Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WIP: New Hampshire Fabrics

During our Boston area trip August 7-15 my husband indulged me by adding a jaunt north up to Center Harbor, NH to check out  Keepsake Quilting, on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. I have gotten their catalog for many years, since I first got into the quilting hobby and I consider them an icon of the quilting community. When we were in Central California last year my husband wanted to visit the memorial for James Dean. For me, this visit to Keepsake's brick and mortar store was in sort of the same category. My life could still be complete without ever going there but I'd always been very curious.

The store was well within what I expected with no major surprises. I will say though that their sale outlet section of the store was unremarkable. To me ~10% off is no real sale.  Apparently they have a huge summer blowout each year during which it is a real mob scene, but throughout the store discounts are very minimal. Also, although they have many many bolts of fabric, there are very few fat quarters. Their policy is to only cut fat quarters when they are near the end of the bolt. In a way, this is to be commended as not wasting fabric; but somehow, a quilt store without bins or cubbies or baskets or drawers of fat quarters seems a bit weird to me.

I did pick up just a few pieces of fabric. I liked the quasi stripe on the left and found it very unusual.  I bought a half yard, maybe for binding. The central plaid was a brushed cotton and had a very, very soft hand to it. I liked the whimsy of the barbecue bugs on the right.


I also found this adorable animal print, perfect for a certain biology major friend of mine. I just love the variety of critters on the fabric, from many kingdoms, phyla and classes. I have now exhausted  my high school biology terminology.


And just look at all the colors involved! It is impressive that 18 different dyes went into this fabric as you can see by the numbered circles on the selvage. Having just visited the town of Lowell and touring the American Textile History Museum there, I am more appreciative of the effort involved to print this fabric and keep the colors registered correctly.



There were only fat quarters of Animal Alphabet Flash Cards available though. Due to Keepsake's sales methods, if you find a fat quarter, there is no bolt yardage left to purchase. I bought all remaining four fat quarters and have just made them into napkins. I guess by giving this away in my blog my friend may be surprised now instead of when she receives them in the mail in a few days.

It took me a while and a couple dozen tries before I figured out how to fold the napkins into this triangular packaging method for gifting. (All you vendors out there who do this routinely are laughing at me now.) I knew the equilateral triangle had to be folded at 60° but how to do so repeatedly and with only folded edges exposed was a challenge to figure out. I did not grasp the method readily. I had to figure it out each time for every one of the four napkins! I used the markings on my rectangular rule. I could not find the triangular ruler I knew I had. When I was tossing out the trimmings from the ribbon I tied the stack with, I found the triangular ruler. Wouldn't ya know it?




I am looking forward to checking out other folk's projects later this evening at
Here are my stats:

Completed projects since 7/31/13 WIP post:
  1. Critter napkins
  2. Lots of travel and fabric purchases (August 19, 2013 post)
Ongoing projects:  
  1. Firetruck pillowcase (July 24, 2013 post) - need fabric orientation post
  2. Christmas pillowcases - cut out awaiting stitching
  3. Classic Cars strip quilt (August 3, 2013 post)- need to back, quilt, and bind
  4. Grinch quilt (May 22,2013 post) - all borders added, need to back, quilt, and bind
  5. Jack O'Lantern Trio (February 2, 2013 post) - awaiting FMQ
  6. Chicken quilt - awaiting FMQ
  7. Overlapping square wall hanging - awaiting FMQ
  8. Mask quilt (October 19, 2011 post) - hidden away awaiting inspiration for arranging hexagons
New projects since 7/31/13 WIP post:  
  1. Critter napkins
Stats since last WIP:
     Completed  projects - 1
     Currently in progress - too many, ridiculous, but listing them keeps me honest
     New projects - 1 

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