Tu-Na Quilts: Day Six, 288 Miles, 9 Quilt Shops, 4 Remaining

If you recall from yesterday’s post (day 5), we secured the last hotel room in the greater Brainerd area for the night.

Cue the Music ♪ Do do, Do do, Do do ♪

We arose early to prepare to drive the short 30 minute trip to the quilt shop in Pequot Lakes in order to be there when it opened at 9 am. I was still getting ready as Tu-Na Helper announced he would start taking our bags to the car.

He grabbed the cooler, slung his bag over his shoulder, unlocked the door, reached for the handle, and pulled. Nothing happened. He moved the deadbolt to the lock and then to the unlock position again and pulled on the door handle. Again, nothing happened. We looked at each other. Could we both still be sleeping and dreaming or is this the beginning of a quilting thriller? Help! Let me out. There’s shops to visit and fabric that needs to be bought!

He tried several more times locking and unlocking the door and pulling down on the handle with the same result and then searched the room for the telephone to call the front desk. There was no phone.

Luckily for me, Tu-Na Helper is a quick thinker. He grabbed his cell phone and redialed the last number he had called. “We can’t get out of our room,” he announced.

The front desk attendant came running with a new electronic key but was unsuccessful at unlocking the door from the outside. Back to the front desk he went and returned. This second attempt proved to be successful and Tu-Na Helper emerged victoriously from the room. He decided then and there to completely pack the car so we wouldn’t have to return to our room after breakfast.

We were very thankful that there was no need to evacuate the building during the night as that jump out of the second story window would have been a long one!

Now on with the Day

Filled with the delicious breakfast set before us at the hotel, we started our day’s travels. Our first stop would be Mother Originals Quilt Shop in Pequot Lakes. We were about 30 minutes ahead of schedule. While we waited in the car, I convinced Tu-Na Helper to call ahead and secure a room for the night at the same place we stayed last year when we couldn’t find a room in the Beaver Bay area (read about our adventures finding a spot for the night last year here and then the next day here). We waited patiently for Mother or the staff to arrive and turn on the OPEN sign which they did and even a few minutes early.

Our second stop of the day was Country Fabrics & Quilting in Brainerd. We met Deb and Sue again who seem to be following us today (they’d followed us into the first shop, too). I found out that Sue and I are practically neighbors as she lives near me in Arizona.

While at Country Fabrics, I spoke with Brenda, a volunteer, about Quilts of Valor while Tu-Na Helper deposited $2 to receive a kit for the shop’s block. All the proceeds from these kit sales goes towards materials needed to make quilts for the Quilts of Valor project.

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Come on down to Country Fabrics & Quilting in Brainerd to give a donation and receive your free block kit to benefit the Quilts of Valor project.

Since Deb and Sue seem to be stalking us today, I finally got a picture of them when we met for the third time of the day at Colorz Quilt Shop. After all, when we see each other this often we’re practically family.

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Hi, gals! You both are so fun. It was a delight to meet both of you. I wonder if we’ll meet again. Did you ever find that mosquito fabric you were looking for?

We checked out of this section (Central Region) at Country Fabrics & Quilting and received our incentive prize of a packet of original quilt patterns.

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Thank you!

After visiting four more quilt shops, we came upon Hannah Johnson Fabric’s in Duluth. We were disappointed to discover that the bakery next door had gone out of business as we had been planning on purchasing a pastry or two as we had done last year.

However, I couldn’t resist asking about it. I was told that the owner of the quilt shop is in the process of purchasing the adjacent building and turning the back half into classroom space and the front portion into a coffee shop with a large doorway into the adjoining quilt shop. Combining a coffee shop with a quilt shop seems to be a perfect combination as we’ve been to several shops (The Quilting Grounds in Norwood Young America and The Old Creamery Quilt Shop in Randall) that have done just that.

Leaving Duluth and heading north, I kept looking for a view of my favorite lighthouse, Split Rock. I was also working on my hexi project but briefly spied the lighthouse. Tu-Na Helper and I suspect that the trees surrounding the drive have grown reducing the number of times and the length of time that one can view it while traveling on the highway. So I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be seeing more of it this trip and went back to basting.

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The weather was cool with sprinkles and intermittent downpours. Since the umbrella was hiding somewhere in the back of the car under yards of fabric, I used a plastic shopping bag over my head whenever I emerged from the car. Any views of the big lake on our right were obscured by rain, mist, and fog.

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We saw many beautiful road cuts along North Shore Drive between Duluth and Beaver Bay.

As we entered the little town, I noted the sign “Beaver Bay, Population 181.” So how does one keep a quilt shop open in such a small town, I asked myself. This question burned in me and I set out to find the answer the minute I stepped inside the door of…

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

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Quilt Corner is located at 1007 Main St. in Beaver Bay, MN. It’s right along the main highway; you can’t miss it.

Roxanne Johnson started Quilt Corner 28 years ago with 200 bolts of fabric and “no idea what I was doing.” The shop is now bursting at the seams with 3000 bolts of fabric, and a variety of threads, notions, and patterns. She has become so successful at operating this shop that she doesn’t even have to advertise. “Quilter’s know I’m here,” she proudly exclaimed.

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Beaver Bay, although very small, gets a lot of sightseeing and fishing tourists. Many of these tourists are quilters or have wives along that are quilters who insist on making a stop at the shop.

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Roxanne said, “There’s only one way in and out of here (Beaver Bay) and everyone goes right past here (Quilt Corner). I have people coming from the Iron Range and from Duluth just to shop my selection.” The Iron Range may be further down the road but I think Roxanne is sitting on a gold mine in this quilt shop.

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Roxanne was originally a lab tech. She started sewing quilts in 1987 for something to do. When her kids started kindergarten, she took a quilting class and was bit by the quilting bug; that little bug that has bitten all of us who are on the quilt hop.

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She specializes in outdoor, wildlife, and nature fabrics. However, I found a lot of variety in her shop including modern fabrics and patterns.

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Roxanne has no plans to slow down in the coming future. She says, “This (the shop) is my therapy.” Being a participating shop on the hop has been very good. “I just love my customers,” she says. But once the hop is over, she goes on a retreat with her friends. I am sure it is a well-earned and much deserved rest.

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You’ll find Quilt Corner on Facebook here. Do plan a visit to Beaver Bay to see the shop and the beautiful shop samples adorning the walls. Be sure to say Hi! to Roxanne and tell her that Tu-Na sent you.

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Before we left Quilt Corner, we checked out of this section (Northeast Region) which means we only have one more section left to complete. We’re hoping we can finish that one in one day but it’s a short day of opening times (on Sundays the shops are only open from noon to 5 pm during the hop) and we have a lot of miles to cover.


We each received a pressing board. They sit on a base about an inch high.

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I had heard these pressing boards were made in Minnesota. When I turned one over, I saw this stamp. Minnesota Made, Thanks for visiting 2018, NE Section Quilt MN. Thank you!

We drove to Lax Lake Resort and found it just as charming and clean as we had last year. Due to the rain, we saw only saw a couple of the campsites being used and we were the only ones in the lodge.

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This is the view from our balcony. Yes, there is a lake.

After a quick view of the lake, we headed back into the car for a short drive to supper at Lemon Wolf Café.

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Don’t let this plain exterior fool you. The ambiance inside is delightful and the food is delicious. There’s even a couple of cuckoo clocks that chirp and dance on the hour.

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I couldn’t decide between the garden salad or the creamy wild rice soup so I took both. The greens and salad fixing’s were so fresh I wondered if they had a garden out back. The homemade multi-grain bread was soft, chewy, and delicious.

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I enjoyed tender grilled chicken on top of wild rice. One can’t be in upper Minnesota and not have wild rice! It was deliciously tender, sweet, and nutty flavored.

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Tu-Na Helper had pan-fried lake trout and a baked potato.

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Now to decide what to have for dessert. Tu-Na Helper didn’t like my suggestion of one of each.

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So we settled on sharing a piece of Rocky Wolf Trail Pie. I almost forgot to take a picture.

After our delicious meal, I wrote a few words to express my gratitude and left my blog card.

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The sun had not yet set so Tu-Na Helper surprised me with a short drive south to view Split Rock Lighthouse.

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You have to look close but it is there. I wonder why it looks further away through a camera lens than in reality.

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Enjoy this zoomed-in version of Split Rock Lighthouse shrouded in mist.

Tu-Na Helper’s Top Sights of the Day

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This colorful display was found at Mother Originals in Pequot Lakes.

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Found outside the door of Aitkin Quilts & Fabrics in Aitkin, MN.

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A new use for a treadle sewing machine cabinet. Found inside the restroom at Aitkin Quilts & Fabrics, Aitkin 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

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

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

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five, 419 Miles, 10 Quilt Shops, 13 Remaining

What I Learned Today:

  1. Technology isn’t fail-proof.
  2. Electronic door locks can work too well.
  3. It’s not fun to be locked inside.
  4. I have a hard time making decisions.
  5. Location is everything!!
  6. Some things are so good that they bear repeating (referring to Lax Lake Resort and Lemon Wolf Café).

Question: Do you prefer to try something new or do you like to go with the tried and true? There is something comforting about ordering the same thing on a menu or trying the same restaurant. But I do like to experience new things, too. I think it depends on my mood and if I feel adventurous or not at the time.

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.

14 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: Day Six, 288 Miles, 9 Quilt Shops, 4 Remaining

  1. Kathleen McCormick

    Well, that was an adventure! Glad Tu-Na helper had his thinking cap on and called the front desk. I have been to Mother’s Original on our annual jaunt to Pelican Lake. I am traveling with my husband and 2 of his friends from high school so I never make them stop anywhere. Maybe next year I can convince them to stop in Brainerd!


  2. Brenda~Songbird Designs

    What an adventure!! I traveled as a nurse with our state for a few years. Thankfully, no adventures like that, though one of my work mates was hustled out of her room for a fire alarm. All was well as it was a small kitchen fire and easily rectified! I love light houses and have had a couple of customers ask me to digitize some for them. I bought the art work but need to get busy digitizing!!

    And oh wow! I would love to know the recipe for that Rocky Wolf Trail Pie!! Sounds wonderful! Safe travels on your last day!!


  3. karenfae

    I bought a bag of wild rice when we were in Minnesota in June but have not used it yet – do you have a good recipe for it? I haven’t really looked for one yet. What a strange experience to be locked in your room!! I have never heard of that happening before 🙂 glad they got you out without taking the door apart lol. I like to order something new sometimes if the item on the menu really sounds good – but I’ve had a few bad experiences too and could barely eat!


  4. piecefulwendy

    Well, being locked in certainly was a whole new adventure! Glad you were able to get out and get shopping. I like to try new things, but we do have places that are traditional visits, like the Rustic Inn in Castle Danger when we’re up in that neck of the woods!


  5. Leslie Schmidt

    I’m so glad your imprisonment ended happily. Isn’t travel full of surprises? The shops all looked interesting, and you’ve gotten some really cool completion prizes. Just a little bit more to do, and then you can go home and whip up some wonderful projects with your treasures.


  6. Shasta

    I can’t imagine being locked in a hotel room. No fun at all. I am going to have to remember Lax Lake Resort and Lemon Wolf Café, in case I am ever in the area.


  7. thedarlingdogwood

    Oh my goodness!!! So glad you were able to get out of that room and I’m with Tuna Helper on this, best to not have to return to that room!!

    Your food looks delicious and that’s the dessert I would have chosen, too. I miss all the wild rice options in Minnesota! I forgot to comment on your wild rice pizza a few posts ago but that looked amazing, and I do love wild rice soup! I make it every year with Thanksgiving leftovers; my dad drives across country every spring and he typically goes through MN and brings me wild rice. It’s a lot harder to find in North Carolina. I love your pictures of MN countryside, makes me miss it. Though still not enough to make me miss the winters!


  8. Jean McKinstry

    tried and true, but after reading the desert menu, I would try every one. Love those batik quilts, I am hoping they have patterns for them both. Happy stay next time, you need to be Houdini!!!


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

  10. Susan

    You are on such a fun trip! Pretty scary to be locked in the room though – good thing there wasn’t an emergency. The quilt shop you visited does look to have a great selection, and a perfect spot – the guys go fishing and the wives shop! Also a good idea to have a coffee spot within the shop as it gives those who are uninterested in fabric somewhere to go. Hope they offer free wi-fi too!


  11. dezertsuz

    I like a little of both. I know that on the cafe menu, I would have chosen the Forest Fruits pie, because there used to be a Fruits of the Forest Pie I loved and I can’t get it any more. The cheesecake would have been tempting, too. The place you stayed looks so delightful, how could you not go back again? What a really great next-to-last day you had!


  12. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts and Travels: Day Two of the Quilt MN Shop Hop, 9 Shops, 528 Miles, Only 44 Shops Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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