Tu-Na Quilts: Day Three, 346 Miles, 9 Quilt Shops, 31 Remaining

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 behind a locked door.

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We each received a mesh bag for completing the Metro section. There were only 8 shops in this section which is down from 11 a few years ago. Several quilt shops have closed but some have decided not to participate. Tu-Na Helper still abides by his motto, “If they’re not on the hop, we don’t stop.” I guess he has to draw the line somewhere.

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.”

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“I was hooked from the beginning,” Stacey said. Here is Stacey’s quilt that started her love affair with quilting and fabric. The pattern is still available.

Little did Stacey know that eventually she would begin designing quilts and even own a quilt shop.

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The Quilting Grounds is located at 224 West Elm Street, Norwood Young America.

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.

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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.

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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.

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One of the workrooms upstairs boasts the original pharmacy pass-through door.


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These gorgeous pocket doors are located in the upper level. Mavis opened a set to show that they are still operational.

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. 

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Another example of the beautiful woodwork found on the second floor.

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.

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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.

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We found several barn quilts inside the building. These two were just completed and will be moved to the outside. I think they look good sitting on the table.

Tu-Na Helper ordered a White Mocha Coffee (which he said was delicious) and I ordered a 4 Berry Smoothie (which was very delicious).

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Served with a smile.

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.

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Stacey Horton loves colorful fabric.

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.

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Last year Brenda’s mom, Judy Eastman, inspired me with her hexi project. I’ve been basting hexis along the way. Thank you Judy and Brenda for inspiring me. I was thrilled to see that Judy’s quilt is almost finished. Brenda says her mom only has to add two more rows to the top. It will be hand quilted. I hope I’ll be able to see it finished next year.

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).

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These beautiful coneflowers grow outside of Old Alley Quilt Shop. I do enjoy looking at and photographing them. I just can’t seem to grow them.

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.

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We each received a bundle of 12 fat quarters of  “In the Moment” from Marcus Bros. 

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

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Tu-Na Helper was intrigued with these stain glass quilts found at Michele’s Quilting and Sewing Center in Blue Earth.


There are 16 “Sprouts” scattered around Blue Earth. Tu-Na Helper found two of them.

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This wall mural can be found in Blue Earth. Doesn’t it look realistic?

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Another barn quilt found on the feed store/quilt shop in Windom.

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This barn quilt was found at the top of the steps at The Quilting Grounds.

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Found at Marshall, MN.

Don’t Miss This Year’s Shop Hop Posts

Tu-Na Travels: On Minnesota Roads Again

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

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two, 339 Miles, 9 Shops, 40 Remaining

What I Learned Today:

  1. I’ve greatly overestimated my energy level at the end of the day
  2. I’ve greatly underestimated how tired I’d be at day’s end.
  3. “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.”
  4. Tu-Na Helper likes barn quilts and exterior wall murals.
  5. 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.

Linking to:

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

WIPS at Silly Mama Quilts



25 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: Day Three, 346 Miles, 9 Quilt Shops, 31 Remaining

  1. Gretchen

    Thanks for the shop hop info. Maybe l can get to your part of the country some time for a shop hop. Love the Sprouts.


  2. piecefulwendy

    If I’m really wanting to treat myself, I get a cinnamon dolce latte at Starbucks. It’s like drinking a cinnamon roll, seriously. When I’m being just a bit better, I order a vanilla latte. I need to take a day trip to Norwood Young America!


  3. inquiringquilter

    What a wonderful day! You visited some amazing shops. No wonder though that you’re tired! Thanks for sharing your journey on Wednesday Wait Loss.


  4. Ruth Green

    I love your blog. It is interesting to hear about stores that I really should get out to see. I was really pleased to hear that you were intrigued by my patterns for Stained Glass Quilting. I have 13 different patterns available. You ever want to hear more about it contact me at greenglassdesigns@gmail.com.


  5. karenfae

    don’t you just love quilt shops that are in old interesting buildings! this one looks great and to have a coffee shop too is such a plus! let me know how you like the 60wt thread from EPP – I have been using my Gutermann 50wt as I have so many colors but it does break sometimes and then I have used YLI hand-quilting thread too but I don’t have a variety of colors
    I usually get a coffee to go – either plain that I doctor with fake cream (cream and I do not get long) and sweetner or a mocha or something like that. Unless it is a very hot day then it is an iced mocha


  6. Cathy Melancon

    I was smiling while reading your post! Another great day for y’all!!! I love the pics and descriptions of the shops! What a smart idea to have coffee and smoothies within a fabric shop!! Brilliant!! I love just black coffee! I am also surprised that I like the cold brew at Starbucks. I get coconut milk in it for a treat!!! Have fun on your Day 4!!!


  7. sue7oaks

    All these quilt shopping adventures do sound exhausting! That poor lady waiting for you to finish in the rest room :-)! Love those barn quilts with the cup blocks – i agree they do look great sitting on the tables. Enjoy the rest!


  8. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

    Thanks, Karen! It’s so much fun reading about your travels. I took a barn quilt class at the Norwood Young America shop last spring and it was great! Mavis was sewing a quilt across the table from me while I painted. I had to laugh at your DH’s quote–If it’s not on the hop, we don’t stop!


  9. Leslie Schmidt

    Now you are getting to shops I haven’t visited. Someday maybe I will make my way over there. I can really relate to your fatigue at the end of the day. I don’t have the stamina I used to. I need a nap every day!
    Since I gave up drinking soda last year, my go to drink is iced tea. I don’t drink coffee, and in fact I don’t like the smell of it, so maybe that shop wouldn’t be too appealing.
    Luckily, you have had good weather so far on your trip. I hope it continues.


  10. Gayle

    Loved reading of your quilting adventures in SW Minnesota! I live in the area and have visited all the shops you wrote about today except Norwood Young America… it is now on my list of shops to see! Two friends and I completed the Central Region yesterday including stops in three others not in that region. We had a blast…spent too much money…added to our growing list of projects…but what wonderful shops we found!


  11. Kathleen McCormick

    I am so intrigued by the variety of shops there! I especially love these shops in quirkly buildings, where they have renovated but kept the history. Tu-na helper has a great eye and I love seeing what catches his eye as well as yours. I, too, would be tired at the end of the day!


  12. JoanG

    I love following you along on your travels. You always seem to find great shops and interesting sights. I’ve been using superiors bottom line thread for applique and paper piecing for several years now. I really like the way it just seems to disappear into the fabric.


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

  14. dezertsuz

    More wonderful shops! Minnesota is certainly a quilty state! My favorite drink is very boring … water! The Sprouts are awfully cute, and I’d love to see The Quilting Grounds and examine that beautiful old wood. What a terrific town that seems. But cold in the winter!


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

  16. Brenda~Songbird Designs

    Such interesting places and history. My favorite to go drink is a good cuppa Joe!! Especially my homemade blend of chocolate truffle and caramel! If I’m on the road, I’m with Tu-Na Helper – give me a white chocolate mocha!!


  17. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: Day Six, 288 Miles, 9 Quilt Shops, 4 Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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

  19. cheriec12

    Looks like you had a good time also on your shop hop with Tu Na Helper. I mentioned your names to my husband last night for a chuckle and asked him I I could call him hamburger helper, but I don’t think I want to be known as Hamburger. LOL


  20. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts and Travels: Day Four of the Quilt MN Shop Hop, 10 Shops, 252 Miles, Only 28 Shops Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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