We Have an Elephant Parade, and here in Progress on She Has Her Mommy’s Nose.

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I’ll post about my progress on this Elephant at the end of the month or sooner if I actually get it done. Yes, completely done: pieced, sandwiched, quilted, bound, and in the mail.

What I Learned Today:

  1. There are 25 days left in January. I better not wait until the last week to work on this project.
  2. It gets cold in North Dakota in the winter. We braved the cold temps and spent the holidays with our family in North Dakota. The coldest it got was -28°F with at least two days of never getting above 0°.
  3. My plants in the sunroom don’t like the cold. The dieffenbachia froze.
  4. It’s time to bring on the heat and head back to Arizona.
  5. I’m thinking an Arizona Family Christmas next year just might be perfect.

Question: What project do you have that’s been hiding in the closet? Oh, I have others that will hopefully make their appearances this year but this is the one that really needs to get done so someone cute and little can snuggle with it.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen,  Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Moving It Forward at Em’s Scrapbag

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

 

 

Tu-Na Quilts: A Christmas Tree for the Kids

I didn’t want to bring up all the Christmas decorations this year when we arrived back at the northern house just two days before Christmas. But I didn’t want to be nicknamed “Tu-Na the Grinch” or “Tu-Na Scrooge” if I didn’t at least do something to decorate the house for the holiday.

So I thought I’d use some felt and make a tree to put on the wall. I cut lots of circles: large, medium, and small for the decorations, while my daughter-in-law cut the tree shape. She made it a very full tree to hold lots of felt circles.

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Tu-Na Helper used Command strips to hang it on the wall.

It is a big hit with all the little kids and the big ones as well. They can decorate and redecorate the tree as much as they wish.

What I Learned Today:

  1. One is never too old to decorate a tree. Even I had fun decorating this tree.
  2. My daughter is a very good cook. She is baking homemade Biscotti right now.

Question: Did you put up a tree or not this year? You’ve seen the extent of my Christmas decorations for this year above.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

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

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Tu-Na Quilts: The Best of 2017

Visitors from 72 countries stopped by Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats and have left over 1600 comments on the 98 posts I published this year. I was honored to receive 453 comments on the twelve 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop posts. I’ve been unable to reply to all of them but know that I have read and appreciated every one of them. Thank you for taking the time to stop and chat, ask a question, leave an answer, or offer some help. I’ve learned so much from my readers.

I’m excited to have almost 450 followers by email, WordPress, and Bloglovin. Thank you for taking the time to not only read what I write but want to follow so you don’t miss a post. I’ve only been blogging for 1 and 1/2 years and strive to make my posts interesting and entertaining. If they sometimes read a bit humorous, it’s an added bonus for both of us.

There’s a year-end party happening over at Meadow Mist Designs. Cheryl has invited us to reflect on our year by sharing five of our top posts.

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Tu-Na Travels: ♪ I Want To Wish You A Merry Christmas ♪ – Arizona Style #13

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We went to the Mormon Temple in Mesa, Arizona to see their light display. There are over 20,000 bulbs on this star.

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We got there early as parking is always a problem.

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The good news is that we had no problem finding a place to park but the bad news was that the sun would not be setting for an hour and a half. We got to watch the lights come on, the sky darken, and the grounds fill with hundreds of people. This is one very small part of the display.

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It was beautiful after dark. It was just one of those places and times where you really have to be there to appreciate it.

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Here’s some really tall lighted palm trees. I was told that they take all the lights down after Christmas to repair and replace bulbs and then start putting them back up in April. This is one massive light display.