Tag Archives: Minnesota

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

Our daughter joined us for day two of the shop hop. Her list was short: thread. She has a finished quilt top that she needs to sandwich and quilt so she wanted to buy some good thread. I should have taken a picture of all she purchased. By about the fourth shop of the day, she announced, “I only had thread on my list and I haven’t even bought that yet.” She bought patterns and fabric and, eventually, the thread.

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I am ever amazed at how different each section of MN looks. This is between Rochester and Winona. 

We began our day at Bluffview Quilt Shop in Winona. I introduced myself as Tu-Na and my husband as Tu-Na Helper reminding the gals that I had featured their shop last year. The gals at the shop spent a few minutes trying to come up with a name for our daughter. Spoiled Tu-Na was their choice. I think Tu-Na’s Spoiled (pampered) Daughter is just about right; her brothers probably would agree.

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My husband says, “Some lucky guy is going to get these shirts, when the hop is over.” These Quilt MN samples were made by Bluffview Quilt Shop. This fabric line easily lends itself to sewing for the guys. Do I have to make Tu-Na Helper one now? Nope, only if Quilt MN starts designing fabric with a Hawaiian theme.

We arrived at Quilter’s Dream in Montgomery around noon. We discovered a car show happening right outside the shop’s front door. The car show is usually held in conjunction with Kolacky Days. However, this is the first year it coincided with the quilt hop. The car show was a happy bonus for my husband.

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After shopping, we strolled around town a bit looking at the cars and overheard someone talking about going to the bakery to get Kolackys. This bakery happened to be conveniently located on the way to our car so we ducked in to see just what these Kolackys were and why the bakery was jam-packed with waiting customers.

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We had our choice of fillings: Prune, Poppyseed, Apricot, Apple or Raspberry. We resisted taking some of each.

While we were waiting in line for our turn in the bakery, we soon were in the presence of royalty.


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This town knows how to celebrate traditions. Here’s the Kolacky Queen and her royal court.


These were definitely worth the wait.


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We bought a half-dozen of Apricot and a half-dozen of Raspberry.


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They were delicious!

After leaving Montgomery, I could hear rustling and rattling sounds coming from the back seat where Emily was sitting. I was wondering what was going on when she cried out, “I think I got bit………by the quilting bug,” as she continued to sort through her purchases.

We drove past corn fields, past farms and even past a wind farm.


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I took this pic hanging my head and camera out of the car window while my husband was driving 60 mph. I think it turned out rather good.


Towards the end of the day, we came upon:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

As we drove up to this cute shop, all I saw was the front porch and the cute rocking chairs begging to be sat in. And so we did.

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As we set foot inside Calico Hutch Quilt Shop in Hayward, we discovered more store samples in one location than I have seen in a long time. The shop also held more bolts of fabric than I could have imagined. There are fabrics to satisfy the taste of just about any quilter.

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I searched the store for the owner to find out how a small town could support such a large shop.


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Carolyn has owned Calico Hutch Quilt Shop for 15 years. However, she worked here for 10 years before buying it. That’s a lot of experience in buying, displaying, teaching, and making customers happy.


Hayward is a very small town with a population of 230 people. However, Carolyn has not let that stop her from making Calico Hutch one of the biggest and best shops around. They are located on the outskirts of town and conveniently located near two interstates, I 90 and I 35. It is the only quilt shop within 60 miles. Even so, their customer base is larger than that area and now boasts shoppers from France, Germany, Australia, and Great Britain all within the past couple of months. I tend to think a lot of hard work has taken place to make this shop successful.

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Calico Hutch began 35 years ago when the previous owner decided to start a quilt store right beside her husband’s service station in downtown Hayward. This station was called Hutch’s Service Corner. When the shop started, calico fabric was about all that was available for purchase. Thus the quilt shop name was born, Calico Hutch. Over time, the shop expanded and moved into it’s present location in a building which once housed a Bobcat dealership and service area. While there is no evidence of grease, your husband just might be willing to visit here with you if you let them know that Bobcats were once sold here.

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Calico Hutch has a staff of 20 to assist customers. In addition to a variety of fabrics, they have wool and hundreds of kits for your pastime pleasure. You can find more information about the store and their online shop on their website here.

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If you are a new quilter, Carolyn says to find a project you would like to do because, “If you like what you’re doing, it will be fun.”


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They also are a Bernina dealer.


I think I found the secrets to this shop’s success in a small town. Besides the friendly and helpful staff, they carry a wide variety of fabrics. Calico Hutch Quilt Shop is easily accessible off two major roads and has ample parking. In addition, they offer many classes,  8 clubs, bus trips, retreats, and participate in shop hops. All of this helps her customers stay current and active in quilting. Active quilters need fabric and when they need fabric a lot of them come to Calico Hutch Quilt Shop. You might like to, too. Oh, and when you do, say hi to Carolyn and the gals, and tell them Tu-Na sent you.



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If I chose a motto for Carolyn, it would be this one. Within the hour I spent with her, I sensed the drive, skill, and compassion that is making this shop successful in a small town.


Block for the Day

The sewing machine hasn’t left the car yet. I used my daughter’s machine when we were staying with them. I just haven’t had time to sew up today’s block. It didn’t take long for me to discover that I’d have to choose between sewing or writing. Writing won, for now.

What I Learned Today:

  1. My daughter still heeds and needs my advice. “When debating between two different patterns, buy them both so there’ll be no regrets later,” I told Emily at the quilt shop when she asked which of the two she should purchase. Later in the car, she announced that she was glad she had decided to buy both of them.
  2. My daughter’s laugh is just like mine. That’s what the gals at Bluffview Quilt Shop told us. We laughed a lot there.
  3. There really is some truth to the phrase “Like mother, like daughter,” at least in the areas of fabric purchases.
  4. There isn’t much time left after we find a hotel and eat dinner in the evenings. Maybe tomorrow will be different.

Question: Have you ever tasted or made a Kolachy? What can you tell me about them? I had two aunts who used to make them. However, they spelled it kolache, and made them because their husbands had grown up eating them. I remember those wonderful, light, and airy buns with poppy seed filling.

Thank you for all the wonderful comments! I am not able to answer each one yet. I do read and appreciate each one and there have been some that have set me to laughing. Keep them coming and eventually, I will respond, probably when I’m back home.

Giveaway Winner:

The Random Number picked the giveaway winner for the Christmas stocking and all the goodies:

Random number generation / Random Numbers

Generate number between 1 and 110 = 2

Jean McKinstry July 25, 2017 at 3:03 am

I met you during the 12 days of Christmas Blog hop, and you are now on my blog list, I follow you with Blogger. 

Congratulations to Jean McKinstry. Thanks to all for entering.

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

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 title. Click on the Shop Hop tab; in the drop down menu, click on 2016 Quilt MN Shop Hop Posts.

Linking to:

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Jo’s Country Junction

Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River

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
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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.


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.


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.


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:


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


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


  • 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.


  • Small apple buttons

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.


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.


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.


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.


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