|Babe, the blue Ox. Yes he was blue, but apparently all my pictures are bluish this time, hmmmm.....|
|Inside that tall building is Paul Bunyan and they open the doors for people to see. Unfortunately, this farm does not open until October 12th. So, we saw Babe but not Paul.|
|Look close as there is a loon swimming in the water.|
|The house where Judy Garland grew up in Grand Rapids. Our friends kept saying they were taking us to Dorothy's house without our knowing which Dorothy he was talking about.|
|Gull sitting there for picture taking.|
|Amazing color in the fall trees. My camera seems not to have picked up the brilliant colors!|
|Another Paul Bunyan.|
|A boat out on Leech Lake.|
We started out on our journey to some friends of ours who have just built a small summer cabin up in the woods near Thunder Lake just south of Remer, Minnesota. Day 1 we drove to I-29 from Plattsmouth NE and drove straight north to Sioux Falls SD.We then turned east to proceed to the first quilt shops. Minnesota had just had their statewide shop hop and they had a nice map by section of the state, showing the towns and the names of the shops. At the first shop we stopped at, the owner gave me one of those maps! All I could say was YIPPPPPEEEEE!
Traveling along I-90, we decided to skip some shops because time wise it was going to be close in order to get to Thimbleberries in Hutchinson as I knew they closed at 4 pm. So our first stop was the Spinning Spools Quilt Shop in New Ulm, MN. Nice shop, and she was the person who gave me the map. I bought a pattern and a Loon Kit to piece and frame for the friends who we were on our way to see near Remer. The next stop was just down the street at The Thimble Box. A very large store, a lot to see and a very nice shop owner. New Ulm is a very German town. They have a sister city in Germany and residents in New Ulm and the sister city can sign up to come or go to work in the states or in Germany. The job will vary as to the wants of the individual. New Ulm is full of wonderful old houses and the architecture is wonderful and we just didn't have time to explore the whole place and I think another visit to this town is in order some day. But we had to keep going in order to get to Hutchinson. I called ahead to see if they would wait for us and they said they would. We were only 5 minutes late and there were still people in the store. Of course it was all Thimbleberries and wonderful. Lynette Jensen is retiring and closing the shop at the end of the year so I was glad I was able to finally go there. Another person will open a shop in Hutchinson after that so they won't be without a quilt shop. From there we left for St Cloud, or rather the suburb of St Cloud, Waite Park and right there on the corner, so easy to find, was Gruber's. It was section after section of quilts and fabric and patterns. I think if you needed a certain pattern or fabric, it was there. It has a sign saying "Prepare to be overwhelmed" and that was right!
We stayed the night in St Cloud, and got going north again to Brainerd. Brainerd had two quilts shops listed, Colorz For Quilts and Country Fabrics and Quilting and wow, those were nice shops! The Country Quilts shop had just opened so I had a run of the place with the help of the person working there and she showed me everything and then told me that there was a second floor to the house and I had to check that out! I managed to get out there with some really nice things! Then on to the Colorz for Quilts, which was small but had some really nice Minnesota panels and I bought the pattern for the quilt along with the center panel of Loons, Lakes and Moose. It will make a lap size quilt and very simple and easy but one for the memories of this trip. I also bought small little pictures of the same to make a table runner for our friends and one for me. At this shop I asked about the rumor that we had heard that Paul Bunyan and Babe had been moved from Bemidji to Brainerd. They cleared that rumor up and said that both towns have their own Paul and Babe, but the shop owner said theirs were the best because she thought the Bemidji Paul had a hat on that looked like he was Scottish! So everyone in the shop had a good laugh about that and then they told me where we could find the two about 8 miles toward Garrison on a Farm. That Farm is the one of the pictures above that is sort of like a fair type place that you go to in the fall and they have rides and a Fall Festival of sorts. So we drove over there, and on to Mille Lacs Lake, another wonderful fishing lake. From there we proceeded to drive to our friends new cabin south of Remer. After staying the night, we drove with them to Grand Rapids and stopped at the house where Judy Garland had grown up and they had noticed on a previous drive that there was a sign that said quilting on it so we stopped to check that out. It wasn't a quilt shop, but a longarm quilter's shop and she told us all about the quilt shop in town, showed us her projects and we talked about Creative Studio as we have the same machines. She then mentioned that when we were headed home there was a quilt shop in Hill City that was the BEST KEPT SECRET around and we just had to stop there . We then went to ABC's of Quilting that was in the center of town in what used to be Central School. It is an amazing building which has been totally redone as it was built in 1895 and was the first school in the northern part of the state outside of Duluth, to offer high school. It also housed the first library in Grand Rapids. It was in operation until 1972 and in the 80's it was nearly torn down to make way for what some people thought would be a better place for other purposes, but they saved it and now houses several shops including the quilt shop, a wood carvers shop and a gift shop. It is all redone with polished wood railing and a central staircase going up the middle with what appeared to be a skylight in the very top. I did not get pictures but I did buy their cookbook which gives the history and recipes from those who once had gone to school there. And did I say, it had a very nice shop and a longarm to go with it, just like mine!
So on the way home we stopped at the Roadside Market in Hill City which appears to be a gas station with a grocery attached, but the minute you walk in, you won't believe your eyes, there tucked into a corner is Elaine's Corner, a great quilt shop and the best part of it is, she does not mark up the fabrics as the other quilt shops do and she likes batiks which ran 6-7 a yard instead of the 10-12 dollar range. All the fabrics were significantly lower in price. So I am telling you, if you are near Hill City Minnesota, stop at the Roadside Market, you won't be sorry!
We then headed back to their cabin and decided to drive to Leech Lake to check it out. We drove to our destination which happened to be Walker and our friend drove down one street to show us yet another quilt shop and it was still open! What a place that one was! I was going crazy in there as she has everything that I like. I have also been on her website I realized and it was the Front Porch Quilts. They design a lot of their own patterns and they are nice! The website is www.frontporchquiltshop.com. After that we left and ate supper by the lake and our friends said we should head home before dark due to the deer on the roads so we left. Boy were they right, we saw at least 30 deer, some in groups of 3 or 4 and then a herd, jumping across the road and all around. Most local drivers know the danger on those roads. The next morning, Friday, we left for home and decided to take a different route home, so we drove back to Walker, and yes, had to stop one more time at that wonderful place, and then straight west to the next place in Park Rapids, Monika's. It had a lot in it, but nothing I had not seen in other shops and it was a very touristy type place so we ventured on to the next place, Detroit Lakes. They had a shop listed called Back Porch Quilts, but asking along the way it turned out they had closed but I was assured there was a another great shop in town. We needed to keep moving so we did not go back into town and headed on to Moorhead with the hopes of finding The Quilted Ladybug and right as we got into town, we spotted it in a strip mall and it was fantastic! Two rooms, full of quilts and projects divided in category of seasons and types of quilts,etc. A wonderful place! But we had to keep going and we crossed over to Fargo North Dakota and turned and drove straight south toward home.So we were home by 10:30 and glad to be home. So 11 quilts hops in 4 days and a few new projects to get in line to do, not bad!