Monday, September 6, 2010

August 7 Day 9

I spent the night in New Ulm in order to get an early start. The plan was nearly thwarted when a thunderstorm rolled thru town and all the lights went off. Things to know - the electronic keys work even with the power off and hotel bathrooms are REALLY dark and it pays to carry a small flashlight! Luckily the lights are on but the time I want to get something to eat and the shop hop starts.

First shop on today’s rainy Saturday is the Spinning Spools Quilt Shop. I have always loved this shop and the little garden space beside it. They even have a little cafĂ© table and chairs near the doe to stop and relax. The shop also sells handmade pottery and they have kits with the fabric in a hand thrown cup. If it hadn’t been so wet, I would have stopped for a while in the garden.

The next shop, just down the street, is the Thimble Box. They have a really cute display of the Tiny Ones patterns by Shelly Robson. Smaller shop with an eclectic mix of fabrics. I also run into a couple who are attempting the entire state.

On to Mankato, my next stop! Again there are 2 shops in town which makes the stop more productive. The first shop is the Firefly Quilt Shop. This shop has mostly batiks and contemporary with a nice area of juvenile fabrics. They also have a huge classroom with numerous samples and kits for sale.

The 2nd shop in Mankato is River City Quilts. This shop is just next to the mall and it very easy to find. A bigger shop with a wide range of fabrics. They have lots of quilt samples and kits. The shop is really busy this morning, as have all of the other shops that I have been at today. I guess that everyone is out getting their hopping done this weekend.

I need to get home today so I make the decision to cut the day short and so will go to only 3 other shops before I need to be back by 3PM. On to Montgomery and Quilter’s Dream. This shop is smaller and packed with people. They have a nice classroom and an eclectic mix of fabrics. A beautiful quilt is hanging in the window, as you can see in the picture.

Next is Lonsdale and Quilting by the Hearth Quilt Shop. This shop has an extensive selection of batiks. There is a large classroom in the back of the building and a large number of bolts of sale fabrics and sale kits.

The last shop for today is Cotton Shop in Owatonna. This is a smaller shop with an eclectic mix of fabrics and a nice selection of kits. I purchase a cute mouse pincushion. I should be great for holding my thread on the tail and my needles which seem to get lost in all of the other pincushions that I use.

Back to home, with restart the shop hop tomorrow. I should be able to finish the hop tomorrow, with any luck.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday August 5, Day 7

Maggie and I need to be in Minneapolis by 4 pm today, so we need an early start. One of the shops in Duluth is open by 9am and I would like to be in town by then. We have to eat breakfast on the road as the restaurant does not open until 8 and we need to be on the road by then. The drive is pretty quiet, not much traffic this early in the day.

The first shop of the day is Kellie J's Sewing Center and Quilt Shop. This shop is in the country with a stable. Maggie breaks her rule and buys some more fabrics. This shop also sells sewing machines. Main shop is upstairs and sale items are downstairs. We stop to pet one of the horses on the way back to the main road.

The next shop is new to the hop this year. Hannah Johnson's Fabrics and Quilts is a house full of fabrics. There are lots of contemporary fabrics as well as some specialty fabrics, satins, etc.

Quilter's Coop is the last shop in the Duluth area that we will stop as today. This shop has a mix of fabrics and nice sale area. I love the chimney on the building that is a sign for the shop!

On to Creations Quilt Shop. Be aware there is a lot of road construction in the Duluth area. Be sure to allow extra time for the detours! This shop is a smaller shop with an eclectic mix of fabrics. This is the last shop that I need to attend in the northeast section of the state! Another section is complete.

We travel to MacGregor to Timeless Treasures. This shop has a good selection of northwoods inspired fabrics.

The next shop is Seems Like Home Quilt shop in Sturgeon Bay. This is a smaller shop. They have a nice selection of Snap Sacks and an eclectic mix of fabrics. Be sure to stop and see the decorated restroom.

Fabric, Fashions and More in Rush City is the last shop that we will stop at before we arrive at the Twin Cities. This shop has a nice mix of fabrics and their shop hop samples are at the front of the store. I pick up my pattern and my snowflake with my purchase and then we are off. Maggie needs to get home and get ready for work tomorrow. It was really fun to have her ride along for a couple of days!

Last shop of the day is Quilted Treasures of Rodgers. This shop also completes my central east section! This shop has a nice selection of reproduction fabrics. They have a large classroom where they have numerous sample quilts displayed. Three sections are now complete. I should be able to complete section four tomorrow am.

Off to St. Cloud to spend the night! I will start the day tomorrow with Gruber's Quilt Shop in Waite Park and finish the central west section tomorrow. I will only have the southeast and southwest sections left. I usually leave these sections to the last as they are closer to where I live and if I run short of time, I can make a couple of day trips to finish the shop hop.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 6: August 4

We arrived late to our hotel, Grand Superior Lodge, north of Two Harbors. If you go to the
web site, you can click on Lodging and Rates and click on the Lodge and then on the virtual tour and see some great pictures of the rooms, restaurant, etc. Mostly quiet (some people's children never learn about slamming doors!) and very restful. Maggie and I get a late start, but we do finally make it out of lodge.

First stop is at Quilt Corner in Beaver Bay. This is a very crowded shop. Maggie finds some kitchen towel decorated with the picture fabric from last years hop and it is on sale, so she picks some up to decorated some towels for herself. She wins a fat quarter by picking a purple Hershey's kiss out of the container. Some people have all the luck.

The small shopping center also contains a shop that has Christmas decorations. I collect tall, thin Santas and I do find a couple to add to the collection, one is on sale!

The final quilt shop for the day is Behind the Seams quilt shop in Silver Bay. Maggie finds some more fabric and announces that she is not going into any more quilt shops because she is buying too much. This shop has a good selection of sample to view and an eclectic mix of fabrics.

That's Maggie in picture of the shop. It is definitely not me!

We stop at the Split Rock Lighthouse which celebrating it's 100 Birthday! They have a video that is repeated every 30 minutes and is very informative. Maggie and I climb up in the lighthouse, no small feat for me, as I am afraid of heights. There is a great view from the top of the lighthouse. The park also has one of the keeper's home open for tour. One of the re-enactors is sewing using a treadle machine.

Picture of Maggie at the base of the lighthouse.

We arrive back at the lodge for a late lunch and nap. Man, I love vacations! I do have some time to take some pictures of the lodge and of the lake shore.

Gooseberry Falls State Park is just down the road so we make a quick drive to the park after a nap. It is sprinkling slightly, and when the sun comes out, there is a rainbow.

Back to the lodge for a great dinner and off to bed, we have an early start in the morning as we have to be back in Minneapolis by 4 pm. It's been a great day to kick back and enjoy some time with family!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 3, 2010 (Day 5)

Day 5 August 3, 2010

I had an excellent nights sleep. I shifted the dirty clothes from the overnight case to the larger suitcase and the clean things are in the smaller overnight bag. This way I only have to take what I need into the room at the motels.

The shop in Walker, Front Porch Quilts, has a great front porch, with good display space and plenty of flowers. Their geraniums look great. I arrive before the shop opens and have a seat on a wicker chair. It is so relaxing just to sit and wait. Their display of shop hop samples is very good. Nice selection of fabrics.

I drive to Park Rapids for Monika’s. This is another combinations quilting and needle arts (mostly knitting) store. This shop has a pretty good selection of patterns for clothing. I’d like to make a quilted jacket, but it looks like I will have to do some alteration on the patterns. All of the patterns have the box shape to the body of jacket, and I would like it a little more fitted. This shop completes my northwest section. Now I can get my fabric that has been offered as an incentive for this section.

And this is what the main drag of Park Rapids looks like!

The next shop is Piecemaker's Quilt Shop in Hackensack. This shop has a good selection of reproduction fabrics. They have a great quilt of embroidered blocks of barns. They also have a limited selection of other fabrics. This is another shop that I have difficulty with on the GPS. It is also easy to miss, the sign for the shop appears rather suddenly.

Traveling south on highway 371 is Quilter’s Parlour. I find something that I have been looking for, a 120 inch retractable measuring tape. Mine is broken and when you are making big quilts, that longer tape is indispensable. This is another easy to miss shop when coming from the north. They have a very nice shop hop display.

On to the next shop Mother’s Originals. This shop is definitely off the beaten track! Cute little shop, eclectic selection of fabrics. They also have some real feedsacks for sale.

Brainerd is next and there are 2 shops here. Colorz for Quilts is the first one that I will stop at. They have a very good selection of batiks and also lots of items for embellishment. They also have a good selection of patterns for bags and totes. Sorry, the picture is of the back of the store, from the parking area. The traffic was nuts and I wasn't about to get run over to take a picture of the front of the store.

The 2nd shop that I stop at is Country Fabric and Quilting. This store also has lots of batiks. They also have an extensive selection of fabrics with big bold prints and more contemporary fabrics. In fact, the entire upper level is devoted to this type of fabric. This shop also won the Moda competition for displays made with the shop hop fabric. Be sure to check out the display on the United Notions website.

The day seems to be shaping up pretty well. 7 shops by 1:30. The next stop is Country Caboose Quilts. The shop isn’t actually in the caboose, but right next to it. The shop is small and crowded, but has a good selection of fabrics and lots of fabric on sale.

After a bit of a drive, I arrive at Quilts on Broadway in Foley. The shop has moved from last year and it actually just off Broadway. Bigger space and room for a classroom. Run into a group of hoppers who have finished the central west section and are picking up their prize, a clear zippered bag with fabric. Looks really nice, rainbow colors!

Next is The Noble Quilter. This is a new space from last year. Not to hard to find and a very nice shop. Wide selection of fabrics and some very nice samples have been made from the shop hop fabric.

The last shop for the day is Cottage Quilts and Fabrics in Elk River. This shop has lots of kits for 5 yard quilts. This shop is close to where my son and daughter-in-law live, so I have been here several times.

It has been a long day! I need to pick up my daughter and travel to Two Harbors tonight. We are planning to stay a couple of nights at the Grand Superior Lodge on Lake Superior and chill out for a day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Monday, August 2 (Day 4)

I start the day at 10 am at the Quilter's Corner in International Falls. I must be half asleep because I didn't take a picture! This shop is in a little mall downtown. They have a very good selection of batiks. They also have numerous books and patterns on sale. They have several samples made with the shop hop fabrics and have kits for sale. Most of the shops do have kits made for the shop hop samples they display. Some of the quilts are originals, designed specifically for the hop.

The first stop after International Falls is Tower, and to North Country Quilts. This shop had all of the Quilt Minnesota samples in an ice house next to the shop. They had a really cute display. Unfortunately, the ice house does not show up well in the picture. They had a great display of samples on the front porch of their building, as you can see. I also have a nice lunch at the local cafe.

Next to Woodwards in the Thunderbird Mall in Virginia, This shop is combination bookstore and fabric and yarn shop. Another shop hopper and one of the shop employees were commenting on some of the hoppers who walk into a shop, get their passports stamped, pick up their block pattern and leave. Mention was made that the folks to do the whole state seem to do this. I am an ’all-stater’. I have seen lots of people who do this. They never look at anything in the store, just get stamped and leave. People, it is not all about the prizes! Stop being so greedy. Slow down and enjoy. Just my little rant for today!

The next stop is at another unique shop in Iron, Terri’s Treasures. This little shop is in a trailer home. It is small, but has an eclectic mix of fabrics and large number of bolts of fabric for sale, Quilt backs, anyone? This is such a cute little shop.

Chisholm is next on the list and the Quilt Shop of Chisholm. The shop has some really nice samples, including a cute little oriental wall hanging. This item is kitted, I get one. This should be quick to finish and would be great hanging on the wall in my dining room.

Quilts Around the Corner quilt shop in Hibbing is my next shop. This shop is a little hard to find the first time, as the turn is not well marked. They have a beautiful quilt hanging at the register that was made for a recent shop hop. I must have the pattern. It was gorgeous, and the pattern has directions for quilts of different sizes! I don’t have to do the math to change this quilt from a twin to a queen. I wish more designers would think about this. Terry Atkinson does a great job with her patterns

On to the shop in Nashwalk, The Quilting Patch. This is another smaller shop. They have some great samples with the shop hop fabrics. See into another ‘stamp and runner’. Cold water and cookies are another plus!

Last shop of the day is Hingley Road Quilt Shop in Floodwood. This shop is a large shop and they have lots of kits. They have a lot of batiks and a full selection of fabrics by Holly Taylor. Wide selection of fabrics including exclusive batiks and precuts.

I drive to Walker to spend the night at the Country Inn. Up early tomorrow, the hop in Walker opens at 9 am.

Sunday, Aug 1 (Day 3)

Up a little early today, to try to do some blogging and sort through things in the van and organize a little bit. I would like to keep the patterns that I am getting organized by section and actually have the sections divided in my notebook. I do have the Metro area done, so I am that much further along from last year!

I am hoping that the shop in Warroad will open early today, because if it doesn't, I am only going to be able to get to 3 shops today and that is if I really haul ass. That plan was immediately shot all to hell by the detour just east of town., which means that I will not get to International Falls today! The detour will add about 1.5 extra hours of driving, so I have to make a different plan in a hurry.

The shop in Warroad, Northern Exposure Quilts is new to the hop this year. It is so new that it doesn't have a sign on the building yet. It is open early!! It is a cute little shop and has some great sample quilts, including a round one by the register. I like the potholders that they have made using the hop fabric and buy one of the kits.

On to the detour! Now what to do? I realize that trying to backtrack today is not going to work, so it looks like I am headed to Bemidji. On the way, I will stop at Anderson's Fabric Warehouse in Blackduck. The web site only lists the info about their decorating business, but they also have an area that carries quilt fabric, patterns and sewing supplies. The bus is here but they are leaving, talk about perfect timing! And they are going to Warroad, so even better.
This shop has lots of sample quilts and they also have upholstery good that you can purchase as well. Need to clue my youngest daughter (interior designer) in, maybe she can come with me next year.

Next to Emily's Country Cottage in Bemidji. As you could guess from the name, this shop has a country theme to the fabrics that they sell. They also sell other country related item. They usually have a great sales area downstairs, and a holiday themed area upstairs. I find a roll of fat quarters on sale for $25 and they have some coordinating fabric for a border and binding!

The shop in Deer River, Heart to Hand Quilt Shop is in a building that previously housed a church. So many quilt shops are doing a great job of re-purposing spaces. This shop has a great display area in what would have been the front of the church. I find some nice coordinating pinks for a project that I saw in a magazine that I would like to make. This is the first shop that I have been to in the northeast section.

The last shop for today is ABC's of Quilting in Grand Junction. This shop in an old school building along with other shops. I find a Laurel Burch fabric that would make a great bag for friend. This is a very nice little shop.

I do not have time to make it to Nashwauk today. Instead, I head to International Falls to spend the night and start my day tomorrow. And run into more detours. US 169 is being worked on. Now this is a divided 4 lane highway and one would think that the traffic would be detoured to one side of the divide with a single lane of traffic traveling in each direction. Seems logical, right? So what does MNDot do? They tear up both lanes of northbound traffic and make everyone drive on crushed rock for over 1/4 mile! What are they thinking or maybe were they thinking at all! Luckily it wasn't raining at the time! (It was raining further up the road and the road was paved!) Make it to International Falls and literally, fall into bed. I will need to push it tomorrow to be in the Twin Cities to meet my daughter on Wednesday.