Category Archives: Tu-Na Travels

Tu-Na Travels: Day Ten, 171 Miles, 3 Shops, 0 Shops Remaining

Today would be an easy day leading towards a state-wide finish for the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. We learned from last year to allow more time for this last leg so we wouldn’t have quite as dramatic of a finish. See this post and then this post about last year’s amazing race to the finish line.

tunaquilts 5a

My husband and I spent the night at my sister’s log cabin by the lake. We were honored to be given the jungle bedroom. This towel gorilla was waiting for us. We lifted it carefully onto some color so he would photograph well.

We woke in time to attend church with my sister, her husband, and our niece.

tunaquilts 6a

But first we needed a little breakfast. My husband is enjoying his morning cereal or maybe he is he enjoying the view.

As we entered this beautiful Lutheran church, we noticed the gorgeous stained glass windows and the bright and cheery sanctuary. Bonnie told me the congregation had spent quite a lot of money to have those windows professionally cleaned. They sure looked nice and I think it was money well-spent.

While we were sitting and waiting for the service to begin, the pastor was making his rounds around the congregation shaking hands and exchanging morning greetings. When he came to where we were seated, he recognized my husband and I as members of Bonnie’s extended family. We’ve been to church here before with Bonnie and her family for baptisms, confirmations, and visits although it’s been a couple of years. My husband and I told the pastor of our adventures of traveling around the entire state of Minnesota and visiting 63 quilt shops with only 3 left to visit today. The pastor then put his hand on my husband’s shoulder and said, “God Bless You.” He went on to add, “That is very honoring.”

After church, my sister, Bonnie, made us Wild Rice Pancakes with fresh fruit including raspberries freshly picked from her garden. She has quite a green thumb growing all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and weeds. Somehow those weeds just keep coming back year after year. We also had bacon, I think. I’ve learned not to ask what kind of meat she serves as we’ve had a variety of deer, pheasant, salmon, bear, elk and who knows what else since my brother-in-law is an avid hunter and fisherman.

tunaquilts 11a

I almost forgot to get a picture of that delicious breakfast. I guess I didn’t get a picture of that mystery meat.

They offered us the use of their canoe and paddle boat so we could paddle around the lake before we left. My husband was focused on finishing the shop hop today and heading home so he declined and said we’d be back sometime soon and took a rain check. We’re holding her to it!!

tunaquilts 7a

And we were off on the last leg of our adventure. It’s always sad when an adventure has to end but we were excited to get back home to see our new college graduate son who had moved back home to job hunt and our other son, his wife, and our 2-year old grandson who had sold their house and moved in with us until they are able to move into their new house in September.

We entered the This is Sew Broadway shop in Crookston and found Jenn, the owner, there this time. I featured this shop last year but she had been away hosting a bus of quilting shop hoppers so I had visited with her dad instead. You can read more of that post here. We spent a fair amount of time visiting with Jenn, looking around the shop, and making a purchase. Tu-Na Helper reminded me that we needed to be on our way.

The gals at Quilter’s Eden in East Grand Forks were very friendly and we took our time. After getting back into the car, I realized I had forgotten to ask about their block kit so I ran back in and purchased one. Now, we didn’t have as much time as we had thought before the last shop would be closing for the day.

We arrived at our last shop on the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop about 30 minutes before closing. We’d be checking out of the Northwest region here and also the state. When we rounded the corner in the Moorhead Center Mall in Moorhead, MN and spied all those ladybugs, I knew I’d found

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop:

Lisa Hage, the owner, was off for the day getting a much-needed couple of days off. She’d left the shop, The Quilted Ladybug,  in Cindy’s and Sarah’s capable hands. Cindy filled me in on some details about this shop while Sarah took care of customers and other shop hoppers still coming into the shop.

tunaquilts 4a

The Quilted Ladybug is located at the Moorhead Center Mall, 420 Center Ave. Suite 2, Moorhead, MN.

Lisa purchased The Quilted Ladybug about three years ago. It had previously been located elsewhere in the city since it’s inception in 2004. Evidently that owner liked Ladybugs and the name continued. You will find ladybugs all over the store from fabric displays to rocks.

tunaquilts 10a

Church Lady apron patterns! I have that pattern and need to get to making one. I always go back to my usual one that I could sew up without a pattern. It’s about time I try something new.

When Lisa purchased the business, she made the decision to move The Quilted Ladybug for several reasons: the current building rent was increasing and also to improve it’s visibility. It is now conveniently located within the Moorhead Center Mall in Moorhead, MN across from Herberger’s and has ample parking. As most business entrepreneurs would say, it’s all about location, location, location.

tunaquilts 21a

Lisa, being the creative person she is and because she had taken graphic design classes, decided to design and write quilt patterns. She created the pattern company, Sew Many Stitches, when she was a stay-at-home mom. Lisa believes that “Quilt patterns should look difficult…not be difficult!” (Excerpt taken from The Ladybug website.) The Quilted Ladybug includes a display of her patterns and you can also see them here on her online shop. Of course, she also made a lot of quilts during that time at home. Her love for pattern designing, fabric, and quilt making all led her to become the owner of The Quilted Ladybug.

tunaquilts 26a

The shop doesn’t house a longarm for quilter’s use or provide professional quilting service but it does offer a longarm drop-off service for 4 professional longarm quilters. Customers can bring in their finished tops, battings, and backings and drop them off to be picked up by one of those professionals with which the customer has pre-arranged. That’s very generous customer service for any shop.

tunaquilts 22a

I noticed their large amount of batik fabrics as well as some bolts of Lori Holt fabrics. In addition to those fabrics, they also have a good supply of other quilting fabrics, flannel, minky, wool, and a variety of patterns. The shop recently became a dealer for Brother sewing machines and are an authorized Brother Service Center servicing all makes and models of sewing machines. I also couldn’t help but notice some NDSU items as well.

tunaquilts 16a

They sell pre-fused, laser cut NDSU applique Bison logos. Good to know! Tu-Na Helper and I are both NDSU graduates as well as 4 of our 5 children. Go Bison!

The shop has a cozy class space making their classes more personal. They offer classes in quilting, embroidery, and bags.

tunaquilts 24a

Cindy Steyer-Lukowiak will soon be saying good-bye to the staff and customers of The Quilted Ladybug as she moves out of state. However, she has fabric plans that will keep her in touch with quilting.

tunaquilts 17a

Cindy’s advice for new quilters is to start with a good beginning class, such as their “Quilting 101” class that The Quilted Ladybug offers. “Once new quilters have been successful at taking that class (or any good beginning class), then they’re hooked,” according to Cindy.

tunaquilts 25a

The black and white quilt in the top center is the quilt made in the Quilting 201 class.

The shop also offers a Quilting 201 class. I suspect the naming of the classes come from the fact that they are located within 20 minutes of 3 major universities and several smaller colleges and trade schools. Sarah is an example of taking that Quilting 101 class and then walking out with a job at the shop. It didn’t take long for her to become hooked.

tunaquilts 13a

Cindy, Me, and Sarah

For more info about The Quilted Ladybug and to discover Lisa’s online offerings, see her website here. When you stop in to see all the lovely fabrics and count the ladybugs, say Hi! to Lisa and the gals. Oh, and when you do, tell them that Tu-Na sent you.

tunaquilts 9a

When we checked out of the Northwest region here, we received these lovely fabrics.

tunaquilts 3a

I chose the Dotalicious Earth Island Batik Strips on the left. My husband chose the Blushing Blooms on the right. Each package has 40 2.5″ strips of delightful fabrics to play with.

We are State Finishers! 10 Days, 3,429 Miles, 66 Shops and Credit Card Debt from a Car Full of Fabrics, Notions, and Patterns

Our passports were verified and stamped. We had made it!!

Over hill. Over dale. We did hit the dusty trail. As the Quilt Hop went rolling along.

tunaquilts 1a

All the stores have applied their store stamp and verified that we did set foot inside. Setting foot inside was easy, leaving was often hard to do. Seeing all the beautiful quilts and other things on display was indeed impressive. I had to leave so much pretty fabric behind. However, I did buy more than enough to keep me busy and productive this year.

The passports sure look different than when we first started out ten days ago. See the originals here.

tunaquilts 2a

Since we completed the entire state visiting all 66 shops, our passports now go into a drawing for an Alaskan cruise!

From 66 Quilt Shops on the Hop all the way down to one, we had been inside every door. Each shop was interesting and unique and I found a lot of things to buy. My only regret was that I wanted to have stayed longer at many of them. Tu-Na Helper’s regret will be coming soon in the mail, the credit card bill.

The mileage listed above includes all of our miles from our front door in Bismarck, North Dakota traveling around Minnesota and back home. It’s been quite an adventure once again. “I think if we don’t win the trip after next year’s hop,” Tu-Na Helper said as he leaned in close to me, “we’ll just have to go and buy the trip ourselves.”

Block of the Day:

tunaquilts 12a

I purchased this super cute block kit from Quilter’s Eden in East Grand Forks, MN. There was no name for it so I think “Porthole View” would be appropriate. I substituted the included background and light green fabrics for 2017 Quilt MN Shop Hop fabric. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Kind of like not grilling pancakes on a Lefse griddle, right Bonnie? Note: If you are making this block, there is a typo on the cutting directions for the background fabric; it should read, cut (16) 1.5″ squares.

Coming Soon:

  • Update on Johnny’s quilt
  • A look at the loot
  • A few words from Tu-Na Helper

What I Learned Today:

  1. We must be slowing down or maybe we just enjoyed this trip more. It took us one more day than last year. We drove 61 less miles and there were 6 less shops on the hop than last year but the car is just as full.
  2. Moms are the last ones to know things about their kids or at least I am. Our new college graduate son now has a job. He received a job offer when we were gone on the hop. Although we talked to him by phone a couple of times, he decided to surprise us with the news when we arrived home. During that time, he had driven to Fargo, 200 miles away, and found himself a brand new apartment. He’ll be moving there in a couple of days and we’ll probably be helping him.
  3. My sister is a very good cook but I already knew that. It’s nice to be reminded.
  4. It feels good to be home.
  5. The car is packed with enough projects to keep me busy all year and then some.
  6. My husband is a wonderful guy but I already knew that, too.

Question: Can you fold a towel or a napkin into an interesting object? Tell me about it. Years ago, when I was a girl scout leader, I showed my group how to fold napkins and bought each of the girls a book on napkin folding. My daughter enjoyed doing that and we often had nicely folded cloth napkins at our table. My sister has a book on towel folding from the Carnival Cruise Line. It must be addicting since every time we visit her, we have a different animal sitting on our bed.

I am home now and trying to get caught up with household tasks and my bee blocks which some are two months behind. I read and appreciated every comment I received. Many of you were happy to hop along with us from the comfort of your easy chair. Some of you wanted to be out shop hopping, too, and maybe next year, you will. And a few of you found Tu-Na Helper and I at the shops and we visited and snapped a couple of pics. It was great fun! Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

See my other posts about the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop:

Tu-Na Travels: ♪Over Hill. Over Dale. We Will Hit the Dusty Trail. As the Quilt Hop Goes Rolling Along….♪

Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two, 334 miles, 7 Shops, Only 48 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three, 210 Miles, 4 Shops, 44 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 276 Miles, 9 Shops, Only 35 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five, 274 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 27 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Six, 243 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 19 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Seven, 259 Miles, 6 Shops, 13 Only Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Eight, 204 Miles, 6 Shops, Only 7 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Nine, 401 Miles, 4 Shops, Only 3 Shops Remaining

All the links to my posts for last year’s Quilt MN Shop Hop can be found at the top of this blog under the Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats title. Click on the Shop Hop tab; in the drop down menu, click on 2016 Quilt MN Shop Hop Posts. You will find pictures and links to each of the posts for that year’s hop.

At this time, I have no affiliation with any of the shops, products, companies, or services that I mention here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats.

Linking to:

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

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt

Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She

Advertisements

Tu-Na Travels: Day Nine, 401 Miles, 4 Shops, Only 3 Shops Remaining

We woke to the call of loons on the lake. I really should have roused earlier to watch the sunrise over the lake, but the mattress was much too comfortable. Instead, we took our time: enjoying the view, listening to the loons, and watching campers cook their breakfasts over smoky fires. 

tunaquilts 2a

I noticed a young fisherman down on the dock. We moseyed on down to ask how the fishing was going. He responded with a fisherman’s tale about the big one that got away and was swimming under the dock. When I asked of its size, his hands showed about 12 inches while his dad showed about five. 

tunaquilts 29a

While we were talking to him, he reeled in this little blue gill. He was quite pleased with it but his dad took it off the hook and returned it to the lake to find his mother and the young fisherman went back to trying to entice the big one to bite his hook.

We had almost a 2 hour drive to get to our first shop of the day, Cabin Quilting, in Cook. I had featured them last year which you can read about here. This long stretch of Minnesota country was just perfect for listening to Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion and watching the ditches for purple, white, and yellow wildflowers.

tunaquilts 24a

I love wildflowers. “Oh, look at those yellow ones,” I pointed. “Sow thistle,” my husband responded. “Those other yellow ones are ragweed and those purple ones are Canadian Thistle. Weeds” he pointed out. “Wildflowers,” I insisted. (In my defense, we did find some patches of beautiful wildflowers, but there were plenty of patches that were all weeds. Tu-Na Helper)

tunaquilts 28a

We found these Black Eyed Susan’s along the road.

After leaving Cook, we turned North for another long car ride to International Falls and then we found:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

As we parked our car, we couldn’t help but notice the barn quilt on the side of this quilt shop.

tunaquilts 8a

tunaquilts 7a

The Up North Quilt Shop can be found at 4062 Hwy 11, International Falls, MN.

The front door invited us to come on in.

tunaquilts 32a

tunaquilts 9a

Here’s a decoupage framed picture of one of this year’s panels in the 2017 Minnesota Shop Hop fabric line. How cute and creative is that?

As we entered the shop, the bright and roomy entry continued to welcome us.

tunaquilts 6a

The upper level is bright and cheery with shelves holding fabric and unique items holding many fat quarters and other items.

tunaquilts 10a

These displays, alone, are worth the drive up, to see them. In addition to the 2500 bolts of fabric ranging from north woods themed to bright and modern, Up North offers quilting supplies and notions, patterns, and wool. All of these are artfully displayed using vintage items.

tunaquilts 19a

Missy, the owner, is baking up pretty fat quarters in these vintage bakery bread pans. They are setting out to cool on old wooden ironing boards just waiting for customers to come and buy a handful. 

tunaquilts 18a
Another example of Missy’s use of a repurposed ironing board holding several patterns that are available for sale.

The Up North Quilt Shop will be three years old in December. Missy Ruelle, the owner, was out doing an errand when we stopped by but hurried back to show me around and visit. She previously had worked part-time in a Chiropractor’s office as well as working at a local quilt shop in town for 5 years “…to support my habit,” she said.

When that quilt shop closed, Missy’s husband encouraged her to open her own shop. They looked for nine months and finally her husband found this building that had sat empty for three years before it was put up for sale. Finally, the deal was made and this Mennonite church building was theirs.  Later, Missy found out she had family connections with the building; her Aunt and Uncle were married in this church.

tunaquilts 22a

Missy settled on the name of the shop, Up North Quilt Shop, because “this is pretty much as far north as you can get without going into Canada,” she said.

tunaquilts 11a

The lower level houses a classroom. She offers beginner classes during the fall and winter and may be offering a paper piecing class soon. Missy’s future plans include putting a longarm in the lower level as there is space just waiting for the right time.

tunaquilts 14a

Missy’s advice for new quilters is to start simple and small. She says, “A lot of quilters want to make a queen-size quilt and get discouraged and don’t finish.” She suggests making a table runner and placemats for good first projects.

This is the Up North Quilt Shop’s second year on the hop and Missy has been enjoying talking to quilters who stop by. Her and her staff recognized Tu-Na Helper as being there last year.

tunaquilts 1a

You can find more information about this shop including Missy’s online shop on her website here. “It’s worth the drive up,” Missy invites. We think so, too, and when you make your way up north, stop in and say Hi! to Missy and tell her that Tu-Na sent you.

tunaquilts 16a

Missy and I.

We checked out of the Northeast Region while at the Up North Quilt Shop and received our incentive prizes.

tunaquilts 23a

We each received a package of 50 Quilters Perfect Klips and a “tutu” which is a pin cushion and notions holder for a wide mouth mason jar. You can see Missy’s example of the pin cushion jar on the left .

After leaving International Falls, we shut off the Google Maps app on the cell phone as we were almost at our max of data usage for the month. “It’s an easy drive down to Blackduck,” Tu-Na Helper said. So we sat back, enjoyed more Garrison Keillor, and watched the miles roll on by. After what seemed like too long, my husband checked and we had somehow missed a turn 30 minutes earlier. We were not even close to Blackduck. A course correction was made and we hurried along hoping to make it to Blackduck and then continue on to Sadie Rae’s before closing time. My sister lives close by and we’d be spending the night as their house guests so we wanted to get as close as possible.

We eventually made it to Sadie Rae’s with only a minute to spare. We’ve had several close-to-closing-time races this year. Sadie greeted us at the door and we were told by her staff that we could take our time to look around. I was disappointed to hear they had sold out of the cute, artsy, ceramic, sewing machine clocks on the first day of the hop. I had been thinking of that clock all year since I had seen them at Sadie’s last year on the hop and was hoping to purchase one this year.

After spending too much time and money, we headed into Bemidji to eat supper and look around before heading to my sister’s log cabin by the lake for the night.

tunaquilts 26a

We said Hi! to Paul Bunyan and Babe in downtown Bemidji, MN.

tunaquilts 27a

I wonder if Emily Krueger, the designer of this year’s Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop fabric, used this  dragonfly as inspiration?

Block of the Day

I don’t remember if I forgot to ask for block kits when visiting the shops today or if I bought some and they are nestled in all the bags in the back of the car. So I chose to make one from a previous day.

tunaquilts 33a

This block kit (aptly named Railroad Crossing) was purchased from Country Caboose Quilts in Wahkon when we were there on day 7. Kim had put enough fabric in the kit so I could make the half-square triangles using my favorite method (putting two 5″ squares right sides together, drawing two diagonal lines 1/2″ apart diagonally from one corner to the other, sewing, cutting apart from corner to corner, and trimming to 4.5″) rather than sewing triangles. That was much appreciated. The block sewed up easily.

Coming Soon:

  • Day 10 post
  • Update on Johnny’s quilt
  • A look at the loot

The Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop has now concluded and we are back home. I will post the above items as soon as I can.

  • Tu-Na Quilts: Starting the New School Year Right with Breakfast and a New Apron. The post is written and scheduled to publish on Aug. 21st for the Back to School Blog Hop hosted by Jen at Faith and Fabric.

What I Learned Today:

  1. There is a lot of truth to Garrison Keillor stories.  “…a mother’s on threat alert orange at all times.” (Garrison Keillor) I could not have said it better myself.
  2. If I see something I want, think twice before walking away as it may not be there when I come again.
  3. Be persistent and go after your dream.
  4. Accepting a nudge from someone you love is helpful, too, in accomplishing that dream. Best of luck on the shop, Missy!

Question: Do you have a clock in your sewing room/studio? I have a small, plain one but never seem to look at it. I thought a cute artsy one would be fun. Time seems to fly when I’m sitting and sewing. I’ll need to be doing a lot more sitting and sewing this year to use up all my new purchases from the hop.

I read and appreciate every comment I receive. I’ve been busy finishing up writing posts or sewing up those blocks so I  haven’t had time to reply but I do plan to do so soon when I’ve recovered from the trip. Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

See my other posts about the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop:

Tu-Na Travels: ♪Over Hill. Over Dale. We Will Hit the Dusty Trail. As the Quilt Hop Goes Rolling Along….♪

Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two, 334 miles, 7 Shops, Only 48 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three, 210 Miles, 4 Shops, 44 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 276 Miles, 9 Shops, Only 35 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five, 274 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 27 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Six, 243 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 19 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Seven, 259 Miles, 6 Shops, 13 Only Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Eight: 204 Miles, 6 Shops, Only 7 Shops Remaining

All the links to my posts for last year’s Quilt MN Shop Hop can be found at the top of this blog under the Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats title. Click on the Shop Hop tab; in the drop down menu, click on 2016 Quilt MN Shop Hop Posts. You will find pictures and links to each of the posts for that year’s hop.

At this time, I have no affiliation with any of the shops, products, companies, or services that I mention here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats.

Linking to:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts’

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Moving It Forward Monday at Ems Scrapbag

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

 

Tu-Na Travels: Day Eight, 204 Miles, 6 Shops, Only 7 Shops Remaining

Somehow, I missed showing you this gorgeous barn quilt that we saw on Day 7 (post found here). We found it on the drive between Wahkon and Rush City. I thought I’d include it here as it’s just too nice to forget about.

tunaquilts 13a

This barn was right next to the road.

After closing our hotel room door on the second floor, I stopped to take a close-up pic of that moose head above the fireplace.tunaquilts 25aa

While I was doing that,  I happened to notice Tu-Na Helper waiting patiently for me in the lobby below.

tunaquilts 26a

Since we spent last night in Moose Lake, we didn’t have to travel far to find:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

Kathy Lundgren opened Kathy’s Country Square about 20 years ago in a building that once housed a furniture store. In addition to fabric, she sells home décor items. I also found antique items scattered throughout the store including several antique quilts hanging on the wall that are for sale. Kathy suggests that people get more than one opinion if you have an old quilt before you get rid of it.

tunaquilts 31a

Kathy’s Country Square is located at 100 Hillside Terrace, Moose Lake, MN.

This is the seventh year, Kathy’s Country Square has participated in the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. She says it’s definitely worth all the work. She thinks the public’s idea for the hop has changed through the years. “(In year’s past), hoppers expected things for nothing and now hoppers are sweet and more are making purchases.” She has seen her shop sales growing because of it.

tunaquilts 32a

Kathy tells new quilters, “Welcome to the world of quilting.” Kathy’s daughter, Loretta, was working in the shop with her mom, today. Loretta says “It’s (making a quilt) not as overwhelming as it looks.” She started making some potholders and then her sister said “a quilt is just a lot of little potholders put together.” However, Kathy still hears people say making a quilt is too overwhelming.

tunaquilts 33a

You could spend hours in this shop on it’s two levels. When you’re there be sure to look under the stairs.

tunaquilts 1a

Kathy discovered receipts, sale bills, and other memorabilia that her parents had saved and lovingly placed in bags. Not wanting to throw some of those pieces of papers of her past away, she decided to use them to wallpaper the space under her steps to the upper level. I asked her why she did that and she replied, “If I put them in a box, no one is going to look at them. So I put those there so someone will look at it.”  While she didn’t keep everything, she did keep the bits and pieces that meant something to her such as the receipt from the baby buggy her parents bought for her use when she was little. Harry Potter probably would be envious of that space under the stairs.

tunaquilts 27a

Kathy has a long arm quilting machine in her shop that she uses to quilt her own personal quilts. She teaches quilting classes in  the classroom located in her shop.

tunaquilts 36a

I can relate…

Kathy says, “I’m happy to be here.” Her daughter agrees. We were very happy to stop in and visit and I spent a lot of money here on a new project. I’ll show you that later when I reveal all the loot I found on this trip.

tunaquilts 35a

Be sure to visit the showroom upstairs while you are there!

Check out Kathy’s Facebook page for more information. We found Kathy’s Country Square a bit difficult to find but is definitely worth searching for (watch for the sign) and when you do, say Hi! to Kathy and be sure to check out underneath the stairs. Oh, and tell her that Tu-Na sent you.

tunaquilts 34a

Loretta, Kathy, and I

While we were in Kathy’s shop, Debbi from Rosemount, MN, caught up with us. She had read my posts from last year’s hop.

tunaquilts 2a

Hi, Debbi! Thanks for reading my adventures and following my blog. It was nice to meet you. I hope you had a great weekend.

Before we left Moose Lake, we did a little rock hunting. Kathy told us that the World’s largest Lake Superior Agate was found nearby and is on display at First National Bank in downtown Moose Lake. So we set out to find it.

tunaquilts 4a

I think we found it! It’s housed just inside the doors of the bank.

tunaquilts 3a

This Lake Superior Agate weighs 108 pounds.

After our rock hounding, we were anxious to get to our next shop as we would be checking out of the East Central Region. When we arrived at Timeless Treasures in McGregor, I felt like I had returned home as Diane and I reconnected like good friends. I featured this shop last year here.

tunaquilts 5a

The incentive prize was an art bin which also has a removable tray for holding supplies. It just might become my traveling hexi bin. I am not sure what Tu-Na Helper is going to do with his. Hi, Diane! It was great to see you again.

After stopping at the Quilted Dog Quilt Shop in Cloquet, we headed to Hannah Johnson Fabrics in Duluth. This is a fun shop specializing in bright modern prints and I found the perfect strip of minky elephants to add to the back of the elephant quilt that needs to be finished before that baby turns one.

Before heading to the car, we stopped at Lakeside Bakery & Coffee Shop located right next door to Hannah Johnson’s. While I couldn’t find any treat that I could purchase, my husband bought himself a delicious looking cinnamon roll. While he was driving, I unwrapped that roll and took a whiff before handing it to him. It was indeed delicious smelling and I sniffed so long and hard that I sniffed the smell right out of it. There was a lot of satisfaction in that.

tunaquilts 10a

Our visit to the North Shore wouldn’t be complete without stopping to view Split Rock lighthouse located just outside of Two Harbors. I’ve been inside of it twice and have lots of pictures. Some day, I’ll do a post about it.

tunaquilts 19a

Continuing up the North Shore drive, we arrived at Quilt Corner in Beaver Bay. Although it was still early, we wouldn’t be able to arrive at the next shop before closing time since it was almost a 2 hour drive, so we started looking for a hotel room. My husband started searching the internet on his cell phone. There were no vacancies near the next shop we’d be going to in Cook or nearby Virginia. He then started searching for rooms available around the Beaver Bay area going all the way back down to Two Harbors and found nothing. We didn’t want to drive all the way back to Duluth.

I was just beginning to think we would be spending the night in the car when he exclaimed, “I found one and it’s only $60.00 a night.” “Hmmm,” I thought thinking that it was too good of a deal to be true, or good, or clean. He told the owner/manager that we’d be there soon as it was only a few miles away in the direction we would be heading in the morning.

During that short trip, Tu-Na Helper nonchalantly mentioned that our room would be upstairs in the lodge and we wouldn’t have internet. I started to get a bit skeptical when he continued, “We won’t have a private bath but would share the bathroom with the campground.”  Shortly before we arrived at the lodge, the owner/manager called back and said, “Bring cash.” Now I WAS skeptical!

We drove up to Lax Lake Resort.

tunaquilts 28a

After checking out the room, Tu-Na Helper returned to the car and said it would be fine. We have differing definitions of “fine” so this was not comforting at all. But I agreed to give it a try. After all, this is an adventure.

We found Wi-Fi in the office to use to check our email. Our bedroom was very clean with just enough rustic charm to give it some character. The mattress seemed very comfortable. The bathroom, located on the first floor below the 4 upstairs bedrooms, was also very clean and was equipped with 4 pay showers. We found $2.00 in quarters on the dresser in our room. And then we pulled back the vertical blinds covering a very generous sized patio door and discovered…

tunaquilts 8a

We ate supper at Lemon Wolf Café in Beaver Bay. This great restaurant is 17 years old and the chef accommodated my limited dietary choices.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When we returned to our room, I sat at the table in front of the patio door looking at the lake and writing this post until the light faded, darkness overtook the lake, and the moon rose. Ahhh, the room was great!

Block of the Day

Many of the shops had block kits for sale and I bought them. Because I couldn’t choose just one to make, I decided that this was a good day to make three blocks.

tunaquilts 37a

This block kit was purchased at Hannah Johnson Fabrics. I liked this one because I like half square triangles.

tunaquilts 39a

This friendship star block kit was purchased at Quarry Quilts & Yarns. It went together easily.

tunaquilts 38a

This block kit was purchased at Kathy’s Country Square and showcases the 108 pound Lake Superior agate location.  Kathy’s pattern came with a smaller drawing of the Minnesota state outline which I will do when I get back home. This state cutout comes from Aitkin Quilts and Fabric.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Keep the camera ready-to-go. One never knows when a photo op will suddenly appear.
  2. My husband is very observant even when driving. He saw an eagle sitting in a tree far off the road. By the time he pointed it out to me, we’d driven past. He later pointed out some cranes and we stopped to look.tunaquilts 6a
  3. Tiger lilies still remind me of my grandmother

Question: Have you seen a barn quilt? Where? I’ve seen several now and I’ve also painted a small one:  2′ x 2′. I’ll have to post a photo of that one soon.

Coming Soon:

  • Day 9 and 10 posts
  • Update on Johnny’s quilt
  • A look at the loot
  • Tu-Na Quilts: Starting the New School Year Right with Breakfast and a New Apron. Scheduled post for Aug. 21st for the Back to School Blog Hop hosted by Jen at Faith and Fabric.

The Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop has now concluded and we are back home. I will post these items as soon as I can.

I read and appreciate every comment I receive. I’ve either been busy writing posts or shopping or sewing up those blocks so I  haven’t had time to reply but I do plan to when I am home and recovered from the trip. Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

See my other posts about the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop:

Tu-Na Travels: ♪Over Hill. Over Dale. We Will Hit the Dusty Trail. As the Quilt Hop Goes Rolling Along….♪

Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two, 334 miles, 7 Shops, Only 48 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three, 210 Miles, 4 Shops, 44 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 276 Miles, 9 Shops, Only 35 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five, 274 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 27 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Six, 243 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 19 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Seven, 259 Miles, 6 Shops, 13 Only Shops Remaining

All the links to my posts for last year’s Quilt MN Shop Hop can be found at the top of this blog under the Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats title. Click on the Shop Hop tab; in the drop down menu, click on 2016 Quilt MN Shop Hop Posts.

At this time, I have no affiliation with any of the shops, products, companies, or services that I mention here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats.

Linking to:

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Midweek Makers at QuiltFabrication

Jo’s Country Junction

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

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

Tu-Na Travels: Day Seven, 259 Miles, 6 Shops, Only 13 Shops Remaining

Today would be a shorter day for shop hopping. My husband had a video conference meeting he needed to attend and had made plans to do so at the Brainerd Public Library. But before that started, we took an early morning drive to Randall to see The Old Creamery Quilt Shop. I featured it last year and I was excited to get back (you can read about it here).

53a

There’s been a lot of changes at The Old Creamery Quilt Shop in a year. I noticed the new handicap accessible ramp on the front as we walked to the entrance which will make this quilt shop accessible to all and helpful for those dragging their rolling sewing machine bags. Carl, the husband of Linda one of the owners, showed us the new classroom on the main level that he is finishing as well as the longarm studio and the space where the knitters and weavers meet upstairs. We peered out the window at the new Woolen Mill that will be opening soon. Lots of changes and lots of fun happening here.

tunaquilts 4aa
We found this sign at the check-out counter. Tu-Na Helper thought this wording would be more appropriate.

 We checked out of the North Central Region in Randall and received our incentive prizes of fat quarter bundles.

tunaquilts 26a

We each received a 12 fat quarter bundle by Paintbrush Studios. I selected the one on the left and my husband chose the black, white, and red. I like fabric prizes!

All too soon, we needed to leave and return to Brainerd in time for the meeting. I joked about getting to see the view again but this time coming from the other direction and in the rain.

tunaquilts 5a

While my husband attended his meeting, I looked around the library. Quilts were hanging from the ceiling.

tunaquilts 24a

These quilts are a sampling of the quilts made by volunteers for Quilts for Kids based in Pequot Lakes. The group started in 1990 and makes 250-300 quilts each year to give to kids in need in the Brainerd Lakes area.

 Soon we were on our way to Aitkin Quilts & Fabrics in Aitkin where we met Kari Meyer. She’s doing the shop hop, too, and wanted a picture with Tu-Na. I am thrilled that my readers have been enjoying my stories and posts.

tunaquilts 25a

Hi, Kari! Thanks for reading my blog and following me. Did you finish the hop yet? How many shops did you visit?

This small town has two quilt shops to visit so after we were finished, we headed to Sew Much & More. Ina was digging in a tub of scraps when I walked into the shop. I walked around for a couple of minutes, just to be polite, before skipping my way over to the tub. Those were scraps that I wanted. Things started out cordially at first.

tunaquilts 6a

Hi, Ina! Nice to meet you. Can I have that one, please?

And then they got a little heated.

tunaquilts 8a

Just kidding. Ina was looking for strings to make a string block quilt and I was looking for small pieces or triangles that would be big enough to cut 1.5″ pieces for my postage stamp quilt. We helped each other find scraps. All too soon, we said our goodbyes and were on our way.

Today was rainy and cold and we had a bit of a drive to get to Wahkon where our next shop would be. I’ve visited there before but have always been curious why the owners selected the name: Country Caboose Quilts. So when I entered the building, I asked. Kim answered and then I knew I’d found:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

Back in 1995, Kim had opened Country Caboose Crafts and Quilts in a Soo Line train caboose right on their property. She sold handmade gifts made by herself and area artists. In 2003, Kim’s husband offered to let her take over the front half of his garage so she could expand her business. Luckily for us, she accepted his offer and added 30 bolts of fabric to her inventory. Within a year, she decided to discontinue the craft items and increase the fabric inventory to become a full-fledged quilt shop. They’ve  since added onto the garage to increase her space making room for Kim to expand her inventory to over 3500 bolts of fabric and over 1000 patterns.

tunaquilts 1a

Country Caboose Quilt Shop is located at 108 South Main Street, Wahkon, MN.

The fate of the caboose that stood on their property took a turn for the worse, or the better depending on how you look at it, when the tracks needed repairing and the cost to make those repairs was more than Kim and her husband wanted to spend. They sold the caboose to a historical society and it was moved to Lakeville to be restored. It was then set in it’s permanent location in Northfield where the caboose was originally placed on the tracks about 100 years ago. If you visit the caboose in Northfield, you will see it all shiny and yellow now and “not the red that it was painted originally”. Kim should know as she had lived beside it and worked in it for awhile.

tunaquilts 23a

If you exit through the rear of the shop, you will enter a working garage. Kim’s husband tinkers and works on projects there, while Kim is on the other side folding fabric and chatting with her customers.

tunaquilts 18a

In addition to selling fabric and patterns, Kim offers a longarm quilting service. She was quilting on a longarm before she opened her shop. Kim started sewing at the age of 5. Her mother brought her upholstery samples from Dayton’s Home Store and she turned them into quilts for her brothers.

tunaquilts 17a

Kim advices new quilters to start small and not to jump in over their head. She teaches baby and lap quilts classes and suggests those sizes make good first projects. She says quilting is a great hobby as you meet people and share ideas.

tunaquilts 19a

While I was in the shop, a new shop hopper filled out his passport and Kim handed him a packet.

tunaquilts 21a

The pocket folder contains her shop’s block hop pattern, a 5″ charm square of the Quilt MN Shop Hop fabric, her longarm quilting service information, the Quilt MN Shop Hop newspaper with map, and the passport. That’s a nice way to send shop hoppers beginning at her shop on their way.

Each year, Kim usually uses the same block pattern titled “Railroad Crossing” for the shop hop. That block name is fitting for her store. You can see it on the left in the picture above.

tunaquilts 22a

Thanks for telling me your story, Kim.

For more information about this shop, see their website here. It just might be worth going out of your way to see it. Oh, and when you do, tell Kim Hi! and say Tu-Na sent you.

tunaquilts 12a

Kim received this Quilt Starter as a gift. It’s filled with genuine cotton seeds, just in case she wants to make another quilt or plant a cotton field.

We turned our Prius, now much heavier than when we had come, towards the next shop on our route. We arrived at Quarry Quilts, which I featured last year here. This shop is just as amazing as I remembered it from last year but a lot fuller with expanded inventory and Toni is just as friendly. I bought an unofficial Row by Row kit that fits this year’s theme “On the Go” perfectly. You’ll just have to wait a couple of months until I can reveal it.

We found a room at the Days Inn in Moose Lake for the night. Kathy’s Country Square was closed for the day but we’ll be visiting there first thing in the morning. We don’t usually reserve hotels ahead of time on the shop hop. At times it can be a bit stressful wondering if we’ll be spending the night in the car. In all the years that we’ve done the hop, we’ve never had to.

tunaquilts 11a

This foyer is decorated in the Northwood’s theme found in upper Minnesota. I never realized a moose’s head was so tiny.

We ate supper at Gampers, a restaurant and bowling alley. I must have sat in the right booth as my paper placemat sported an ad for the Quilted Dog which we would be visiting the next day.

tunaquilts 9a

Then it was back to the hotel for a bit of sewing and some sleep. Hopefully, the sun will shine tomorrow. On our way, we found a new use for canoes.

tunaquilts 14a

Do you think Tu-Na Helper would miss our canoe if I turned it into a flower bed?

Block of the Day

tunaquilts 2a

I purchased this block kit from the Old Creamery Quilt Shop. It sewed together easily. There was no title on the pattern, but Tu-Na Helper and I think “The Aquarium” fits or maybe “Fisherman’s Dream.”

What I Learned Today:

  1. “Food is emotional,” said a speaker on the radio as we were driving along. I agree with that statement and my husband probably would, too. I haven’t had chocolate, a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee for almost 2 months. Need I say more?
  2. The raisins in Sam’s Club Trail Mix are so huge I had to read the label to see what they were. Prunes, I thought; no, jumbo raisins, it said.
  3. I have to keep my eyes open so I don’t miss seeing something interesting along the route. The movement of the car tends to lull me to sleep or maybe I’m getting tired. After all, shopping is hard work for hoppers, too.
  4. I must be doing my traveling job well. My husband does the driving so my job is to stash the trash and pass out the snacks and lunch from the cooler: trail mix, pretzels, carrot sticks, yogurt, and herbed popcorn from Trader Joes. At least Tu-Na Helper hasn’t fired me yet.

Question: When you travel do you plan ahead and reserve rooms or tickets or do you plan to let happen as it may? Since we don’t know where we’ll end up at the end of shopping hours, we risk it and don’t reserve a room. Some vacations are well-planned but this one is just “fly by the seat of our pants.”

I read and appreciate every comment I receive. I’ve either been busy writing posts or shopping or sewing up those blocks so I  haven’t had time to reply but I do plan to when I am home and recovered from the trip. Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

See my other posts about the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop:

Tu-Na Travels: ♪Over Hill. Over Dale. We Will Hit the Dusty Trail. As the Quilt Hop Goes Rolling Along….♪

Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two, 334 miles, 7 Shops, Only 48 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three, 210 Miles, 4 Shops, 44 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 276 Miles, 9 Shops, Only 35 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five, 274 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 27 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Six, 243 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 19 Shops Remaining

All the links to my posts for last year’s Quilt MN Shop Hop can be found at the top of this blog under the Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats title. Click on the Shop Hop tab; in the drop down menu, click on 2016 Quilt MN Shop Hop Posts.

At this time, I have no affiliation with any of the shops, products, companies, or services that I mention here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats.

Linking to:

Sunday Stash at quiltpaintcreate

 

Tu-Na Travels: Day Six, 243 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 19 Shops Remaining

As we were leaving Wadena in the morning, I pointed to a quilt shop. “Oh, look! There’s one,” I excitedly exclaimed. We had already visited Hometown Crafts & Fabrics the day before but the shop that we were driving past just then was not listed on our passports to visit and I’d never been in it either. “If it’s not on the hop, we don’t stop,” reminded my husband. That was our mantra the three previous years we hopped around the state on the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. We’d repeat it in unison as we passed by non-participating shops. Sigh, I guess this year was no exception. I think it’s now become our motto and we’re sticking to it.

Finding our way through lake country was very interesting. Google maps on my husband’s cell phone told us to turn right onto a gravel road so we could head to the next quilt shop on our list in Park Rapids.

tunaquilts 3a

I raised my eyebrows and humphed, “This could be interesting.” When the Google Map’s app said to turn left onto another gravel road which looked less traveled than the one we were one, I knew we would be in for an adventure. But that adventure didn’t happen as we met a highway that took us directly to Monika’s Quilt and Yarn Shop.

tunaquilts 1a

You can find Monika’s Quilt and Yarn Shop at210 S. Main, Park Rapids, MN.

As I entered the shop, I couldn’t help but sense excitement building in the air. I noticed a grandmother helping her grandchildren pick out fabrics for a quilt project. I moved closer to listen to their conversation and soon I knew I’d found:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

As I roamed the store, I couldn’t help but notice a young man carrying bolts of fabric and talking to his grandmother about the colors. It was evident that this grandmother—Sue Harmon, a certified AQS quilt appraiser, teacher, lecturer, and a previous owner of a quilt shop in Illinois—has had years of experience in quilting and working with kids. She now lives in Park Rapids. Having started quilting in 1974, I suspect Sue is a master quilter who has sewn many quilts throughout the years. She shops at Monika’s frequently. Today, her two grandchildren had come along to pick out fabric. At first I thought Grandma Sue would be sewing the quilts for her grandchildren. My jaw dropped when I heard the truth; the kids would be sewing the quilts themselves. At a day and age when most young people are consumed with PS4s and texting friends, this was truly newsworthy.

Johnny Pfaff (no relation to the sewing machine empire although his mother wishes there was), age 12, lives in Illinois and was visiting his Grandma Sue in Park Rapids. Today, they’d come to Monika’s to buy fabric so he could sew up a generous size quilt to fit his twin bed at home.  With his grandma’s help, he’d already sewn a smaller quilt which he called a bed topper. Since he’s a growing young man, he was in need of making a larger quilt; one that he wants to sew by himself.

tunaquilts 15a

Johnny’s picked his fabrics and has his pattern drawn. I hope they send me a picture of the completed quilt.

He thought of the pattern and after looking through some quilt books, he set to drawing his design. He was very definite in the fabric colors he chose for the top. He picked blue to match his room but is still in the market for fabric with whales for the backing. Grandma Sue had to help him with his first quilt but he is determined to do this one completely by himself even though he knows it will be difficult. “Hopefully, I will get a little better,” he said. He’s already drawn the design and is prepared to start the cutting. This is one guy who knows what he wants and is determined to see it to completion. I have no doubt that it will be done with as little help as possible from Grandma Sue.

tunaquilts 12a

Johnny’s excitement for his new quilt project overflowed. I could barely write fast enough while he excitedly told me about his past projects and working on this new one.

Quilting or quilt blocks are not new to Johnny. We talked about some different block patterns and he pointed to a quilt behind me. “…like that friendship star,” he said. I turned and looked and that was exactly what it was. Johnny says that his goal is to someday make (spoiler alert for mom) his mom a Siamese cat quilt for her birthday.

Johnny told me that he’s already sewn pillowcases with whales on the fabric to match his bed topper. I knew that Grandma Sue had already introduced many sewing skills to him and he would be doing fine on his new project. I suspect that Grandma Sue won’t be too far away while he works on his project lending a hand or giving a suggestion when needed.

I asked Johnny what prompted him to make a quilt for himself. “I saw my cousin quilting and wanted to make my own.” Johnny’s cousin, Julia Harmon, also age 12, lives nearby to Grandma Sue. She came along today to pick out some border fabric for the quilt she just finished piecing. She had left the shop for a few minutes while Johnny and I talked and returned with a couple of pillows, one of which she just “whipped up this morning.”

tunaquilts 17a

Here’s Julia with some pillows she just finished. Julia chose the fabrics in the center for borders on her quilt. It will be beautiful. Send me a picture, too, when you’re finished.

When asked how many quilts she’s made, she had no idea, “three or maybe 5 or 6 but this is the biggest one.” She says she started with a pattern and made some adjustments. Julia told me, “This is the first quilt I’ve pretty much done by myself.” At this point I was very impressed with her skills and abilities.

tunaquilts 13a

Julia’s quilt top is so large that Grandma Sue had to help hold it. It’s beautiful and the workmanship is impressive.

However, she continued. “I’m still thinking about the center (how to quilt it)”. That’s right! She doesn’t just piece the tops, she also quilts them. She’s planning on quilting around the star and adding some swirls in the black squares and some wavy lines using free-motion quilting. “I enjoy doing it. It’s time consuming.” Yes it is, but with Grandma Sue as a role model and with her encouragement, I have no doubt that Julia will finish this project and start more.

Now this story gets even better. Julia’s sister, Alessia Harmon, age 9, dropped by to see what all the excitement was about over at the quilt shop. Grandma Sue started teaching the kids to sew early by letting them sit on her lap and push the pedal. Alessia was about three when it was her turn to learn. She sews accessories such as sleeping bags for her American Girl Dolls. Alessia continued, “I’ve made pillows, too.” Her goal is to make quilts to give away. About 6 months ago, she made a quilt for her little cousin, Johnny’s brother. “He uses it all the time,” Johnny added.

tunaquilts 36

Alessia showing her quilt. It’s perfect for a toddler and I understand it’s well-loved.

These are well-balanced kids. They also are active in sports. Johnny plays baseball, basketball, and wants to start either football or wrestling or both in the fall. He sees himself continuing to quilt for the fun of it. “I like quilting. It’s fun to do.” He’s an artistic person and wants to take acting classes to become an actor.

Julia has lots of hobbies and is also active in sports. She plays basketball, softball and runs cross country track. Julia is artistic as well and plans to make her room into an art studio. She also wants to learn to knit. I’m sure Monika could get her started with all the yarn selection she has in her store.

I felt honored and privileged to talk with these three, fine, young, people whose Grandma Sue lovingly and patiently taught them the skills they needed to sew and quilt. Under her guidance, she’s instilled in them a love for quilting. Thanks, Grandma Sue, for blessing your grandchildren with a love for fabric and quilting! You’ve given your grandchildren not only the love for but also the desire to sew pillows and quilts for themselves and others. Grandma Sue, with some help from Monika’s Quilt and Yarn Shop, is really an example of establishing a legacy of quilting love.

tunaquilts 18a

Me, Sue, Johnny, Alessia (in front), and Julia

Monika has owned her shop for 33 years. Originally, the shop started as an arts and crafts supply store offering framing services along with some gift items. It was housed in a building that once sold dresses.

tunaquilts 33a

As the business grew, Monika was able to purchase the adjacent bakery and renovate it to hold her expanding line of fabrics and yarns. “Best choice we ever made,” Monika remarked regarding her expansion and move towards selling only fabrics and yarns.

tunaquilts 30a

Monika’s has an extensive variety of yarns and supplies for your knitting needs.

Monika had great advice for new quilters which was very beneficial as there were two young quilters listening near by. She said:

  • Make sure you want to do it (quilting) because it becomes an addiction. It’s not a hobby, it’s a vocation.
  • Don’t be discouraged when you have little flaws. They become your creative license.
  • Interact with others to get the most satisfaction out of your work.
  • Give away some of the things you make and keep on sewing.

That’s great advice, for quilters of any skill level. Thanks, Monika!

tunaquilts 26a

Monika has a staff of 6 full and part-time employees. Her daughter is taking over many of the main duties. “About all I do now is toilets and checks,” Monika joked. I hardly doubt that as I saw her arranging muffins and fruit on the tray for shop hoppers, helping at the counter, and preparing for a group to arrive today on her day off. I suspect she just might have the energy level of the Energizer bunny.

tunaquilts 20a

Monika and I

Check out Monika’s website here for more info about this shop and the classes they offer. You will also find her bio in the about us tab. She’s written her personal story about growing up in communist East Germany. I wished I had read this before visiting as I would loved to have talked to her more. I will just have to visit again and with a sister living not too far away, it just might happen.

tunaquilts 32a

You will feel the warmth of a Northwoods Welcome when you visit. Oh, and when you do, say Hi! to Monika and tell her that Tu-Na sent you.

tunaquilts 27a

As we were leaving Park Rapids, my husband reached up to the rear view mirror. “I have to adjust the mirror so I can see out the back over the top of all that fabric,” he joked. It’s really not that bad but when I looked behind me I had to admit, there sure were a lot of bags.

Again we passed another quilt shop that wasn’t on the hop. That motto still held and we repeated the mantra, “If it’s not on the hop, we don’t stop.”

The next stop was Country Fabrics & Quilting in Brainerd. Chris Rosinger, a volunteer for the hop and a representative of the local Quilts of Valor group, stamped our passports and explained the quilt shop’s block program. For just a $2.00 donation, I could receive a kit to make the shop’s block. The shop let’s the Quilts of Valor group keep the money so they can purchase fabric and needed items to make quilts to present to service men and women. We felt that this was a worthy cause so Tu-Na Helper ran to the car to get some cash and I got two kits. You can read more about this national program here and find a local group if you would like to become involved. You could also stop by Country Fabrics & Quilting in Brainerd and leave a donation. They will be there through Sunday, August 13th.

tunaquilts 7a

Chris Rosinger and I beside an example of one of the Quilts of Valor quilts.

While in the store, Linda, a follower of Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats, caught up with me. While her sister was away looking at fabric, we snapped a pic together to make sister, Judy, jealous.

tunaquilts 10aa

This is Linda’s second year on the Quilt MN Shop Hop. She’s a new quilter because of it.

Last year, Judy convinced her sister, Linda, to come along even though she didn’t even quilt. Linda is from Indiana and traveled up to join her sister to drive to many shops. Well, she must have been bit by the quilting bug, too, as she started quilting in October and has already finished 7 quilts plus 2 baby quilts. What’s also impressive is that she’s back making her rounds to quilt shops and enjoying the shop hop with her sister, again. I guess she’s been bit quite badly as she has plans to convince her husband to come along next year and travel the whole state for the shop hop. I hope we meet again, next year.

At our last shop of the day, Colorz Quilt Shop in Baxter, we again caught up with Linda and Judy. This time I took a pic with Judy, while her sister, Linda was busy. After all, I don’t want to be the source of a sisterly spat.

tunaquilts 11aa

It was great fun talking with Judy and Linda (If either of you two want a pic without the comment bubble, leave me a comment with your email or send me an email thru the “contact me” tab above, and I’ll email one to you).

We also ran into some other followers of mine at the shop. Half the fun of the hop is meeting and talking with fellow shop hoppers and learning where they are from and how many shops they are planning to visit. Someone asked if we drive a motor home. I answered, “No, we drive a Prius. Do you know how much fabric a Prius holds?” “Too much,” replied my husband.

tunaquilts 22a

Score! I purchased two great fabrics from the clearance section. On the ground in front of me is the bag of 5″ charms of Quilt MN Shop Hop fabric and each store’s block pattern. I’m trying to stay organized until I get home and put each pattern in it’s own page protector.

I planned to sew tonight. After we checked into our hotel in Brainerd, my husband asked, “Do you want fast food, which will give you more time to sew, or a sit-down restaurant leaving less time.” My choice was to eat at a local restaurant called The Northern Cowboy located beside a lake just outside of Brainerd. The view was gorgeous and the food was delicious.

tunaquilts 6a

The chef had quite a challenge to cook something for me using my doctor prescribed dietary restrictions (low fat and no citrus, tomatoes, onions, chocolate, or alcohol–basically, if it looks or tastes good, I probably can’t eat it for the time being). But he accomplished it deliciously.

I still sewed a couple of blocks and cut out another one. Somehow, I figured I’d have more time to sew on this trip around the state. Maybe I should have investigated plugging my machine into the car, after all.

tunaquilts 34a

If this saying were true for me, I’d probably be getting a lot more sewing done. But I am finding myself at my machine more each day. This cute little block was found in a quilt displayed at Monika’s.

Block of the Day:

Today just seemed like a two block day.

tunaquilts 2a

This Quilts of Valor block kit was the one Chris at Country Fabrics & Quilting in Brainerd handed me. It went together very quickly. I thought about that group and how my little donation would give them a bit more fabric to make quilts to cover those service men and women with love.

tunaquilts 8a

I purchased this block kit, with an option to turn it into a potholder, from Red Pine Quilt Shop in Detroit Lakes. It sewed up quickly and is so appropriate for the theme of this year’s Quilt MN Shop Hop fabric line

What I Learned Today:

  1. There is no hope of changing our motto: If it’s not on the hop, we don’t stop.
  2. I am very good at eavesdropping. Had I not been, I would have totally missed this wonderful story about Grandma Sue and how she’s sharing her love and knowledge of quilting and sewing with her grandchildren.
  3. Quilting will continue with the next generation.
  4. From the look of the inside of our car, I am a very determined quilter with a fabric addiction.
  5. Now I have a phrase for my mistakes: my creative license. Thanks, Monika!
  6. Hotel rooms have poor lighting for sewing. I need to bring a sewing light along next time.

Question: Who quilts in your family? I come from a long line of quilters. My maternal as well as my paternal grandmothers, my mom, my mother-in-law, and now my daughter quilt.

I read and appreciate every comment I receive. I’ve either been busy writing posts or shopping so I  haven’t had time to reply but do plan to when I am home and recovered from the trip. Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

See my other posts about the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop:

Tu-Na Travels: ♪Over Hill. Over Dale. We Will Hit the Dusty Trail. As the Quilt Hop Goes Rolling Along….♪

Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two, 334 miles, 7 Shops, Only 48 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three, 210 Miles, 4 Shops, 44 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 276 Miles, 9 Shops, Only 35 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five, 274 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 27 Shops Remaining

All the links to my posts for last year’s Quilt MN Shop Hop can be found at the top of this blog under the Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats title. Click on the Shop Hop tab; in the drop down menu, click on 2016 Quilt MN Shop Hop Posts.

At this time, I have no affiliation with any of the shops, products, companies, or services that I mention here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats.

Linking to:

Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five, 274 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 27 Shops Remaining

Just as I expected, morning came early.

tunaquilts 18a

There is nothing better than a bowl of piping hot oatmeal topped with spoonfuls of brown sugar, raisins, chopped nuts and some milk to get the tired body ready for another busy day of traveling and shop hopping.

Even the countryside seems to be decorated for the quilt shop hop. We had seen a barn quilt yesterday, too, but weren’t able to get a picture as we were in a hurry. Visit this site for a quilt trail map to see more barn quilts located in several counties in Minnesota and watch a video of how those painted quilt blocks were hung in Carver County.

tunaquilts 1a

We saw this barn quilt on the road between Litchfield and Kimball.

Our second shop of the day, Gone to Pieces in Kimball, had me very excited. My husband noticed the scrap bin in the back and I accepted the challenge to stuff that snack bag full.

tunaquilts 2a

I’m collecting scraps for my 1.5″ postage stamp quilt. I’ve cut and sewed several thousand already but have still more to go. I stuffed this snack Ziploc bag as full as I could make it and then added a few more pieces for good measure.

I needed a bit of help in getting it closed so while my fabric was being cut, Tu-Na Helper rose to the challenge and did his little magic of pushing and shoving that fabric into place. He worked and worked and finally presented the sealed bag. We all cheered. It was mighty full.

tunaquilts 3a

It took him awhile but he managed to get it closed. It stayed put long enough for us to pay, say our goodbyes, and get out the door. I also saw a good idea for making a ruler tote which I will work on at home.

We would be checking out of the Central region at Gruber’s Quilt Shop so we turned our Prius towards Waite Park. When we arrived, we were cheerfully greeted and had our passports stamped. Who could this gal behind the desk be? She was so full of energy and happiness. I had to find out. We received our incentive prizes: a Sewing Tidy and a Bangle.

tunaquilts 20a

We each received a Sewing Tidy and a Bangle. What’s a bangle? It’s that cute little metal plaque with a wire hanger bearing the state of MN.

Being the inquisitive type that I am, I started talking and asking some questions. This gal knew the answers. It was then that I knew I’d found:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

This story is about making a dream come true. For awhile now, I’ve been wondering how Quilt Minnesota and the Shop Hop idea started. I didn’t need to wait long to find out more. That smiling, exuberant gal behind the desk, knew all the answers.

Almost twenty years ago, Sue Poser had a dream of starting a statewide shop hop. She had been approached by Eileen Taylor, a representative of Moda Fabrics, about starting a statewide shop hop. Finally, after 5 years of thinking and hoping and wondering, Sue presented the idea to a tri-state meeting of quilt shop owners. It was unanimous. 100% of the shops were behind her. Sue worked to get the idea going in Minnesota. Business is slow for quilt shops in the summer in Minnesota, so a shop hop in August would help boost business as well as increase exposure for the shops. I am sure this dream needed a lot of hard work and long hours from Sue and a lot of support from the shops in the state to make this dream a reality.

flag1

This year Quilt Minnesota celebrates it’s 11th annual shop hop. Sue had been instrumental in starting it and keeping it going all these years. She has now passed on the business baton to another shop owner and is confident that the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop will continue getting bigger and better each year. Sue’s enthusiasm and exuberance for the Quilt MN Shop Hop as well as for her own shop and personal life is unmatched. I think she leaves big shoes to fill.

tunaquilts 17a

Gruber’s central location in the state made it a natural choice for getting a statewide hop started.

The Quilt MN Shop Hop has seen more shop hoppers participating each year. Each year more of them have finished visiting all the participating shops in the whole state. Seventy-five people completed the shop hop last year with this year’s figures still driving all around the state getting their passports stamped, buying yards of fabric, and seeing quilting inspiration unparalleled in any state. It’s still not too late to complete at least three sections to try to win some prizes. The Quilt MN Shop Hop continues through August 13th.

According to Sue, the grand prize of an Alaskan Cruise is really meant to satisfy the men belonging to the quilters. While a quilting cruise might be a perfect prize for many quilters, the trip to Alaska would be of interest to both the gals as well as the guys. The guys, who escort their quilting wives or send them with friends to explore the many quilt shops all around the state of Minnesota and spend enormous amounts of money, would appreciate a trip and a cruise. This trip for two appeals to all ages and even for those who aren’t married (participants must be over 18 years of age to be eligible for state level prizes).

tunaquilts 5a

Sue (Gruber) Poser is the present owner of Gruber’s Quilt Shop. She is the third generation of Grubers to own and work in the store. Sue’s grandfather started Gruber’s as a general store in 1932 in a tiny town called Genola (population 97) located about 35 miles from today’s present location. That first store not only sold groceries but also had an award winning meat market. Sue remembers it as “a real Laura Ingalls store where you could buy anything and everything including fabric.”

About 20 years ago, Gruber’s moved to downtown St. Cloud. When the opportunity arrived a few years later, Sue quickly decided to branch out and create a quilt shop in Waite Park. She didn’t have to think long about it. Quilting was in her blood. “I love quilting. My grandmother taught me when I was 5 years old. I made yo-yos.” She continued, “A bad day ends good if you’re quilting. I do it one fat quarter at a time.”

tunaquilts 7a

Here’s the bargain room. I have to admit that I shop at the clearance sections first. I often find quality name-brand fabrics that I could use.

She presently has a staff of 20 full and part time employees including a 4th generation Gruber, her daughter, working right along side her in the shop. Sue boasts that 7 of her staff are pattern designers. 

tunaquilts 9a

After shopping the clearance section, I shop the regular priced fabrics and quilting notions looking for items on my list.

Gruber’s has been in in its present location for 15 years after moving into this vacated furniture store. The painter decided the space above the quilt shop door needed just a little something extra so Sue gave him permission to do what he wanted. She was surprised at what she saw and a bit unsure if it should stay.

tunaquilts 12a

You will see this sign just above the door as you enter the shop from the interior courtyard. I had to admit to Sue that the first time I stopped at Gruber’s four years ago on the shop hop, I walked around the shop and with each corner I turned or doorway I walked through, my eyes got bigger and my jaw dropped more. I left empty-handed. I was overwhelmed. When I was back home after that first visit, I thought about that shop and couldn’t wait to get back to it to explore it further. There definitely is truth in that sign so be prepared to be overwhelmed when you enter or as Tu-Na Helper says, “Enter at your own risk. You may not find your way out for a very long time.”

Gruber’s tagline “The Quilt Shop for Every Quilter” matches the 10,000+ bolts of fabric and many quilting supplies as well as a yarn shop found within its walls. Click here to go to Gruber’s website to find out more info about this quilt shop as well as tour their online store.

tunaquilts 8a

Sue has seen a resurgence of knitting interest with the younger generation. Half of her staff knits.

Sue’s advice for new quilters is to find a group to sew with. She says, “It’s (sewing) social. Sew with friends.” I know that quilters make very good friends.

Gruber’s offer a variety of classes in their well-lit classroom. About 15 years ago, a retreat center was started to meet the needs of quilters who like to sew and socialize. Sue said that I had just missed seeing Amanda Jean Nyberg as she had been there over the weekend (I am a follower of hers at Crazy Mom Quilts). The retreat center has room for 15 quilters to sew, snack, and sleep. That sounds pretty good to me.

tunaquilts 13a

The classroom

Other quilting celebrities and important people have visited Gruber’s. Back in 2004, the shop received a phone call. “This is the White House calling.” Sue’s daughter, who had taken the call, suspected it to be a political call and hung up the phone. Luckily for Gruber’s, they called back but this time asked not to be hung up on again. Laura Bush wanted to come and visit a successful small business run by a woman. The visit was arranged and Mrs. Bush came to Gruber’s in August of that year. She spoke to female business owners right there in the courtyard. Read more about her visit here. There is a link to listen to her remarks, too.

tunaquilts 10a

Gruber’s prides itself in taking care of the husbands that come along with their quilting wives. They’ve installed a TV and some leather chairs for the guys in the large courtyard. “If we hear snoring, we know we did a good job,” Sue said smiling. In addition, the shop has a café located in the courtyard where meals and pastries are made by a chef who attended Le Cordon Bleu. Plan to visit Gruber’s to shop and stay for coffee, and then lunch, and finish the day with some dessert. Strolling through this shop just might take some time.

tunaquilts 6a

Sue and I are chatting at the tables in front of the quilt shop and beside the Café in this interior courtyard. You can see that sign above the door.

Gruber’s has benefited from the shop hop as it has given the store more exposure to quilter’s coming from many states in the country. They gave out 500 of their Quilt MN Block Hop patterns in the first 5 days of the hop this year.

tunaquilts 16aa

This quilt, on display in the courtyard of Gruber’s, has all the block patterns from all 66 participating shops. Which one is your favorite?

I wanted to have stayed longer at Gruber’s. Sue has a zest for life and for caring about her customers, but we needed to be on our way.

tunaquilts 4aa

It was hard to leave this shop as I felt like I’d just found a new, dear friend.

Plan to stop at Gruber’s, the largest quilt shop in a 5 state area, for a bite to eat and a bit of fabric or yarn shopping. But don’t come on Sunday (except during the shop hop) as they are closed because, according to Sue, “Everybody should have a day off.” When you do visit, say Hi! to Sue and the gals and tell them that Tu-Na sent you.

tunaquilts 14a

What’s this? I spied these state flower fabrics made by In the Beginning Fabrics on my way out of the shop. I’ve never seen them before. I might have to add them onto my list. I’m holding North Dakota’s state flower fabric on top of the bolts.

Block of the Day

tunaquilts 22a

I bought this cute Minne-Sewta Jar block kit from Gruber’s Quilt Shop which came with an option to sew it into a pincushion. Because of lack of time, but not lack of ambition, I wasn’t able to complete it, yet. I was happy I got this much done! Note: The pattern gives directions for making a 7.5″ unfinished block. If you are sewing your Minne-Sewta Jar block along with the other patterns provided by the quilt shops in your quilt, you will need it to be 8.5.” You can make the adjustment by cutting pieces B and C 1/2″ wider than given on the pattern and sew a 1.5″ x 8.5″ piece to the bottom. Just be sure to keep the lid on the jar so those dragonflies stay in.

What I Learned Today:

  1. My husband is better at recognizing fabric manufacturers than I am. We were walking out of Dawn’s Quilt Shop in Alexandria when he stopped in his tracks and pointed. “Cotton and Steel,” he said. I checked the end of the bolt and he was correct.
  2. I must be enjoying the hop. I’m forgetting what day of the week it is.
  3. If the White House calls, don’t hang up.

Question: Have you ever been to Minnesota? I have been there many times from enjoying the big city life of Minneapolis to visiting my sister in a very small town. It’s a very interesting state.

I read and appreciate every comment I receive. I’ve either been busy writing posts or shopping so I  haven’t had time to reply but do plan to when I am home and recovered from the trip. Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

See my other posts about the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop:

Tu-Na Travels: ♪Over Hill. Over Dale. We Will Hit the Dusty Trail. As the Quilt Hop Goes Rolling Along….♪

Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two, 334 miles, 7 Shops, Only 48 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three, 210 Miles, 4 Shops, 44 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 276 Miles, 9 Shops, Only 35 Shops Remaining

All the links to my posts for last year’s Quilt MN Shop Hop can be found at the top of this blog under the Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats title. Click on the Shop Hop tab; in the drop down menu, click on 2016 Quilt MN Shop Hop Posts.

At this time, I have no affiliation with any of the shops, products, companies, or services that I mention here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats.

Linking to:

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

WIPs at Silly Mama Quilts

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

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

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 276 Miles, 9 Shops, Only 35 Shops Remaining

When I walked into the second shop on our fourth day, Fabrics Plus in Marshall, the gal behind the counter cheerfully greeted me, “Hi, Karen!” Oh, my goodness, I thought. She knows her customers by name and I haven’t been back since last year’s hop—now that’s customer service!

tunaquilts 38a

With a smile like that, who wouldn’t feel welcome here? Tracy is explaining what Marshall Moonshine has to do with the Shop hop.

I was floored and flattered to find out that Tracy Veglahn, an owner of the shop, reads and follows my blog and had recognized me from my pictures on it. Fabrics Plus is a fun shop with friendly staff and we spent a fair amount of time there.

tunaquilts 39a

Each year, the Southwest section compiles a cookbook with recipes and a quilt pattern from each store. This year’s theme was “Get Crocked in the Southwest.” This year’s cookbook contains crock-pot recipes and the pattern for this lovely quilt above along with patterns from the 8 other shops in the section.

Tu-Na Helper said we needed to be on our way, so we said our goodbyes, grabbed our purchase, and off we went.

tunaquilts 27a

Heather’s Book Nook & Sew Much More in Granite Falls treated each of us to a dipped pretzel log. How did they know that pretzels are Tu-Na Helper’s favorite snack? Thank you!

Continuing on through the countryside, I begged my husband to stop just outside of Olivia, MN. I guess there still is a bit of farm girl left in me as I wanted to get out of the car to see for myself exactly how tall that crop of corn was.

tunaquilts 2a

I was totally amazed by that corn patch. I am 5″ 4″ and knew my dad wouldn’t believe me unless I had a picture with me standing in it. What do you think of that corn, dad?

We soon came into New Ulm, population 13,342, and saw:

Today’s Top Shop on The Hop

If Day Two’s post read like a love story, this one reads “A Family Affair.”

tunaquilts 23a

The Thimble Box is located at 10 North Minnesota Street, New Ulm, MN.

As I entered The Thimble Box, a pretty, young lady cheerfully greeted me from behind the counter. I made my way through the store and being the curious (although some would call me just plain nosey) type that I am, I ventured into a work room and discovered Brenda Seidl, the owner, doing a bit of work. Hexis were spread all around her and we chatted about them and the class she is teaching (pictured below).

tunaquilts 11a

It was then that I saw THE BOX.

tunaquilts 10a

THE BOX was filled with basted hexi pieces all lined up in color coordinated rows.

tunaquilts 9

Brenda learned to sew from her mom and now Brenda is sewing for her mom. Brenda lovingly bastes them all and gives them to her mom, Judy Eastman, whom Brenda called the manager of the shop, to sew together into flower shapes.

tunaquilts 6a

There’s even a second box of basted hexis waiting in line for their sewing orders.

Judy loves to sort and organize the hexis and sew them together. She showed us her hexi quilt that she is working on and I asked how long that’s taken her. Brenda asked me, “Do you mean the first time or the second time?” Well, the story goes that Judy had noticed a problem and tried to fix it but the more she fixed it the worse it got. So finally, she just took that lovely hexi quilt top all apart and is now patiently sewing it all back together again. Now, that’s a dedicated quilter!

tunaquilts 3a

Judy, Me, and Brenda holding Judy’s hexi quilt. The countless hours are definitely evident in this beautiful quilt.

If you’re thinking that Judy is making a small quilt, think again. This is going to be queen size.

tunaquilts 4a

Even the back is pretty!

I asked for some tips on making hexis as I’ve wanted to start a project myself. I’ve been collecting 30s fabrics during the last two Quilt MN Shop Hops but have been a bit timid in actually starting. I stopped at just the right shop and asked just the right people for help.

These two are masters of this method and they willingly shared some secrets. Judy recommends leaving the papers around the edges until they’ve been sewn onto the next piece and then they can be removed. Brenda says to use pink silk thread to sew the hexis together paying no attention to the color of the fabric. I checked out Brenda’s class sample and it really does work. I’ll have to add pink silk thread onto my list.

tunaquilts 7a

One more picture of this box with precisely basted hexis waiting for Judy to work her magic.

I’ve been searching for a good, traditional 30’s solid green color of fabric to use for my hexi project and Brenda suggested Kona Old Green. I learned a few tips and tricks from these masters and Brenda sent a couple of little starter packages of hexis with me so I can give them a try. I’ve also been warned that they can be rather addicting causing one to forget about doing housework and making meals. Poor Tu-Na Helper. He may have to go out and buy himself a case of Hamburger Helper or Tuna Helper.

I also asked Brenda if everyone in this small town quilts or exactly how could this small town support not just one but three quilt shops. It didn’t take her long to answer, “We each have a different flavor. I specialize in wildlife, trucks, and dirt.” That took a bit of explanation which was accomplished by showing me the wide variety of hunting and fishing themed prints in addition to other fabrics.

tunaquilts 14a

Here’s two bolts of fabric showing some of the trucks and dirt that you’ll find at The Thimble Box.

I also couldn’t help but notice the number of panels hanging on the walls.

tunaquilts 12a

Brenda admitted that her accumulation and variety of panels started with her buying one. If you’re in the market for a panel or some wildlife, trucks or dirt fabric, this is one shop to stop at.

tunaquilts 17a

Brenda designs and writes many patterns and has them for sale in her shop. Her patterns are great for beginners, or those of us who learn by looking at pictures, as they not only contain clearly worded directions but also many pictures.

tunaquilts 20a

Don’t leave the shop until you buy this potholder kit. Unfortunately, I was distracted and forgot to look for some purple ones. Now I’ll just have to go back again sometime soon. And maybe I’ll have sewn some hexis to show them.

Those potholders above looked like thongs for the hand (I grew up wearing thongs on my feet) and reminded me of the purple thang story I wrote for Day Seven of the 12 Days of Christmas in July post here.

tunaquilts 25a

While we were in the shop, Pat brought in her quilt she made during a class that Brenda has been teaching. They were auditioning borders but I left before she had decided which ones to use.

Brenda tells new quilters, “Don’t give up at your first road block and don’t be afraid to ask for help.” She also says to give yourself 15 minutes each day to do something just for you whether it’s sewing or quilting related or not.

tunaquilts 22a

Brenda’s started a yo-yo project, too.

Brenda’s owned The Thimble Box for 11 years. The previous owner was going to retire and Brenda didn’t want to see the store closed. However, Brenda’s mom gave me the real reason; “Her husband told her she can’t bring anymore fabric home.” To learn more about this shop, like them on Facebook.

tunaquilts 18a

I could tell that this family has a sense of humor. Brenda designed this pattern for this year’s Row by Row and titled it. “Gas It Up.” This year’s theme is “On the Go.”

In addition to Brenda’s mom, Judy, working 2-3 days a week (and doing a very good job at managing, I might add), there are 4 other part-time employees. However, today, Brenda’s husband, Maurice, cut my fabric; her daughter, Chandra (the very same gal who greeted me so cheerfully when I walked in) was the cashier; and son, Tony, reshelved the bolt. This teamwork and dedication is why I call this shop operation a family affair—a family happily working together helping to make this a very interesting shop to visit. Oh, and when you do, say Hi, to Brenda and ask to see her mom’s hexi quilt and THE BOX. And tell them that Tu-Na sent you.

tunaquilts 21a

Maurice, Tony, Brenda, and Chandra. Chandra comes up from Florida for two weeks every summer to help her mom with the shop hop. Tony lives in Rochester and comes to help, too.

We headed back to the car and noticed this sign in a store window.

tunaquilts 24a

I think it’s missing the word “quilt.” After all, with three quilt shops in town, there must be a lot of quilters around.

I was up for a challenge at our next stop, Spinning Spools in New Ulm; just how full could I stuff that quart bag with scraps. I’ve been working on gathering, cutting, and sewing 1.5” squares (and even some 1” squares) for a postage stamp quilt.

tunaquilts 28a

My goal is to use all different fabrics in my postage stamp quilt so that means I need a lot of different little pieces.

This box of scraps was perfect and I accepted and met the challenge.

tunaquilts 36a

The zip lock bag stayed shut just long enough to pay for it and take this picture. I don’t think another piece of thread would have fit in it.

We checked out of the Southwest section at Sewing Seeds, also in New Ulm, and received our incentive prize. It’s been a few days since we’d checked out of any sections so receiving these prizes was very rewarding.

tunaquilts 44a

We each received a 12 pack of fat quarters of Wilmington’s Flannel Essentials for completing the section.

 

We turned our Prius toward Norwood Young America and headed for the new shop on the hop this year, The Quilting Grounds. My husband and I were a bit confused about the name of the shop until we stepped foot inside the door. Wafts of coffee scent greeted us along with several cheerful HI’s. While I perused the racks and racks of fabric and finally settled on a couple of yards of 30s, my husband ordered us smoothies. By the time I had paid for my purchases and we had filled out the info for checking out of the Southeast section, our smoothies were ready.

tunaquilts 41a

We received six half-yard cuts of bright Modern Solids by In the Beginning Fabrics for each of us. A fantastic reward for completing this section.

Each of the shops in the Southeast section also offered an extra special offer they called the “Two Buck Chunk.”

tunaquilts 42a

These chunks were a half-yard cut of Modern Solids by In the Beginning Fabrics for $2.00 with a $10.00 purchase (limit of 2). Of course, I couldn’t pass them up. After all, who doesn’t need more solids? Choosing was very hard to do. Here’s my pickings. I have 14 of them so one must be hiding in the accumulating stash.

We were just about to close the shop’s door behind us when Barb caught up with us.

tunaquilts 29a

Hi, Barb! It was so nice to meet you, Barb, (a reader and follower of Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats), and know that you’ve been enjoying my adventures and sharing this shop hop journey.

We picked up our smoothies and off we drove to see if we could arrive at the next shop before closing time.

tunaquilts 32a

I had the Peach-Pear-Apricot and my husband had the Four Berry Smoothie (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry). They were wonderfully cold on this hot day and very delicious. I highly recommend them.

We still had one shop left for the day, Quilt Haven on Main in Hutchison, MN. I featured them last year; click here to read it. Google maps told us we would be arriving at 6:03, 3 minutes past closing time. It’s been pretty accurate predicting our arrivals all along and it was exactly 6:03 when we parked in front of the shop. I quickly opened the car door not even sure if my husband had put it in park yet and hopped out. I checked the door and it was still open so I rushed in. I must have breathed a very loud sigh of relief because when I rounded the corner inside the shop two staff members looked at each other. “Should we tell her or not?”  questioned one of them. “That the store is closed,” I said hanging my head in disappointment. “No, that we’re open until 7 tonight.”

tunaquilts 37a

Now, I had time to leisurely shop on the first floor and visit with a group of quilters on the second floor. I walked up and down the steps feeling like Scarlett O’Hara.

It had been a long day so we found a room at the Days Inn in Hutchinson and ate at the Tokyo Grill. Morning would come early again.

tunaquilts 33a

We started our meal with soup and salad. The shrimp and chicken were delicious. You’ll just have to take my word for it; my camera battery was complaining it needed to be recharged and so did we.

The 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop continues through August 13th so you still have time to join in on the fun!

Block of the Day

I purchased this block kit from Heather’s Book Nook and Sew Much More in Granite Falls. It is an easy block to sew.

tunaquilts 43a

A perfect 8.5″ square.

The pattern doesn’t include written directions so here’s some if you need them. Make sure you cut the pieces as given  (8) A pieces at 1 5/8″ squares of white and (8) A  pieces at 1 5/8″ squares of green, (4) B pieces at 3 7/8″ x 2 7/8″ of green, and (1) C piece at 3 7/8″ square of the blue background turtle. Sew one B to each side of C. Press your seams toward the dark green fabric. Make the four patches for the corners using the A pieces as shown on the picture on the pattern. Sew a set of them to each side of a B piece. Make two of these strips. Sew one strip to the top of your BCB unit and one to the bottom of it. Trim to 8.5″.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Corn grows very tall in MN. They must have good soil and get a lot of rain or irrigate. The governor of North Dakota has declared 46% of the state in a severe drought.

    tunaquilts 40a

    My son sent me a picture of how the corn in our garden is looking today. It should be much taller by now. My grandson is 38″ tall. I’m sad, too, because we may not get any sweet corn this year. I guess if we do, it will be the right height for this little guy to pick.

  2. My husband has now been promoted to Tu-Na Helper CEO (Carry Everything Out) by someone along the route.
  3. Brenda Seidl has a fun and interesting mom, Judy.
  4. Unwashed fresh farm eggs can sit on the counter for days. However, if you wash them, they need to be refrigerated because washing removes the protective covering. I give credit to Judy for educating me on this little fact. Without her help, I might have only learned three things today. Thanks, Judy!

Question: Have you tried English Paper Piecing and if so what shapes? I want to try hexis especially after today. My goal is to make a Grandmother’s Flower Garden. Armed with Brenda’s tips and enthusiasm, I have no doubt I will start soon. And if I run into problems, I know just who to call for help.

I read and appreciate every comment I receive. I’ve either been busy writing posts or shopping so I  haven’t had time to reply. Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement. Eventually, I hope to reply to you.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

See my other posts about the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop:

Tu-Na Travels: ♪Over Hill. Over Dale. We Will Hit the Dusty Trail. As the Quilt Hop Goes Rolling Along….♪

Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two, 334 miles, 7 Shops, Only 48 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three, 210 Miles, 4 Shops, 44 Shops Remaining

All the links to my posts for last year’s Quilt MN Shop Hop can be found at the top of this blog under the Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats title. Click on the Shop Hop tab; in the drop down menu, click on 2016 Quilt MN Shop Hop Posts.

At this time, I have no affiliation with any of the shops, products, or services that I mention here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats.

Linking to:

Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River