Tu-Na Travels: Day Seven, 398 Miles, 4 Quilt Shops, 0 Remaining!

The loons did not call us to arise as they had last year (read that post here) but we awoke before the alarm sounded anyway. We both sighed — for me it meant that my shop hop fun was coming to a close and for Tu-Na Helper it meant that his fun could now begin.

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I was intrigued by the patches of moss on the trees that were beside the lodge at Lax Lake Resort.

Today, if the car held up from all the added weight of fabric and thread, if we drove fast enough to get there but slow enough not to get stopped, if we didn’t encounter too much construction or road detours, and if I didn’t tarry too long at each shop, then we just might be able to finish this shop hop before closing time.

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We saw this wind chime last year when we stayed at the lodge and it was still there.

Before leaving Lax Lake Resort, I planted Joy (that little rock I found on day 4) on the steps leading into the lodge from the lake front. I’d met a couple of young girls in the bathroom this morning and I thought it would be fun if they found it.

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Do you think they saw it?

We left the resort about 8:30 to make the 3 hour trip to International Falls. As we drove right past a quilt shop that had participated last year but was not participating this year, Tu-Na Helper chimed, “If they’re not on the hop, we don’t stop.”

I didn’t need to say anything as it was Sunday morning and they weren’t open anyway. However, it did evoke memories of another shop we had come close to a few days earlier from which I had planned to purchase more state flower fabrics but couldn’t since they weren’t on the hop this year.

We arrived at Up North Quilt Shop in International Falls about 30 minutes before opening time. A car was already in the parking lot with no driver in sight so Tu-Na Helper tried the front door of the shop. It opened.

“Are you open for business?” I asked meekly.

“I am now. You’re here,” was the cheerful response. Missy wasn’t around but had left the shop in capable hands to open early if a shop hopper was coming (I featured this shop last year- read it here). We had not called in advance but were grateful to be invited in as it allowed us more time to look around and make a purchase and also more time to visit with those hoppers who had been following us yesterday and seem to be trailing us again today.

Deb and Sue had arrived at this shop shortly after us. They had just come from The Coffee Landing Café downtown and were raving about the good food. After I paid for my purchase and said my goodbyes, Tu-Na Helper and I headed for the Café as we desperately needed some morning coffee. There would be no time to sit down and eat if we wanted to finish the hop today so we ordered a couple of Raspberry-White Chocolate Scones and our coffees to-go and settled into our car for the hour and a half drive to Blackduck.

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I’ve never laid my eyes upon such large scones! They were at least 6″ in diameter and over an inch thick. We were hungry so I didn’t even ask the price. They were delicious!

We arrived at Anderson Fabrics and Tu-Na Helper whispered, “You have 10 minutes.” This is one of the first times while on the shop hop that he’d put a time limit on my browsing and shopping. He quickly helped me shop by pointing out several fabrics that I might be interested in and showed me the way to the clearance area.

After getting our passports stamped and paying for my purchase, we got back into the car and drove to Sadie Rae’s in Bemidji. I was excited to see this shop as it had moved to a new location. Although, it would not be as handy to get to anymore. Sadie was waiting to greet me when I arrived.

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When I knelt down, she rolled over for a tummy rub.

We had one shop left to visit. After a two hour drive, we parked beside Quilter’s Eden in East Grand Forks just 20 minutes before closing time. I guess we really didn’t have a lot of time to dawdle today. We checked out of this section (Northwest Region) receiving our incentive prize.

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We each received a bundle of six 1/2 yard cuts from The old Sturbridge Village Anniversary Collection by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics.

Since this was our last region to complete, we also turned in our passports to be included with all the other state finishers for the grand prize drawing of a trip for two to Alaska.

A Statewide Finish

We are State Finishers of the 2018 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop!

7 Days, 2,393 Miles*, 59 Shops and Credit Card Debt**

from a Car Full of Fabrics, Notions, and Patterns

*Total mileage from our first shop, Bluffview Quilt Shop in Winona, to our last shop, Quilter’s Eden in East Grand Forks. We still needed to drive an additional 287 miles to get home in ND. I also did not count my mileage to MN to begin the hop as we were returning from another trip and passing through.

**Good thing that our credit is good!

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Here’s the front and back page of our passports all lovingly stamped by all the shops in those regions.

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This is the inside of our passports bearing stamps from each of the shops in those regions.

Tu-Na Helper and I found my last bit of Quilt MN fabrics that I figured I couldn’t live without as well as a couple of other items including something special that Tu-Na Helper couldn’t resist buying for our daughter that wasn’t on her list. While paying for my purchase, I talked with the cheerful gal who willingly accepted my credit card and discovered that she was the owner of this shop with a story to share. It was then that I realized I’d found..

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

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Quilter’s Eden is located at 223 DeMers Ave, East Grand Forks, MN.

Mary Johnson, owner of Quilter’s Eden in East Grand Forks, bought the shop in 2004 from her boss who had owned it less than a year. This shop is located directly across the street from Cabela’s (an outdoor sporting goods store) which is just one of the reasons this quilt shop is thriving. “The men go to Cabela’s and the women come to shop at the quilt shop,” Mary informed me. Once again, proving that location is everything.

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I inquired as to the meaning of the shop’s name to which Mary replied, “The name should tell what the store is or what’s in there. The Eden part is a happy, wonderful, magical, new feeling.”

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Mary says her shop specializes in having great employees who give good customer service. “I have the best staff ever. They are amazing.” Mary’s staff is also knowledgeable. “If any of our customers has a question, we encourage them to bring in their project for help.”

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In fact, Mary couldn’t do what she does if she didn’t have the trustworthy and dependable staff that she has. Since 2008, Mary’s been living in Virginia letting her capable manager operate the store without her in attendance. However, Mary keeps involved in her shop by attending Quilt Market and helping with the shop hop each summer. “My employees don’t need me but they do let me come and play store during the hop.”

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The shop offers a wide variety of fabrics and patterns in their 1500 sq. feet of space.  Classroom space as well as a longarm machine is located upstairs. Customers can drop off their quilts to be quilted by their expert longarm quilter.

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Many shop samples hang from the balcony railing. They change their shop samples several times a year to keep it fresh and to provide their customers with inspiration. What do they do with all those samples? They sell them, of course.

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Mary suggests that new quilters take a beginning class and learn about their machine. She also states, “You have to know the rules (in quilt making) so that  you can break the rules.”

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Mary Johnson and I.

Check out the Quilter’s Eden website here for more info about their longarm services as well as their shop. When you’re in the East Grand Forks area, plan to stop in at Quilter’s Eden to see why Mary refers to it as “The sweetest quilt store on the planet.” I’m sure you’ll be tempted by the numerous shop samples, the large selection of fabrics, and the clearance area displayed right under the stairs. Oh, and tell them that Tu-Na sent you.

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Tu-Na Helper’s Top Sights of the Day


I see that both Tu-Na Helper and I were intrigued by the moss on the trees at the resort.

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Homes for sale at the resort.

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Another piece at the resort.

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Found at Sadie Rae’s in Bemidji.

The Road Home

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Crossing the bridge between Minnesota and North Dakota. The sign says “Welcome to North Dakota, Legendary.” We traveled another 287 miles to get home arriving shortly before midnight.

I’ve got unpacking to do. But first, I think I’ll rest a bit.

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

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

Upcoming Posts:

It’s All Out of the Bag

A Look at This Years Loot

The Traveling Hexi Bin (A peak at my English Paper Piecing hexi project that kept me busy for thousands of miles.)

If you’ve enjoyed reading my stories and would like to receive notice when I publish the next one, please consider subscribing to follow my blog using one of the three methods found on my sidebar (on mobile devices this is found below): WordPress, Bloglovin, or email. I’d love to have you be a part of my reading family.

What I Learned Today:

  1. One can find out interesting things in a public bathroom (referring to the two young girls and their tales of adventures including hiking to several waterfalls in the Beaver Bay area).
  2. I thought the Beaver Bay area was only about fishing.
  3. Paying with a credit card is so easy. Tu-Na Helper pays it completely every month for those of you, like my sister, who are worried about my budget.
  4. It’s nice and also reassuring that some things don’t change.
  5. Minnesota is a very big state!
  6. It feels good to be home!!
  7. I think I’d like to open a quilt shop. Now just to find the right location.
  8. “Go.” That’s the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
  9. Maybe I should go away more often (or maybe I should do more shop hops) as I sure learned a lot today.

Question: Where is home to you? As you know, Tu-Na Helper and I live in two states—North Dakota to enjoy the summer sun and Arizona to enjoy the winter sun—but ND will always hold a special place in my heart.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

WIPS at Silly Mama Quilts

29 thoughts on “Tu-Na Travels: Day Seven, 398 Miles, 4 Quilt Shops, 0 Remaining!

  1. Patti A.

    I made a comment on one of the other days of your hop but wanted so to thank you for taking time to write. Almost felt like I was on the trip with you. It was wonderful to see all those shops.


  2. Sharon Huse

    Tuna and Tuna Helper=

    YOU ARE AN AMAZING TEAM!!! I so hope one of your passports get drawn for ALASKA!!!

    I love following your adventures. And look forward to more posts!

    Sharon Huse – Old Alley Quilt Shop

    PS. We are SO THANKFUL to get back to normal!


  3. Cathy Melancon

    What an amazing trip!! I am envious for sure and happy for you too! I hope y’all sleep for a week! What a good man you have!!! I live in Cypress , TX which is on the NW side of Houston. We have a lake home 3 hours away on a lake called Toledo Bend which borders TX and Louisiana (my sweet hubby’s home state). We will eventually retire to this home. We also have a hunting camp in NE Louisiana which is another 3 hours from the lake house. My husband and boys get a lot of use out of this home during hunting season (now that the boys are older (19&16) I don’t go nearly as much as I used to). I just informed my husband that someday we would have to do a shop hop! Maybe we will do one in Louisiana as it is a much smaller state than TX!!!


  4. piecefulwendy

    Well, you know my home is Minnesota, but there is still a big chunk of my heart in SDak where I was born and raised. By the way, Beaver Bay is also known for its rock hunting along the shores of the big lake. Just in case you wanted to learn one more thing today. Rest up, you two! Good job on finishing the hop! I cannot wait to read your blog posts from Alaska!


  5. Verna A.

    Really enjoying reading about your adventures! Looking forward to the ‘loot’ post! One day I hope to do the entire state. Didn’t even make it to one shop this year.


  6. karenfae

    paying the credit card in full every month is something I do too – I handle the bookkeeping in my family – I love that last shop you shared – such a good idea to have it across the street from a shop that the men like – I don’t mind wandering around Cabela’s either – that is a good idea though keep the men busy!


  7. RicefordStreams

    Karen, I love reading about your shop hop experience! I’ve been to Quilters Eden and Cabelas because my daughter attended the University of ND, Grand Forks for her master’s degree (summer sessions). One year I drove her to school and rode the Amtrak to my niece’s home in La Crosse, WI. I concur that Minnesota is a very big state. Enjoy all your new purchases!


  8. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    I have so enjoyed reading of your travels on the shop hop! And I can only imagine your credit card bill this month! LOL You have a wonderful “Helper!” Now, rest a bit, and then onward and upward! Have a great week, Karen!


  9. Demaris Soso

    Hi Karen, Noticed that your sunglasses matched your outfit today, teal a great color, my favorite. Great story of the quilt run again this year. Now to work to use up the loot or not?


  10. thedarlingdogwood

    I love reading about your hop adventures. It makes me miss Minnesota. I lived there from 1988 through 1996 or 2000, depending on how you are counting when I was in college in Ohio. Now North Carolina is home.


  11. Kathleen McCormick

    What a fun time you had! I love the birdhouse Tu-na helper found. I call home Massachusetts, even though the property we own is in Maine and it will be our retirement house. I probably feel that way because that is where we spent the first 26 years of our married life and raised our son. We just aren’t quite into the retirement gig yet. Reading PA (on the monopoly board) was where I grew up and I call that home, but it isn’t, it was my parents. Kind of funny how those distinctions become clearer…


  12. dezertsuz

    Arizona will always be my heart-home, but I live in Tennessee, and I like it here, except when the humidity climbs every summer. Good people live here. I feel like it was a great hop, and I’m a little sad there’s no more! I’m sure Tu-Na Helper is glad to be back home and not behind the wheel, though! He’s a man who knows how to budget if he pays it off monthly. I like that! It was a wonderful adventure. Thanks for letting me ride along in the back. BTW, I spent summers in Lemmon SOUTH Dakota for five years, and I quite liked it – if only it didn’t get so cold in the winter!


  13. Leslie Schmidt

    Well, I’m exhausted just reading about your trip! But I will say I will miss your posts. It would be fun if you could do this every week. What do you say?!
    I grew up in Wisconsin, and all my kids were born there, but I have lived in Minnesota for 37 years, so I guess this is home. Not having been born here, though, I’ll always be an outsider.


  14. Cocoa Quilts

    Karen thanks again for sharing your travels from this years hop. I enjoy each day and imagine what fun you two kids are having each day.


  15. Melissa Ruelle

    Karen, I just have to let you know that what I told my employee was she didn’t have to go to work early unless a Quilt MN Shop Hopper called to let us know they would be at my shop early, big difference.


  16. Melissa Ruelle

    In fact, I’m very upset by this because I take pride in being very accommodating to the Quilt MN shop hoppers. I would hope from now on you wouldn’t write things that could potentially hurt a Shop’s reputation without checking with the owner.


  17. Kristin Haugen

    I have lived in Minnesota, most of my life. My sister and I did the entire state last year. After reading your adventures this year, I think I will try it again next year. Your insight and travel itenary really helps.


  18. Barbara Mitchell

    What a wonderful adventure you and Tuna Helper have been on…..i read all the highlights of your posts to my husband…he says he is a saint! I cannot wait to see the loot! Welcome home! Love hiding rocks!


  19. dreamworthyquilts

    That shop hop sounds fabulous! I would LOVE to do something like that someday. I do not think my husband would enjoy it at all though. Perhaps a quilt friend would go with me instead. That is a lot of shops covering a lot of miles.


  20. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: Finding Free Patterns | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  21. inquiringquilter

    You always have such interesting travel stories! Thanks for taking us with you, and thanks for sharing this on Wednesday Wait Loss.


  22. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: The Best of 2018 | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  23. 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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