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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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)

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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.

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

The front door invited us to come on in.

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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.

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

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Missy and I.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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


18 thoughts on “Tu-Na Travels: Day Nine, 401 Miles, 4 Shops, Only 3 Shops Remaining

  1. Cathy Melancon

    Hey Karen!! Thanks for the great, in-depth chronicles of your adventures on the shop hop! Your emails are something I look forward to!! As I’ve said before, I am going to do this someday with my husband!! I sure can’t wait to see your loot! Thanks again!


  2. Susan

    I have enjoyed every post about your excursion. It truly has been fun. Sometimes I think I’ve been in the trunk tagging along. I had to laugh when I saw Bemidji – my first husband worked on a pipeline there before I knew him. He is 6’7″. He said he met a girl who was 6’6″. He said the only thing they had in common was there height. I’m 5’2″. I had women tell ask me why short girls married the tall men. Stuff happens. I can hardly wait to see all the loot. I haven’t even knitted one dishcloth while you been on your trip. I need to get busy. Thanks for including us.


  3. Helen

    I have enjoyed reading your trip around the quilt shops . Sounds like a lot of fun . And I loved your Garrison Keillor quote at the end of this one
    I look forward to joining you on next years trip !


  4. karenfae

    I had a clock on the wall of the sewing room but of course it was taken down in the redo that is going on – maybe I will get a new one – maybe not – after all there is one on the computer which is in there – and the phone is usually nearby. Sounds like the travel around the state of Minnesota has been fun for you. Recognize Paul and Babe – I don’t know if there is more than one but I know we took a photo of him someplace when we traveled Minnesota –


  5. Jayne

    Wow! You’ve had quite an adventure! And Minnesota! I had was shocked and delighted you featured a shop in I’Falls…that happens to be my birthplace and I have many, many relatives who live there. It’s been four years since I was last there and would have loved a stop at Up North Quilt Shop! Minnesota is a gorgeous state as your pictures show. What a fun trip!


  6. piecefulwendy

    I have two clocks in my sewing room, one a standard wall clock (that doesn’t keep time well) and one on my stereo. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to either of them until it’s time to head up and make dinner. Great post once again, Karen.


  7. Buffy

    I enjoyed reading your blog. I absolutely love Missy’s Up North shop! My husband and I have been going there since she opened. The first time we went, there was a doe and twin fawns in her driveway! She is so accommodating and I always enjoy our trip to her shop.


  8. Kathleen McCormick

    Great advice today, Karen. Love the little mason jar tops…will have to look for those especially the bobbin one – it’s calling my name!


  9. Bobbie S

    Love your tour. So glad you highlighted the Up North quilt shop. I was stopped in there last year with my husband. It’s delightful and everyone was so helpful and friendly.


  10. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

    All I can say is interesting, interesting, interesting!!! I have a wooden handpainted wall clock in my studio. I bought it when my children were babies. As they grew up and learned to tell time, they informed me they could NOT read that clock! That’s when it dawned on me–the numbers are all roman numerals! So that clock got moved to the big people room, AKA studio.


  11. thedarlingdogwood

    There’s a digital alarm clock in my sewing room as it also doubles as our guest room. I want to make a fun quilt, but it will go in my office at work, not my sewing room. I picture a Dresden block with 12 wedges, and am even thinking about doing it as a color wheel but it’s still in the “completely in my head” phase.


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