Tag Archives: Shop Hop

Tu-Na Travels: Day Nine, 401 Miles, 4 Shops, Only 3 Shops Remaining

We woke to the call of loons on the lake. I really should have roused earlier to watch the sunrise over the lake, but the mattress was much too comfortable. Instead, we took our time: enjoying the view, listening to the loons, and watching campers cook their breakfasts over smoky fires. 

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I noticed a young fisherman down on the dock. We moseyed on down to ask how the fishing was going. He responded with a fisherman’s tale about the big one that got away and was swimming under the dock. When I asked of its size, his hands showed about 12 inches while his dad showed about five. 

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While we were talking to him, he reeled in this little blue gill. He was quite pleased with it but his dad took it off the hook and returned it to the lake to find his mother and the young fisherman went back to trying to entice the big one to bite his hook.

We had almost a 2 hour drive to get to our first shop of the day, Cabin Quilting, in Cook. I had featured them last year which you can read about here. This long stretch of Minnesota country was just perfect for listening to Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion and watching the ditches for purple, white, and yellow wildflowers.

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I love wildflowers. “Oh, look at those yellow ones,” I pointed. “Sow thistle,” my husband responded. “Those other yellow ones are ragweed and those purple ones are Canadian Thistle. Weeds” he pointed out. “Wildflowers,” I insisted. (In my defense, we did find some patches of beautiful wildflowers, but there were plenty of patches that were all weeds. Tu-Na Helper)

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We found these Black Eyed Susan’s along the road.

After leaving Cook, we turned North for another long car ride to International Falls and then we found:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

As we parked our car, we couldn’t help but notice the barn quilt on the side of this quilt shop.

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The Up North Quilt Shop can be found at 4062 Hwy 11, International Falls, MN.

The front door invited us to come on in.

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Here’s a decoupage framed picture of one of this year’s panels in the 2017 Minnesota Shop Hop fabric line. How cute and creative is that?

As we entered the shop, the bright and roomy entry continued to welcome us.

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The upper level is bright and cheery with shelves holding fabric and unique items holding many fat quarters and other items.

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These displays, alone, are worth the drive up, to see them. In addition to the 2500 bolts of fabric ranging from north woods themed to bright and modern, Up North offers quilting supplies and notions, patterns, and wool. All of these are artfully displayed using vintage items.

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Missy, the owner, is baking up pretty fat quarters in these vintage bakery bread pans. They are setting out to cool on old wooden ironing boards just waiting for customers to come and buy a handful. 

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Another example of Missy’s use of a repurposed ironing board holding several patterns that are available for sale.

The Up North Quilt Shop will be three years old in December. Missy Ruelle, the owner, was out doing an errand when we stopped by but hurried back to show me around and visit. She previously had worked part-time in a Chiropractor’s office as well as working at a local quilt shop in town for 5 years “…to support my habit,” she said.

When that quilt shop closed, Missy’s husband encouraged her to open her own shop. They looked for nine months and finally her husband found this building that had sat empty for three years before it was put up for sale. Finally, the deal was made and this Mennonite church building was theirs.  Later, Missy found out she had family connections with the building; her Aunt and Uncle were married in this church.

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Missy settled on the name of the shop, Up North Quilt Shop, because “this is pretty much as far north as you can get without going into Canada,” she said.

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The lower level houses a classroom. She offers beginner classes during the fall and winter and may be offering a paper piecing class soon. Missy’s future plans include putting a longarm in the lower level as there is space just waiting for the right time.

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Missy’s advice for new quilters is to start simple and small. She says, “A lot of quilters want to make a queen-size quilt and get discouraged and don’t finish.” She suggests making a table runner and placemats for good first projects.

This is the Up North Quilt Shop’s second year on the hop and Missy has been enjoying talking to quilters who stop by. Her and her staff recognized Tu-Na Helper as being there last year.

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You can find more information about this shop including Missy’s online shop on her website here. “It’s worth the drive up,” Missy invites. We think so, too, and when you make your way up north, stop in and say Hi! to Missy and tell her that Tu-Na sent you.

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Missy and I.

We checked out of the Northeast Region while at the Up North Quilt Shop and received our incentive prizes.

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We each received a package of 50 Quilters Perfect Klips and a “tutu” which is a pin cushion and notions holder for a wide mouth mason jar. You can see Missy’s example of the pin cushion jar on the left .

After leaving International Falls, we shut off the Google Maps app on the cell phone as we were almost at our max of data usage for the month. “It’s an easy drive down to Blackduck,” Tu-Na Helper said. So we sat back, enjoyed more Garrison Keillor, and watched the miles roll on by. After what seemed like too long, my husband checked and we had somehow missed a turn 30 minutes earlier. We were not even close to Blackduck. A course correction was made and we hurried along hoping to make it to Blackduck and then continue on to Sadie Rae’s before closing time. My sister lives close by and we’d be spending the night as their house guests so we wanted to get as close as possible.

We eventually made it to Sadie Rae’s with only a minute to spare. We’ve had several close-to-closing-time races this year. Sadie greeted us at the door and we were told by her staff that we could take our time to look around. I was disappointed to hear they had sold out of the cute, artsy, ceramic, sewing machine clocks on the first day of the hop. I had been thinking of that clock all year since I had seen them at Sadie’s last year on the hop and was hoping to purchase one this year.

After spending too much time and money, we headed into Bemidji to eat supper and look around before heading to my sister’s log cabin by the lake for the night.

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We said Hi! to Paul Bunyan and Babe in downtown Bemidji, MN.

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I wonder if Emily Krueger, the designer of this year’s Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop fabric, used this  dragonfly as inspiration?

Block of the Day

I don’t remember if I forgot to ask for block kits when visiting the shops today or if I bought some and they are nestled in all the bags in the back of the car. So I chose to make one from a previous day.

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This block kit (aptly named Railroad Crossing) was purchased from Country Caboose Quilts in Wahkon when we were there on day 7. Kim had put enough fabric in the kit so I could make the half-square triangles using my favorite method (putting two 5″ squares right sides together, drawing two diagonal lines 1/2″ apart diagonally from one corner to the other, sewing, cutting apart from corner to corner, and trimming to 4.5″) rather than sewing triangles. That was much appreciated. The block sewed up easily.

Coming Soon:

  • Day 10 post
  • Update on Johnny’s quilt
  • A look at the loot

The Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop has now concluded and we are back home. I will post the above items as soon as I can.

  • Tu-Na Quilts: Starting the New School Year Right with Breakfast and a New Apron. The post is written and scheduled to publish on Aug. 21st for the Back to School Blog Hop hosted by Jen at Faith and Fabric.

What I Learned Today:

  1. There is a lot of truth to Garrison Keillor stories.  “…a mother’s on threat alert orange at all times.” (Garrison Keillor) I could not have said it better myself.
  2. If I see something I want, think twice before walking away as it may not be there when I come again.
  3. Be persistent and go after your dream.
  4. Accepting a nudge from someone you love is helpful, too, in accomplishing that dream. Best of luck on the shop, Missy!

Question: Do you have a clock in your sewing room/studio? I have a small, plain one but never seem to look at it. I thought a cute artsy one would be fun. Time seems to fly when I’m sitting and sewing. I’ll need to be doing a lot more sitting and sewing this year to use up all my new purchases from the hop.

I read and appreciate every comment I receive. I’ve been busy finishing up writing posts or sewing up those blocks so I  haven’t had time to reply but I do plan to do so soon when I’ve 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

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

Tu-Na Travels: Day Eight: 204 Miles, 6 Shops, Only 7 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. 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.

Linking to:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts’

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Moving It Forward Monday at Ems Scrapbag

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


These were definitely worth the wait.


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


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They were delicious!

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

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


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


Towards the end of the day, we came upon:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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They also are a Bernina dealer.


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



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


Block for the Day

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

What I Learned Today:

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

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

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

Giveaway Winner:

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

Random number generation / Random Numbers

Generate number between 1 and 110 = 2

Jean McKinstry July 25, 2017 at 3:03 am

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

Congratulations to Jean McKinstry. Thanks to all for entering.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

See my other posts about the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop:

Tu-Na Travels: ♪Over Hill. Over Dale. We Will Hit the Dusty Trail. As the Quilt Hop Goes Rolling Along….♪

Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

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

Linking to:

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Jo’s Country Junction

Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River

Tu-Na Travels: Day One, 352 Miles, 11 Shops, Only 55 Shops Remaining

Day One started early but not early enough as we got to our first shop 30 minutes after it opened.

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We checked in at Bear Patch Quilting Co. in White Bear Lake, MN along with everyone else hopping around the state or so it seemed.

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The shop was very busy and lines were long.

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We each got a passport to present at each shop where they will stamp their space. One shop done!

After we left, I started singing.

66 Quilt Shops on the Hop

66 Quilt Shops

Drive up to one.

Lay the cash down.

65 Quilt Shops on the hop.

My husband rolled his eyes as he muttered, “It’s going to be a long trip.” My family knows that I often break into song changing the words to fit the mood and the situation.

At the second shop (Country Loft Quilting and Designs in Forest Lake), I was tapped on the shoulder by Nancy, who had recognized me from my blog. I enjoyed talking with her and her quilting friend Vicki. I was so flustered and flattered to be recognized that I completely forgot to have Tu-Na Helper (my husband and official photographer for the hop) take our picture. So I’m hoping to run into you again so I can get one. It was so nice to meet you, Nancy and Vicki!

When we stopped at Eagle Creek Quilt Shop, I insisted upon having my picture taken under the quilt which I had forgotten to do last year. I have thought of a very good companion quilt for this one for my husband. I just might have to design it.

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We soon came upon a very special shop which I will call:

Today’s Top Shop on the Hop

I knew there was something special about Millie P’s Quilt Shop in Anoka the first time I stepped foot inside the door.

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No one should miss seeing this quilt shop at 219 E Main Street, Anoka, MN with the sign on the roof.

It’s such a bright and happy place. After talking with the owner and several staff members, I found out why.

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Becky, the owner of Millie P’s, works hard to make this shop a happy place to shop and to work.

Our passports were stamped by the very charming Judy. She is an expert salesperson and you’ll probably be leaving the store loaded down with some of these great exclusive products from Millie P’s.

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I am wearing the Baking Boa. Behind Judy and I are the One Hour Baskets. Both of these are kits containing fabric and pattern to make these exclusive Millie P’s products.

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Here’s the pattern and charm square that Judy gave us.

Becky, the owner, started Millie P’s about 7 1/2 years ago. Shortly before that, she had just retired from the corporate world and spent the following six weeks organizing her house when boredom struck. It was then that she realized that something was missing. While cruising main street in downtown Anoka, she spied a vacant building which had at one time housed a drug store. She pulled over and spent three hours sitting in her car looking at the building and asking herself, “Should I or shouldn’t I?”

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Well, the rest is history as Becky not only started Millie P’s but also has expanded the showroom space and the scope of the business to now include 22 employees (most of them are part-time), added a retreat center a block away, and produced some exclusive product lines.

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These curated bundles (pictured above) are found only at Millie P’s and correspond to their specially designed patterns or can be purchased alone. They make great gifts and are a perfect project start for new quilters or experienced quilters who want a quick finish.

  • Becky’s Bundle of 6 fat quarters
  • Pearl’s Pack six 1/2 yard cuts
  • Myrtle’s Mix 12 fat quarters + 2 yards
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Millie P’s also offers a customer loyalty program. Each shopper’s purchase of fabric, machine rental, and notions is recorded. Once that shopper reaches $250.00, they receive 10% back. I like that Millie P’s keeps a computer record of it so I don’t have to keep, and ultimately lose, a card.

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You will discover some very unique display cases in this shop.

Becky named the store after her dear mother, Millie Pearl, and fills it with bright fabric and batiks. She only buys fabric for the store that she likes. And she likes color! From the size of the store and the amount of shelves and display areas, I say, she also likes fabric, a lot! I think Millie Pearl would be very happy in this shop, too.

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Becky quilted before she opened the store. She says, “Quilting is my stress relief.” I think a lot of quilters use quilting in that same way.

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Even the restroom is a fun place to be!

The store is delightfully decorated with samples of quilts, aprons, bags, potholders, pillows and about anything else you can imagine that can be made from fabric. Becky says, “These samples provide the inspiration that is such an important part of when customers walk in the store.” You will certainly be inspired here.

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Becky offers these words of advice for new quilters:

  • Take a class.
  • You are never too advanced in your quilting knowledge to learn something new.
  • Don’t be afraid of color.
  • Colors don’t have to match.

With quilting wisdom like that, beginners should feel very comfortable starting a project. Millie P’s offers a variety of classes and two retreats each year.

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Just in case you are looking for last year’s fish, we found one at Millie P’s. We left it on the shelf but chose some 2 yards of this years Minnesota fabric to buy.

In addition, Millie P’s offers a longarm quilting service where quilters can become certified or trained to use the machine. Once completed they can rent time on the longarm to quilt their own quilt. It is located on the second floor. I wish I lived closer to Millie P’s. I think I’d be here a lot.

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You can find more information about Millie P’s and their classes, clubs, and retreats here on Millie P’s website.

When you are in Anoka or the Twin Cities area, stop in at Millie P’s and say hi to Becky and the girls. Oh, and tell them that Tu-Na sent you.

Finishing the Metro Section:

We finished visiting the seven shops in the Metro section and checked out at Quilt Cove in Eagan. We each received a picnic cooler bag as the incentive prize.

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The Block for the Day

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I bought this 2017 Quilt MN block kit (Agate Reflections) from Quilted Treasures in Rogers, MN. It sewed up nicely.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I better keep an eye on my husband or I’ll lose him. I had just left Eagle Creek Quilt Shop with my husband tagging behind. As he was closing the door, a voice said, “Here wait, I’m going with you.” It wasn’t mine!
  2. Quilters are some of the friendliest people I’ve met.
  3. I need to make my shopping list longer as I’ve already purchased most of it. (Shhh, don’t tell my husband.)

Question: Do you buy by the fat quarter, 1/2 yard, yardage, or only buy following a pattern? I buy fat quarters to add to my scrappy stash. Otherwise, I buy 1 1/2 yards except the MN exclusive fabrics which I have cut in 2 yards. However, if I really like a fabric, then I buy 3 or 4.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Moving It Forward Monday at Em’s Scrapbag

See my first post about the 2017 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop:

Tu-Na Travels: ♪Over Hill. Over Dale. We Will Hit the Dusty Trail. As the Quilt Hop Goes Rolling Along….♪