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.
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.
We checked out of this section (Central Region) at Country Fabrics & Quilting and received our incentive prize of a packet of original quilt patterns.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
She specializes in outdoor, wildlife, and nature fabrics. However, I found a lot of variety in her shop including modern fabrics and patterns.
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.
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.
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 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.
After a quick view of the lake, we headed back into the car for a short drive to supper at Lemon Wolf Café.
After our delicious meal, I wrote a few words to express my gratitude and left my blog card.
The sun had not yet set so Tu-Na Helper surprised me with a short drive south to view Split Rock Lighthouse.
Tu-Na Helper’s Top Sights of the Day
Don’t Miss This Year’s Shop Hop Posts
What I Learned Today:
- Technology isn’t fail-proof.
- Electronic door locks can work too well.
- It’s not fun to be locked inside.
- I have a hard time making decisions.
- Location is everything!!
- 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.