Tag Archives: Quilt shop hop

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

We’ve returned from our sixth consecutive year of participating in the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. Tu-Na Helper survived another year of hopping with me. And do I ever have stories to share.

Continue reading

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five, 419 Miles, 10 Quilt Shops, 13 Remaining

Morning came early and we headed toward Randall to visit The Old Creamery Quilt Shop (I featured them in 2016 here). We both groaned when we pulled into the parking lot as it was filled with cars AND a bus!

Continue reading

Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 10 Quilt Shops, Only 49 Remaining

The 2018 Quilt Minnesota Adventure Begins

We arrived at Bluffview Quilt Shop just a few minutes past opening time to pick up our passports and begin this hop. It’s our fifth year of hopping around the state. The gals at Bluffview are just as friendly now as they were when I featured them two years ago (read it here). They told me that this years Quilt MN Shop Hop fabric is going fast. I was able to convince a few yards of the swans on teal background to fly into the car and I quickly closed the hatch to keep them there.

tunaquilts 16a

Continue reading

Tu-Na Travels: Day Six, 243 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 19 Shops Remaining

As we were leaving Wadena in the morning, I pointed to a quilt shop. “Oh, look! There’s one,” I excitedly exclaimed. We had already visited Hometown Crafts & Fabrics the day before but the shop that we were driving past just then was not listed on our passports to visit and I’d never been in it either. “If it’s not on the hop, we don’t stop,” reminded my husband. That was our mantra the three previous years we hopped around the state on the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. We’d repeat it in unison as we passed by non-participating shops. Sigh, I guess this year was no exception. I think it’s now become our motto and we’re sticking to it.

Finding our way through lake country was very interesting. Google maps on my husband’s cell phone told us to turn right onto a gravel road so we could head to the next quilt shop on our list in Park Rapids.

tunaquilts 3a

I raised my eyebrows and humphed, “This could be interesting.” When the Google Map’s app said to turn left onto another gravel road which looked less traveled than the one we were one, I knew we would be in for an adventure. But that adventure didn’t happen as we met a highway that took us directly to Monika’s Quilt and Yarn Shop.

tunaquilts 1a

You can find Monika’s Quilt and Yarn Shop at210 S. Main, Park Rapids, MN.

As I entered the shop, I couldn’t help but sense excitement building in the air. I noticed a grandmother helping her grandchildren pick out fabrics for a quilt project. I moved closer to listen to their conversation and soon I knew I’d found:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

As I roamed the store, I couldn’t help but notice a young man carrying bolts of fabric and talking to his grandmother about the colors. It was evident that this grandmother—Sue Harmon, a certified AQS quilt appraiser, teacher, lecturer, and a previous owner of a quilt shop in Illinois—has had years of experience in quilting and working with kids. She now lives in Park Rapids. Having started quilting in 1974, I suspect Sue is a master quilter who has sewn many quilts throughout the years. She shops at Monika’s frequently. Today, her two grandchildren had come along to pick out fabric. At first I thought Grandma Sue would be sewing the quilts for her grandchildren. My jaw dropped when I heard the truth; the kids would be sewing the quilts themselves. At a day and age when most young people are consumed with PS4s and texting friends, this was truly newsworthy.

Johnny Pfaff (no relation to the sewing machine empire although his mother wishes there was), age 12, lives in Illinois and was visiting his Grandma Sue in Park Rapids. Today, they’d come to Monika’s to buy fabric so he could sew up a generous size quilt to fit his twin bed at home.  With his grandma’s help, he’d already sewn a smaller quilt which he called a bed topper. Since he’s a growing young man, he was in need of making a larger quilt; one that he wants to sew by himself.

tunaquilts 15a

Johnny’s picked his fabrics and has his pattern drawn. I hope they send me a picture of the completed quilt.

He thought of the pattern and after looking through some quilt books, he set to drawing his design. He was very definite in the fabric colors he chose for the top. He picked blue to match his room but is still in the market for fabric with whales for the backing. Grandma Sue had to help him with his first quilt but he is determined to do this one completely by himself even though he knows it will be difficult. “Hopefully, I will get a little better,” he said. He’s already drawn the design and is prepared to start the cutting. This is one guy who knows what he wants and is determined to see it to completion. I have no doubt that it will be done with as little help as possible from Grandma Sue.

tunaquilts 12a

Johnny’s excitement for his new quilt project overflowed. I could barely write fast enough while he excitedly told me about his past projects and working on this new one.

Quilting or quilt blocks are not new to Johnny. We talked about some different block patterns and he pointed to a quilt behind me. “…like that friendship star,” he said. I turned and looked and that was exactly what it was. Johnny says that his goal is to someday make (spoiler alert for mom) his mom a Siamese cat quilt for her birthday.

Johnny told me that he’s already sewn pillowcases with whales on the fabric to match his bed topper. I knew that Grandma Sue had already introduced many sewing skills to him and he would be doing fine on his new project. I suspect that Grandma Sue won’t be too far away while he works on his project lending a hand or giving a suggestion when needed.

I asked Johnny what prompted him to make a quilt for himself. “I saw my cousin quilting and wanted to make my own.” Johnny’s cousin, Julia Harmon, also age 12, lives nearby to Grandma Sue. She came along today to pick out some border fabric for the quilt she just finished piecing. She had left the shop for a few minutes while Johnny and I talked and returned with a couple of pillows, one of which she just “whipped up this morning.”

tunaquilts 17a

Here’s Julia with some pillows she just finished. Julia chose the fabrics in the center for borders on her quilt. It will be beautiful. Send me a picture, too, when you’re finished.

When asked how many quilts she’s made, she had no idea, “three or maybe 5 or 6 but this is the biggest one.” She says she started with a pattern and made some adjustments. Julia told me, “This is the first quilt I’ve pretty much done by myself.” At this point I was very impressed with her skills and abilities.

tunaquilts 13a

Julia’s quilt top is so large that Grandma Sue had to help hold it. It’s beautiful and the workmanship is impressive.

However, she continued. “I’m still thinking about the center (how to quilt it)”. That’s right! She doesn’t just piece the tops, she also quilts them. She’s planning on quilting around the star and adding some swirls in the black squares and some wavy lines using free-motion quilting. “I enjoy doing it. It’s time consuming.” Yes it is, but with Grandma Sue as a role model and with her encouragement, I have no doubt that Julia will finish this project and start more.

Now this story gets even better. Julia’s sister, Alessia Harmon, age 9, dropped by to see what all the excitement was about over at the quilt shop. Grandma Sue started teaching the kids to sew early by letting them sit on her lap and push the pedal. Alessia was about three when it was her turn to learn. She sews accessories such as sleeping bags for her American Girl Dolls. Alessia continued, “I’ve made pillows, too.” Her goal is to make quilts to give away. About 6 months ago, she made a quilt for her little cousin, Johnny’s brother. “He uses it all the time,” Johnny added.

tunaquilts 36

Alessia showing her quilt. It’s perfect for a toddler and I understand it’s well-loved.

These are well-balanced kids. They also are active in sports. Johnny plays baseball, basketball, and wants to start either football or wrestling or both in the fall. He sees himself continuing to quilt for the fun of it. “I like quilting. It’s fun to do.” He’s an artistic person and wants to take acting classes to become an actor.

Julia has lots of hobbies and is also active in sports. She plays basketball, softball and runs cross country track. Julia is artistic as well and plans to make her room into an art studio. She also wants to learn to knit. I’m sure Monika could get her started with all the yarn selection she has in her store.

I felt honored and privileged to talk with these three, fine, young, people whose Grandma Sue lovingly and patiently taught them the skills they needed to sew and quilt. Under her guidance, she’s instilled in them a love for quilting. Thanks, Grandma Sue, for blessing your grandchildren with a love for fabric and quilting! You’ve given your grandchildren not only the love for but also the desire to sew pillows and quilts for themselves and others. Grandma Sue, with some help from Monika’s Quilt and Yarn Shop, is really an example of establishing a legacy of quilting love.

tunaquilts 18a

Me, Sue, Johnny, Alessia (in front), and Julia

Monika has owned her shop for 33 years. Originally, the shop started as an arts and crafts supply store offering framing services along with some gift items. It was housed in a building that once sold dresses.

tunaquilts 33a

As the business grew, Monika was able to purchase the adjacent bakery and renovate it to hold her expanding line of fabrics and yarns. “Best choice we ever made,” Monika remarked regarding her expansion and move towards selling only fabrics and yarns.

tunaquilts 30a

Monika’s has an extensive variety of yarns and supplies for your knitting needs.

Monika had great advice for new quilters which was very beneficial as there were two young quilters listening near by. She said:

  • Make sure you want to do it (quilting) because it becomes an addiction. It’s not a hobby, it’s a vocation.
  • Don’t be discouraged when you have little flaws. They become your creative license.
  • Interact with others to get the most satisfaction out of your work.
  • Give away some of the things you make and keep on sewing.

That’s great advice, for quilters of any skill level. Thanks, Monika!

tunaquilts 26a

Monika has a staff of 6 full and part-time employees. Her daughter is taking over many of the main duties. “About all I do now is toilets and checks,” Monika joked. I hardly doubt that as I saw her arranging muffins and fruit on the tray for shop hoppers, helping at the counter, and preparing for a group to arrive today on her day off. I suspect she just might have the energy level of the Energizer bunny.

tunaquilts 20a

Monika and I

Check out Monika’s website here for more info about this shop and the classes they offer. You will also find her bio in the about us tab. She’s written her personal story about growing up in communist East Germany. I wished I had read this before visiting as I would loved to have talked to her more. I will just have to visit again and with a sister living not too far away, it just might happen.

tunaquilts 32a

You will feel the warmth of a Northwoods Welcome when you visit. Oh, and when you do, say Hi! to Monika and tell her that Tu-Na sent you.

tunaquilts 27a

As we were leaving Park Rapids, my husband reached up to the rear view mirror. “I have to adjust the mirror so I can see out the back over the top of all that fabric,” he joked. It’s really not that bad but when I looked behind me I had to admit, there sure were a lot of bags.

Again we passed another quilt shop that wasn’t on the hop. That motto still held and we repeated the mantra, “If it’s not on the hop, we don’t stop.”

The next stop was Country Fabrics & Quilting in Brainerd. Chris Rosinger, a volunteer for the hop and a representative of the local Quilts of Valor group, stamped our passports and explained the quilt shop’s block program. For just a $2.00 donation, I could receive a kit to make the shop’s block. The shop let’s the Quilts of Valor group keep the money so they can purchase fabric and needed items to make quilts to present to service men and women. We felt that this was a worthy cause so Tu-Na Helper ran to the car to get some cash and I got two kits. You can read more about this national program here and find a local group if you would like to become involved. You could also stop by Country Fabrics & Quilting in Brainerd and leave a donation. They will be there through Sunday, August 13th.

tunaquilts 7a

Chris Rosinger and I beside an example of one of the Quilts of Valor quilts.

While in the store, Linda, a follower of Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats, caught up with me. While her sister was away looking at fabric, we snapped a pic together to make sister, Judy, jealous.

tunaquilts 10aa

This is Linda’s second year on the Quilt MN Shop Hop. She’s a new quilter because of it.

Last year, Judy convinced her sister, Linda, to come along even though she didn’t even quilt. Linda is from Indiana and traveled up to join her sister to drive to many shops. Well, she must have been bit by the quilting bug, too, as she started quilting in October and has already finished 7 quilts plus 2 baby quilts. What’s also impressive is that she’s back making her rounds to quilt shops and enjoying the shop hop with her sister, again. I guess she’s been bit quite badly as she has plans to convince her husband to come along next year and travel the whole state for the shop hop. I hope we meet again, next year.

At our last shop of the day, Colorz Quilt Shop in Baxter, we again caught up with Linda and Judy. This time I took a pic with Judy, while her sister, Linda was busy. After all, I don’t want to be the source of a sisterly spat.

tunaquilts 11aa

It was great fun talking with Judy and Linda (If either of you two want a pic without the comment bubble, leave me a comment with your email or send me an email thru the “contact me” tab above, and I’ll email one to you).

We also ran into some other followers of mine at the shop. Half the fun of the hop is meeting and talking with fellow shop hoppers and learning where they are from and how many shops they are planning to visit. Someone asked if we drive a motor home. I answered, “No, we drive a Prius. Do you know how much fabric a Prius holds?” “Too much,” replied my husband.

tunaquilts 22a

Score! I purchased two great fabrics from the clearance section. On the ground in front of me is the bag of 5″ charms of Quilt MN Shop Hop fabric and each store’s block pattern. I’m trying to stay organized until I get home and put each pattern in it’s own page protector.

I planned to sew tonight. After we checked into our hotel in Brainerd, my husband asked, “Do you want fast food, which will give you more time to sew, or a sit-down restaurant leaving less time.” My choice was to eat at a local restaurant called The Northern Cowboy located beside a lake just outside of Brainerd. The view was gorgeous and the food was delicious.

tunaquilts 6a

The chef had quite a challenge to cook something for me using my doctor prescribed dietary restrictions (low fat and no citrus, tomatoes, onions, chocolate, or alcohol–basically, if it looks or tastes good, I probably can’t eat it for the time being). But he accomplished it deliciously.

I still sewed a couple of blocks and cut out another one. Somehow, I figured I’d have more time to sew on this trip around the state. Maybe I should have investigated plugging my machine into the car, after all.

tunaquilts 34a

If this saying were true for me, I’d probably be getting a lot more sewing done. But I am finding myself at my machine more each day. This cute little block was found in a quilt displayed at Monika’s.

Block of the Day:

Today just seemed like a two block day.

tunaquilts 2a

This Quilts of Valor block kit was the one Chris at Country Fabrics & Quilting in Brainerd handed me. It went together very quickly. I thought about that group and how my little donation would give them a bit more fabric to make quilts to cover those service men and women with love.

tunaquilts 8a

I purchased this block kit, with an option to turn it into a potholder, from Red Pine Quilt Shop in Detroit Lakes. It sewed up quickly and is so appropriate for the theme of this year’s Quilt MN Shop Hop fabric line

What I Learned Today:

  1. There is no hope of changing our motto: If it’s not on the hop, we don’t stop.
  2. I am very good at eavesdropping. Had I not been, I would have totally missed this wonderful story about Grandma Sue and how she’s sharing her love and knowledge of quilting and sewing with her grandchildren.
  3. Quilting will continue with the next generation.
  4. From the look of the inside of our car, I am a very determined quilter with a fabric addiction.
  5. Now I have a phrase for my mistakes: my creative license. Thanks, Monika!
  6. Hotel rooms have poor lighting for sewing. I need to bring a sewing light along next time.

Question: Who quilts in your family? I come from a long line of quilters. My maternal as well as my paternal grandmothers, my mom, my mother-in-law, and now my daughter quilt.

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 but do plan to when I am home and recovered from the trip. Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement.

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

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

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five, 274 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 27 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, companies, or services that I mention here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats.

Linking to:

Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She

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.

tunaquilts 4a

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.

tunaquilts 3a

The shop was very busy and lines were long.

tunaquilts 1a

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.

tunaquilts 17a

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.

tunaquilts 13a

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.

tunaquilts 6a

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.

tunaquilts 5a

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.

tunaquilts 22a

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?”

tunaquilts 8a

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.

tunaquilts 7a

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.

tunaquilts 9a

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.

tunaquilts 16a

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.

tunaquilts 10a

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.

tunaquilts 14a

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.

tunaquilts 11a

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.

tunaquilts 12a

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.

tunaquilts 19a

The Block for the Day

tunaquilts 21a

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: The Last of the Loot–aka The Big Splurge

This is the last of the loot from my 2016 Quilt MN Shop Hop trip. Although these were things that weren’t on my list, they still followed my plan to like all that I buy. I couldn’t leave them behind so I splurged.

I’m sure it will be of no surprise to anyone that I found and bought cloud fabric. I was captivated by the Minnesota skies and took lots of sky pictures. You can see some  pictures here on Day TwoDay Five, Day Six, and Day Eight.


I’m thinking one of these would make a cute background for some hot air balloon blocks. What do you think?


I can’t have sky without including some water.



One can’t have sky and water without having some little rocks. I really needed this before and didn’t have it so I decided to make sure that doesn’t happen again.



I grew up on a wheat farm and had been eyeing this one since the collection was released. I almost bought it at one shop on the hop but decided to let it stay on the shelf. The next day, I heard it calling my name from the clearance section of a different shop. How could I ignore that?



Along the way I found some prints to add to my orange, brown, and green stash. How could I resist those coffee beans?



When I saw the fabric with dots, I saw sprinkles and I thought it would make cute ice cream cone or cupcake quilt blocks or a pincushion or two.



I already have slices of watermelon fabric in my stash and found these two pieces that would make a fun picnic quilt with it.



Here’s more great fabrics I found.



These were just too cute to pass up! I’m open to suggestions.



Just before I left home on the shop hop, I started a project using a green leaf fabric from my older stash. After cutting all the pieces, I decided it was just too thin to use so I found these two leaf prints on the hop. Since I couldn’t decide between them, I bought both.



Here’s the remnant I found on Day Six. I’m sure I’ll be needing a good quality gingham for a future project.



I’ve now decided that these two fabrics will become a pillow.



Here’s the Amazing Grace fabric that I’d given up hope of ever finding again. I previously bought 4 yards for a quilt back but you and I know that 4 yards isn’t nearly enough for a larger quilt. I was ecstatic to find 4 more yards of it on Day Six. Now I know I’ll have enough.



The following pic shows my all-time favorite fabric splurge on the hop. At the time of purchase, I had no idea what it might become.


I plan to use these one-yard cuts with some of the black and white for my challenge project for my AZ quilting group. They were on sale for 50% off. I should have bought more.


Now for some non-fabric splurge.


These were the only two patterns I bought. At one of the shops, we saw a finished labyrinth quilt and talked to the quilter that made it. She was picking it up from the longarm person after just having had it quilted. It looked fantastic. This Labyrinth quilt has been circulating around Facebook and I just couldn’t resist buying it for a future quilting project with my sisters. 



I found a magnetic lighted pin picker upper



which opens to this length to help reach pins in far away places. It’s already come in handy!



 I bought two spools of Superior thread and two spools of 100% Egyptian Cotton to try.


I splurged on the Mini Dresden Plate Template. I purchased this larger template at the same time as the Tiny one that I wrote about on So Where’s the Loot.


That’s all folks! I have no more loot to show you; it’s all been revealed. It was a fun trip and I’ve enjoyed telling you about it. But wait, I’ve planned a bit more fun.

Up Next: A guest post by Tu-Na Helper (my husband) regarding his thoughts and impressions of the shop hop trip.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Decision making is difficult for me.
  2. I made a lot of purchases on this shop hop trip.
  3. I definitely shop faster than I sew.
  4. The past two posts have been embarrassing but I’ll get over it.

Question: Do you plan first and then buy or buy now and plan later?

Linking to Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

and Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Tu-Na Travels: The Listed “Loot”

I left home for the Quilt MN Shop Hop this summer with a list in my purse and a song in my step. Granted, I added onto that list while I was on the hop but I just couldn’t figure out why my favorite pair of Birkenstock’s squeaked when I walked.

You’ve all been patiently waiting for my next loot post so I hope I don’t disappoint you.  If you need to catch up with that fun quilting shop hop trip, catch the links on this post and then here, here and here.

First, lets take a look at the list of things my mom wanted me to find for her: Airplane fabric, two spools of Aurifil thread, and a Sewline Fabric Pencil. Mission accomplished.



The airplane fabric on the right was the first score on the trip at the very first shop. One thing crossed off the list. “But I need more than one yard,” mom said when I excitedly told her later that day that I’d found some airplane fabric on clearance. So I spent the next 6 days looking for more. We found almost identical fabric but with smaller planes. I took all that was on the bolt–almost two yards.

The big item on my list was fabric for a Minecraft quilt for my oldest grandson who is seven and enjoys playing that computer game. He’s already picked out the blocks he wants from the pattern on the Seriously, I Think It Needs Stitches blog. On the shop hop, we found lots of solids and other interesting fabric for me to use for that quilt. I will have a nice selection to choose from when I begin that project.



One yard cuts of every color of the rainbow in these two pictures. Yes, I know there’s probably enough for three quilts here.


But I still need to buy some black–a lot of black for the sashing and borders and back. When we got to the quilt shop in Mankato, I found red, blue, and yellow Color Union by Robert Kaufman. They were out of that perfect black and so I searched and asked at each of the remaining 47 shops if they had any but sadly it was not to be found. I guess I’ll be doing some online searching now.


One of my readers asked me if there was anything that I’d bought on the hop that I now scratch my head and wonder “why on earth” or “what was I thinking?” I originally purchased these three 1-yard cuts for use in the minecraft quilt, but now I am scratching my head and wondering why on earth, what was I thinking?

I also listed more black and white fabrics to add to my black and white quilt. I have enough for a king-sized quilt (which I was planning to make anyway) and probably a couple more smaller size ones too. My Arizona quilting group has a black and white and one other color challenge this year. I think I’m all set in the black and white department.



More one yard cuts to add to my collection. Do you see a theme here? I really do like daisies. Can you tell?


A couple more interesting ones.


And my favorite! Why did I buy only 1 yard?

1930 Repro fabrics were also on my list. I looked for them last year and they were hard to find and when I did find them most of them were on clearance. Which was very good for last year. This year more stores had them but I didn’t find many in the clearance section. Which was not very good for this year.



Thirteen cuts of one yard each. Yes, I know I picked up a duplicate. See the ones on each of the ends. Now, how did that happen?


Twelve more yards of fun prints.

I also had this iron cleaner on the list. I bought some of these sheets last year as a notion promotion and was hoping I’d find more this year. I should have taken two.



Have you used this yet? It works great!

Aurifil thread was on my list so I bought two spools.



Cream and gray are the only colors I seem to use lately. I probably should have bought more of these, too.

Oh, I was so excited to find these wonderful perfect little scissors by Karen Kay Buckley. Yes, they were on my list! They are very pointed and very sharp and have a tendency to become lost. I bought two last year on the hop and one the year before. I gave mom a pair last year. I have already lost both of mine. So this year I bought two more and they were even on sale. With my history of losing things, I should have bought a few more. 



Have you tried these? I really like them. Mom informed me today that she can’t find hers either.

I looked and asked at each shop for fabric that portrayed prairie with rocks so that I can make another covered wagon block like this one. Having previously bought only a fat quarter of that perfect prairie with rocks, there isn’t enough to make another block. I began the search and found the piece below on day 7.



While it’s close to what I used before, this one has more rocks and more green grass than I’d like. However, I took one yard anyway, just in case I didn’t find anything better.

That was the extent of the list but not the extent of this big pile. I still have more to reveal.




Up next: The Big Splurge (The things that weren’t on my list but still followed my plan to like all that I buy so I couldn’t leave them behind)

Coming Soon: Guest post by Tu-Na Helper (my husband) regarding his thoughts and impressions of the shop hop trip.

What I Learned Today:

  1. If I think I might use it, buy enough the first time.
  2. A fat quarter is not enough in most cases.
  3. Label my scissors just like in kindergarten. Oh, and also label my mom’s.
  4. Some scissors seem to have legs.

Question: What have you lost lately?

Tu-Na Travels: The 2016 Quilt Minnesota Fabric Loot

This post continues with my journey on the 2016 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. In case you want to catch up with all the fun and frivolity, click here to find a link to the free and almost free loot and click here to find a link at the bottom of the page to all the posts about the daily top shops on the hop posts. Now on with the loot disclosure.

This fabric line is a one-time only printing. When the shops run out, it is gone forever.


My husband said, “Share the love.” So I divided up what I wanted and took 2 yards of the orange hash from three different shops.


I said in a previous post that I prefer the hunt and find method to pre-ordering this fabric line. It’s the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.


Two 2 yard cuts of the brown hash and 1 1/2 yards of the green hash made it into the basket.


This approach doesn’t guarantee that I’ll end up with any of this fabric collection, but then again, it is exciting.


These 2 yard cuts will be nice in my MN Quilt but will also work well with other quilts.


This year I was fairly successful in finding what I wanted.


I’m thinking that 1 yard of each of these cuties will be used up all too fast. What was I thinking? It’s also the agony of regret.


It’s always interesting to see which fabric is the most sought-after fabric from the collection. Which will be the one that quilters chase after and regret not buying more of?


I did get bit by these cute bugs and took 2 yards each.


This year there were several: the mosquitoes and the colored fish were gone in a few days.


I got it! At some of the first shops we stopped at, I asked which fabrics they thought would be sell-outs. This one was predicted by three shops. So as soon as I found it, I bought a yard. But….




…a yard is so little. So I found another shop and bought 2 yards. Then my daughter-in-law called and asked if I’d get her some. “I’ll take even a fat quarter if you find some,” she said. It had been 4 days since we had seen any colored fish. Later in the week we found some at a remote shop in the lakes area. So I bought her a yard and took another yard for myself.


Since the colored fish were sold out, someone came up with a brilliant solution to use fabric crayons to color the plain fish. After posting this idea on the Quilt MN Facebook page, it then created a shortage of the plain fish.


Luckily, I had already reeled in 2 yards.


From the Quilt Minnesota Facebook page, many people are still looking for the orange and brown hash too. I was also successful in  catching some other cute fun fabrics from this collection.



Canoes in light and dark–one yard each.



And oars to go with the canoes. Two 2 yard cuts of the brown and 2 yards of the blue oars.


The 2016 MN fabric line had 26 prints, a panel of 4 blocks and a pictorial stripe. While I didn’t get some of each of them—I never intended to, I did get what I liked and wanted to use.


One yard of the blue Trillium and two of the green.



One yard of the orange and two of the blue.


My husband spied a quilt that he liked at one of the shops. I decided he deserved to have one after going with me on this trip. So I’ll use the colored fish and several other prints from this collection to make a special one for him. I also have a couple of other quilt patterns in mind for this collection.   



I just couldn’t resist adding another yard and a half of these hungry looking guys. No bug spray is necessary when using this fabric.


What I Learned Today:

  1. I’d better start sewing a lot faster.
  2. Mosquitos on fabric are a lot nicer than mosquitos on the arm.
  3. Maybe pre-ordering isn’t such a bad idea (Nah-probably not going to happen).

Question: Do you shop faster than you sew or sew faster than you shop?

Linking with

Beth at Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday (Button on the sidebar)

Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social (Button on the sidebar)

Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework

Tu-Na Travels: The Free and Almost-Free Loot

Was it just my own mom, or did yours, too, prolong the agony on Christmas Eve? Before we could open gifts, we had to have every dish, pot, pan, and cookie sheet washed, dried, and put away. There were a lot of them because she had been making Christmas cookies all day long.

I’ve read from your comments that a lot of you have been wondering and waiting patiently for me to unwrap and reveal  my loot from my 2016 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop.  Click here to find a link towards the bottom of the page that lists all the posts about that fun trip.

Let’s see just what snagged my line and made me cast my credit card to be netted and put in that cool treasure chest pictured on my last post. First up is the FREE STUFF! ’cause we all love FREE!

Each of the 72 participating shops provided every shop hopper with an 8″ finished pattern designed by their shop.


Here’s all 72 patterns I got!

Each shop on the hop also gave each hopper a 5″ square of the 2016 Quilt Minnesota Fabric.


I got from 1-4 squares of each of 25 prints. I was only missing one print-the parchment.

Here’s some close-ups of my favorites. Did I take the bait or keep on swimming by? You will find out on the next post whether I was able to catch any or regret not having pre-ordered. I can’t reveal all my woes or I’ll have nothing left to write. In the meantime, I have loads of free and almost-free stuff to reveal.


The colored fish would be the first one to sell-out within a few days after the shop hop started. Will I have predicted it and bought early on the hop or not?



Cute little retro campers would also be in short supply. These could also be found with an olive background, if you were lucky.


Everyone also loved those mosquitoes in either the tan or aqua background. Who could resist those buggy eyes? Obviously no one, since it also was a sell-out. Did I get bit or was I left sitting on the bank wishing I would have thrown in the line a little earlier?

All of the participating shops on the hop were also participating in the Row by Row and I used this opportunity to collect the patterns from all….


except one shop, that is. There’s only 71 Row by Row patterns here. We were so excited to check out at one shop and get the incentive prize that we forgot to ask for their Row by Row pattern. It’s too far off the beaten path to return to again. It was a really nice one though and it gets even nicer as I dream about the one that got away.

In an effort to keep organized in the beginning of the hop, my husband and I each used a gallon zip-lock plastic bag to hold our patterns and fabric squares. We were delighted to receive this vinyl and canvas zippered pouch as our first incentive prize as it held our patterns and fabric squares nicely. We could be seen emerging from the car with the pouch in hand heading straight for the shop door.



It also held the Row by Rows that we were collecting. I also had room in mine to keep a yard or two of fabric that I was trying to match. Here’s how stuffed it was with 72 shop patterns, 72 fabric squares, and 71 Row by Row patterns.

Hingeley Road Quilt Shop in Floodwood, MN went above and beyond in providing us hoppers with patterns. They’ve published several quilt pattern books and gifted each hopper with a 40 page book which includes 15 quilt patterns including one that I have my eye on to use with those new Quilt MN fabrics. This was in addition to their fabric square and 8 inch block pattern! Thank you Hingeley Road Quilt Shop. I look forward to seeing you again. 


In the book, Melissa says “……….my philosophy has always been: A quilt is a sum of your experiences and memories of creating and making it. Quilts are made for the enjoyment and experience, not for perfection. That crooked quilted line is because my 3 year old wanted attention  and pulled on the quilt top, that point is cut off because I had to hurry to meet the school bus, those are the things I think of when I look at my quilts-not ‘I should have been more precise’ life is too short for perfection-just enjoy the experience.”

Many of the stores provided us with bottles of water, coffee, fruit (bananas and cuties), snack mixes, granola bars, chips, cookies, candy and chocolate. We appreciated those sweet little treats for us weary shop hoppers. Some of the shops also gave us fun little freebies to take.


Here’s what’s left of the candy. My husband found a flattened Rice Krispies Treat in his pouch. (I told him it would taste just as good and offered to test it for him; he didn’t fall for it either.) Anderson Factory Outlet and Quilt Shop provided the mini retractable tape measure (it will be handy in my tackle box, err purse), nail file and notepad. The Quilted Ladybug and Rather Bee Quilting gifted us with pens. This is Sew Broadway included a notepad with our Quilt Minnesota patterns and fabric squares.


There was a shop that included a thank-you with my purchase.


Thank you ABC’s of Quilting in Grand Rapids, MN for that sweet little fat-eighth. it’s perfect for my black and white project.


The Metro section was giving free charms with a $10.00 purchase and I netted some.


The fish is just a scale width over 3/4″.  These probably will be sewn onto a project since I don’t wear bracelets. Three more charms are hiding in a safe place. I didn’t want to lose them and now I can’t find them! I sure hope they’re not in my tackle box (purse) as they will be lost forever!

The incentive prizes from each section were a really big catch.


Northwest Section-12 Batik fat quarters: Northeast Section-Layer cake (21 10″ squares) of Flannels: North Central Section-Snack Pack of 42 2.5″ x 44″ strips (We had our choice of snacks and we each selected the red and white without consulting the other.): East Central Section-9 solid color fat quarters: Central-lunch box:  Southeast Section-Zippered Vinyl and Canvas Pouch and 5 quilt patterns: Southwest Section-12 fat quarter bundle: Metro Section-entered into a drawing to win some fabulous prizes. If one of us wins, you’ll be some of the first to know.

It’s official; we are now part of the SWAT TEAM!


A fun little prop from Fabrics Plus, Marshall, MN that I used as a personal fan until my husband decided to use it to swat a fly.

Now onto the really good deals that seemed ALMOST FREE.

The best deal I found was at DeAnn’s Country Village Shoppe in Litchfield, MN. They were having a sale in their demolition room (clearance). So for just $3.00 per yard (that’s correct—no typo), I was able to catch two excellent quality backings for quilts. However, this could also be the “fish that got away” as I wish I would have bought even more!


The orange with white dot is 7.75 yards of Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Joanna Figueroa for Moda. The text print on the right is Odds and Ends by Julie Comstock for Moda.

I was working on a project before we left and this text print would be perfect. So I reeled it in and said I’d take all that was on the bolt! It was a whopper at 8.5 yards.



In case you’ve been thinking that I’ve just been lying around resting since we got home, I will let you know that I now only have 3 yards of that text print left.


But that’s another upcoming post with an interesting story that I will warn you will require a box of tissue.



I only bought 3 fat quarters on the trip this year compared to the 125 I bought last year.


Those two green fat quarters were a steal of a deal at only $1.50 each at Anderson Factory Outlet and Quilt Shop in Blackduck, MN.

Each store in the Central Section had a special Dollar Ditty promotion. If you spent $10.00, you could purchase the promoted item for just one dollar more. I purchased  some of them. Since the policy was one ditty per person, I did what every devoted quilter would do. I divided my purchases in two so my husband could also buy some.


The seam gauge and measuring gauge together counted as one dollar ditty from Cottage Quilts & Fabrics in Elk River, MN. I’ll keep the little sewing kit in the car as we live by the Boy Scout motto “Always Be Prepared.”


Finally, some of the stores even gave us “invitations” to come back. How can I say no?


Coming up next: A look at which of the 2016 Quilt Minnesota Fabrics didn’t get away. But first I have some zucchini that needs freezing and now the crab apples are ripe enough for making jelly. 

What I Learned Today:

  1. Free is always fun!
  2. Life is too full of regrets. Fabric at $3.00/per yard is an incredible deal. I should have bought more. Next time shop more so there are less regrets.
  3. I still worry about perfect seams.

Question: What was the best deal you ever found?


Tuesday to Connie at Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday

and Sew Cute Tuesday

Wednesday to Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social (button on the sidebar)

and Silly Mama Quilts for Work In Progress

and Friday with Busy Hands Quilt for Finished or Not Friday (button on the sidebar)

and Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Tu-Na Travels: So Where’s “The Loot”?

Hi-ho, thar buckos!



Tu-Na’s Treasure Chest. Actually, my sister found my hiding place when she came shop hopping with us for Day 8. She peeked inside to see what was for lunch.


’tis be Cap’n Tu-Na tellin’ ye that I have th’ loot counted, ‘n safely stowed.



She sure was surprised! I called it my “high fiber” diet.


Thar’s much more thar than I thought. ’tis just taken much longer than expected. Be back in a day or a pair wit’ th’ first ‘o th’ loot from me 2016 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop to show ye. In th’ meantime, here’s a couple a pictures to whet ye appetite!



Were you thinking that was all?




Look what was waiting for me when I arrived home! Inside the envelope was the tiny Dresden plate template that I bought along the hop at the Spinning Spools  Quilt Shop in New Ulm, MN. They were sold out but said they’d ship it when it was back in stock. I’d forgotten I ordered it so it was a nice surprise to have it waiting for me along with a hand-written note from the owner. It will be perfect for my 1930s repro fabric.



In addition to taking lots of pictures, I’ve had a pressing project to work on, too.



I’ll show you this project soon; I promise.


And these giants need some tending. The garden produce got out of hand while we were gone. 



I’m thinking Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries, Zucchini Brownies, and Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread; my husband is thinking compost.


Stay tuned for Part Two of “The Loot—The Free and Almost-Free Stuff” coming up soon. Yes, I came across some really good deals—so good, in fact, that they made me think I was a pirate; I’ve got the credit card debt to prove otherwise! If you haven’t caught up with all my Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop adventures, you’ll see the list here.

What I Learned Today:

  1. The cooler holds more than I thought.
  2. The cooler made a good storage place after the garden produce was left at my daughter’s.
  3. Receipts add up faster than I thought.
  4. 380 pictures of loot are a lot to weed out and edit.
  5. The loot—it’s almost embarrassing.

Question: What do you do with overgrown zucchini?

Linking Sunday to Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh, Scrap!

Monday to Beth at Cooking up Quilts for Main Crush Monday (Button on the sidebar) and Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making