Tu-Na Quilts and Travels: 8 Days; 59 Shops; 2,815 Miles on the Quilt MN Shop Hop and Stories to Tell!

We’ve returned from our sixth consecutive year of participating in the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. Tu-Na Helper survived another year of hopping with me. And do I ever have stories to share.

Like the ones about a moose, and almost being homeless for the night (actually two), and a cicada, and teaching a shop owner a new trick, etc. Tu-Na Helper even learned some new things such as routing and scheduling. But before I get ahead of myself I want to start at the very beginning as every good story should start.


We are exhausted! Here we are holding our completed passports at Quilter’s Cottage in Fergus Falls, MN. Notice my new glasses! They arrived the day before we left. Finally, I can drive again (although I didn’t on this trip) and keep my glasses on my nose rather than on the top of my head (where my readers lived when not in use).

Setting the plan in motion:

I hadn’t planned to do the whole state again, maybe just a couple of regions. Then our son and his wife from Michigan called and told us that their baby (our newest granddaughter) was going to be baptized on the 11th. After a bit of thinking (about 20 seconds worth), I suggested to Tu-Na Helper that we attend the baptism but take the scenic route via the Quilt MN Shop Hop on our way to Michigan.

We had two days to get ready before opening day. Tu-Na Helper suggested switching things up and visiting the northern regions first winding our way through the state as long as time permitted before we began our trek through Wisconsin to Michigan and then finishing the state upon our return. The previous five years we’ve started in the southern part of the state meandering northward. 


Making the list:

Every year Tu-Na Helper has asked what’s on my list—you know, the things I’ll be looking for at each shop. So I started my list. I still had lots of projects left from last year and have a fabric stash at each of my two houses so I was sure my list wouldn’t be long. 

1. I investigated the Quilt MN Shop Hop fabrics for this year and picked out several that I wanted to get. I predicted the blueberries and lady slippers would be a sell-out so I planned to buy them early. I never pre-order as I like the thrill of the hunt. I was only right with one of the predictions. 

2. Two masculine pinks (a medium and a light) for the pig block for the Minecraft quilt that I am making for our oldest grandson. I’ve posted pictures on my Facebook page here. I have some pinks but they just look too feminine. Surely, there’s other options.

3. A better flesh color fabric (than the one I already have) to use for faces for the Minecraft quilt and for some gnome noses.

4. Floral fabrics to use for the couple of Laura Heine patterns I bought this winter. I think I left the patterns in Arizona but I’ll have to make sure I didn’t bring them back with me to North Dakota this spring as I want to work on them this winter.

5. Beard fur for gnomes. I’m teaching a class this fall of a wall hanging that has gnomes. I’d like to get a couple of options for class members so they don’t have to run around searching for it ahead of time.

Setting the budget:

“I’m sure I can keep to a $500.00 budget,” I told Tu-Na Helper. He laughed.

Selecting the route:

Tu-Na Helper used a new routing App and inputted all the addresses from the Quilt MN Shop Hop site on the Route 4 Me App on his I-Phone. It didn’t take long at all for the route to be selected. “This is going to be so easy,” I thought. The plan would be to start early on opening day arriving at 9 am at Hometown Crafts and Fabrics in Detroit Lakes, MN — a mere 3 hour and 39 minute drive from home.

Coming soon:

Day One of the Quilt MN Shop Hop experience


What I Learned Today:

  1. Minnesota is huge! We drove on roads we never traveled before and viewed sights we never saw before. We even visited some new quilt shops on the hop but more about that in the next post.
  2. I can be wrong. After traveling thousands of miles over, around, and through Minnesota for the last 5 years of the hop, I really thought there were no roads that we had not traveled on before. I sure was wrong.
  3. Opening day of the Quilt MN Shop Hop is as exciting to a quilter as opening day of deer hunting season is to a hunter.
  4. I love traveling with Tu-Na Helper.
  5. I like road trips and I think Tu-Na Helper does, too. I wonder where we can travel to next?
  6. Tu-Na Helper must be getting better at routing or maybe the App was better than the program we used last year; we traveled less miles this year than any of the previous years on the Hop (not counting our mileage to and from Michigan).
  7. Getting used to new glasses isn’t as easy as it used to be. After almost two years of healing and recovery from my cornea transplant surgeries, my eyes were ready for glasses. Recovery has been a long road. I went from being near-sighted to being far-sighted. After the surgery, my distance vision was great without correction but my mid-range and up-close is not so good so the glasses are much needed to help with that.

Questions: Where are (or did) your travels take you this summer? Stay tuned to hear more about our exciting adventures on the 2019 Quilt MN Shop Hop.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

28 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts and Travels: 8 Days; 59 Shops; 2,815 Miles on the Quilt MN Shop Hop and Stories to Tell!

  1. dezertsuz

    Oh, I have been waiting for these posts! I absolutely LOVE following you through the Minnesota Shop Hop each year! I was thrilled when you said you were going after all, and so nice that it could be combined with a baptism for family, too. I’m looking forward to reading each day’s hop information, and you really know how to tease your readers. =) I haven’t gone anywhere yet, but the first week of September, I’m visiting two church history sites in Ohio and New York. The New York one I’ve not seen before, so it will be a wonderful trip, too. Not with quilters, though, so no quilt shop stops!


  2. KJ

    I, too, am looking forward to hearing about your travels. We have stuck close to home this year, with the occasional car show, or local group drive. I’m hoping we can do a few day trips, like to a sunflower festival. That would be fun.


  3. Karen Marlow-Goad

    I have been waiting for your trip posts and thought they would be coming soon. fill us in on everything – sounds like you almost had to sleep in your car a night or two 🙂
    We take off next week for our two months on the road! and I will fill everyone in as I can from the road


  4. piecefulwendy

    I honestly have more fun reading your posts about your shop hop adventures than the actual hop itself! One of these times I’m going to meet you though, I really, really am. We just recently took a quick road trip to Door County to pick cherries. It was short, but fun.


  5. Verna A.

    My travels took me to eight quilt shops in MN, and I only finished one section. One day I would like to do the whole state! I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures!


  6. Catherine N

    I’m so glad you went on the shop hop and will write about it! I love your writing style and thought provoking questions you ask! Thank you!


  7. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    I look forward to hearing about your travels, Karen. And isn’t it wonderful to have a hubby who loves road trips and even visiting quilt shops! Ours are definitely keepers!


  8. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

    We sold out of those 2 fabrics at Quilt Cove early on the first day. And that was without taking preorders and a 1 yard limit per person. Great analogy on the first day of the shop hop! I love working that day and meeting so many excited quilters. DH and I took our usual road trip to California this summer. Besides a few national parks, we did a mini shop hop, of our own design, in Utah.


  9. Leslie Schmidt

    Wow, Karen, you two have sure covered a lot of ground. You’ve really piqued my interest with your teasers. I only did the Metro area, and I was exhausted. I was on the bus that started the hop the first day at Quilt Cove, and it was like a horde of locusts descending on the shop! Lots of stores sold out of those two fabrics you showed. I hope you were able to get some of them.

    My husband and I took a short trip from the Twin Cities to Milwaukee to see the Twins play the Brewers. We visited with friends and my sister on the way home. My husband got to check out several new craft breweries, and I got to stop at a quilt shop in Madison. Next month I will be going back to Madison for Quilt Expo for 3 days. Quick trips, but still a change of scenery.

    Looking forward to next report.


  10. Riceford Streams

    I think you two are brave to do the entire state and look forward to reading about it. We drove from the Twin Cities to Drummond Island, MI. I hope your transportation is more comfortable than our Jeep!


  11. Kathleen McCormick

    So much suspense! Do you stay on budget? Run into any famous quilters? Have adventures? Can’t wait to find out. Hooray for being able to see with new glasses and drive. I am in admiration of your patience through this long recovery!


  12. Quilted Pants

    Living in the UK with our twisting, turning over-crowded roads this mega shop hop sounds utterly mad! I’m really looking forward to reading your tales of being on the road and the treasures you found as you visited all those shops.


  13. Carol S.

    You have an awesome helper for this fun trip! I’ve only traveled two hours away from home all summer. Maybe I can get my helper to do some traveling like you do!


  14. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts and Travels: Day One of the 2019 Quilt MN Shop Hop; 6 Shops; 599 Miles; Only 53 Shops Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  15. 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

  16. Carmen

    I love your posts about this road trip! I hope you photographed all your purchases, as I love to see those as well!!. Great idea to switch up your route. Even locally the view is different coming and going. Can’t wait for the rest!


  17. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts and Travels: Day Three on the Quilt MN Shop Hop, 6 Shops, 282 Miles, Only 38 Shops Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  18. dondim

    I got all the states but Alaska. Too sad, but life goes on. Have I sewn that quilt yet? No! It is lots of fun reading about your travels. What an awesome husband you have to drive you to all the stores! How you must love him for this!


  19. 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

  20. Barbara Mitchell

    I love your posts and hearing about your adventures with Tuna Helper….he is really a trooper…I am addicted to material and Quilt Shops …so this is a dream vacation for me….our summer has not involved sewing this year but Iam selling my sewing at an Artistic Boutique where I work part time in the resort town of Montague Mi…for the summer


  21. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts and Travels: Day Five on the Quilt MN Shop Hop, 8 Shops, 366 Miles, Only 20 Shops Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  22. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts and Travels: Day Six on the 2019 Quilt MN Shop Hop, 9 Shops, 245 Miles, Only 11 Shops Remaining | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  23. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts and Travels: Day Seven on the 2019 Quilt MN Shop Hop, 6 Shops, 137 Miles, Only 4 Shops Remaining (or so we thought) | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  24. Deb Olson

    My mom and I also travel around this huge state for the Shop Hop! We’ve done all of them except the first one (cuz we didn’t know it existed yet, lol). However, this was our first time completing the whole state! Woohoo! The closest we got was the year there was 90+ shops and we visited 87! I had the pleasure of meeting you a few years ago at the quilt shop in Moose Lake and I’m always watching for you…I enjoy reading your travel blog so much, thanks for sharing 💞


  25. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts and Travels: Day Eight on the 2019 Quilt MN Shop Hop, 5 Shops, 406 Miles, Time Spent with Tu-Na Helper–Priceless | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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