We spent a wonderful weekend in Kalamazoo with our son, daughter-in-law, and three very busy and smart grandchildren.
Sleeping-in felt so good. We leisurely ate breakfast at the Hampton Inn in Rochester and then Tu-Na Helper prepared for his virtual conference. I sewed on my hexis, determined to finish all I had brought along. If I did, I would complete approximately 2/3 of what was needed for the project. It’s been my travel project for over a year now. I was ready to move this to the next step—appliqueing them to the background.
This was going to be an exciting day. There was a new shop to explore and a region to check out of which meant prizes!
Today would be a busy day visiting many shops. With the help of the Route 4 Me App, Tu-Na Helper had determined our route the night before but I wasn’t so sure I agreed with it or him. We would be leaving the state in a few days driving to Michigan to attend our granddaughter’s baptism and I wasn’t so sure we’d be finished with the state hop by then.
We awoke early again. We needed to leave the motel by 7:15 in order to arrive at our first shop of the day by opening time. Tu-Na Helper had consulted the routing App the night before and the first shop on the list wasn’t open until 10 although it was closer to our present location than any others.
Because time was of the essence, he decided we’d go to the second shop on the list first since they opened at 9 and backtrack to get the first shop second hoping to arrive shortly after their opening time. Google said they were 37 miles apart but required 59 minutes of non-stop driving time. That plan sounded like a lot of extra driving miles on slow, winding, lake country roads. But I went along with his plan.
If you’re looking for the Fall Into a QAL, you’ll find my post here. Of course, you’re welcome to stay and read about my adventures on the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop as Tu-Na Helper and I travel the entire state visiting 59 shops or at least we hope to visit them all.
Our first stop for the day would be Country Loft Quilt & Design in Forest Lake. The quilt made from all the shops patterns was displayed here.
Starting bright and early in the morning (Monday), Tu-Na Helper and I (well maybe only I) will be singing:
♪ 59 Quilt Shops on the Hop,
59 Quilt Shops.
Drive up to one. Lay the cash down.
58 Quilt Shops on the Hop ♪
We’ll be starting in Winona and working our way around the state. If you happen to see us out and about, do stop and say hi. We’d enjoy talking with you.
Visitors from 72 countries stopped by Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats and have left over 1600 comments on the 98 posts I published this year. I was honored to receive 453 comments on the twelve 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop posts. I’ve been unable to reply to all of them but know that I have read and appreciated every one of them. Thank you for taking the time to stop and chat, ask a question, leave an answer, or offer some help. I’ve learned so much from my readers.
I’m excited to have almost 450 followers by email, WordPress, and Bloglovin. Thank you for taking the time to not only read what I write but want to follow so you don’t miss a post. I’ve only been blogging for 1 and 1/2 years and strive to make my posts interesting and entertaining. If they sometimes read a bit humorous, it’s an added bonus for both of us.
There’s a year-end party happening over at Meadow Mist Designs. Cheryl has invited us to reflect on our year by sharing five of our top posts.
Today would be an easy day leading towards a state-wide finish for the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. We learned from last year to allow more time for this last leg so we wouldn’t have quite as dramatic of a finish. See this post and then this post about last year’s amazing race to the finish line.
We woke in time to attend church with my sister, her husband, and our niece.
As we entered this beautiful Lutheran church, we noticed the gorgeous stained glass windows and the bright and cheery sanctuary. Bonnie told me the congregation had spent quite a lot of money to have those windows professionally cleaned. They sure looked nice and I think it was money well-spent.
While we were sitting and waiting for the service to begin, the pastor was making his rounds around the congregation shaking hands and exchanging morning greetings. When he came to where we were seated, he recognized my husband and I as members of Bonnie’s extended family. We’ve been to church here before with Bonnie and her family for baptisms, confirmations, and visits although it’s been a couple of years. My husband and I told the pastor of our adventures of traveling around the entire state of Minnesota and visiting 63 quilt shops with only 3 left to visit today. The pastor then put his hand on my husband’s shoulder and said, “God Bless You.” He went on to add, “That is very honoring.”
After church, my sister, Bonnie, made us Wild Rice Pancakes with fresh fruit including raspberries freshly picked from her garden. She has quite a green thumb growing all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and weeds. Somehow those weeds just keep coming back year after year. We also had bacon, I think. I’ve learned not to ask what kind of meat she serves as we’ve had a variety of deer, pheasant, salmon, bear, elk and who knows what else since my brother-in-law is an avid hunter and fisherman.
They offered us the use of their canoe and paddle boat so we could paddle around the lake before we left. My husband was focused on finishing the shop hop today and heading home so he declined and said we’d be back sometime soon and took a rain check. We’re holding her to it!!
And we were off on the last leg of our adventure. It’s always sad when an adventure has to end but we were excited to get back home to see our new college graduate son who had moved back home to job hunt and our other son, his wife, and our 2-year old grandson who had sold their house and moved in with us until they are able to move into their new house in September.
We entered the This is Sew Broadway shop in Crookston and found Jenn, the owner, there this time. I featured this shop last year but she had been away hosting a bus of quilting shop hoppers so I had visited with her dad instead. You can read more of that post here. We spent a fair amount of time visiting with Jenn, looking around the shop, and making a purchase. Tu-Na Helper reminded me that we needed to be on our way.
The gals at Quilter’s Eden in East Grand Forks were very friendly and we took our time. After getting back into the car, I realized I had forgotten to ask about their block kit so I ran back in and purchased one. Now, we didn’t have as much time as we had thought before the last shop would be closing for the day.
We arrived at our last shop on the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop about 30 minutes before closing. We’d be checking out of the Northwest region here and also the state. When we rounded the corner in the Moorhead Center Mall in Moorhead, MN and spied all those ladybugs, I knew I’d found
Today’s Top Shop on the Hop:
Lisa Hage, the owner, was off for the day getting a much-needed couple of days off. She’d left the shop, The Quilted Ladybug, in Cindy’s and Sarah’s capable hands. Cindy filled me in on some details about this shop while Sarah took care of customers and other shop hoppers still coming into the shop.
Lisa purchased The Quilted Ladybug about three years ago. It had previously been located elsewhere in the city since it’s inception in 2004. Evidently that owner liked Ladybugs and the name continued. You will find ladybugs all over the store from fabric displays to rocks.
When Lisa purchased the business, she made the decision to move The Quilted Ladybug for several reasons: the current building rent was increasing and also to improve it’s visibility. It is now conveniently located within the Moorhead Center Mall in Moorhead, MN across from Herberger’s and has ample parking. As most business entrepreneurs would say, it’s all about location, location, location.
Lisa, being the creative person she is and because she had taken graphic design classes, decided to design and write quilt patterns. She created the pattern company, Sew Many Stitches, when she was a stay-at-home mom. Lisa believes that “Quilt patterns should look difficult…not be difficult!” (Excerpt taken from The Ladybug website.) The Quilted Ladybug includes a display of her patterns and you can also see them here on her online shop. Of course, she also made a lot of quilts during that time at home. Her love for pattern designing, fabric, and quilt making all led her to become the owner of The Quilted Ladybug.
The shop doesn’t house a longarm for quilter’s use or provide professional quilting service but it does offer a longarm drop-off service for 4 professional longarm quilters. Customers can bring in their finished tops, battings, and backings and drop them off to be picked up by one of those professionals with which the customer has pre-arranged. That’s very generous customer service for any shop.
I noticed their large amount of batik fabrics as well as some bolts of Lori Holt fabrics. In addition to those fabrics, they also have a good supply of other quilting fabrics, flannel, minky, wool, and a variety of patterns. The shop recently became a dealer for Brother sewing machines and are an authorized Brother Service Center servicing all makes and models of sewing machines. I also couldn’t help but notice some NDSU items as well.
The shop has a cozy class space making their classes more personal. They offer classes in quilting, embroidery, and bags.
Cindy Steyer-Lukowiak will soon be saying good-bye to the staff and customers of The Quilted Ladybug as she moves out of state. However, she has fabric plans that will keep her in touch with quilting.
Cindy’s advice for new quilters is to start with a good beginning class, such as their “Quilting 101” class that The Quilted Ladybug offers. “Once new quilters have been successful at taking that class (or any good beginning class), then they’re hooked,” according to Cindy.
The shop also offers a Quilting 201 class. I suspect the naming of the classes come from the fact that they are located within 20 minutes of 3 major universities and several smaller colleges and trade schools. Sarah is an example of taking that Quilting 101 class and then walking out with a job at the shop. It didn’t take long for her to become hooked.
For more info about The Quilted Ladybug and to discover Lisa’s online offerings, see her website here. When you stop in to see all the lovely fabrics and count the ladybugs, say Hi! to Lisa and the gals. Oh, and when you do, tell them that Tu-Na sent you.
When we checked out of the Northwest region here, we received these lovely fabrics.
We are State Finishers! 10 Days, 3,429 Miles, 66 Shops and Credit Card Debt from a Car Full of Fabrics, Notions, and Patterns
Our passports were verified and stamped. We had made it!!
♪Over hill. Over dale. We did hit the dusty trail. As the Quilt Hop went rolling along.♪
The passports sure look different than when we first started out ten days ago. See the originals here.
From ♪66 Quilt Shops on the Hop♪ all the way down to one, we had been inside every door. Each shop was interesting and unique and I found a lot of things to buy. My only regret was that I wanted to have stayed longer at many of them. Tu-Na Helper’s regret will be coming soon in the mail, the credit card bill.
The mileage listed above includes all of our miles from our front door in Bismarck, North Dakota traveling around Minnesota and back home. It’s been quite an adventure once again. “I think if we don’t win the trip after next year’s hop,” Tu-Na Helper said as he leaned in close to me, “we’ll just have to go and buy the trip ourselves.”
Block of the Day:
- Update on Johnny’s quilt
- A look at the loot
- A few words from Tu-Na Helper
What I Learned Today:
- We must be slowing down or maybe we just enjoyed this trip more. It took us one more day than last year. We drove 61 less miles and there were 6 less shops on the hop than last year but the car is just as full.
- Moms are the last ones to know things about their kids or at least I am. Our new college graduate son now has a job. He received a job offer when we were gone on the hop. Although we talked to him by phone a couple of times, he decided to surprise us with the news when we arrived home. During that time, he had driven to Fargo, 200 miles away, and found himself a brand new apartment. He’ll be moving there in a couple of days and we’ll probably be helping him.
- My sister is a very good cook but I already knew that. It’s nice to be reminded.
- It feels good to be home.
- The car is packed with enough projects to keep me busy all year and then some.
- My husband is a wonderful guy but I already knew that, too.
Question: Can you fold a towel or a napkin into an interesting object? Tell me about it. Years ago, when I was a girl scout leader, I showed my group how to fold napkins and bought each of the girls a book on napkin folding. My daughter enjoyed doing that and we often had nicely folded cloth napkins at our table. My sister has a book on towel folding from the Carnival Cruise Line. It must be addicting since every time we visit her, we have a different animal sitting on our bed.
I am home now and trying to get caught up with household tasks and my bee blocks which some are two months behind. I read and appreciated every comment I received. Many of you were happy to hop along with us from the comfort of your easy chair. Some of you wanted to be out shop hopping, too, and maybe next year, you will. And a few of you found Tu-Na Helper and I at the shops and we visited and snapped a couple of pics. It was great fun! Thank you all for 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:
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. You will find pictures and links to each of the posts for that year’s hop.
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.
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