Tag Archives: 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop HOp

Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

Day One started early but not early enough as we got to our first shop 30 minutes after it opened.

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We checked in at Bear Patch Quilting Co. in White Bear Lake, MN along with everyone else hopping around the state or so it seemed.

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The shop was very busy and lines were long.

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We each got a passport to present at each shop where they will stamp their space. One shop done!

After we left, I started singing.

66 Quilt Shops on the Hop

66 Quilt Shops

Drive up to one.

Lay the cash down.

65 Quilt Shops on the hop.

My husband rolled his eyes as he muttered, “It’s going to be a long trip.” My family knows that I often break into song changing the words to fit the mood and the situation.

At the second shop (Country Loft Quilting and Designs in Forest Lake), I was tapped on the shoulder by Nancy, who had recognized me from my blog. I enjoyed talking with her and her quilting friend Vicki. I was so flustered and flattered to be recognized that I completely forgot to have Tu-Na Helper (my husband and official photographer for the hop) take our picture. So I’m hoping to run into you again so I can get one. It was so nice to meet you, Nancy and Vicki!

When we stopped at Eagle Creek Quilt Shop, I insisted upon having my picture taken under the quilt which I had forgotten to do last year. I have thought of a very good companion quilt for this one for my husband. I just might have to design it.

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We soon came upon a very special shop which I will call:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

I knew there was something special about Millie P’s Quilt Shop in Anoka the first time I stepped foot inside the door.

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No one should miss seeing this quilt shop at 219 E Main Street, Anoka, MN with the sign on the roof.

It’s such a bright and happy place. After talking with the owner and several staff members, I found out why.

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Becky, the owner of Millie P’s, works hard to make this shop a happy place to shop and to work.

Our passports were stamped by the very charming Judy. She is an expert salesperson and you’ll probably be leaving the store loaded down with some of these great exclusive products from Millie P’s.

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I am wearing the Baking Boa. Behind Judy and I are the One Hour Baskets. Both of these are kits containing fabric and pattern to make these exclusive Millie P’s products.

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Here’s the pattern and charm square that Judy gave us.

Becky, the owner, started Millie P’s about 7 1/2 years ago. Shortly before that, she had just retired from the corporate world and spent the following six weeks organizing her house when boredom struck. It was then that she realized that something was missing. While cruising main street in downtown Anoka, she spied a vacant building which had at one time housed a drug store. She pulled over and spent three hours sitting in her car looking at the building and asking herself, “Should I or shouldn’t I?”

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Well, the rest is history as Becky not only started Millie P’s but also has expanded the showroom space and the scope of the business to now include 22 employees (most of them are part-time), added a retreat center a block away, and produced some exclusive product lines.

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These curated bundles (pictured above) are found only at Millie P’s and correspond to their specially designed patterns or can be purchased alone. They make great gifts and are a perfect project start for new quilters or experienced quilters who want a quick finish.

  • Becky’s Bundle of 6 fat quarters
  • Pearl’s Pack six 1/2 yard cuts
  • Myrtle’s Mix 12 fat quarters + 2 yards
  • Millie’s Medley 12 fat quarters tunaquilts 18a

Millie P’s also offers a customer loyalty program. Each shopper’s purchase of fabric, machine rental, and notions is recorded. Once that shopper reaches $250.00, they receive 10% back. I like that Millie P’s keeps a computer record of it so I don’t have to keep, and ultimately lose, a card.

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You will discover some very unique display cases in this shop.

Becky named the store after her dear mother, Millie Pearl, and fills it with bright fabric and batiks. She only buys fabric for the store that she likes. And she likes color! From the size of the store and the amount of shelves and display areas, I say, she also likes fabric, a lot! I think Millie Pearl would be very happy in this shop, too.

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Becky quilted before she opened the store. She says, “Quilting is my stress relief.” I think a lot of quilters use quilting in that same way.

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Even the restroom is a fun place to be!

The store is delightfully decorated with samples of quilts, aprons, bags, potholders, pillows and about anything else you can imagine that can be made from fabric. Becky says, “These samples provide the inspiration that is such an important part of when customers walk in the store.” You will certainly be inspired here.

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Becky offers these words of advice for new quilters:

  • Take a class.
  • You are never too advanced in your quilting knowledge to learn something new.
  • Don’t be afraid of color.
  • Colors don’t have to match.

With quilting wisdom like that, beginners should feel very comfortable starting a project. Millie P’s offers a variety of classes and two retreats each year.

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Just in case you are looking for last year’s fish, we found one at Millie P’s. We left it on the shelf but chose some 2 yards of this years Minnesota fabric to buy.

In addition, Millie P’s offers a longarm quilting service where quilters can become certified or trained to use the machine. Once completed they can rent time on the longarm to quilt their own quilt. It is located on the second floor. I wish I lived closer to Millie P’s. I think I’d be here a lot.

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You can find more information about Millie P’s and their classes, clubs, and retreats here on Millie P’s website.

When you are in Anoka or the Twin Cities area, stop in at Millie P’s and say hi to Becky and the girls. Oh, and tell them that Tu-Na sent you.

Finishing the Metro Section:

We finished visiting the seven shops in the Metro section and checked out at Quilt Cove in Eagan. We each received a picnic cooler bag as the incentive prize.

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The Block for the Day

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I bought this 2017 Quilt MN block kit (Agate Reflections) from Quilted Treasures in Rogers, MN. It sewed up nicely.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I better keep an eye on my husband or I’ll lose him. I had just left Eagle Creek Quilt Shop with my husband tagging behind. As he was closing the door, a voice said, “Here wait, I’m going with you.” It wasn’t mine!
  2. Quilters are some of the friendliest people I’ve met.
  3. I need to make my shopping list longer as I’ve already purchased most of it. (Shhh, don’t tell my husband.)

Question: Do you buy by the fat quarter, 1/2 yard, yardage, or only buy following a pattern? I buy fat quarters to add to my scrappy stash. Otherwise, I buy 1 1/2 yards except the MN exclusive fabrics which I have cut in 2 yards. However, if I really like a fabric, then I buy 3 or 4.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Moving It Forward Monday at Em’s Scrapbag

See my first post about the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop:

Tu-Na Travels: ♪Over Hill. Over Dale. We Will Hit the Dusty Trail. As the Quilt Hop Goes Rolling Along….♪

 

Tu-Na Travels: ♪Over Hill. Over Dale. We Will Hit the Dusty Trail. As the Quilt Hop Goes Rolling Along….♪

Yes, we are going to drive all around Minnesota for the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop, again. This will be our fourth year. Last year we not only shopped but also took our first sailboat ride. You’ll find all the links to posts about that journey at the top underneath my blog name in a tab called SHOP HOP. Click it and a drop down menu will appear, click on 2016 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. I wonder what adventures await us this year?

Sixty six shops have been busy preparing for us and other shoppers to descend upon them and swoop up all they have to offer. They’ve been busy creating samples of quilts, bags, runners, and other fun things using the exclusive shop hop fabric. In addition, they’ve been designing their 8 inch finished block and cutting a 5″ charm from one of those fabrics which they will present to each of the hoppers for free. They’ve been assembling the incentive prizes.

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This is the 11th Annual Shop Hop which brings quilters (and even some of their husbands) from all over the country to scour the shops finding inspiration, fabric, and a special kind of quilting kinship.

We’re all packed and headed down to our daughter’s house in southern Minnesota so we can get an early start tomorrow morning.

As we left North Dakota, and in fact all along the way to her house, we encountered lots of construction. We’re sure hoping this is not a sign of what’s to come.

Just how did we prepare for our quilty adventure?

Perusing the Quilt Minnesota Website

The Quilt Minnesota website is jam packed with all the information us hoppers need including a list of participating shops divided into sections, shop hours, state map, section information and incentive prizes, and the special Minnesota Fabrics designed and printed ONLY for this hop—I’m showing you a few of them here.

fish

Many of the fabrics are available in several different background colors.

Programming the Route

My husband—lovingly named Tu-Na Helper by my sister on last year’s hop—put all the zip codes into the computer website, OptiMap. A minute later it spit out the route map in the order that we should take. While we know we will deviate from that route because of shop hours, it gets us going in the general direction and provides us a base to use the phone to navigate.

To navigate around, we use Google Maps on my husband’s smart phone. My husband puts in the address of the first shop from the OptiMap suggestion, and then when we get to the location, he puts in the next one, etc. Oh, I love technology! We’ll see how off-course it takes us this year.

Birds

The fabrics are an exclusive line designed by Emily Krueger and manufactured by Clothworks.

Creating My List

Tu-Na Helper wouldn’t let me go without a plan. So, yes, I have a list which reads:

Patterns

  • Florence Flamingo by Elizabeth Hartman
  • Lepidoptera by Elizabeth Hartman
  • We’re on a Bigger Roll by Java House Quilts

Books

  • No Scrap Left Behind by Amanda Nyberg
  • The Quilt Block Cookbook by Amy Gibson

Fabric

  • Laundry Day (irons, clothes hanger)
  • Kaffe Fasset especially olive green
  • Low volume prints
  • fabric with postage stamps
  • White on white
  • Minnesota Fabrics.

I wonder which fabric will be the statewide sell-out this year? The one most sought after by quilters. The one that those of us who didn’t pre-order will wish we had. My guess is the lady slipper or the birds will be the first to go. But could it be the fish instead like last year? My husband doesn’t think so, as he prefers last year’s colorful ones. I guess this year’s fish look too realistic for him. But, if given the chance I find some, I might get some anyway. Who knows? His preference might change.

Misc.

  • Small apple buttons
ladyslipper

There are lots more fabrics to this line including a panel. Check out the website listed above to view them all.

Packing the Cooler

We carry a cooler for lunches. There’s a lot of miles to cover and not a lot of hours to do it in so we opt to eat in the car for lunch and splurge in the evening at local fare. We’ll be restocking at grocery stores along the way; in the meantime, we can enjoy a snack of string cheese and some baby carrots.

turtles

While this exclusive fabric can be pre-ordered, I, again, decided not to pre-order. Instead, I will hunt and seek and discover which fabrics I will buy limiting myself to only purchasing one at a shop. I call it a lesson in decision making. Which one can’t I leave behind? Which one do I risk but may not see again?

Deciding to Take the Sewing Machine

Some of you may wonder, why I would do that. Each shop provides a free charm square of this year’s Quilt Minnesota fabrics and a pattern for an 8 inch block. My plan is to buy some of the kits for those patterns and sew a few up in the evenings. After a few days, we’ll see how that goes and whether it was worth bringing it along.

agate

The agate is the state gem. This fabric, by that name, is available in several colors. This one might be a contender for the first to sell-out statewide.

Reminder:

The giveaway to win the Christmas stocking and ALL the stocking stuffers I made for it is still open through August 1st. If you haven’t entered click here to go to that post and leave a comment.

Dragonflies

Last year, there were mosquitoes. This year it’s the dragonfly.

The hop continues through August 13th. There’s still time for you to join in on the fun. If you can’t travel the whole state, you might like to visit just a section or two.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I don’t need a lot of fabric but I sure do want some more.
  2. Whether I am ready or not, the quilt hop will start.
  3. If you see me out and about, please stop and say hi. I will try to do the same.

Question: What makes a good shop hopper? Help me list some Shop Hop Etiquette. It will be a good reminder for me. I make a point to stop and shop or at least look around each of the shops. We avoid the grab and go approach. We don’t look at the hop as a race to finish first. But rather think of it as an experience to be enjoyed. It’s kind of like stopping to smell the roses or in this case, petting the fabric.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Oh, Scrap at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Moving It Forward at Em’s Scrapbag