Tu-Na Travels: The Free and Almost-Free Loot

Was it just my own mom, or did yours, too, prolong the agony on Christmas Eve? Before we could open gifts, we had to have every dish, pot, pan, and cookie sheet washed, dried, and put away. There were a lot of them because she had been making Christmas cookies all day long.

I’ve read from your comments that a lot of you have been wondering and waiting patiently for me to unwrap and reveal  my loot from my 2016 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop.  Click here to find a link towards the bottom of the page that lists all the posts about that fun trip.

Let’s see just what snagged my line and made me cast my credit card to be netted and put in that cool treasure chest pictured on my last post. First up is the FREE STUFF! ’cause we all love FREE!

Each of the 72 participating shops provided every shop hopper with an 8″ finished pattern designed by their shop.


Here’s all 72 patterns I got!

Each shop on the hop also gave each hopper a 5″ square of the 2016 Quilt Minnesota Fabric.


I got from 1-4 squares of each of 25 prints. I was only missing one print-the parchment.

Here’s some close-ups of my favorites. Did I take the bait or keep on swimming by? You will find out on the next post whether I was able to catch any or regret not having pre-ordered. I can’t reveal all my woes or I’ll have nothing left to write. In the meantime, I have loads of free and almost-free stuff to reveal.


The colored fish would be the first one to sell-out within a few days after the shop hop started. Will I have predicted it and bought early on the hop or not?


Cute little retro campers would also be in short supply. These could also be found with an olive background, if you were lucky.


Everyone also loved those mosquitoes in either the tan or aqua background. Who could resist those buggy eyes? Obviously no one, since it also was a sell-out. Did I get bit or was I left sitting on the bank wishing I would have thrown in the line a little earlier?

All of the participating shops on the hop were also participating in the Row by Row and I used this opportunity to collect the patterns from all….


except one shop, that is. There’s only 71 Row by Row patterns here. We were so excited to check out at one shop and get the incentive prize that we forgot to ask for their Row by Row pattern. It’s too far off the beaten path to return to again. It was a really nice one though and it gets even nicer as I dream about the one that got away.

In an effort to keep organized in the beginning of the hop, my husband and I each used a gallon zip-lock plastic bag to hold our patterns and fabric squares. We were delighted to receive this vinyl and canvas zippered pouch as our first incentive prize as it held our patterns and fabric squares nicely. We could be seen emerging from the car with the pouch in hand heading straight for the shop door.


It also held the Row by Rows that we were collecting. I also had room in mine to keep a yard or two of fabric that I was trying to match. Here’s how stuffed it was with 72 shop patterns, 72 fabric squares, and 71 Row by Row patterns.

Hingeley Road Quilt Shop in Floodwood, MN went above and beyond in providing us hoppers with patterns. They’ve published several quilt pattern books and gifted each hopper with a 40 page book which includes 15 quilt patterns including one that I have my eye on to use with those new Quilt MN fabrics. This was in addition to their fabric square and 8 inch block pattern! Thank you Hingeley Road Quilt Shop. I look forward to seeing you again. 


In the book, Melissa says “……….my philosophy has always been: A quilt is a sum of your experiences and memories of creating and making it. Quilts are made for the enjoyment and experience, not for perfection. That crooked quilted line is because my 3 year old wanted attention  and pulled on the quilt top, that point is cut off because I had to hurry to meet the school bus, those are the things I think of when I look at my quilts-not ‘I should have been more precise’ life is too short for perfection-just enjoy the experience.”

Many of the stores provided us with bottles of water, coffee, fruit (bananas and cuties), snack mixes, granola bars, chips, cookies, candy and chocolate. We appreciated those sweet little treats for us weary shop hoppers. Some of the shops also gave us fun little freebies to take.


Here’s what’s left of the candy. My husband found a flattened Rice Krispies Treat in his pouch. (I told him it would taste just as good and offered to test it for him; he didn’t fall for it either.) Anderson Factory Outlet and Quilt Shop provided the mini retractable tape measure (it will be handy in my tackle box, err purse), nail file and notepad. The Quilted Ladybug and Rather Bee Quilting gifted us with pens. This is Sew Broadway included a notepad with our Quilt Minnesota patterns and fabric squares.

There was a shop that included a thank-you with my purchase.


Thank you ABC’s of Quilting in Grand Rapids, MN for that sweet little fat-eighth. it’s perfect for my black and white project.

The Metro section was giving free charms with a $10.00 purchase and I netted some.


The fish is just a scale width over 3/4″.  These probably will be sewn onto a project since I don’t wear bracelets. Three more charms are hiding in a safe place. I didn’t want to lose them and now I can’t find them! I sure hope they’re not in my tackle box (purse) as they will be lost forever!

The incentive prizes from each section were a really big catch.


Northwest Section-12 Batik fat quarters: Northeast Section-Layer cake (21 10″ squares) of Flannels: North Central Section-Snack Pack of 42 2.5″ x 44″ strips (We had our choice of snacks and we each selected the red and white without consulting the other.): East Central Section-9 solid color fat quarters: Central-lunch box:  Southeast Section-Zippered Vinyl and Canvas Pouch and 5 quilt patterns: Southwest Section-12 fat quarter bundle: Metro Section-entered into a drawing to win some fabulous prizes. If one of us wins, you’ll be some of the first to know.

It’s official; we are now part of the SWAT TEAM!


A fun little prop from Fabrics Plus, Marshall, MN that I used as a personal fan until my husband decided to use it to swat a fly.

Now onto the really good deals that seemed ALMOST FREE.

The best deal I found was at DeAnn’s Country Village Shoppe in Litchfield, MN. They were having a sale in their demolition room (clearance). So for just $3.00 per yard (that’s correct—no typo), I was able to catch two excellent quality backings for quilts. However, this could also be the “fish that got away” as I wish I would have bought even more!


The orange with white dot is 7.75 yards of Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Joanna Figueroa for Moda. The text print on the right is Odds and Ends by Julie Comstock for Moda.

I was working on a project before we left and this text print would be perfect. So I reeled it in and said I’d take all that was on the bolt! It was a whopper at 8.5 yards.


In case you’ve been thinking that I’ve just been lying around resting since we got home, I will let you know that I now only have 3 yards of that text print left.


But that’s another upcoming post with an interesting story that I will warn you will require a box of tissue.


I only bought 3 fat quarters on the trip this year compared to the 125 I bought last year.


Those two green fat quarters were a steal of a deal at only $1.50 each at Anderson Factory Outlet and Quilt Shop in Blackduck, MN.

Each store in the Central Section had a special Dollar Ditty promotion. If you spent $10.00, you could purchase the promoted item for just one dollar more. I purchased  some of them. Since the policy was one ditty per person, I did what every devoted quilter would do. I divided my purchases in two so my husband could also buy some.


The seam gauge and measuring gauge together counted as one dollar ditty from Cottage Quilts & Fabrics in Elk River, MN. I’ll keep the little sewing kit in the car as we live by the Boy Scout motto “Always Be Prepared.”

Finally, some of the stores even gave us “invitations” to come back. How can I say no?


Coming up next: A look at which of the 2016 Quilt Minnesota Fabrics didn’t get away. But first I have some zucchini that needs freezing and now the crab apples are ripe enough for making jelly. 

What I Learned Today:

  1. Free is always fun!
  2. Life is too full of regrets. Fabric at $3.00/per yard is an incredible deal. I should have bought more. Next time shop more so there are less regrets.
  3. I still worry about perfect seams.

Question: What was the best deal you ever found?


Tuesday to Connie at Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday

and Sew Cute Tuesday

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

and Silly Mama Quilts for Work In Progress

and Friday with Busy Hands Quilt for Finished or Not Friday (button on the sidebar)

and Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

30 thoughts on “Tu-Na Travels: The Free and Almost-Free Loot

  1. Demaris Soso

    Wow,. what a fun trip to take with you on this fantastic round of all these outstanding Quilt shops,
    I feel like I am right there with you and love the trip, but sadly I look around and don’t see any fun loot, free or otherwise.
    You definitely have a great gift of writing, you need to explore that gift, as I believe when God gives us a gift, we need to share it.


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

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading about the shops. I’ve tried to make the posts interesting. At one time, I was told I wasn’t a good writer. I was also told I couldn’t sing. Maybe I should try that now too.

      The sewing machine and needles better be flying around here to use up that loot.


  2. Tish

    Looks like you definitely made the most of your shop hopping experience! The swat team swatter made me giggle. I will have to show that one to my husband who is actually on a swat team…wonder if they carry those 😛


  3. Gretchen

    I enjoyed reading about your adventure. I can’t believe your husband actually participated with you! I’m looking forward to seeing your projects. Blessings, Gretchen


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

      Thanks! I’m glad you virtually came along for the tours. I loved seeing all the different shops and then featuring one shop each day of the nine days and posting about it. It was like reliving it all over again.

      My husband is a real gem! I made a good decision in saying “yes.” He has no problem going to the quilt shop for me when I need something when I’m sewing.


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

      And my husband says they should divide it into a men’s and a women’s event. We’d both have done our practice for it. Funny thing, we recorded hours and hours of the Olympics because it started when we were gone so we are still working our way through them. It’s a good thing that I have a quilt that I’m hand sewing the binding on to justify sitting in front of the TV for hours. Don’t tell me how it ends yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sharon Christenson

        Wisconsin and Iowa have quilt shop hops in June. This year Iowa had Christmas fabrics. I did get to one shop during the hop to check out the fabrics and got some. Later in July I was in Iowa again and got to several more shops.


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

      The next post is delayed due to garden produce taking precedence. It’s been an abundant year for beans, corn, crabapples, apples, tomatoes, and cucumbers!

      Some year, you’ll have to head your RV north and attend the MN quilt shop hop and have an amazing adventure.


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

      Quilt MN does have an awesome quilt shop hop. The best in the nation, I’ve been told. People fly in from all over the U.S. to participate. Three women drove in from Las Vegas this year. Maybe some year you can participate. I think every quilter needs to do a shop hop at least once. But it is not for the faint of wallet.


  4. Pingback: Tu-Na Travels: The 2016 Quilt Minnesota Fabric Loot | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  5. Jen R

    I fall into the $3/yard trap a lot. But really, what a great time to buy backing fabric? As long as you have room to store it and it is versatile. 🙂 Or a plan of course… but I never have those when good fabric is on sale.


  6. Tracy

    I’m thinking I need to plan a trip to MN some year…. What fun!! I found you – wait – how did I find you?? EIther Beth at cooking up quilts, or Connie FM by the River, I think… Anyways – I have enjoyed reading about your adventure and have spent waay too much time this morning scrolling through posts (and laughed out loud a few times 🙂 (I totally always made my kids clean all the things on Christmas Eve, too! But I don’t remember having to when I was a kid) Did you buy anything from the shop you forgot to get the pattern from? Perhaps you could use your receipt as proof of having been there (or share this post with them) and ask them to send the pattern to you? I know it’s unlikely you’ll *use* all 72, but gosh – you are *so close* to having the complete collection…..
    It was so nice to meet you! I’m going right now to add you to my blog reader


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

      I am glad you found me too. I think every quilter should experience a shop hop at least once. But it is not for the faint of wallet! I still have a loot post to write with all the things from my list and the big splurge items (maybe it will be two) and then my husband will write a guest post about being Tu-Na Helper. I have to admit there were a few posts that I found myself ROFLOLACGU (rolling on floor laughing out loud and couldn’t get up) after reading what I’d written.

      Last year approx. 70 people finished the whole state. I haven’t heard the numbers from this year yet.

      I do have a receipt and should give that shop a call. Maybe they would send or email me the pattern although that’s not in the rules. But it’s worth a call. Thanks for the idea.


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