Oops, Finishing Day Two
Maybe it’s my imagination or maybe it’s not but this year’s route seems to be flowing so much better and faster. The first two days found us visiting a fair amount of shops each day because we were able to get to shops that open at nine in the morning and then to several that were open far into the evening. This really helps to get us moving down the list but it sure makes for a long, tiring day and a short night.
That being said, I now have leverage to admit that I forgot to mention that we checked out of the Metro section last night (day 2 post). It was about 7 pm when we arrived at Eagle Creek Quilt Shop in Shakopee. I featured them a couple of years ago (read their interesting story here).
A class was in process but I still was able to look around at the shop samples; ask if they had the pattern, A Little Bit Shorter Tall Tree, that was on my list; leisurely browse the clearance fabrics; and make a purchase before we got our passports stamped and received our incentive prize for finishing the Metro section.
However, I need to apologize to the lady waiting to use the restroom. Since the classroom tables usually hold the clearance fabrics, the staff had stacked the many bolts alongside one wall inside the single-use, spacious restroom and I took the opportunity to “kill two birds with one stone” albeit a little too leisurely.
Now, Let’s Start Day 3
We arose early because we needed to get to our first shop of the day early. Their adjoining coffee shop opened at 7 but the quilting side not until 9. However, the owner later told me they certainly wouldn’t turn someone away if they wanted to buy fabric before the official opening time. We entered the shop shortly before 9 and with one whiff I knew I’d found…
Today’s Top Shop on the Hop
It all started about 15 years ago when a friend dragged Stacey Horton, the owner of The Quilting Grounds, on a quilt shop hop. “It was fun. We had a blast. I made a small quilt.”
Little did Stacey know that eventually she would begin designing quilts and even own a quilt shop.
When the time was right, about 2 1/2 years ago, Stacey opened The Quilting Grounds. The shop not only offers a large variety of beautiful fabrics but also some of the best coffee and definitely the best smoothies I’ve ever tasted all served by the friendliest staff with the broadest smiles that I’ve ever seen.
The building, built in 1893, opened as the Palace Drug store with a soda fountain on the main level and a pharmacy and Doctors offices on the second level. Stacey’s mom, Mavis—who we found upstairs working alongside of Sheila, Stacey’s sister—told us that she used to come to the doctors in the building. I suspect she now prefers to come to play with fabric and help her daughter, Stacey.
While touring the shop, Tu-Na Helper and I noticed the beautiful woodwork on the second floor and were informed by Mavis that it is original and was in perfect condition when Stacey opened shop.
Norwood Young America is a small town, less than 4000 people, located far enough into the country to give it a small town feel but still close enough to the Minneapolis area to allow for commuting. The quilt shop is thriving for several reasons: there’s no quilt shop for miles around, many local quilters don’t want to drive into the larger cities to shop, and it offers a wide selection of fabrics in the shop as well as boasting an online store.
Stacy says, “I’ve come to learn that many women who quilt including many who come into my shop have lost their husbands. They use quilting as a way to connect with others.” Sadly, Stacy can identify with them. I’ve also heard from others that quilting is good therapy. However, after this trip I don’t think I can say it’s any less expensive but is probably a whole lot more fun.
Stacey likes lots of colors which is evident in the shop’s fabric inventory. She has a large selection of Repro 30s fabrics as well as batiks. There’s fabric on the main floor as well as on the second floor.
Stacey offers this bit of advice for new quilters, “Don’t worry about the big things. Work a little bit each day.”
Besides being involved in the Quilt MN Shop Hop, Stacey is part of the Barn Block Tour when enthusiasts drop by the shop while touring the area looking at barn quilts.
Tu-Na Helper ordered a White Mocha Coffee (which he said was delicious) and I ordered a 4 Berry Smoothie (which was very delicious).
If you can’t make it into the shop, check out Stacey’s website here for more info and to peruse her online shop. But do plan to visit The Quilting Grounds in Norwood Young America to experience the building first-hand, shop for fabric on both floors, and then treat yourself to a coffee or smoothie. Oh, and when you do get there tell the gals that Tu-Na sent you.
I picked up more fabric for Emily as well as some for me. I was almost out the door when I spied some Bottom Line Thread by Superior in a 60 wt. that I want to try for my EPP hexis—it was on my list. After quickly making that second purchase, we said our goodbyes, grabbed our drinks, and were off to New Ulm to spend several hours at the three quilt shops in that small town. Tu-Na Helper had a phone conference to attend so I was able to shop a bit more leisurely while he sat in the car.
Last year I featured The Thimble Box (you can read their post-A Family Affair-here). Brenda recognized me as Tu-Na and asked if I could deliver a package to Michele at the quilt shop in Blue Earth. I checked with Tu-Na Helper who was still on the phone and he stated we’d be going there directly when we were finished at New Ulm.
Brenda invited me to pick out a fat quarter for my trouble. Really, it was no trouble but I’m not one to refuse free fabric. Thank you! I felt like a kid in a candy store. Oh, how could I choose; there were so many beautiful ones. But Tu-Na Helper was already waiting in the car and we needed to be on our way. Before I left, Brenda snapped a picture of me beside her mom’s quilt.
Spinning Spools, located just a couple of blocks down the street from The Thimble Box, is a cute little shop with a serene garden located right outside the front door. I remember last year when Tu-Na Helper met the challenge to close the Zip Loc bag after I’d stuffed it full with scraps from the box at this shop. However, there was no box of scraps to rummage through and no bags to stuff this year. Nevertheless, I did find a spool of 60 wt. Aurifil thread to try on my EPP. Since I’m new to EPP, I figure I’ll have to do a lot of research to find just which thread works best for me. I’ve got so many pictures to go through each day and so much to say that I’ll keep that I’ll probably keep that hexi project for a separate post after I’ve finished the hop.
Thankfully, Tu-Na Helper’s phone conference was over and we spent a good chunk of time together at Sewing Seeds. They’ve expanded and the shop is not only bright and cheery but also open and airy. I talked with a couple of the owners who were standing and working in the longarm room located in the lower level, found more fabric for Emily and some Thread Heaven for my EPP. After making a quick stop back at Spinning Spools so Tu-Na Helper could get his passport stamped, we were on our way to deliver Brenda’s package to Blue Earth.
Michele was thrilled to get her package and invited me to pick out some fabric for my trouble. Again, it was no trouble but I really appreciated the chance to pick out a free fat quarter. Thank you!
We enjoyed stopping in and visiting with the owners at Old Alley in Sherburn (read my post about the gals turning an old bowling alley into the beautiful shop here) and Prairie Quilting in Windom (featured post-A Love Story-here).
We arrived at Crafty Corner in Worthington just a few minutes before closing. While I made my purchase, Tu-Na Helper checked the route. Fabrics Plus in Marshall was open late and we’d not only be able to get there in time but also be able to check out of the southwest section and receive our incentive prize.
Tu-Na Helper secured a hotel room for the night in Granite Falls so we had a bit of a drive before we could call an end to this day.
Tu-Na Helper’s Top Sights of the Day
There are 16 “Sprouts” scattered around Blue Earth. Tu-Na Helper found two of them.
Don’t Miss This Year’s Shop Hop Posts
What I Learned Today:
- I’ve greatly overestimated my energy level at the end of the day
- I’ve greatly underestimated how tired I’d be at day’s end.
- “Slow down and enjoy the journey” seen on a church announcement board as we drove passed. Good advice for shop hoppers!! Tu-Na Helper encourages hoppers to “stop and smell the fabric.”
- Tu-Na Helper likes barn quilts and exterior wall murals.
- Norwood and Young America, located only a mile apart, were separate towns until they merged in 1994. That explains the city’s long name.
Question: What’s your favorite drink to-go? I enjoy a good cup of coffee but this smoothie was delicious! After I’d finished it and later in the morning, I wished I had also ordered a coffee.
Thanks for stopping by and do come again.
Karen, Tu-Na Quilts
At this time I am not affiliated with nor receive compensation for any products, services, companies, or shops that I mention here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. I just happen to really like them.
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