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).
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.
We checked out of the North Central Region in Randall and received our incentive prizes of fat quarter bundles.
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.
While my husband attended his meeting, I looked around the library. Quilts were hanging from the ceiling.
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.
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.
And then they got a little heated.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While I was in the shop, a new shop hopper filled out his passport and Kim handed him a packet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Block of the Day
What I Learned Today:
- “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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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.
Sunday Stash at quiltpaintcreate