Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 10 Quilt Shops, Only 49 Remaining

The 2018 Quilt Minnesota Adventure Begins

We arrived at Bluffview Quilt Shop just a few minutes past opening time to pick up our passports and begin this hop. It’s our fifth year of hopping around the state. The gals at Bluffview are just as friendly now as they were when I featured them two years ago (read it here). They told me that this years Quilt MN Shop Hop fabric is going fast. I was able to convince a few yards of the swans on teal background to fly into the car and I quickly closed the hatch to keep them there.

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When Harry Met Tu-Na

I was in for a big surprise when I entered Rather Bee Quilting in Lake City.

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Judy at Rather Bee Quilting introduced me to Harry because I really thought he was Carson Wentz (quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles and look-alike for Prince Harry).


I was holding little hope of finding the one fabric (poppies on teal background) that I really wanted from this years shop hop fabrics and was now wishing that I had pre-ordered it. The staff from several shops we visited had already told me that they had sold the last of it on Friday or Saturday and had heard from other shops in the state that they’d had the same experience. Imagine my surprise when I walked into All in Stitches in Zumbrota and Tu-Na Helper pointed to a bolt of poppies on the teal background.

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Now just to decide exactly how much I needed. My decision-making process went like this:

Me: I wonder if I should get two or maybe three yards just to make sure.

Clerk: “How much can I cut for you?”

Me: “I’ll take five yards, please.”

Living Up to His Name

While my fabric selection was being cut at Quilting by the Hearth in Lonsdale, Sue asked Tu-Na Helper to turn the sign on the door to closed and secure the dead bolt. After all, it was closing time. He happily and quickly obliged. We checked out of the south east section here and received our black and white fabric bundles.

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We each received a bundle containing five half-yard black and white cuts.

Back in the car, we checked the hop schedule and decided to continue and catch three metro area shops that were open in the evening. Little did I realize that the last shop for the day would be..

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

I was delighted to find that clearance fabrics were an additional 20% off today (Monday) at Bear Patch Quilting Co. at White Bear Lake.

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I found a Lori Holt for my chocolate cake quilt. They only had 4 1/2 yards; I figured that was what I needed.

While I was paying for my purchase, Debbie, the owner, commented that price was now lower than the regular price of fabric when she opened the store in April 1997. Twenty-one years ago, a yard of fabric was $6.50; today, mine cost only $5.60.

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Debbie’s expecting her last shipment of Quilt MN Shop Hop fabrics soon. If you’re still looking for something specific, do call the shop 651-429-1039 or stop on over. 

Debbie showed us this great rug  (pictured below) that she made using this years Quilt MN Shop Hop fabrics . She described the process to make it waterproof using ODICoat (a waterproof adhesive gel). I was surprised at how flexible the rug was. By using this product, which she happened to be out of already, one can turn any fabric into outdoor pillows, or table cloth, or waterproof the underside of a picnic quilt.

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Debbie excitedly showed us several new products that she found at Quilt Market and showered us with gifts. I was indeed impressed with the lightbox that could be cut upon. Since I don’t have a light box, I think I’ll add this to my Christmas list.

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These gifts from Bear Patch Quilting all bear their name. Tu-Na Helper snatched the car cup holder inserts for his car and I tucked the nail file into my purse. The little rulers will come in handy and I’ll always remember where I got them. Thanks, Debbie, for these wonderful gifts.

Visit the Bear Patch Quilting Co. website here to find their list of classes and learn how you can subscribe to receiving Bear Patch Bits by mail. When you find yourself in White Bear Lake, visit this shop and tell them that Tu-Na sent you.

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This Sew Fresh Quilts giraffe pattern is only one of the classes they offer. They carry the printed pattern but it is out of stock right now because it’s very popular and they’ve had lots of customers. Tu-Na Helper really liked it so I should add it to my list of things to find.

Before we left the shop, Tu-Na Helper asked Debbie for her recommendation for a good local restaurant for a late dinner. We followed her advice and ate nearby at Ingredients.

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I had Tempura Tilapia piled on top of apple beet salad and mashed sweet potatoes. It was melt-in-my mouth delicious!!!

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Tu-Na Helper ordered pork tenderloin. He said it was delicious. Service was fast and we were eating in less than 20 minutes from being seated.

Tu-Na Helper’s Top Sights of the Day

Here’s a peek at Tu-Na Helper’s favorite sights from our travels and shop hopping today. 

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Tu-Na Helper spied this beauty at Bluffview Quilt Shop in Winona.

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Seen between Lake City and Zumbrota.

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Found at All in Stitches in Zumbrota.

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Also found at All in Stitches.

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Only in Minnesota (and probably North Dakota) can you find a sweet corn stand on an honor system.


What I Learned Today:

  1. We drove the exact same number of miles on Day one this year as we did last year on a different route with different shops.
  2. I might need to think about my decision-making process.
  3. Fish that have spots are usually ill so other fish stay away from them. At least that’s what I heard on Scientific American 60 Second Science podcast.
  4. I think I’ll be listening to a lot of Scientific podcasts and Money Girl in the coming days.
  5. I’ve overestimated my energy level and the amount of available time for writing at the end of the day. 

Question: Do you listen to the radio or music while you drive? Tu-Na Helper likes to listen to the radio or podcasts but I like to talk or look at the scenery but usually end up sleeping.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts


36 thoughts on “Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 10 Quilt Shops, Only 49 Remaining

  1. dezertsuz

    Oh, yay! I’m excited to follow along again. I think this is the third time I’ve followed. Maybe? Always wonderful fun to travel with you. =)


  2. Little Quiltsong

    Your hop sounds like a lot of fun! Love how your mind thinks – 2 or 3 yards – I’ll take 5 yds. Yup – so much like my mind :)! We too have many sweet corn stands on the honour system here in southern Ontario. Enjoy your hop – I’ll be following along on your blog!


  3. Brenda~Songbird Designs

    Sounds like a great (and maybe a little tiring) day one of the shop hop! I enjoyed riding along your first day, and seeing your treasures! And I do love the way you think about NEEDED yardage! LOL Safe travels!


  4. karenfae

    sounds like you hit a lot of shops! we listen to satellite radio no ads or very little – glad you found the poppy fabric – interesting rug


  5. Liz

    It’s so fun to read your adventure! Sounds like you’re finding lots and lots of goodies. I too have been guilty of thinking in my head that I need X amount, and when they ask how much to cut, it ALWAYS goes up. Insurance, right? In the car with other people, I like to turn music on, but when I’m driving by myself, I frequently like total silence so I can think.


  6. piecefulwendy

    Oh my, I can’t believe you went to shops in the evening too! I’m still hoping we get to meet someday! Had to laugh at the 2-3 yards, I’ll take 5 — been there, done that!


  7. Sharon Huse

    It was such a surprise and so good to see you yesterday!! I can’t wait to keep up with you on this year’s hop! Happy Trails, Sharon, Old Alley Quilt Shop


  8. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

    Congrats on finding the teal poppies!!! I love the swan fabric, too. Your meals look delicious. And that jelly roll rug! I’m interested in finding out more about the waterproofing product. I got your card last night at Quilt Cove. I’m sorry I missed you. Maybe you were there on Monday?


  9. Leslie Schmidt

    What a wonderful first day! I consider Bear Patch my home shop. That’s where I bought my sewing machines and where I take classes all the time. Debbie and Laurel are wonderful. I’m glad you got the poppy fabric. Sometimes you don’t know what will be the most sought after design, but I thought that one was sure to be a favorite, especially seeing that it was used so often in shop samples.
    As for riding in the car, I prefer silence. We seem to get our ears assaulted every where we go.
    Have fun on your travels.


  10. Bonnie

    Let me think about your decision making process….I think you should simplify and skip to thought process #3 right away. ;>) Suggestions on what to listen to…? I suggest Dave Ramsey: financial guru on money management and budgeting….and, no, Tu-Na Helper did not pay me to suggest that…LOL…p.s. (fabric can be a big item on the budget ; ) )


  11. Kathleen McCormick

    I so enjoy my vicarious purchasing with you! I don’t think there is anything wrong with your decision making process! I, too, lust after one of those lightbox with cutting mats. I have an old one, but boy, these new ones are quite something. The teal fabric calls my name, too. I usually get to shop when in MN and order a yard or two – but didn’t get to this year. Drat! Looking forward to the next day’s adventure – as I am sure you are!


    1. Demaris Soso

      Hi Tuna and Tunas Helper,
      Sounds like a fun trip around the quilt shops this year again. Your choice of fabrics is excellent, I like the Poppy one for sure. Wonder what that one will look like when you get
      done cutting, sewing and quilting it. Enjoy the time but do hurry home, the garden and weeds are beckoning. Yours, DMS


  12. rl2b2017

    Hi Karen! What a fun first day. I’m still giggling over the two, three – I’ll take five yards. That owl is darling, and all of your purchases look fab. Happy Thursday, friend! ~smile~ Roseanne


  13. nancyangerer

    Your hop adventure seems like fun. I am not so sure my helper would be so willing, but he did encourage me to go the AQS Quilt Week in Paducah last April. Love your selections. We listen to both talk and music when we travel. My husband drives and I sew although my latest EPP project may get too big and hard to handle in the car:) We ran into the honor system at an Amish farm in central IL.


  14. Tami Von Zalez

    It never occurred to me that fabrics would sell out with some unobtainable. I found that out when I saw the cutest Chihuahua print online and then couldn’t find it sold anywhere. Oh, how much I have learned about fabric these past few years.
    I do Fabhopshop too – I combine looking for the bunnies with searching for a particular color or print of fabric.
    And we all do that when buying fabric, adding an extra yard or two. Good call!


  15. Catherine Klaseus Neve

    I’m so glad you are shop hopping and blogging! I love hearing about your travels. I’m going to Walker tomorrow. It may be my only shop hop this year!


  16. Melissa MacAdam

    My husband embarked on a road trip yesterday as well! We’re traveling through Maine and New Hampshire and have 20 places to visit – combination of fabric for me and model (plastic kits) stores for him. Day 1 – I have 14.5 yards of fabric and 20 yards of batting (crazy sale at Joanns) and he has 2 models. A good start!! Have fun!


  17. Cocoa Quilts

    I am so glad to be following you on your journey this year. We too have sweet corn carts on the honor system, they also have their cell phone number listed incase the cart is empty. That poppy fabric is beautiful!


  18. Cathy Melancon

    Can I just say I am green with jealousy!!! I live for your MN shop hop each year! You have such great posts all the time, but I adore a good shop hop!! Please let Tu-Na Helper keep contributing to your posts! It’s fun to see what he comes up with!! Your purchases and “free” fabrics and other goodies are awesome!! Looking forward to the rest of y’alls journey!!!


  19. Carol S.

    What a fun shop hop trip! I kind of have the same decision making issues as you and “take five.” LOL That owl is quite a character…is it a pin cushion? Thanks for sharing your trip and making me wish I could have been in your back seat to enjoy the journey, too. xo


  20. Suzanne

    We like to listen to books on CD when we travel. One time, we were so engrossed in the story, we sat in the hotel parking lot to finish a chapter. We laughed when the hotel clerk asked what book we were listening too….said he has people sitting in their cars all the time….Enjoy your shop hop adventure.


  21. Jean McKinstry

    Haha, here we go again, fabric is like a jumping jack, except it doesn’t go back in the box!! Hope darling Tuna-Halper has a mini or larger trailer behind,What gorgeous fabric.And the owl, I wonder if there is a pattern for him?


  22. Susan Shaw

    I love your MN travels. That’s one of many states where I have never travelled. I always listen to music when I’m in the car unless I’m chatting with a friend. It was a horrible experience with my first husband. I loved to cross stitch in the car. He thought my job was to change the CD the instant the CD ended. He complained that I did not look at the sites. I was more interested in stitching than in watching the sites. He was a controller to the max. Now that it’s been 20 years since he divorced me, I still have trouble with my freedom to make my own choices. I was buillied by a brother just as badly and then married that rotten fellar so I didn’t know what it was like to be able to make my own choices. The one thing I did learn to do was to buy fabric and I can do it with the best of them except I’m running out of room for it. When my favorite local quilt shop was closing, I was debating about how much fabric to buy, 1,2 or 3 yards and I ended up buying, you guessed it, 5 yards. I still haven’t used that fabric and I still love it. I’m considering using it for my step granddaughter’s graduation quilt – except I bought it for me. I’ve only seen her once. I think you made a good choice on your local food choice, too. Local restaurants can be the best. I learned that travelling with my mom and dad years ago. I’m excited about this hop and it’s off to a great hop. I’m thrilled that Tu-na Helper seems to enjoy it, too.


  23. davemelvanolan

    How fun! We have listened to the Chronicles of Narnia audio book and also enjoy worship cds when radio stations are sketchy. The sketchiness of the stations is frequent in the CO mountains. 🙂 Safe travels!


  24. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: Day Three, 346 Miles, 9 Quilt Shops, 31 Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  25. thedarlingdogwood

    Yay, the shop hop recap is back! (And I’m a little behind on blog reading!) So happy to see your adventures. I’m glad you found the featured fabrics you were looking for and as soon as I saw that cake topper fabric, I knew you had to have gotten it for your cake quilt! Your dinner looks delicious!

    I’m very intrigued by this waterproofing product! I will have to investigate it more!


  26. Pingback: Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 251 Miles, 8 Quilt Shops, 23 Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  27. Pingback: Tu-Na Travels: Day Five, 419 Miles, 10 Quilt Shops, 13 Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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  29. Pingback: Tu-Na Travels: Day Seven, 398 Miles, 4 Quilt Shops, 0 Remaining! | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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