Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 251 Miles, 8 Quilt Shops, 23 Remaining

I knew something (or should I say someone) was missing when I first stepped through the door of Heather’s Book Nook & Sew Much More in Granite Falls. I looked around and then I asked.

I was saddened to find out that the lovely, older, official door greeter who lovingly stamped our passports, handed us the pretzel rods, and bid us a good day would not be doing that anymore. She will be missed but I am sure she is now stamping the passports of those waiting to enter the Pearly Gates and redirecting those who don’t qualify.

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Tu-Na Helper loves pretzels and I love chocolate. What a combination!! Although it was only 9:30 in the morning, we still ate them because we didn’t want them to melt. They were delicious!! Thank you to Heather’s Book Nook & Sew Much More!

Back into the car, we headed toward Gathering Friends Quilt Shop in Bird Island. When I pushed open the very heavy door, I knew I’d found…

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

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Gathering Friends Quilt Shop is located at 101 S. Main St, Bird Island MN. Note the word “Bank” above the door.

Deb Jacobs, co-owner with her sister-in-law, Kathy Ludowese, opened the shop in the old bank building which had been built around 1900.

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You can see this picture of the bank being built just inside the front door.

Nudged by their Moda representative, Holly Taylor, Deb and Kathy began their book writing career sitting shoulder-to-shoulder at their office desk located inside the bank vault. “We had to like each other,” Deb laughed. I got a tour of the bank vault (or should I say I stuck my head inside the door) and noted that it indeed was not very big.

Together, Deb and Kathy proceeded to write 24 quilting books and many, many patterns. Check out their website here or their Etsy shop here to order books, patterns, and fabric.

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Look, a hexi floor!! This original floor is found in the entry. If you look closely, you’ll also see it in another picture below.

 In 2004, they expanded the store by purchasing the adjacent two buildings.

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Prior to opening the shop, Deb had been sewing from home. She was looking for something to do and attended a quilt retreat in 1995. She joined forces with her sister-in-law and they opened the quilt shop in 1998. Twenty years later they are planning to retire and are in the process of selling their business to a potential buyer. Had I known that it was for sale, I might have bought it! We wish them well.

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Deb is showing off one of her and Kathy’s books. I actually have that one!!! I believe it was an incentive prize from one of the sections years ago.

Stop by this shop to browse the 3000 bolts of fabric.

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Here’s the view as you step inside the door. This is the bank portion with original hardwood floor. You can see the open vault door on the left side of the picture. The inside of the vault appeared to be about 6′ square making Deb and Kathy’s office space very cozy. The two adjoining buildings are connected with a wide stairway for easy access as shown in the middle of the picture.

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The ceiling looks like an original tin ceiling but I didn’t notice it until I was preparing this picture.

The shop is filled with numerous samples to provide customers with inspiration.

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For customer ease and comfort, the clearance items and classroom have been moved from the upstairs side of the bank building to an area on the main level (on the right side of this picture).

Deb advises quilters not to be afraid to use color in their quilts. “Don’t be matchy-matchy. Every quilt needs a pop of color.” This is evident in their colorful shop samples.

You can find more info on their website here as well as check out their books and patterns for sale and class offerings.

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Plan a trip to Bird Island to browse this shop and look for the picture of the bank being built. When you do get there, be sure to look up to see the ceiling and let me know if it is an original tin one. Oh, and tell them that Tu-Na sent you.

Tu-Na Helper’s Old and New Titles

We said our goodbyes and jumped into the car. Tu-Na Helper had another phone conference and he wanted to get to Hutchinson before it began. We didn’t make it.

When we finally arrived at Quilt Haven on Main (featured in 2016 post here), they remembered that Tu-Na Helper was dubbed CEO (Carry Everything Out) at their shop last year. He said the title still fits. Bonnie, the owner, showed me a wool pressing mat. I’ve seen friends using one and think I’d like one, too, but I need to do a little research first before I make a purchase.

We grabbed two jumbo raspberry/white chocolate muffins from a local bakery and two coffees from a coffee shop and then hit the road again. Sorry, no picture of the muffins as I didn’t think to do it until they were gone. You will just have to take my word for it that they were delicious!!

Our next stop would be DeAnn’s Country Village Shoppe in Litchfield. I’ve found great bargains there and was hoping I would again. I was not disappointed. They were celebrating Derby Days and their demolition room (clearance) was an additional $1-2 off per yard. I should have grabbed a bolt of bicycles on a pink background but I couldn’t think where I’d use it until we were far outside the city.

One more shop to visit and we’d check out of this section. When we entered Gone to Pieces in Kimball, we both remembered this shop. I headed right for the back and there it was—the big box of scraps. I overfilled two snack-size, Zip-Loc bags and handed them to Tu-Na Helper to close. He not only met the challenge but Linda dubbed him “Master Bagger.”

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There were large scraps in the box making these bags rather stuffed. It took him about 15 minutes to complete the task.

We checked out of the South Central region here and each of us received our incentive prize of a ceramic mug, two chocolates, and enough coffee for two mornings.

After leaving the shop, we had to backtrack a bit to pick up Quilted Treasures in Rogers as they had already been closed when we were there earlier in the week. We arrived just at closing time but Tu-Na Helper noted the sign on the door indicated they were open until 8 this evening. I guess he wouldn’t have had to drive so fast after all.

We also checked out of this section, East Central Region, and received our incentive prize. 

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We each got a small project pouch with lots of zippered pockets.

I found several fat quarters that were on clearance for $1.50. I would have found more but Tu-Na Helper informed me that we needed to be on our way if we wanted to make it to Gruber’s in Waite Park before closing time.

We made it there just minutes before closing time. Sue, happy and smiling as ever (I featured her shop last year — read the post here), invited us to shop anyway and we did.

Later, we found Joy outside of a hotel while we were looking for a room.

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The attached white paper invited us to take it and leave it somewhere along our journey and then let Mandy’s Family Daycare on Facebook know where it traveled to. So I tucked little Joy into the car planning to take it back to North Dakota unless I found somewhere else.

We grabbed some supper at the Urban Lodge in Sartell and then headed to the hotel. Tomorrow would come early as we had to drive to Randall and get there by opening at 9.

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I had chicken wild rice pizza. It was delicious. I ate half of it and wrapped the rest in foil for lunch tomorrow.

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Tu-Na Helper had a pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and homemade potato chips. He said everything was delicious including the beer.

Tu-Na Helper’s Top Sights of the Day

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I’m wondering if Tu-Na Helper needs a nap. He found this display at Gathering Friends in Bird Island. 

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Tu-Na Helper had another phone conference today but we didn’t make it into Hutchinson in time so we had to park on a country road for about an hour (it’s been quite a few years since I’ve done that!). He whispered for me to take a pic of the crop duster that was spraying the field beside us. We eventually moved to another country road to avoid the drift only to have a dump truck come and dump dirt on the road in front of us.

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Tu-Na Helper liked how this restroom in Quilt Haven on Main in Hutchinson was decorated or maybe he was finally relieved that his phone conference was over and we finally made it to the shop.


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Tu-Na Helper found the snack table at Gone to Pieces in Kimball. We each had some snacks and grabbed a bottle of water for the road. Thank you!!

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Quilters are coming from all over the U. S. for the shop hop. This display was at DeAnn’s Country Village Shoppe in Litchfield. Tu-Na Helper proudly left two marks beside North Dakota. We were told that not all the hoppers who had stopped had indicated where they were from. The first year we did the shop hop, one of the shops had a state map to color in your state to indicate where hoppers were from. There’s still time to complete several sections of the hop before it ends on August 12th.

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

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

What I Learned Today:

  1. When I’m tired, I can’t think fast enough. The fabric with the bicycles would have been perfect for the backing of my French Poodle quilt. We saw lots of bicycles in Paris.
  2. I’m very forgetful. I forgot to add biscotti to our Trader Joes list and now we have to go without.
  3. I can make biscotti when I get home.

Question: What do you eat with your coffee/tea? Usually, I don’t have anything but once in a while I’ll have a biscotti from Trader Joes when I’m home or a pastry when I’m traveling.

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:

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

18 thoughts on “Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 251 Miles, 8 Quilt Shops, 23 Remaining

  1. karenfae

    My gosh you saw a lot of wonderful things on this post – I love all those shops that you have visited. You should post a map of them when you are done so we can see on a map where they are all located. You got such cute mugs and coffee – I would have eaten the muffins before I thought to take a photo too. I love to nibble on biscotti, cookies, cake – muffins – anything sweet with coffee!!


  2. Christa from MN

    Hi Karen. I love following you on your shop hop, it inspires me to do this, maybe next year! Do you purchase something from every shop? Just wondering.


  3. Patti A.

    I am green with envy!!! You are so lucky to have a “helper”. Maybe someday. Enjoy your posts so much. The bank is worth the trip alone.


  4. Jean McKinstry

    Can you back track the same way home and get that fabric? Or do a mail order? Things like this go by so fast. Tuna Helper, you would be such a help down here if I ever went on a blog hop, I will keep you in mind, but then again, you might not get permission to leave home.


  5. Cathy Melancon

    Another busy but wonderful day! Man, y’all get around!! I love your adventures! The pink bicycle fabric sounds fun! Hope you see it tomorrow at another shop! Got my fingers crossed for ya!! Oh and with my morning coffee, I like silence!! Usually, my husband and kids are still in bed and even the dogs and cat are still asleep!!! It’s a nice slow way for me to wake up!!!


  6. piecefulwendy

    I’ve been to almost all of those shops, and they are some of the best! My usual thing with coffee, first thing in the morning, is toast with fig jam. I don’t usually drink coffee throughout the day; just one cuppa in the morning. When you said bicycle fabric, I immediately thought of the poodle quilt!


  7. Leslie Schmidt

    Your photos are so terrific. They make all the shops look so inviting. I’ve been to several of the ones you profiled today, but I’d love to see them all. You’ve gotten some great prizes for completing the sections.
    I don’t drink hot tea in the morning, just with supper in the winter. I do drink iced tea in the evening in the summer to cool off.


  8. dezertsuz

    What a fabulous day. I love your posts each year. It makes me feel as if I’m there, so next year, put up Tennessee with a mark beside it. LOL I don’t eat biscotti or drink coffee or tea, so I can’t really answer that, but I do like a Dunkin’ Donuts Boston Creme with a glass of milk!


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

  10. Brenda~Songbird Designs

    You can add Alabama next year too! I am right there with you! LOL I sometimes enjoy a sweet treat with my coffee, but usually just have coffee … most all day! At least until around 3. After that I drink water!


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

  12. My Sewful Retirement

    Another great day…I so love reading your posts, I feel as though I’m right there with you and Tu-Na Helper! Thanks for the link to Gathering Friends…table runners are my favorite item to make and am always looking for new ideas!


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

  14. 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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