We spent a wonderful weekend in Kalamazoo with our son, daughter-in-law, and three very busy and smart grandchildren.
The baptism went well. The baby was super cute and adorable. As the pastor held her during the baptism ceremony, she “told” us that she didn’t like to be separated from her mama. After the church service, we ate brunch at a restaurant called Anna’s House.
It was hard to say goodbye to the kids and head for Minnesota to finish the hop and then home to North Dakota.
We made it through Chicago going the same route as we had come, through the middle of the city, and then spent the night in Stillwater. There is a very nice quilt shop in that city, well, at least we went to one a couple of years ago on the hop. But you know Tu-Na Helper’s motto—If they’re not on the hop, we don’t stop—so there was no exploring that shop or anywhere else around Stillwater this morning.
Tu-Na Helper: “Are you sure we only have 4 shops to go?,” he asked as he turned on the routing App and studied the remaining route.
Me: “Yes,” I replied, “Sauk Center, Wadena, Perham, and Fergus Falls.”
Tu-Na Helper: “Wait a minute. Did we go to Alexandria yet?”
Me: “What?” I grabbed my passport and checked. “No! I missed one.” Sure enough, I had missed one. Missing a shop has always been a fear of mine right along with leaving a shop without getting my passport stamped.
After we left the hotel, we made our way to Trader Joes to pick up our staple items of coffee and granola.
We bought a lot as it’s over 450 miles from our house in ND to the nearest one and this has to last until we leave for AZ in November. We’d already stocked up with several bags of Michigan Cherry coffee at Meier’s before leaving Kalamazoo.
With our groceries safely tucked in the trunk, we started on the last leg of our journey arriving at Family Fabric Shop in Sauk Centre. They had just moved into a new downtown location last year but I hadn’t had a lot of time on last year’s hop to look around before the shop was overrun by a bus full of eager shop hoppers. I was surprised and saddened to see a FOR SALE sign displayed in the window as we parked on the street across from the shop. We talked with the owner and found out that the shop would be closing soon; another one bites the dust (I’ve been listening to a lot of Queen on the radio lately).
With our passports stamped, we got back into the car and drove to Dawn’s Quilt Shop in Alexandria. I took a chance and bought a yard of fabric that I thought might match the robots I had bought earlier on the hop from Hannah Johnson’s in Duluth. That first piece was well-hidden somewhere in the car or else we might have retrieved it to make sure.
We also checked out of the Central Region here.
We had almost driven away when Tu-Na Helper checked his passport. He had the shop stamp indicating he’d finished the region but not one in the store spot so he jumped out and ran back inside the shop to have that taken care of. He didn’t want his passport to be disqualified for that technicality if his should be drawn for the Alaskan cruise prize.
Only three shops left and it was still early in the day. We’ve had a couple of close calls on previous years coming in at the last minute to the last shop—like this one that felt like the Amazing Quilt Race part one here and part two here. We were relieved that there would be no close calls today.
After stopping at Hometown Crafts & Fabrics in Wadena and then Bay Window Quilt Shop in Perham, we headed for the last shop for this year’s hop.
With a sigh of relief, we drove up to Quilter’s Cottage in Fergus Falls and checked out of the North Central region.
And with a great sense of accomplishment, we checked out of the state leaving our passports behind to be entered for the Alaskan cruise, along with all the others who finished hopping around the entire state.
I still hope to win the trip but Tu-Na Helper was telling everyone along the way that he gave up and went to Alaska by himself earlier this summer on a fishing trip.
After visiting with our youngest son in Fargo, we grabbed supper at Burger King and headed for home. By now we’d been listening to that audio book (Along Came a Spider) in the car for quite a long time. Each time I thought it was finished, the plot would thicken and the story continue. The book finally came to a conclusion just as we turned onto our driveway and just as I finished sewing the last seam on the last hexi that I had brought along on the trip.
We breathed another sigh of relief as we pulled into the garage. We’d driven 2,815 miles* on this year’s Quilt MN Shop Hop trip. As I got out of my seat (we had not stopped to stretch during the final three hour trip from Fargo), I brushed all the threads and snippets of fabric from my clothes. Glancing at Tu-Na Helper who was watching me, I bent down to pick them up off the floor of the car.
Tu-Na Helper: “Some people have trouble with dandruff. You have trouble with thread and fabric.”
Or should I say The Beginning? As I now get to sort, organize, and play with my new finds.
*We did not include the mileage to and from Michigan. We figured the mileage as if we continued from the shop at the end of Day 7 onto the shop at the beginning of Day 8.
A Look at the Loot for the Day
Don’t miss out on my other 2019 Shop Hop posts:
Or the Shop Hop posts from prior years:
What I Learned Today:
- Time spent with Tu-Na Helper is priceless.
- I never did find the 9 yards of backing fabric for the auction quilt.
- I have a lot of work ahead of me to organize, put away, and sew up all the wonderful new fabrics I purchased.
- I need to start sewing in my sleep. I think I’ve said this before.
- Purchasing fabric and using it are definitely two different hobbies.
- I am good at those two hobbies; I’m probably better at one of them than the other.
- I need to read labels better.
- Don’t wait to do something as the moment may pass and the opportunity will be gone…forever.
- Tu-Na Helper reads my posts. I had to edit Day 7’s post when he announced to me that I had two errors after it had already published.
- With my shop hop stories completed, I can finally get something else done around the house and start playing with my new fabric.
- The end of something can also be the beginning of something else.
- I have a wonderful friend who is also a great cook.
Question: Do threads seem to follow you, too? At one hotel on the route, Tu-Na Helper pointed to the floor ahead of us and said, “Look, they’ve left a marker showing us our room.” Sure enough, there was a strand of thread on the carpet right in front of a room door that just happened to be ours. One day (three years ago), he swept the kitchen floor and took a picture of his findings. My sewing room is in laundry room in the basement. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I don’t need to say anything more.
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
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter