Tag Archives: hexi quilt

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four, 276 Miles, 9 Shops, Only 35 Shops Remaining

When I walked into the second shop on our fourth day, Fabrics Plus in Marshall, the gal behind the counter cheerfully greeted me, “Hi, Karen!” Oh, my goodness, I thought. She knows her customers by name and I haven’t been back since last year’s hop—now that’s customer service!

tunaquilts 38a

With a smile like that, who wouldn’t feel welcome here? Tracy is explaining what Marshall Moonshine has to do with the Shop hop.

I was floored and flattered to find out that Tracy Veglahn, an owner of the shop, reads and follows my blog and had recognized me from my pictures on it. Fabrics Plus is a fun shop with friendly staff and we spent a fair amount of time there.

tunaquilts 39a

Each year, the Southwest section compiles a cookbook with recipes and a quilt pattern from each store. This year’s theme was “Get Crocked in the Southwest.” This year’s cookbook contains crock-pot recipes and the pattern for this lovely quilt above along with patterns from the 8 other shops in the section.

Tu-Na Helper said we needed to be on our way, so we said our goodbyes, grabbed our purchase, and off we went.

tunaquilts 27a

Heather’s Book Nook & Sew Much More in Granite Falls treated each of us to a dipped pretzel log. How did they know that pretzels are Tu-Na Helper’s favorite snack? Thank you!

Continuing on through the countryside, I begged my husband to stop just outside of Olivia, MN. I guess there still is a bit of farm girl left in me as I wanted to get out of the car to see for myself exactly how tall that crop of corn was.

tunaquilts 2a

I was totally amazed by that corn patch. I am 5″ 4″ and knew my dad wouldn’t believe me unless I had a picture with me standing in it. What do you think of that corn, dad?

We soon came into New Ulm, population 13,342, and saw:

Today’s Top Shop on The Hop

If Day Two’s post read like a love story, this one reads “A Family Affair.”

tunaquilts 23a

The Thimble Box is located at 10 North Minnesota Street, New Ulm, MN.

As I entered The Thimble Box, a pretty, young lady cheerfully greeted me from behind the counter. I made my way through the store and being the curious (although some would call me just plain nosey) type that I am, I ventured into a work room and discovered Brenda Seidl, the owner, doing a bit of work. Hexis were spread all around her and we chatted about them and the class she is teaching (pictured below).

tunaquilts 11a

It was then that I saw THE BOX.

tunaquilts 10a

THE BOX was filled with basted hexi pieces all lined up in color coordinated rows.

tunaquilts 9

Brenda learned to sew from her mom and now Brenda is sewing for her mom. Brenda lovingly bastes them all and gives them to her mom, Judy Eastman, whom Brenda called the manager of the shop, to sew together into flower shapes.

tunaquilts 6a

There’s even a second box of basted hexis waiting in line for their sewing orders.

Judy loves to sort and organize the hexis and sew them together. She showed us her hexi quilt that she is working on and I asked how long that’s taken her. Brenda asked me, “Do you mean the first time or the second time?” Well, the story goes that Judy had noticed a problem and tried to fix it but the more she fixed it the worse it got. So finally, she just took that lovely hexi quilt top all apart and is now patiently sewing it all back together again. Now, that’s a dedicated quilter!

tunaquilts 3a

Judy, Me, and Brenda holding Judy’s hexi quilt. The countless hours are definitely evident in this beautiful quilt.

If you’re thinking that Judy is making a small quilt, think again. This is going to be queen size.

tunaquilts 4a

Even the back is pretty!

I asked for some tips on making hexis as I’ve wanted to start a project myself. I’ve been collecting 30s fabrics during the last two Quilt MN Shop Hops but have been a bit timid in actually starting. I stopped at just the right shop and asked just the right people for help.

These two are masters of this method and they willingly shared some secrets. Judy recommends leaving the papers around the edges until they’ve been sewn onto the next piece and then they can be removed. Brenda says to use pink silk thread to sew the hexis together paying no attention to the color of the fabric. I checked out Brenda’s class sample and it really does work. I’ll have to add pink silk thread onto my list.

tunaquilts 7a

One more picture of this box with precisely basted hexis waiting for Judy to work her magic.

I’ve been searching for a good, traditional 30’s solid green color of fabric to use for my hexi project and Brenda suggested Kona Old Green. I learned a few tips and tricks from these masters and Brenda sent a couple of little starter packages of hexis with me so I can give them a try. I’ve also been warned that they can be rather addicting causing one to forget about doing housework and making meals. Poor Tu-Na Helper. He may have to go out and buy himself a case of Hamburger Helper or Tuna Helper.

I also asked Brenda if everyone in this small town quilts or exactly how could this small town support not just one but three quilt shops. It didn’t take her long to answer, “We each have a different flavor. I specialize in wildlife, trucks, and dirt.” That took a bit of explanation which was accomplished by showing me the wide variety of hunting and fishing themed prints in addition to other fabrics.

tunaquilts 14a

Here’s two bolts of fabric showing some of the trucks and dirt that you’ll find at The Thimble Box.

I also couldn’t help but notice the number of panels hanging on the walls.

tunaquilts 12a

Brenda admitted that her accumulation and variety of panels started with her buying one. If you’re in the market for a panel or some wildlife, trucks or dirt fabric, this is one shop to stop at.

tunaquilts 17a

Brenda designs and writes many patterns and has them for sale in her shop. Her patterns are great for beginners, or those of us who learn by looking at pictures, as they not only contain clearly worded directions but also many pictures.

tunaquilts 20a

Don’t leave the shop until you buy this potholder kit. Unfortunately, I was distracted and forgot to look for some purple ones. Now I’ll just have to go back again sometime soon. And maybe I’ll have sewn some hexis to show them.

Those potholders above looked like thongs for the hand (I grew up wearing thongs on my feet) and reminded me of the purple thang story I wrote for Day Seven of the 12 Days of Christmas in July post here.

tunaquilts 25a

While we were in the shop, Pat brought in her quilt she made during a class that Brenda has been teaching. They were auditioning borders but I left before she had decided which ones to use.

Brenda tells new quilters, “Don’t give up at your first road block and don’t be afraid to ask for help.” She also says to give yourself 15 minutes each day to do something just for you whether it’s sewing or quilting related or not.

tunaquilts 22a

Brenda’s started a yo-yo project, too.

Brenda’s owned The Thimble Box for 11 years. The previous owner was going to retire and Brenda didn’t want to see the store closed. However, Brenda’s mom gave me the real reason; “Her husband told her she can’t bring anymore fabric home.” To learn more about this shop, like them on Facebook.

tunaquilts 18a

I could tell that this family has a sense of humor. Brenda designed this pattern for this year’s Row by Row and titled it. “Gas It Up.” This year’s theme is “On the Go.”

In addition to Brenda’s mom, Judy, working 2-3 days a week (and doing a very good job at managing, I might add), there are 4 other part-time employees. However, today, Brenda’s husband, Maurice, cut my fabric; her daughter, Chandra (the very same gal who greeted me so cheerfully when I walked in) was the cashier; and son, Tony, reshelved the bolt. This teamwork and dedication is why I call this shop operation a family affair—a family happily working together helping to make this a very interesting shop to visit. Oh, and when you do, say Hi, to Brenda and ask to see her mom’s hexi quilt and THE BOX. And tell them that Tu-Na sent you.

tunaquilts 21a

Maurice, Tony, Brenda, and Chandra. Chandra comes up from Florida for two weeks every summer to help her mom with the shop hop. Tony lives in Rochester and comes to help, too.

We headed back to the car and noticed this sign in a store window.

tunaquilts 24a

I think it’s missing the word “quilt.” After all, with three quilt shops in town, there must be a lot of quilters around.

I was up for a challenge at our next stop, Spinning Spools in New Ulm; just how full could I stuff that quart bag with scraps. I’ve been working on gathering, cutting, and sewing 1.5” squares (and even some 1” squares) for a postage stamp quilt.

tunaquilts 28a

My goal is to use all different fabrics in my postage stamp quilt so that means I need a lot of different little pieces.

This box of scraps was perfect and I accepted and met the challenge.

tunaquilts 36a

The zip lock bag stayed shut just long enough to pay for it and take this picture. I don’t think another piece of thread would have fit in it.

We checked out of the Southwest section at Sewing Seeds, also in New Ulm, and received our incentive prize. It’s been a few days since we’d checked out of any sections so receiving these prizes was very rewarding.

tunaquilts 44a

We each received a 12 pack of fat quarters of Wilmington’s Flannel Essentials for completing the section.


We turned our Prius toward Norwood Young America and headed for the new shop on the hop this year, The Quilting Grounds. My husband and I were a bit confused about the name of the shop until we stepped foot inside the door. Wafts of coffee scent greeted us along with several cheerful HI’s. While I perused the racks and racks of fabric and finally settled on a couple of yards of 30s, my husband ordered us smoothies. By the time I had paid for my purchases and we had filled out the info for checking out of the Southeast section, our smoothies were ready.

tunaquilts 41a

We received six half-yard cuts of bright Modern Solids by In the Beginning Fabrics for each of us. A fantastic reward for completing this section.

Each of the shops in the Southeast section also offered an extra special offer they called the “Two Buck Chunk.”

tunaquilts 42a

These chunks were a half-yard cut of Modern Solids by In the Beginning Fabrics for $2.00 with a $10.00 purchase (limit of 2). Of course, I couldn’t pass them up. After all, who doesn’t need more solids? Choosing was very hard to do. Here’s my pickings. I have 14 of them so one must be hiding in the accumulating stash.

We were just about to close the shop’s door behind us when Barb caught up with us.

tunaquilts 29a

Hi, Barb! It was so nice to meet you, Barb, (a reader and follower of Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats), and know that you’ve been enjoying my adventures and sharing this shop hop journey.

We picked up our smoothies and off we drove to see if we could arrive at the next shop before closing time.

tunaquilts 32a

I had the Peach-Pear-Apricot and my husband had the Four Berry Smoothie (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry). They were wonderfully cold on this hot day and very delicious. I highly recommend them.

We still had one shop left for the day, Quilt Haven on Main in Hutchison, MN. I featured them last year; click here to read it. Google maps told us we would be arriving at 6:03, 3 minutes past closing time. It’s been pretty accurate predicting our arrivals all along and it was exactly 6:03 when we parked in front of the shop. I quickly opened the car door not even sure if my husband had put it in park yet and hopped out. I checked the door and it was still open so I rushed in. I must have breathed a very loud sigh of relief because when I rounded the corner inside the shop two staff members looked at each other. “Should we tell her or not?”  questioned one of them. “That the store is closed,” I said hanging my head in disappointment. “No, that we’re open until 7 tonight.”

tunaquilts 37a

Now, I had time to leisurely shop on the first floor and visit with a group of quilters on the second floor. I walked up and down the steps feeling like Scarlett O’Hara.

It had been a long day so we found a room at the Days Inn in Hutchinson and ate at the Tokyo Grill. Morning would come early again.

tunaquilts 33a

We started our meal with soup and salad. The shrimp and chicken were delicious. You’ll just have to take my word for it; my camera battery was complaining it needed to be recharged and so did we.

The 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop continues through August 13th so you still have time to join in on the fun!

Block of the Day

I purchased this block kit from Heather’s Book Nook and Sew Much More in Granite Falls. It is an easy block to sew.

tunaquilts 43a

A perfect 8.5″ square.

The pattern doesn’t include written directions so here’s some if you need them. Make sure you cut the pieces as given  (8) A pieces at 1 5/8″ squares of white and (8) A  pieces at 1 5/8″ squares of green, (4) B pieces at 3 7/8″ x 2 7/8″ of green, and (1) C piece at 3 7/8″ square of the blue background turtle. Sew one B to each side of C. Press your seams toward the dark green fabric. Make the four patches for the corners using the A pieces as shown on the picture on the pattern. Sew a set of them to each side of a B piece. Make two of these strips. Sew one strip to the top of your BCB unit and one to the bottom of it. Trim to 8.5″.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Corn grows very tall in MN. They must have good soil and get a lot of rain or irrigate. The governor of North Dakota has declared 46% of the state in a severe drought.

    tunaquilts 40a

    My son sent me a picture of how the corn in our garden is looking today. It should be much taller by now. My grandson is 38″ tall. I’m sad, too, because we may not get any sweet corn this year. I guess if we do, it will be the right height for this little guy to pick.

  2. My husband has now been promoted to Tu-Na Helper CEO (Carry Everything Out) by someone along the route.
  3. Brenda Seidl has a fun and interesting mom, Judy.
  4. Unwashed fresh farm eggs can sit on the counter for days. However, if you wash them, they need to be refrigerated because washing removes the protective covering. I give credit to Judy for educating me on this little fact. Without her help, I might have only learned three things today. Thanks, Judy!

Question: Have you tried English Paper Piecing and if so what shapes? I want to try hexis especially after today. My goal is to make a Grandmother’s Flower Garden. Armed with Brenda’s tips and enthusiasm, I have no doubt I will start soon. And if I run into problems, I know just who to call for help.

I read and appreciate every comment I receive. I’ve either been busy writing posts or shopping so I  haven’t had time to reply. Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement. Eventually, I hope to reply to you.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

See my other posts 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: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two, 334 miles, 7 Shops, Only 48 Shops Remaining

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three, 210 Miles, 4 Shops, 44 Shops Remaining

All the links to my posts for last year’s Quilt MN Shop Hop can be found at the top of this blog under the Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats title. Click on the Shop Hop tab; in the drop down menu, click on 2016 Quilt MN Shop Hop Posts.

At this time, I have no affiliation with any of the shops, products, or services that I mention here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats.

Linking to:

Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River