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

The big excitement for the day happened at breakfast.

The hotel we stayed at in Finlayson offered breakfast. Usually the places we stay at have a waffle maker; this one had a pancake maker. We’ve never seen one before. 

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In my excitement, I didn’t get a picture of the whole machine. It really wasn’t that large.

To say it was intriguing is an understatement!

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Once Tu-Na Helper pushed the OK button, some pancake batter dropped down onto the conveyor belt. It moved slowly as we watched it.

When our kids were little, they would have loved to see this and use it.

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It didn’t take long for pancakes to cook one at a time and drop onto the plate.

Tu-Na Helper enjoyed making and eating pancakes for breakfast and would have had a second helping if the machine had not run out of batter. I enjoyed watching it and then ate a bowl of oatmeal. We grabbed some muffins for later and filled our coffee mugs for the morning drive.

Today we’d have less miles to drive and less shops to visit. But Tu-Na Helper had learned something over the past couple of days and set his plan into motion. He checked the route and times needed to drive between each of the shops adding 15 minutes per shop for shopping. Then he figured out times of shop openings and closings and how far we could get until closing time adjusting the route to take advantage of shops that were open later.

He started calling for a hotel room for the night before we left our room in the morning securing one in the vicinity of the first shop of the following day or somewhere in between the last shop of the day and the first shop of the next day. Hmmm, this proved to be much less stressful for both of us as we were not only assured of having a place for the night but also successful in avoiding backtracking and long drives before bed.

We settled in the car for the very short drive to our first shop, Quarry Quilts & Yarns in Sandstone, and then onto Fabric Fashions & More in Rush City arriving there about half an hour before opening time even though Interstate 35 was under construction and we had been in stand still traffic. While we waited in the car for the shop lights to be flicked on and the door to be unlocked, we snacked on our muffins and coffee and giggled at the shop hoppers who came up and tried the door only to retreat to their cars. It was starting to warm up outside.

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Vicki and Gail, blog followers, said hi in Fabrics, Fashions, & More. They had recognized Tu-Na Helper walking around the shop. This happened a lot at the shops.

I was pleased to see that Kathy’s Country Square in Moose Lake, was back participating in the shop hop. To get to Kathy’s in Moose Lake, we had to go back through the Interstate 35 construction and backtrack 30 miles. The shop wasn’t on the hop last year and I had something I had wanted to get there. I guess I’ll have to add it to this year’s list. 

Two years ago, I had bought a quilt kit of state flowers from Kathy’s but didn’t get any backing. I’ve been looking for some but had not seen any anywhere and figured this would surely be the place to find it. 

We entered the freshly painted, bright, and cheerful place and noticed the state flower fabrics right away. Something was up, I told myself and then found out what. Kathy has her place listed for sale.

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If she can’t sell it as a business, then she’ll have to liquidate her inventory and sell the building separately. This indeed makes me feel sad. I love antiques and fabric so shopping at this store killed two birds with one stone. Plus it means another good quilt shop is closing their doors.

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This was a very interesting dinette set and was hard to leave behind.

After saying our goodbyes and wishing her well, we were on our way to Country Caboose Quilts in Wahkon, an hour’s drive through lake country. I featured this shop here.

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I’m still glancing around once in a while looking for any moose.

After we left the shop heading towards Randall, Tu-Na Helper and I were talking about what wonderful coffee drink we would be buying at the Old Creamery Quilt Shop there (I featured this shop here). Should we get hot coffee or an iced coffee? 

As I entered the Old Creamery, I pointed to a sign on the door— Coffee shop is permanently closed. Oh, no! I guess I wouldn’t be getting a frappé this afternoon. The shop is also selling out of their yarns although the woolen mill is still in production.

The last stop of the day would be at Gruber’s Quilt Shop in Waite Park. Google Maps said we’d arrive by 5:01. I figured that was close enough to the 5 pm closing time that I didn’t bother calling ahead.

Shoppers were exiting the exterior door as we drove up exactly at 5:01. Tu-Na Helper had barely put our Prius into park and I quickly opened the door, lept inside the building, and ran towards the shop entrance. As I entered, one of the gals behind the till asked, “Are you the 5:04 people?”

“No,” I said. “I didn’t bother calling. Will you still stamp our passports?” I was assured that they would and even allowed us to shop a bit; I found my first option for gnome beard fur. 

We headed to our hotel in Big Lake and found supper at the Friendly Buffalo conveniently located next door.

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I had a Spinach and Chicken and Feta Skillet. It was delicious.

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Tu-Na Helper had a Clubhouse sandwich and a bowl of wild rice soup (“Because ya can’t be in Minnesota and not have some,” he told the waitress). He said it was delicious!

A Look at the Loot for the Day

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Some regions have special deals. Fabric Fashions & More was offering this Bonus Buy of a bag of Mini Wonder Clips for only $1 with a $10 purchase. So I bit. Here’s 2 yards of the dark gray tonal crosshatch of the Quilt MN Shop Hop fabric.

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Beard fur, two half-yard cuts of florals, another option for a flesh fabric (1/2 yd), 2 half-yard pinks for flamingos for the pattern I bought last year

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Quarry Quilts’ Bonus Buy was this pack of pins for $1 with a $10 purchase. I bit for that one, too. This fabric is gorgeous and I’ll have a hard time cutting it.

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9 yards total of the state flowers of  Arizona, North Dakota, and Maryland (states where Tu-Na Helper and I have lived), a yard of 30’s, a yard of leaves for the applique, and 5 fat quarters at $1.50 each (a special deal from Kathy’s)

Don’t miss out on my other 2019 Shop Hop posts:

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

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 and Travels: Day Two of the Quilt MN Shop Hop, 9 Shops, 528 Miles, Only 44 Shops Remaining

Or the Shop Hop posts from prior years: 




What I Learned Today:

  1. “Time is valuable. Fly” as seen on a billboard sign along I35. Flying is nice but I love road trips. I think Tu-Na Helper does, too.
  2. Time is valuable and seems to go so quickly. 
  3. Time spent with Tu-Na Helper on this trip has been priceless.
  4. Do not eat grapes after eating a Scotcheroo bar. Both don’t taste good now. 
  5. Receipts add up quickly. For something to do in the car while we backtracked to the shop at Moose Lake, I decided to add up the receipts for the purchases I’ve already made on this trip.
  6. I feel sick. I’m not sure if it was because of the realization that Tu-Na Helper just might be right—that I can’t stick to a budget OR that I was dangerously close to my budget limit for the whole trip already and there were still 41 shops remaining (shopping at Kathy’s put me over budget and I am now in negotiation for more) OR that I’d have to do a whole lot more looking than buying for the remainder of the trip. 
  7. I have to be more selective with my purchasing. Last year I purchased something from each shop even if it was a spool of thread or a fat quarter; this wasn’t going to happen this year.
  8. This is a sad note upon which to end the day so reread #3. 🙂

Question: Do you shop with a plan or shop on a whim? I do some of each.

At this time I am not affiliated with any of the items, products, services, or shops that I picture or talk about here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. I just happen to like and use them.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

19 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts and Travels: Day Three on the Quilt MN Shop Hop, 6 Shops, 282 Miles, Only 38 Shops Remaining

  1. piecefulwendy

    I am definitely a shop on a whim girl. Sometimes I have a mini plan, but most of the time, I buy what appeals to me. Bummer about the budget. Are you sure you can’t just add another zero?? Can’t believe the Creamery no longer has coffee 😦 and more shops closing, as you mentioned.


  2. karenfae

    I love wild rice soup and made sure to get a bag of wild rice last year when in MN. Didn’t you feel better knowing you had a room secure? I don’t like to fly by the seat of my pants too much 🙂 I like knowing i have a bed. I hope the quilt shop sells that you mention – sad that she has to close maybe someone will hear about it and buy it – glad you found the beard stuff! Sometimes I have a list – like if I go to the show in Paducah – I have a list of what I am looking for and how much I usually pay for items – really I have to watch how much I spend on all this stuff and if I have to pay more at a show I won’t get something there but I will order – i am probably one of those people that put quilt shops out of business but my excuse is there are no shops here so I support the on line shops


  3. Barb Chromy Mader

    I am interested in which flamingo pattern you are going to make? Love reading your blogs on the shop hop, thanks for doing it.


  4. Cathy

    I have recently started keeping a list of things I was looking for, but how easy it is to find more I “need”! Budgets are necessary but no fun at all! Maybe Tu-Na Helper will increase that budget for you just like he increased the time at each shop in your routing app!!!🤞🏻


  5. Leslie Schmidt

    I’ve been to most of the shops in this region, but I don’t think I’ve been to Kathy’s. It looks like a shop I would love. It’s so sad to see all these shops closing.
    I almost always try to buy something in every store I visit, even if it’s just something small. I know how hard the owners work to maintain the inventory that will draw shoppers in and inspire them to create things of beauty. I never used to have a plan, but lately I have tried to be more selective.
    I’m glad you were able to coordinate your travels to make it easier on the two of you. I was a little scared when you said the excitement for the day was the pancake maker! But it looks as though you still had a happy, productive day.
    It’s neat that Tu-Na Helper is so willing to work on making the journey go smoother. That’s something my husband would like, except he’s more old school. He’s not into apps. He likes maps and other paper helpers, although he does like his TomTom!


  6. Susan

    I normally shop with a plan, sometimes a piece of fabric to match. I can’t imagine going to 59 shops and not spending at least $600, and that’s why I’m not shop hopping, except vicariously! Ours has 12 shops only, thank goodness, tho there are others that aren’t on the hop, and I often go in those, too. Now I have to add that if I saw something that appealed to me greatly, I’d buy it anyway, so I guess whim comes into it, too. =) Another great day, and I love #3 on your list and have to agree I always felt that way as Paul and I traveled together. 5 years of heaven in a 5th wheel. =) Thanks for sharing!


  7. Demaris Soso

    Hey, this was very interesting starting with the pancake machine, would love that as I make pancakes at least once every week. So sad that the shops are closing, isn’t anyone quilting anymore? The shops certainly look like a great deal of fun to shop in
    and would love to see them all. Wonderful story , good job as usual. Waiting for Day 4.


  8. Kathleen McCormick

    Budgets are horrible on something like this. I also can’t believe you already encountered 2 shops closing/changing. YUK. I hate when that happens. Back to budgets – I mostly don’t use them which is utterly dangerous. Fortunately I don’t hop like you do; it would be disastrous.


  9. thedarlingdogwood

    I love reading about your shop hop adventures! I love the addition of the daily loot photos. So sorry to see so many shops closing. I think it’s so funny that your blog readers recognize Tun-Na Helper and not you!! He’s a quilting celebrity!


    1. Dianne

      I am following you two on your shop hop trip!! Am loving it!! I am certainly agreeing on your assessment of the receipts adding up too fast!! You and I have history of that scenario!! Love you guys. Keep having fun 🤗🚗


  10. 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

  11. davemelvanolan

    I always (I know… never and always are unrealistic. lol) shop with a plan. For me to purchase something when I don’t really need it, it has to be a real attention grabber!. It was a habit I had to break 6-1/2 years ago when Dave made a career change. I learned quickly the difference between need and want… and that the opposite of more is not less, rather, it is enough. Blessed beyond measure with enough. ❤


  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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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