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

Yes, we are going to drive all around Minnesota for the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop, again. This will be our fourth year. Last year we not only shopped but also took our first sailboat ride. You’ll find all the links to posts about that journey at the top underneath my blog name in a tab called SHOP HOP. Click it and a drop down menu will appear, click on 2016 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. I wonder what adventures await us this year?

Sixty six shops have been busy preparing for us and other shoppers to descend upon them and swoop up all they have to offer. They’ve been busy creating samples of quilts, bags, runners, and other fun things using the exclusive shop hop fabric. In addition, they’ve been designing their 8 inch finished block and cutting a 5″ charm from one of those fabrics which they will present to each of the hoppers for free. They’ve been assembling the incentive prizes.


This is the 11th Annual Shop Hop which brings quilters (and even some of their husbands) from all over the country to scour the shops finding inspiration, fabric, and a special kind of quilting kinship.

We’re all packed and headed down to our daughter’s house in southern Minnesota so we can get an early start tomorrow morning.

As we left North Dakota, and in fact all along the way to her house, we encountered lots of construction. We’re sure hoping this is not a sign of what’s to come.

Just how did we prepare for our quilty adventure?

Perusing the Quilt Minnesota Website

The Quilt Minnesota website is jam packed with all the information us hoppers need including a list of participating shops divided into sections, shop hours, state map, section information and incentive prizes, and the special Minnesota Fabrics designed and printed ONLY for this hop—I’m showing you a few of them here.


Many of the fabrics are available in several different background colors.

Programming the Route

My husband—lovingly named Tu-Na Helper by my sister on last year’s hop—put all the zip codes into the computer website, OptiMap. A minute later it spit out the route map in the order that we should take. While we know we will deviate from that route because of shop hours, it gets us going in the general direction and provides us a base to use the phone to navigate.

To navigate around, we use Google Maps on my husband’s smart phone. My husband puts in the address of the first shop from the OptiMap suggestion, and then when we get to the location, he puts in the next one, etc. Oh, I love technology! We’ll see how off-course it takes us this year.


The fabrics are an exclusive line designed by Emily Krueger and manufactured by Clothworks.

Creating My List

Tu-Na Helper wouldn’t let me go without a plan. So, yes, I have a list which reads:


  • Florence Flamingo by Elizabeth Hartman
  • Lepidoptera by Elizabeth Hartman
  • We’re on a Bigger Roll by Java House Quilts


  • No Scrap Left Behind by Amanda Nyberg
  • The Quilt Block Cookbook by Amy Gibson


  • Laundry Day (irons, clothes hanger)
  • Kaffe Fasset especially olive green
  • Low volume prints
  • fabric with postage stamps
  • White on white
  • Minnesota Fabrics.

I wonder which fabric will be the statewide sell-out this year? The one most sought after by quilters. The one that those of us who didn’t pre-order will wish we had. My guess is the lady slipper or the birds will be the first to go. But could it be the fish instead like last year? My husband doesn’t think so, as he prefers last year’s colorful ones. I guess this year’s fish look too realistic for him. But, if given the chance I find some, I might get some anyway. Who knows? His preference might change.


  • Small apple buttons

There are lots more fabrics to this line including a panel. Check out the website listed above to view them all.

Packing the Cooler

We carry a cooler for lunches. There’s a lot of miles to cover and not a lot of hours to do it in so we opt to eat in the car for lunch and splurge in the evening at local fare. We’ll be restocking at grocery stores along the way; in the meantime, we can enjoy a snack of string cheese and some baby carrots.


While this exclusive fabric can be pre-ordered, I, again, decided not to pre-order. Instead, I will hunt and seek and discover which fabrics I will buy limiting myself to only purchasing one at a shop. I call it a lesson in decision making. Which one can’t I leave behind? Which one do I risk but may not see again?

Deciding to Take the Sewing Machine

Some of you may wonder, why I would do that. Each shop provides a free charm square of this year’s Quilt Minnesota fabrics and a pattern for an 8 inch block. My plan is to buy some of the kits for those patterns and sew a few up in the evenings. After a few days, we’ll see how that goes and whether it was worth bringing it along.


The agate is the state gem. This fabric, by that name, is available in several colors. This one might be a contender for the first to sell-out statewide.


The giveaway to win the Christmas stocking and ALL the stocking stuffers I made for it is still open through August 1st. If you haven’t entered click here to go to that post and leave a comment.


Last year, there were mosquitoes. This year it’s the dragonfly.

The hop continues through August 13th. There’s still time for you to join in on the fun. If you can’t travel the whole state, you might like to visit just a section or two.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I don’t need a lot of fabric but I sure do want some more.
  2. Whether I am ready or not, the quilt hop will start.
  3. If you see me out and about, please stop and say hi. I will try to do the same.

Question: What makes a good shop hopper? Help me list some Shop Hop Etiquette. It will be a good reminder for me. I make a point to stop and shop or at least look around each of the shops. We avoid the grab and go approach. We don’t look at the hop as a race to finish first. But rather think of it as an experience to be enjoyed. It’s kind of like stopping to smell the roses or in this case, petting the fabric.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Oh, Scrap at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Moving It Forward at Em’s Scrapbag

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

  1. Jean McKinstry

    Green is the colour down here, and although it doesn’t rhyme with the associated feeling, you might just guess?? It does rhyme with GUESS? What a road trip, and to have all the technology and a helper there to carry the goodies. well it will be like dreamland. Those fabrics are dreamy, peaceful and utterly gorgeous . I was talking to the Mum of the wee girl who received a bag with an owl on, a few years ago. Now it hangs on her door handle and is the library book bag, used every day. Felicity’s bag, I am very happy she uses it so much.


  2. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

    The Lady Slippers were being snatched up on the first day at Quilt Cove. I love working the shop hop–I get to meet so many different quilters. And I love doing the shop hop. I’m planning on doing 3 districts for sure. Some of the regional rewards are a real win! I wonder what day you’ll hit Quilt Cove. I’m usually there on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Looking forward to your reports!


  3. Kathleen McCormick

    Looks like a great time! We are settled (kind of) into our apartment, so we are heading to Maine to relax for a few days. We’ll return at the end of the week, but it is 1) liveable and 2) we decided very few “sleep overs” at the old house, so we’ll clear out what was left for us for that purpose. DH is totally discombobulated by this and being only in 2 places will be easier for him!


  4. Cocoa Quilts

    Karen I am so glad I found your blog last year during the hop. It sounds like you have a great plan. Can hardly wait to see how the trip goes and the adventures along the way.


  5. karenfae

    sounds like fun – to tour the whole state stopping at shops along the way – how long do you take to do it? I’m sure some just do sections of the state but to do the whole thing like you are doing is fun and a lot of miles!


  6. Mary D

    What a fun adventure! You’re so lucky to have a husband who joins in. My prediction for sell-out fabric is the dragonflies!


  7. Vicki

    It was fun to meet you and TunaHelper in Forest Lake on Friday! Nancy and I finished that section that day- lots of fun ideas! And started a Christmas Wish List! We loved following your blog with your adventures last year on the hop- looking forward to hearing your adventures this year, as well as things you learn each day😎


  8. Verna

    I really enjoyed reading about your shop hop adventures last year, and am looking forward to hearing about this year’s trip. Wish I could do the whole state, but I will get to a few local shops. Have fun!


  9. Darlene H

    Sounds like an awesome adventure, I hope to talk my newly retired hubby into something like this soon. Enjoy and take us with you.


  10. Carol Home

    I hope you and your helper have a fun and wonderful trip! I don’t think you can ever have too much fabric. How can you have fun shopping in your stash if you have a limited stash? Enjoy! I look forward to “traveling” with you.


  11. Demaris Soso

    Hi, Love those fabrics especially the bird one and the fish. Not the dragon fly, not my
    favorite as I don’t like to look at the insects. But then to each his own. Which ones are
    you going to come home with?
    Didn’t know this was coming up this soon. Bring back some interesting and fun ideas for
    your projects for the rest of the year. Meantime, I will continue to work on the brick project.


  12. Annette Mandel

    Shop hop etiquette –if you enter a shop 10 minutes before closing, purchase something! The gal behind the counter can’t leave until you do, so don’t stay more than 10 minutes past closing time. If you want more items from the shop, start here tomorrow.


  13. rl2b2017

    Hi Karen,
    Safe travels to you and Mr. Ta-Na Helper. I love that dragonfly fabric – that might almost make me drive over to a shop in MN. I have a friend that is a huge fan on them. I look forward to hearing about your adventures. ~smile~ Roseanne


  14. Pingback: Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  15. Rebecca Grace

    Oh, WOW — I was just reminiscing to my husband last night about childhood vacations at Lake Nisswa in Minnesota, remembering the turtle races, the seaweed between my toes, and fishing for sunnies off the dock with my dad. I would love to take my own kids there (we live in North Carolina now), but it’s probably all glammed up, gentrified and commercialized — ruined, surefire disappointment!

    I didn’t know Minnesota had a big shop hop in the summer, but that might actually be a lot of fun. I still have extended family up there. Curious about the custom fabric, though. Since you’ve bought it in the past, can you tell me whether these are commercial quality prints that can be used in everyday quilts that will go in and out of the washing machine? I wonder if that Clothworks company offers custom fabric printing? I had looked into Spoonflower for custom printed quilting cottons but their care instructions (disclaimer!) make it clear that their fabrics require special handling and will fade extensively when laundered.


  16. Jeanna

    My friend and I participated in the Florida Shop Hop last summer. We used our weekends and visited every shop. We also took our sewing machines and would stitch in the evenings in our hotel room. It was a lot of fun.

    We always asked each store for their business card and would spend time looking around. We didn’t always make a purchase but didn’t use the ‘grab and go’ method either.


  17. Pingback: Tu-Na Travels: Day Two, 334 miles, 7 Shops, Only 48 Shops Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  18. Pingback: Tu-Na Travels: Day Three, 210 Miles, 4 Shops, 44 Shops Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  19. Susan Shaw

    Wish I still had a husband to do a trek with me. The first one walked out on me and lives across town from me now. The kids don’t even tell me what’s up with him. He nearly died a few years ago of alcohol poisoning and they didn’t even tell me he was sick and in the hospital. Can I say it was a bitter divorce? The second husband was a sweetie and died. I can hardly believe it was five years ago last month.
    I do have to tell you a funny story about the living husband. After the first husband died, we took a trip to Albuquerque together to see our daughter. He was in a lot of physical and I think emotional pain. He thought he could still tell us what to do and we would do it. He was trying to order us around and it wasn’t working and he was more aggravated. The grandsons were willing to help and that irritated the women. So, the night before coming home, he said we needed to go our separate ways. I was going to fly back to Tulsa and leave him. Our daughter asked me to bring him home or she’d be stuck with him. He was so mean that I almost stopped in Amarillo at a hospital to tell them that he was in severe pain and then I was going to leave him and drive HIS car home. I was afraid, he’d try to get me for stealing his car. This year our son and I took his two children to ABQ to see his sister and her family. Their dad saw the pictures on Facebook. He had told us he was going in May and did not. We went in June. He asked our son – why he wasn’t asked to go. He isn’t a member of my family any more – he walked out almost twenty years ago – that’s why. I thought geez – he still wants to be a part of the fun stuff just like before and not for the hard stuff. We used to drive and drive and drive. It was my job to change the CD and I had to watch the scenery. I wanted to knit or cross stitch. It’s weird how opposites attract. Glad you have Tu-Na Helper. Blessings to you and I can hardly wait to hear of your adventures. I enjoyed Christmas in July.


  20. Pingback: Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 276 Miles, 9 Shops, Only 35 Shops Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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  27. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: A Sneak Peak at my Loot from the 2017 Quilt MN Shop Hop | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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