Tu-Na Travels: “All My Bags Are Packed, I’m Ready to Go” to Quilty Destinations Ahead

Plans are underway for my husband and I to travel the entire state of Minnesota in a few days. The MN Quilt Shop Hop is beginning! Read more about it here. For the third year in a row, we will visit over 70 shops, get our “passports” stamped, enter to win prizes, earn some incentives for completing each section, and buy some unique quilting fabric—ok, probably buy a lot of quilting fabric.

 

camper1

Each year a fabric line is designed just for the hop. Looks like it’s the year of the mosquito! Campers is available in light olive (pictured) and light khaki.

Last year we spent 11 days traveling 4343 miles visiting 70 shops resulting in a fabric bill that was larger than our gas, food, and lodging combined! In my defense, we stayed at the homes of several friends and family members along the way, carried a cooler in the car for lunches, and drove a Prius which averaged in the mid 50s mpg.

 

mosquito1

I’m sure some of this fabric line will find its way into my house. Mosquitos is available in light khaki (pictured) and light aqua.

 So how does one prepare for this event? My husband has entered all 73 shop addresses into a computer program and it’s been churning to give us the best route. The problem is that I closed his computer last night and he had to restart it all over this morning.

 

Trillium1

These fabrics could be pre-ordered but can not leave the shop until the hop begins. Trillium is available in light aqua (pictured) and light olive.

I’ve located the cooler. Why do we carry a cooler for lunches? Even with extended shop hours during the day, there isn’t much time to find a restaurant to grab a bite for lunch and still be able to get to many shops before they lock their doors for the night. In the evenings, we enjoy finding a local restaurant and eating a delicious meal but during the day, we snack out of the cooler and from the snack bag: cheese, yogurt, peanut butter,  trail mix, and some fresh fruits and vegetables.

 

canoes1

Just like last year, I decided not to pre-order. I guess I like the thrill of the hunt. Canoes is available in light khaki (pictured) or dark taupe.

 

I have my cell phone and charger in case I need to check with a store regarding their closing time. Several times in the past two years that we’ve done the hop, I’ve called ahead as the GPS says we’ll arrive a few minutes after closing and they’ve been nice enough to stay open for us until we arrive. Of course, I do reward their extended time by doing a bit of extra shopping. Yes, we use a GPS and my husband’s I-phone and, sometimes, we even have to resort to a paper map. We’ve been directed to dead ends, found ourselves miles off-course, and been re-routed by detours. Last year was the year the entire state seemed to be under road construction as even our detours were detoured. Eventually, we found our way to the shops often joking about having arrived by way of “the scenic route.”

 

Oars1

Last year one particular wildflower fabric sold out within the first few days. Luckily, I happened to snag a yard of it. Oars is available in light teal (pictured) and dark taupe.

 

I’m bringing my running shoes. This year’s goal is to complete the hop in 8 days or less. This will require me to do a bit of running and fast shopping. I’ve got my list (and my mom’s list): Aurifil thread, more 1930 repro fabrics, solids for a Minecraft quilt for my oldest grandson, and, of course, some of this cute Minnesota fabrics.

 

fish1

And who couldn’t resist some fish? Fish is available in cream (pictured) and light taupe.

 

The fabrics pictured here are just some of the special fabrics printed just for the hop. See the rest of them here. Which ones will I find and which will I let get away?

All that’s left to do is load the car and drive…a lot!

 

What I learned today:

  1. I left my favorite rolling suitcase at my winter house.
  2. My husband says, “You need to have a plan for the fabric you will buy.”
  3. I plan to like all that I buy.

 

Question: Have you ever gone on a shop hop? Tell me about your shop hop experience.

Your comments  are appreciated! Click on the title of this post if you don’t see the comment box. I respond either by email or here on the blog. Thanks.

Linking to:

Beth for Main Crush Monday (button on the sidebar)

 

 

 

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44 thoughts on “Tu-Na Travels: “All My Bags Are Packed, I’m Ready to Go” to Quilty Destinations Ahead

  1. jennyfur66

    What an amazing adventure. I’ve only been on one shop hop a couple years ago and lived every second of it. It is so great that your husband joins in the fun.

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  2. Kathy h

    My friends and I have done several hops, no more than 10 stores though. I will look forward to seeing what you find.

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  3. Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

    70 stores! That is amazing! I hope you have loads of fun and find lots of great things to bring home to add to your stash. I was on the Fat Quarter shop website today – they have a FQ bundle of solids for a Minecraft quilt, just in case you don’t find any in the 70 stores you’re visiting. 🙂

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    1. Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats Post author

      Thanks. It’s been quite an adventure! I am lucky that my husband supports my quilting obsession. He actually is worse than me when it comes to buying fabric. Often he will come running with a bolt to show me after I am already checking out saying, “Have you seen this one?”

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  4. JoanG

    I did a 12 store shop hop last year. I went with three friends and we had a ball. 700 miles in two days. I can’t imagine doing 70 shops. That is really a marathon.

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  5. Carol Maki

    Where are you from? I have done all of the hops so far. Plan to go again this year. I have also participated in the Iowa and Wisconsin hops as well as the Row by Row.

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  6. Casey

    Awesome! I’m doing the shop hop with my husband and 3 boys (6, 3, and 1). We are doing three regions this year. I think I talked my husband into doing the whole state next year. I’m excited and can’t wait to keep following you along on your journey. Do you know what the website was that gave the best directions for the whole state?

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  7. Chris

    Very interesting. We did one section today. We always meet nice people along the we….where are you going next? I live in Ceneral MN if you need a place to stay!

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  8. piecefulwendy

    We have some great stores here in Minnesota — enjoy your trek! I love the sunfish fabric! Hope I can snag some!

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      1. piecefulwendy

        I didn’t get the fish, but I did get the oars print on the blue/aqua and the cute camper print. Good enough for now. Hadn’t thought of fabric markers!

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      2. piecefulwendy

        I think the camper fabric will become at least one or two little pouches. Not sure what else. I’m still waiting for the oars to talk to me; I picked up two yards, so I’ve got some room to play. I might have to go back to the store and get coordinating fabric!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Bonnie

    My 2 daughters and myself went on a sort-of shop hop in 2013 during our vacation to Alaska. While the men are lured into the fishing derbies, the town of Homer offers a
    “shopping derby” for those who sport other interests. So we took the bait, grabbed our $, and set off. We didn’t win any prizes but we sure enjoyed ourselves!

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  10. geminijo69

    As you do the NW section, if you could keep an eye out for a baby quilt on display with a Teddy Bear alphabet I would love info on the pattern. I saw it about 5 years ago when I did a shop hop of that area and cannot get it out of my mind. I wish I could remember which shop it was at then I would contact them directly…..

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  11. dezertsuz

    Have a wonderful time! It seems to me I read about your travels last year, and was both in awe and in envy. =) Again, both. I’ve been on shop hops, but none that extended. What fun that would be!

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  13. Carmen

    I’ve done several shop hops here in Nebraska. Never the whole state, I think that would be fun sometime. Next year, it is a whole month long, so would be easier to get around as some of our shops are pretty far apart. I did Row by Row last year with a friend. We went into Kansas, hit 24 shops in 3 days. I could barely see straight after that!! But lots of fun.

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