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

Day One started early but not early enough as we got to our first shop 30 minutes after it opened.

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We checked in at Bear Patch Quilting Co. in White Bear Lake, MN along with everyone else hopping around the state or so it seemed.

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The shop was very busy and lines were long.

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We each got a passport to present at each shop where they will stamp their space. One shop done!

After we left, I started singing.

66 Quilt Shops on the Hop

66 Quilt Shops

Drive up to one.

Lay the cash down.

65 Quilt Shops on the hop.

My husband rolled his eyes as he muttered, “It’s going to be a long trip.” My family knows that I often break into song changing the words to fit the mood and the situation.

At the second shop (Country Loft Quilting and Designs in Forest Lake), I was tapped on the shoulder by Nancy, who had recognized me from my blog. I enjoyed talking with her and her quilting friend Vicki. I was so flustered and flattered to be recognized that I completely forgot to have Tu-Na Helper (my husband and official photographer for the hop) take our picture. So I’m hoping to run into you again so I can get one. It was so nice to meet you, Nancy and Vicki!

When we stopped at Eagle Creek Quilt Shop, I insisted upon having my picture taken under the quilt which I had forgotten to do last year. I have thought of a very good companion quilt for this one for my husband. I just might have to design it.

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We soon came upon a very special shop which I will call:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

I knew there was something special about Millie P’s Quilt Shop in Anoka the first time I stepped foot inside the door.

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No one should miss seeing this quilt shop at 219 E Main Street, Anoka, MN with the sign on the roof.

It’s such a bright and happy place. After talking with the owner and several staff members, I found out why.

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Becky, the owner of Millie P’s, works hard to make this shop a happy place to shop and to work.

Our passports were stamped by the very charming Judy. She is an expert salesperson and you’ll probably be leaving the store loaded down with some of these great exclusive products from Millie P’s.

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I am wearing the Baking Boa. Behind Judy and I are the One Hour Baskets. Both of these are kits containing fabric and pattern to make these exclusive Millie P’s products.

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Here’s the pattern and charm square that Judy gave us.

Becky, the owner, started Millie P’s about 7 1/2 years ago. Shortly before that, she had just retired from the corporate world and spent the following six weeks organizing her house when boredom struck. It was then that she realized that something was missing. While cruising main street in downtown Anoka, she spied a vacant building which had at one time housed a drug store. She pulled over and spent three hours sitting in her car looking at the building and asking herself, “Should I or shouldn’t I?”

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Well, the rest is history as Becky not only started Millie P’s but also has expanded the showroom space and the scope of the business to now include 22 employees (most of them are part-time), added a retreat center a block away, and produced some exclusive product lines.

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These curated bundles (pictured above) are found only at Millie P’s and correspond to their specially designed patterns or can be purchased alone. They make great gifts and are a perfect project start for new quilters or experienced quilters who want a quick finish.

  • Becky’s Bundle of 6 fat quarters
  • Pearl’s Pack six 1/2 yard cuts
  • Myrtle’s Mix 12 fat quarters + 2 yards
  • Millie’s Medley 12 fat quarters tunaquilts 18a

Millie P’s also offers a customer loyalty program. Each shopper’s purchase of fabric, machine rental, and notions is recorded. Once that shopper reaches $250.00, they receive 10% back. I like that Millie P’s keeps a computer record of it so I don’t have to keep, and ultimately lose, a card.

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You will discover some very unique display cases in this shop.

Becky named the store after her dear mother, Millie Pearl, and fills it with bright fabric and batiks. She only buys fabric for the store that she likes. And she likes color! From the size of the store and the amount of shelves and display areas, I say, she also likes fabric, a lot! I think Millie Pearl would be very happy in this shop, too.

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Becky quilted before she opened the store. She says, “Quilting is my stress relief.” I think a lot of quilters use quilting in that same way.

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Even the restroom is a fun place to be!

The store is delightfully decorated with samples of quilts, aprons, bags, potholders, pillows and about anything else you can imagine that can be made from fabric. Becky says, “These samples provide the inspiration that is such an important part of when customers walk in the store.” You will certainly be inspired here.

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Becky offers these words of advice for new quilters:

  • Take a class.
  • You are never too advanced in your quilting knowledge to learn something new.
  • Don’t be afraid of color.
  • Colors don’t have to match.

With quilting wisdom like that, beginners should feel very comfortable starting a project. Millie P’s offers a variety of classes and two retreats each year.

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Just in case you are looking for last year’s fish, we found one at Millie P’s. We left it on the shelf but chose some 2 yards of this years Minnesota fabric to buy.

In addition, Millie P’s offers a longarm quilting service where quilters can become certified or trained to use the machine. Once completed they can rent time on the longarm to quilt their own quilt. It is located on the second floor. I wish I lived closer to Millie P’s. I think I’d be here a lot.

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You can find more information about Millie P’s and their classes, clubs, and retreats here on Millie P’s website.

When you are in Anoka or the Twin Cities area, stop in at Millie P’s and say hi to Becky and the girls. Oh, and tell them that Tu-Na sent you.

Finishing the Metro Section:

We finished visiting the seven shops in the Metro section and checked out at Quilt Cove in Eagan. We each received a picnic cooler bag as the incentive prize.

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The Block for the Day

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I bought this 2017 Quilt MN block kit (Agate Reflections) from Quilted Treasures in Rogers, MN. It sewed up nicely.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I better keep an eye on my husband or I’ll lose him. I had just left Eagle Creek Quilt Shop with my husband tagging behind. As he was closing the door, a voice said, “Here wait, I’m going with you.” It wasn’t mine!
  2. Quilters are some of the friendliest people I’ve met.
  3. I need to make my shopping list longer as I’ve already purchased most of it. (Shhh, don’t tell my husband.)

Question: Do you buy by the fat quarter, 1/2 yard, yardage, or only buy following a pattern? I buy fat quarters to add to my scrappy stash. Otherwise, I buy 1 1/2 yards except the MN exclusive fabrics which I have cut in 2 yards. However, if I really like a fabric, then I buy 3 or 4.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Moving It Forward Monday at Em’s Scrapbag

See my first post 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….♪


37 thoughts on “Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

  1. piecefulwendy

    Like you, I buy fat quarters and then 3-4 yards if it’s a fabric I really like. I have not been to Millie P’s, but have heard raving reviews. I need to visit; it looks amazing!


  2. Bonnie

    Love your song! It sounds just like you 😉 Did you figure out how to plug your sewing machine into the car charger?


  3. JoanG

    I buy mostly fat quarters. It’s a great way to add lots of variety to your stash. I’m looking forward to following your travels again this year. You always find the most interesting things in the shops you visit. Wish I lived closer to Minnesota, I’d be shop hopping right along with you!


  4. Kathleen McCormick

    I buy what I think I might need. So, if I’m thinking a small quilt its often 1/2 yards, or 1 yd cuts for a larger quilt. If it is border material it is 2 1/2 to 3. BUT since I worked in a quilt shop, I more often go for patterns, tools that I could use and bring back to the store….


  5. Cathy Melancon

    I so love your adventures during the shop hop!!! What a good sport your husband is! I will be doing this one day when the kids are out of the house. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s post! Oh, and I too like fat quarters to beef up my stash, but I buy 2-yd cuts if I love something!!! Have fun!!!


  6. karenfae

    I think you are having too much fun! A couple years ago I was on top of a mountain highway parked in a overlook at some waterfalls with hubby and a dozen strangers looking at the view one one lady comes up to me and says “are you Karen from Quiltsetc” imagine my surprise to find one of my readers traveling in the same area – pulled out at the same overlook and recognized me from one of the few photos that I post on my blog of me! We did get a photo
    Yes make your shopping list longer – does hubby follow you around the store helping you pick out things or does he find a bench outside or take a walk a couple times around the block (or a mile) while you are shopping?
    I normally find fat quarters as I never really have that much of a list going – I normally make scrap quilts from my scraps or fat quarter bundles


  7. Cocoa Quilts

    Glad to hear you are “On the Road Again”!! I am enjoying your travels an purchases. Saves me money to watch you buy up all that fabric.


  8. Rochelle Summers

    Milly P’s looks like a fantastic shop. Glad you and hubby are feeling well again and having fun. Are you going to all the shops on the hop? I buy every kind of cut depending upon what’s out there. Sometimes I only want fat quarters but have to buy 1/2 yard cuts when they don’t have the fat quarters. Actually meant to be on a no-fabric diet but as with most diets, that’s hard to stick to!!


  9. Jodi

    I love Millie P’s. I am from Fargo and have made a day trip just to visit their shop along with Quilted Treasures and Grubers. I either buy fat quarters or 1/2 yard cuts. I just found your blog and look forward to following your travels.


  10. Tish

    Millie P’s looks like it is a happening place with lots to see. I usually just stick to buying fat quarters when I’m out shopping, but if it is a bolt of fabric that really catches my eye I might get a yard or three 🙂


  11. Jean McKinstry

    You are having such a great journey, and a bit like ” 10 green bottles” only the number is a lot more!!! Love the shops, your block, when are you getting time to sleep? However, the bonus points are… no housework? maybe no meals? and to get a post about where you are, good value for us down here who can only dream of something like this!!! I must find a map and see the roads and highways you are on.


  12. rl2b2017

    Hi Karen,
    I was wondering how the travels were going today. What a newsy post. It sounds like you are having a fabulous time. Are you glad you brought a sewing machine along? I love the block – love the colors. Millie P’s quilt shop looks like a keeper, and a not-to-miss store if I ever am in the area. Funny, I was just thinking our area needs a quilting retreat place . . . and then I set that thought aside – I am not opening a retreat thingy. Anyway, looking forward to the next 55 shops. ~smile~ Roseanne


  13. Becky Carlson

    This is Becky from Millie P’s. Loved your post!!! I buy bolts ! ! ! and bolts ! ! ! and bolts ! ! ! As my husband would say – – “Way too much!”. Nice visiting with you.


  14. Vicki H

    Great post. My sister lives across the river from Anoka, in Champlin. She will be taking me to Millie P’s my next visit.


  15. Vicki

    This is Vicki, whom you met in Country Loft in Forest Lake the first day. I am headed to NW section tomorrow 8/1-8/2 on a bus trip. I’ll be on the lookout for you and Tuna Helper! August 6-8 I’m doing a bus trip in NE section. Hopefully our paths will cross again! I’ve been to Millie Ps and love going to this shop- agree with what you said about it!


  16. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

    We did the North Central Region on Monday, plus got Gruber’s and Millie P’s tagged in at the end. DH was our chauffeur, so I read your blog post to him. He said, “This is an ad for Millie P’s, right?” I love that store, too! I had to laugh at your song!!


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

      It’s just my opinion about a shop I enjoyed visiting. So, no ad, just a story about risk taking, providing a happy place for customers and employees, and offering the quilting community more choices to fulfill their needs and wants. I’m glad you enjoyed the shop too and the song.


  17. Bonnie

    We completed the NW section on Friday and Saturday as well as Mom’s Originals and Bay Window. Our Friday favorite was our own Red Pine Quilt Shop in Detroit Lakes and our Saturday favorite was Anderson’s in Blackduck, well worth the trip!


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

  19. LindsayRF

    I would be super interested on your travel map and how you guys are approaching all the stores. Are you taking it a region at a time? Or stores within a radius of a hotel? I’d love to visit all of the MN shops next year when I have a good plan!


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

  21. thedarlingdogwood

    Quilt shop bathrooms are the best! Millie P’s looks awesome! I used to live in SE Minnesota but moved pretty soon after I started quilting, so I never really got to explore MN quilt shops. This hop looks great and I am envious of the MN fabric.


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