Tag Archives: Quilt shop hops

Tu-Na Travels: Day Seven, 398 Miles, 4 Quilt Shops, 0 Remaining!

The loons did not call us to arise as they had last year (read that post here) but we awoke before the alarm sounded anyway. We both sighed — for me it meant that my shop hop fun was coming to a close and for Tu-Na Helper it meant that his fun could now begin.

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Tu-Na Quilts: Day Three, 346 Miles, 9 Quilt Shops, 31 Remaining

Oops, Finishing Day Two

Maybe it’s my imagination or maybe it’s not but this year’s route seems to be flowing so much better and faster. The first two days found us visiting a fair amount of shops each day because we were able to get to shops that open at nine in the morning and then to several that were open far into the evening. This really helps to get us moving down the list but it sure makes for a long, tiring day and a short night. 

That being said, I now have leverage to admit that I forgot to mention that we checked out of the Metro section last night (day 2 post). It was about 7 pm when we arrived at Eagle Creek Quilt Shop in Shakopee. I featured them a couple of years ago (read their interesting story here).

A class was in process but I still was able to look around at the shop samples; ask if they had the pattern, A Little Bit Shorter Tall Tree, that was on my list; leisurely browse the clearance fabrics; and make a purchase before we got our passports stamped and received our incentive prize for finishing the Metro section.

However, I need to apologize to the lady waiting to use the restroom. Since the classroom tables usually hold the clearance fabrics, the staff had stacked the many bolts alongside one wall inside the single-use, spacious restroom and I took the opportunity to “kill two birds with one stone” albeit a little too leisurely.

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We each received a mesh bag for completing the Metro section. There were only 8 shops in this section which is down from 11 a few years ago. Several quilt shops have closed but some have decided not to participate. Tu-Na Helper still abides by his motto, “If they’re not on the hop, we don’t stop.” I guess he has to draw the line somewhere.

Now, Let’s Start Day 3

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Tu-Na Travels: Day Seven, 259 Miles, 6 Shops, Only 13 Shops Remaining

Today would be a shorter day for shop hopping. My husband had a video conference meeting he needed to attend and had made plans to do so at the Brainerd Public Library. But before that started, we took an early morning drive to Randall to see The Old Creamery Quilt Shop. I featured it last year and I was excited to get back (you can read about it here).

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There’s been a lot of changes at The Old Creamery Quilt Shop in a year. I noticed the new handicap accessible ramp on the front as we walked to the entrance which will make this quilt shop accessible to all and helpful for those dragging their rolling sewing machine bags. Carl, the husband of Linda one of the owners, showed us the new classroom on the main level that he is finishing as well as the longarm studio and the space where the knitters and weavers meet upstairs. We peered out the window at the new Woolen Mill that will be opening soon. Lots of changes and lots of fun happening here.

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We found this sign at the check-out counter. Tu-Na Helper thought this wording would be more appropriate.

 We checked out of the North Central Region in Randall and received our incentive prizes of fat quarter bundles.

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We each received a 12 fat quarter bundle by Paintbrush Studios. I selected the one on the left and my husband chose the black, white, and red. I like fabric prizes!

All too soon, we needed to leave and return to Brainerd in time for the meeting. I joked about getting to see the view again but this time coming from the other direction and in the rain.

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While my husband attended his meeting, I looked around the library. Quilts were hanging from the ceiling.

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These quilts are a sampling of the quilts made by volunteers for Quilts for Kids based in Pequot Lakes. The group started in 1990 and makes 250-300 quilts each year to give to kids in need in the Brainerd Lakes area.

 Soon we were on our way to Aitkin Quilts & Fabrics in Aitkin where we met Kari Meyer. She’s doing the shop hop, too, and wanted a picture with Tu-Na. I am thrilled that my readers have been enjoying my stories and posts.

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Hi, Kari! Thanks for reading my blog and following me. Did you finish the hop yet? How many shops did you visit?

This small town has two quilt shops to visit so after we were finished, we headed to Sew Much & More. Ina was digging in a tub of scraps when I walked into the shop. I walked around for a couple of minutes, just to be polite, before skipping my way over to the tub. Those were scraps that I wanted. Things started out cordially at first.

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Hi, Ina! Nice to meet you. Can I have that one, please?

And then they got a little heated.

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Just kidding. Ina was looking for strings to make a string block quilt and I was looking for small pieces or triangles that would be big enough to cut 1.5″ pieces for my postage stamp quilt. We helped each other find scraps. All too soon, we said our goodbyes and were on our way.

Today was rainy and cold and we had a bit of a drive to get to Wahkon where our next shop would be. I’ve visited there before but have always been curious why the owners selected the name: Country Caboose Quilts. So when I entered the building, I asked. Kim answered and then I knew I’d found:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

Back in 1995, Kim had opened Country Caboose Crafts and Quilts in a Soo Line train caboose right on their property. She sold handmade gifts made by herself and area artists. In 2003, Kim’s husband offered to let her take over the front half of his garage so she could expand her business. Luckily for us, she accepted his offer and added 30 bolts of fabric to her inventory. Within a year, she decided to discontinue the craft items and increase the fabric inventory to become a full-fledged quilt shop. They’ve  since added onto the garage to increase her space making room for Kim to expand her inventory to over 3500 bolts of fabric and over 1000 patterns.

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Country Caboose Quilt Shop is located at 108 South Main Street, Wahkon, MN.

The fate of the caboose that stood on their property took a turn for the worse, or the better depending on how you look at it, when the tracks needed repairing and the cost to make those repairs was more than Kim and her husband wanted to spend. They sold the caboose to a historical society and it was moved to Lakeville to be restored. It was then set in it’s permanent location in Northfield where the caboose was originally placed on the tracks about 100 years ago. If you visit the caboose in Northfield, you will see it all shiny and yellow now and “not the red that it was painted originally”. Kim should know as she had lived beside it and worked in it for awhile.

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If you exit through the rear of the shop, you will enter a working garage. Kim’s husband tinkers and works on projects there, while Kim is on the other side folding fabric and chatting with her customers.

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In addition to selling fabric and patterns, Kim offers a longarm quilting service. She was quilting on a longarm before she opened her shop. Kim started sewing at the age of 5. Her mother brought her upholstery samples from Dayton’s Home Store and she turned them into quilts for her brothers.

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Kim advices new quilters to start small and not to jump in over their head. She teaches baby and lap quilts classes and suggests those sizes make good first projects. She says quilting is a great hobby as you meet people and share ideas.

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While I was in the shop, a new shop hopper filled out his passport and Kim handed him a packet.

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The pocket folder contains her shop’s block hop pattern, a 5″ charm square of the Quilt MN Shop Hop fabric, her longarm quilting service information, the Quilt MN Shop Hop newspaper with map, and the passport. That’s a nice way to send shop hoppers beginning at her shop on their way.

Each year, Kim usually uses the same block pattern titled “Railroad Crossing” for the shop hop. That block name is fitting for her store. You can see it on the left in the picture above.

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Thanks for telling me your story, Kim.

For more information about this shop, see their website here. It just might be worth going out of your way to see it. Oh, and when you do, tell Kim Hi! and say Tu-Na sent you.

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Kim received this Quilt Starter as a gift. It’s filled with genuine cotton seeds, just in case she wants to make another quilt or plant a cotton field.

We turned our Prius, now much heavier than when we had come, towards the next shop on our route. We arrived at Quarry Quilts, which I featured last year here. This shop is just as amazing as I remembered it from last year but a lot fuller with expanded inventory and Toni is just as friendly. I bought an unofficial Row by Row kit that fits this year’s theme “On the Go” perfectly. You’ll just have to wait a couple of months until I can reveal it.

We found a room at the Days Inn in Moose Lake for the night. Kathy’s Country Square was closed for the day but we’ll be visiting there first thing in the morning. We don’t usually reserve hotels ahead of time on the shop hop. At times it can be a bit stressful wondering if we’ll be spending the night in the car. In all the years that we’ve done the hop, we’ve never had to.

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This foyer is decorated in the Northwood’s theme found in upper Minnesota. I never realized a moose’s head was so tiny.

We ate supper at Gampers, a restaurant and bowling alley. I must have sat in the right booth as my paper placemat sported an ad for the Quilted Dog which we would be visiting the next day.

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Then it was back to the hotel for a bit of sewing and some sleep. Hopefully, the sun will shine tomorrow. On our way, we found a new use for canoes.

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Do you think Tu-Na Helper would miss our canoe if I turned it into a flower bed?

Block of the Day

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I purchased this block kit from the Old Creamery Quilt Shop. It sewed together easily. There was no title on the pattern, but Tu-Na Helper and I think “The Aquarium” fits or maybe “Fisherman’s Dream.”

What I Learned Today:

  1. “Food is emotional,” said a speaker on the radio as we were driving along. I agree with that statement and my husband probably would, too. I haven’t had chocolate, a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee for almost 2 months. Need I say more?
  2. The raisins in Sam’s Club Trail Mix are so huge I had to read the label to see what they were. Prunes, I thought; no, jumbo raisins, it said.
  3. I have to keep my eyes open so I don’t miss seeing something interesting along the route. The movement of the car tends to lull me to sleep or maybe I’m getting tired. After all, shopping is hard work for hoppers, too.
  4. I must be doing my traveling job well. My husband does the driving so my job is to stash the trash and pass out the snacks and lunch from the cooler: trail mix, pretzels, carrot sticks, yogurt, and herbed popcorn from Trader Joes. At least Tu-Na Helper hasn’t fired me yet.

Question: When you travel do you plan ahead and reserve rooms or tickets or do you plan to let happen as it may? Since we don’t know where we’ll end up at the end of shopping hours, we risk it and don’t reserve a room. Some vacations are well-planned but this one is just “fly by the seat of our pants.”

I read and appreciate every comment I receive. I’ve either been busy writing posts or shopping or sewing up those blocks so I  haven’t had time to reply but I 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

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

Sunday Stash at quiltpaintcreate

 

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five, 274 Miles, 8 Shops, Only 27 Shops Remaining

Just as I expected, morning came early.

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There is nothing better than a bowl of piping hot oatmeal topped with spoonfuls of brown sugar, raisins, chopped nuts and some milk to get the tired body ready for another busy day of traveling and shop hopping.

Even the countryside seems to be decorated for the quilt shop hop. We had seen a barn quilt yesterday, too, but weren’t able to get a picture as we were in a hurry. Visit this site for a quilt trail map to see more barn quilts located in several counties in Minnesota and watch a video of how those painted quilt blocks were hung in Carver County.

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We saw this barn quilt on the road between Litchfield and Kimball.

Our second shop of the day, Gone to Pieces in Kimball, had me very excited. My husband noticed the scrap bin in the back and I accepted the challenge to stuff that snack bag full.

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I’m collecting scraps for my 1.5″ postage stamp quilt. I’ve cut and sewed several thousand already but have still more to go. I stuffed this snack Ziploc bag as full as I could make it and then added a few more pieces for good measure.

I needed a bit of help in getting it closed so while my fabric was being cut, Tu-Na Helper rose to the challenge and did his little magic of pushing and shoving that fabric into place. He worked and worked and finally presented the sealed bag. We all cheered. It was mighty full.

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It took him awhile but he managed to get it closed. It stayed put long enough for us to pay, say our goodbyes, and get out the door. I also saw a good idea for making a ruler tote which I will work on at home.

We would be checking out of the Central region at Gruber’s Quilt Shop so we turned our Prius towards Waite Park. When we arrived, we were cheerfully greeted and had our passports stamped. Who could this gal behind the desk be? She was so full of energy and happiness. I had to find out. We received our incentive prizes: a Sewing Tidy and a Bangle.

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We each received a Sewing Tidy and a Bangle. What’s a bangle? It’s that cute little metal plaque with a wire hanger bearing the state of MN.

Being the inquisitive type that I am, I started talking and asking some questions. This gal knew the answers. It was then that I knew I’d found:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

This story is about making a dream come true. For awhile now, I’ve been wondering how Quilt Minnesota and the Shop Hop idea started. I didn’t need to wait long to find out more. That smiling, exuberant gal behind the desk, knew all the answers.

Almost twenty years ago, Sue Poser had a dream of starting a statewide shop hop. She had been approached by Eileen Taylor, a representative of Moda Fabrics, about starting a statewide shop hop. Finally, after 5 years of thinking and hoping and wondering, Sue presented the idea to a tri-state meeting of quilt shop owners. It was unanimous. 100% of the shops were behind her. Sue worked to get the idea going in Minnesota. Business is slow for quilt shops in the summer in Minnesota, so a shop hop in August would help boost business as well as increase exposure for the shops. I am sure this dream needed a lot of hard work and long hours from Sue and a lot of support from the shops in the state to make this dream a reality.

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This year Quilt Minnesota celebrates it’s 11th annual shop hop. Sue had been instrumental in starting it and keeping it going all these years. She has now passed on the business baton to another shop owner and is confident that the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop will continue getting bigger and better each year. Sue’s enthusiasm and exuberance for the Quilt MN Shop Hop as well as for her own shop and personal life is unmatched. I think she leaves big shoes to fill.

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Gruber’s central location in the state made it a natural choice for getting a statewide hop started.

The Quilt MN Shop Hop has seen more shop hoppers participating each year. Each year more of them have finished visiting all the participating shops in the whole state. Seventy-five people completed the shop hop last year with this year’s figures still driving all around the state getting their passports stamped, buying yards of fabric, and seeing quilting inspiration unparalleled in any state. It’s still not too late to complete at least three sections to try to win some prizes. The Quilt MN Shop Hop continues through August 13th.

According to Sue, the grand prize of an Alaskan Cruise is really meant to satisfy the men belonging to the quilters. While a quilting cruise might be a perfect prize for many quilters, the trip to Alaska would be of interest to both the gals as well as the guys. The guys, who escort their quilting wives or send them with friends to explore the many quilt shops all around the state of Minnesota and spend enormous amounts of money, would appreciate a trip and a cruise. This trip for two appeals to all ages and even for those who aren’t married (participants must be over 18 years of age to be eligible for state level prizes).

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Sue (Gruber) Poser is the present owner of Gruber’s Quilt Shop. She is the third generation of Grubers to own and work in the store. Sue’s grandfather started Gruber’s as a general store in 1932 in a tiny town called Genola (population 97) located about 35 miles from today’s present location. That first store not only sold groceries but also had an award winning meat market. Sue remembers it as “a real Laura Ingalls store where you could buy anything and everything including fabric.”

About 20 years ago, Gruber’s moved to downtown St. Cloud. When the opportunity arrived a few years later, Sue quickly decided to branch out and create a quilt shop in Waite Park. She didn’t have to think long about it. Quilting was in her blood. “I love quilting. My grandmother taught me when I was 5 years old. I made yo-yos.” She continued, “A bad day ends good if you’re quilting. I do it one fat quarter at a time.”

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Here’s the bargain room. I have to admit that I shop at the clearance sections first. I often find quality name-brand fabrics that I could use.

She presently has a staff of 20 full and part time employees including a 4th generation Gruber, her daughter, working right along side her in the shop. Sue boasts that 7 of her staff are pattern designers. 

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After shopping the clearance section, I shop the regular priced fabrics and quilting notions looking for items on my list.

Gruber’s has been in in its present location for 15 years after moving into this vacated furniture store. The painter decided the space above the quilt shop door needed just a little something extra so Sue gave him permission to do what he wanted. She was surprised at what she saw and a bit unsure if it should stay.

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You will see this sign just above the door as you enter the shop from the interior courtyard. I had to admit to Sue that the first time I stopped at Gruber’s four years ago on the shop hop, I walked around the shop and with each corner I turned or doorway I walked through, my eyes got bigger and my jaw dropped more. I left empty-handed. I was overwhelmed. When I was back home after that first visit, I thought about that shop and couldn’t wait to get back to it to explore it further. There definitely is truth in that sign so be prepared to be overwhelmed when you enter or as Tu-Na Helper says, “Enter at your own risk. You may not find your way out for a very long time.”

Gruber’s tagline “The Quilt Shop for Every Quilter” matches the 10,000+ bolts of fabric and many quilting supplies as well as a yarn shop found within its walls. Click here to go to Gruber’s website to find out more info about this quilt shop as well as tour their online store.

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Sue has seen a resurgence of knitting interest with the younger generation. Half of her staff knits.

Sue’s advice for new quilters is to find a group to sew with. She says, “It’s (sewing) social. Sew with friends.” I know that quilters make very good friends.

Gruber’s offer a variety of classes in their well-lit classroom. About 15 years ago, a retreat center was started to meet the needs of quilters who like to sew and socialize. Sue said that I had just missed seeing Amanda Jean Nyberg as she had been there over the weekend (I am a follower of hers at Crazy Mom Quilts). The retreat center has room for 15 quilters to sew, snack, and sleep. That sounds pretty good to me.

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The classroom

Other quilting celebrities and important people have visited Gruber’s. Back in 2004, the shop received a phone call. “This is the White House calling.” Sue’s daughter, who had taken the call, suspected it to be a political call and hung up the phone. Luckily for Gruber’s, they called back but this time asked not to be hung up on again. Laura Bush wanted to come and visit a successful small business run by a woman. The visit was arranged and Mrs. Bush came to Gruber’s in August of that year. She spoke to female business owners right there in the courtyard. Read more about her visit here. There is a link to listen to her remarks, too.

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Gruber’s prides itself in taking care of the husbands that come along with their quilting wives. They’ve installed a TV and some leather chairs for the guys in the large courtyard. “If we hear snoring, we know we did a good job,” Sue said smiling. In addition, the shop has a café located in the courtyard where meals and pastries are made by a chef who attended Le Cordon Bleu. Plan to visit Gruber’s to shop and stay for coffee, and then lunch, and finish the day with some dessert. Strolling through this shop just might take some time.

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Sue and I are chatting at the tables in front of the quilt shop and beside the Café in this interior courtyard. You can see that sign above the door.

Gruber’s has benefited from the shop hop as it has given the store more exposure to quilter’s coming from many states in the country. They gave out 500 of their Quilt MN Block Hop patterns in the first 5 days of the hop this year.

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This quilt, on display in the courtyard of Gruber’s, has all the block patterns from all 66 participating shops. Which one is your favorite?

I wanted to have stayed longer at Gruber’s. Sue has a zest for life and for caring about her customers, but we needed to be on our way.

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It was hard to leave this shop as I felt like I’d just found a new, dear friend.

Plan to stop at Gruber’s, the largest quilt shop in a 5 state area, for a bite to eat and a bit of fabric or yarn shopping. But don’t come on Sunday (except during the shop hop) as they are closed because, according to Sue, “Everybody should have a day off.” When you do visit, say Hi! to Sue and the gals and tell them that Tu-Na sent you.

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What’s this? I spied these state flower fabrics made by In the Beginning Fabrics on my way out of the shop. I’ve never seen them before. I might have to add them onto my list. I’m holding North Dakota’s state flower fabric on top of the bolts.

Block of the Day

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I bought this cute Minne-Sewta Jar block kit from Gruber’s Quilt Shop which came with an option to sew it into a pincushion. Because of lack of time, but not lack of ambition, I wasn’t able to complete it, yet. I was happy I got this much done! Note: The pattern gives directions for making a 7.5″ unfinished block. If you are sewing your Minne-Sewta Jar block along with the other patterns provided by the quilt shops in your quilt, you will need it to be 8.5.” You can make the adjustment by cutting pieces B and C 1/2″ wider than given on the pattern and sew a 1.5″ x 8.5″ piece to the bottom. Just be sure to keep the lid on the jar so those dragonflies stay in.

What I Learned Today:

  1. My husband is better at recognizing fabric manufacturers than I am. We were walking out of Dawn’s Quilt Shop in Alexandria when he stopped in his tracks and pointed. “Cotton and Steel,” he said. I checked the end of the bolt and he was correct.
  2. I must be enjoying the hop. I’m forgetting what day of the week it is.
  3. If the White House calls, don’t hang up.

Question: Have you ever been to Minnesota? I have been there many times from enjoying the big city life of Minneapolis to visiting my sister in a very small town. It’s a very interesting state.

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

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:

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

WIPs at Silly Mama Quilts

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

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

Day three on the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop was a short day for us. We said goodbye to our daughter and her husband and headed onward with our journey.

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I really like sky pictures and couldn’t resist taking a few. Last year I was shopping for sky fabric.

When we arrived at Michele’s Quilting & Sewing Center in Blue Earth, we were cheerfully greeted by Michele, her helpful staff, and several volunteers who were sporting red aprons. They were waiting for a bus to arrive but gave us a tour of her classroom with a new design wall.

Our next stop was Old Alley Quilt Shop in Sherburn, which I had featured last year. They needed a package delivered to Windom so we eagerly accepted the challenge and decided to make a speedy delivery there next.  But first we needed to fill the gas tank. We get great gas mileage with the Prius but one can sometimes forget to check the gauge. Having seen the advertising sign outside of Old Alley, my husband eagerly handed the local Kum & Go attendant his quilting passport to receive 5¢ off each gallon of gas. Anyone who knows my husband knows that he likes a good deal. That meant that we saved enough to pay for part of the tax on the fabric I had just bought.

We drove past more corn fields and finally into the small town of Windom. And then I saw:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

The history of this shop reads like a love story.

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Prairie Quilting is located at 1293 Hale Place, Windom, MN.

Twenty-two years ago, Kay suggested to her husband that she would like to open a quilt shop. So he moved his papers out of his office in his feed store and let her fill it with bolts and bolts of fabric. They’ve since added on a lean-to which holds even more.

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So when Kay and her husband go to work each day, they kiss goodbye, wish each other a good day, and then head into their own separate spaces in the same building. They can work side by side, just steps apart, doing what they both enjoy doing.

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When I walked into this quilt shop, I saw for myself how well stocked it is. Kay carries a variety of fabrics as she wants to appeal to many interests. She has a whole wall of flannels and many batiks too.

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Looking into the added lean-to.

While Kay doesn’t have space to offer classes, she encourages her customers to make an appointment and she’ll work one on one with them offering them her assistance and advice.

Kay had never sewn a quilt top until she opened her shop. One of the reasons she wanted to have her own shop was so that she could learn to piece quilt tops. She sends her finished quilt tops to a professional longarmer for the quilting. Her advice is to “find one (longarmer) you are happy with.”

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You will find approximately 3000 bolts of fabric in Kay’s shop.

Kay advises new quilters to start small so they can finish the project. “Don’t start with a queen size quilt,” she cautions. “Don’t be afraid of color,” added another customer, who evidently has shopped here many times before. Linda (who lives in Janesville, MN but is originally from Windom) continued, “I’m still afraid of color but I’m getting better.” Kay agreed proudly as she’s watched Linda progress in her quilting skills. “Linda is becoming more comfortable with making her quilts look scrappy and now I’m starting to go the other way.”

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Kay, Linda (in front), and me. I wonder who gave Kay those flowers? Could it have been her husband?

Having only one part-time employee, Kay does most of the work of running the shop herself. She enjoys being part of the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop and says that the hop gives her shop lots of exposure which makes all the work involved worth it. She also enjoys seeing people return to her shop each year on the hop. Check out her website here to find out more about this shop.

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The store is small but Kay has a nice variety of fabrics and quilting supplies.

Some of the tasks she needed to do before being overrun with eager shoppers was to design the block and the pattern, print it, cut the 5 inch charm squares, and stuff them into page protectors. She likes to present them this way to her shoppers. She stuffed enough for 800 hoppers and I’m sure if more shop hoppers come, she’d be ready to make more.

tunaquilts 10a

This is a great idea. I think I will organize all my patterns from the Hop in their own page protectors in a binder. Thanks, Kay, for this organizing tip.

Kay concluded, “I am happy I can get up in the morning and go to a place I love to work at.” I don’t doubt that for a minute. After all, she’s working right next to her sweetheart. Put Prairie Quilting on your list of shops to visit and when you do, say hi to Kay and wave to her husband. Oh, and tell her Tu-Na sent you.

tunaquilts 2a

His and Her’s

Block for the Day

tunaquilts 12a

I purchased this Bow-Tie Block Kit from Michele’s Quilting and Sewing Center in Blue Earth. It sewed up quickly. The pattern needed just a bit of tweaking so if you are making it either cut the leaf and dark gray fabrics at 3″ square or trim the center 4 sewn squares to 5.5.” Then add the borders as listed on the pattern to make the 8.5″ unfinished block.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Three and a half hours of driving between 4 shops only leaves one and a half hours for shopping before closing time.
  2. My husband has a good memory. He remembered to give Kay at Prairie Quilting the package from Old Alley. Without him, it may still be in the back seat now covered with yards and yards of fabric.
  3. Taking time to listen to other people’s stories is so rewarding.
  4. Shop hopping is exhausting but loads of fun. It may not be as much fun next month when the credit card statement arrives.
  5. It is definitely much quieter in the car today since our daughter is not in the back seat.
  6. I do miss her and wish that next year she and I could shop the statewide hop together.
  7. About the only way all these block kits will be sewn on this trip is if I figure out how to plug the machine into the car or sew in my sleep. I guess I should be thankful I got this one done.
  8. I’ve learned a lot today.

Question: Do you buy kits containing all the fabric you need or do you prefer to pick out the colors yourself and buy from the bolt? I am buying many of the block kits for this hop but usually I prefer to pick my own colors and buy the yardage.

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

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.

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

Giveaway Winners Notice:

The winners of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway of Tula Pink Fabrics from Free Spirit fabrics are now listed here and below. Congratulations!

The winners of a Holiday Homies jelly roll are:
Julie in GA

Maxine Shaw
Ledamewood (at) gmail (dot) com
Jeri Niesich
Kathy E.
jrquilts
The winners of a Holiday Homies layer cake are:
quiltsmiles
Jann
sewlost
Jocelyn
Janet
Christina
And the winner of the fat quarter bundle is:
Barb Kaup

Linking to:

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict