Keepsake Quilting Frequently Asked Questions
We've put together some aids, answers, and
authorities on quilting questions and concerns. We hope these how-to's,
where-for's and FAQs will help you enjoy quilting and all things
If you have questions that this page does not answer-or if you have any
suggestions on articles or items you would like to see addressed here,
please let us know by contacting us:
Telephone: 1-800-525-8086 or 603-253-8731
Mail: Keepsake Quilting • PO Box 1618 • Center Harbor, NH 03226 USA
Web Site Questions
• Articles of Interest
The Difference Between Chain Store Fabrics and Quilters' Grade Fabrics
Interview with Gabrielle Swain for The Alliance for American Quilts
Antique Quilts in the Twenty First Century
How Should a Quilt Be Washed?
Native American Quilting Traditions
Why and How to Label your Quilts
• Tutorial Videos
• Sites of Interest
• Bus Tour Operators
• Favorite Charities for Quilters
What is the physical address of the shop?
Our address is 12 Main St, Center Harbor, NH 03226. This address may be
used with map programs to get directions to our shop, however we do not
receive mail or deliveries at this address. To return an item or send
us something by mail, please use the address Rt. 25B, PO Box 1618,
Center Harbor, NH 03226.
What are your shop hours?
Our shop, located in Center Harbor, NH is now on Summer Hours and is open Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m and Sunday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. We are
closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
How do I get to the shop?
I-93 in New Hampshire, take exit 23. At the end of the exit ramp, head
east onto Route 104 towards Meredith. Travel 8.1 miles, you will come
to an intersection with Route 3. There is a traffic light at the
intersection; turn left onto Route 3 North. Travel 1 mile and you will
come to another traffic light, turn right onto Route 25 East. Travel
4.7 miles until you reach a double set of traffic lights. Heath’s
Hardware will be on your right and Senter’s Marketplace on your left.
Turn left at the light. Our shop is located in Senter’s Marketplace.
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What are the advantages of the Keepsake Quilting Gold Club?
Keepsake Quilting Gold Club:
$60.00 worth of money-saving coupons,
20% off all regularly-priced books, free fabric searches, exclusive quilt consignment program, free
classified ads on the Keepsake Quilting Web site, every edition of the
Keepsake Quilting catalog and the Keepsake Quilter Newsletter, a Super
Satchel Box featuring an embossed Keepsake Quilting logo, Shades of
Gold 10" Square Collection, quarterly e-mail updates, free standard
shipping on every order, entry into the monthly drawing for
a $100.00 Keepsake Quilting shopping spree.
What is a fat quarter? A fat quarter is a quarter yard cut that measures approximately 18" x 22" rather than the standard 9" x 44" quarter yard.
How wide is your fabric? All fabric sold by the yard is 44" wide, unless stated otherwise in the description.
What is a Medley™? A Medley is
a group of fabrics themed according to color, design or creative
concept. They may be purchased as a group in fat quarter cuts, or may
be purchased individually by the yard. Many of the Medleys are also
available to purchase as a group in 1/2 yard or one yard cuts.
What is a PatternPlus™? A
PatternPlus is a pattern, which also includes one or more additional
items such as fabric or embellishments to get you started quickly on
How do I know which Walking Foot or which Big Foot will fit my sewing machine?
The feet that we offer fit a wide range of sewing machine makes and
models. There are a few things you can check to be sure that the
presser foot will work on your machine. First, do you loosen a screw on
the left side of the presser foot to remove it from your machine? If
no, then unfortunately the Walking Foot or Big Foot will not work for
your machine. They are not designed to fit on machines with the snap-on
or lever action style feet. Secondly, remove your current presser foot
and set it on a table surface just like it sits on the machine. Measure
vertically up the side of the foot from top to bottom. If it measures
3/4" then you have a low shank machine. If it measures 1-1/4" then you
have a high shank machine. If you have a Singer sewing machine and the
needle slants forward, then you have a slant shank machine.
What is a good project for a beginner? We
recommend starting with a small quilt that features simple applique or
piecing techniques. A wall hanging that has pieced blocks, fusible
applique or a preprinted panel is a great project to begin with.
How much fabric do I need to make a quilt?
The amount of fabric you will need will vary depending on what size
your quilt will be and how intricate the piecing. It is best to use a
pattern that tells you exactly how much of each fabric is required. As
a very general guideline here is the approximate yardage needed for
standard sized quilts: A crib size 45" x 60" requires approximately 3
yds for a pieced top, 1-1/2 yds for backing, and 1/2 yd for binding. A
twin size 72" x 90" requires approximately 9 yds for a pieced top,
5-1/2 yds for backing, and 3/4 yds for binding. A double size 81" x 96"
requires approximately 10 yds for a pieced top, 6 yds for backing, and
1 yd for binding A queen size 90" x 108" requires approximately 12 yds
for a pieced top, 9 yds for backing, and 1 yd for binding. And a king
size 120" x 120" requires approximately 15 yds for a pieced top, 10 yds
for backing, and 1-1/4 yds for binding. However, we can't stress enough
that these are only general guidelines for helping you determine fabric
purchasing, we cannot guarantee that these yardage amounts will be
accurate for the quilt that you plan to make.
How do I return an item?
If you still have the packing slip from your order, then please fill
out the back portion of the slip. If you do not have the packing slip,
then be sure to write down your name, billing address, item(s) you're
returning, and, if applicable, the item(s) you would like to order in
exchange. Be sure to include this with your return, and mail it to
Keepsake Quilting, PO Box 1618, Center Harbor, NH 03226, ATTN: Customer
Service. You do not need any kind of return authorization from us prior
to sending back your item(s). You may return any item you have
purchased from us, at any time, for refund or exchange.
What are your shipping charges?Our shipping charges are based on the value of the merchandise being
purchased. For orders being shipped within the United States, the
standard shipping charges are as follows:
|Purchases up to $10.00
|from 10.01 to 20.00
|20.01 to 30.00
|30.01 to 40.00
|40.01 to 60.00
|60.01 to 100.00
• Canadian Shipments:
The amount shown above plus $9.00
• Foreign Shipments:
The amount shown above plus $15.00
• UPS ® (2 business days) add $12.00
• UPS Ground® (3-5 business days) add $6.00
How will my package be shipped?
Our standard method of shipment is US Mail with normal delivery time
being 7–10 business days. For shipments to Canada, we ship US Mail with
normal delivery time being 10–14 business days. For all foreign
shipments, we ship by Airmail with normal delivery time being 1–4 weeks.
What if I want to receive my order faster than normal delivery time?
We offer UPS Expedited Delivery. You may choose this option from our
Web site as long as your shipping address is not to a Post Office Box.
UPS Ground is a 3–5 day delivery service and is an additional $6.00,
UPS 2 Day delivery is an additional $12.00, and UPS Next Day is an
additional $20.00. Please note that expedited delivery is for in-stock
items only. Your order must be placed by 1 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday
through Friday and shipped within the contiguous 48 states.
Unfortunately, expedited delivery is not available for all items, or
for delivery to rural routes, postal boxes or general delivery
addresses. Please call Customer Service at 800-525-8086 for
How do I get coupons? You receive a selection of money saving coupons when you join our Keepsake Quilting Club or Keepsake Quilting Gold Club.
What is the minimum yardage for ordering fabric? When ordering individual fabrics, the minimum cut is one-half yard.
Why are your shipping charges so high?
We keep our shipping charges as low as possible. All of our shipping
charges have been determined by researching the actual average cost of
shipping our packages. Also, delivery is guaranteed. If your order gets
to you in poor condition, or not at all, we’ll take care of it!
What does “fabric repeat” mean?
Just like on a roll of wallpaper, designs are repeated over and over
again along the length of a bolt of fabric. The length of the repeat is
determined by the size of the screens that the mills use to print the
fabric. Standard repeats for quilt fabrics are 12", 24" and 36" (for
large panels). As an example, the exact same rose on a floral print
would appear every 12" or every 24", depending on the repeat.
help answer some of your "What did they mean by that?" questions, here
are some of the terms used in the catalog, defined and explained for
Books: All books are softcover, 8-1/2 x 11", unless otherwise stated.
Fabric: All fabric is first-quality, 44" wide cotton unless otherwise stated. Fabrics sold by the yard have a one-half yard minimum cut.
Fat quarter: A fat quarter is a
quarter yard cut that measures 18" x 22" rather than the standard 9" x
44" quarter yard. A great way to build your fabric collection!
Featured fabric: This is the main or key fabric in a Medley. It is shown in the large photo.
Kit: A kit contains everything
you need for the top and binding of a quilt, or everything needed to
make a project such as a doll or critter.
A Medley is a group of
several fabrics themed according to color, design or creative concept.
If you want a larger cut than is listed in the catalog, please let us
know. We'll be happy to cut a larger size especially for you. All
fabrics are available for sale by the yard. Please call for pricing if
not shown in the catalog.
A PatternPlus is
a pattern which also includes one or more additional items such as
fabric or embellishments to get you started quickly on your project.
Made up of fabric left over from cutting kits and Medleys. Scrap bags contain first-quality cotton fabric. Not really "scraps!"
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Web Site Questions:
How do I check the status of my order online?
To check the status of your order, you must first log in. Once you have
done this, click on “My Account.” Your orders will be displayed under
“Order Status,” and you may click on the order number for more details.
What does ship method PD mean?
If your shipment method shows PD, this indicates that the items were
shipped by US Mail. Normal delivery time is 7–10 business days.
Where do I put in my club membership number when I'm ordering from the Web site?
When you log in on our Web site, your account references your customer
number. Your club membership is directly tied into your customer
number, therefore when you log in the system already knows that you are
a club member. There is no need to type in your membership number. The
discounts on books and free shipping will be applied automatically to
your order. You will be able to see the adjusted total on your order
confirmation that will be emailed to you after the order is submitted.
If you have any problems applying your coupons to your order, then
please tell us which coupons you are using when you get to the
“Comments” window at the end of your order. When we process the order
we will apply the appropriate coupons for you.
How do I get e-mail promotions?
We regularly send out e-mails announcing upcoming events or advertising
special sales. Please log in on our Web site and click on “My Account;”
then go to Login Information, and click on “edit.” To be included in
our e-mail promotions just click on the box so that a check mark
appears. Then click “Update.”
Why do I need to choose a Secret Question/Secret Answer for my Login Information?
This is a special feature that will be helpful in case you forget your
password. Once you save an answer to your secret question, you may
retrieve your password easily at any time.
What if I forget my password?
Click on “Forget Your Password? Click Here” in the box entitled “Existing Customer
Login.” Fill in the e-mail address that you use for your log in and
click the box for “Send password to above e-mail” or “Answer Secret
Question,” then click on “Next.” Depending on your selection, your
password will either be emailed to you or will be displayed immediately
on the screen.
How can I change my e-mail address or my password?
You may change your e-mail address or password right from the Web site
at any time. Simply log in and go under “My Account.” At your Login
Information, click on “edit.” From there you may change your e-mail
address, your password, and you may view or change your Secret
If an item in my order is on backorder, will I be charged again for shipping?
NO. You are charged the total amount of postage and handling when the
first portion of your order is shipped. All backorders will be sent
when they are available with no additional postage and handling.
When is my credit card charged? Your credit card will not be charged until your order is sent.
What if something in my order is damaged or missing?
Delivery is guaranteed. If your order gets to you in poor condition, or
not at all, it’s not your problem, it’s ours. Please contact us by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at
800-525-8086. Let us know what the problem is and we’ll take care of
Why did I not receive an e-mailed confirmation of my order?
Within ten minutes from the time you submit your order you should
receive an e-mailed order confirmation. These e-mails are sent directly
from our bulk e-mail server and may be filtered automatically as Spam
or junk mail, depending on your e-mail settings. To avoid this
happening, please add email@example.com to your address book. If
you did not receive your e-mail confirmation and would like us to
resend it for you, please contact us at 800-525-8086 or e-mail
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Sites of Interest
Faye Labanaris, Dover, New Hampshire
Faye is known for her beautiful award winning appliqué work and
dimensional ribbon flowers. She has taught throughout the United
States and Great Britain.
Her specialty is hand needle turn appliqué and appliqué designs with
dimensional ribbon blossoms. She is the author of five books, Blossoms
by the Sea - Making Ribbon Flowers for, Quilts With A View, Garden View
Applique – Vintage Album Patterns, Applique Rose Garden – Vintage Album
Patterns, and Ribbon Treasures from Celia’s Garden, published by the
American Quilter’s Society, Paducah, Kentucky.
Faye was voted National Honored Teacher by students in C&T
Publishing’s First Baltimore Album Revival contest. Her quilt, A
Tribute to Celia Thaxter (1835 - 1894), placed first in that contest
and was a runner up in the 20th Century’s 100 Best Quilts sponsored by
the International Quilt Association. Faye has twice been a first place
State winner in the Great American Quilt Festival sponsored by the
Museum of American Folk Art in New York City. She has appeared on Alex
Anderson’s Simply Quilts TV program with an episode on Quilts with a
View. Visit Faye at www.fayelabanaris.com
Phone: 603 742-0211 Fax: 603 740 9199
80 Mt. Vernon Street, Dover, NH 03820
E-Mail: ebpeters@ LR.net
Phone: 6043 524 6956 Fax: 603 524 7282
27 Tremont Street, Laconia NH 03246
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Address: Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting
Winterset, IA 50273
Business Information: Expert quilters Marianne Fons and Liz Porter of
Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting invite you to browse all the tips,
techniques, skills, patterns and products their over 25 years of
teaching experience has to offer?Visit FonsandPorter.com today!
Founded in Switzerland more than 100 years ago and still family-owned,
Bernina® is the world’s premier manufacturer of state-of-the-art sewing
and embroidery systems, sergers and embroidery software sold in the
United States. The Bernina artista 730E sewing & embroidery system
is a 2007 “Consumers Digest Best Buy.”
The BEST BUY SEAL is a registered trademark of Consumers Digest Communications, LLC, used under license.
Address: Bernina of America
3702 Prairie Lake Court
Aurora, IL 60504
Country Heritage Tours is a specialty tour company offering 5-15 day
motorcoach tours that showcase large quilting events, and heritage
needlework venues. Our tour programs include cultural events,
historical areas, museums that include textiles and arts, local craft
artisans, gardens, and theatre.
In the Heart of New Hampshire's Lakes Region, the Meredith Area offers
year round beauty, small town charm, friendly folks, distinctive
shopping, fine restaurants and a variety of lodging. Call the Meredith
Chamber at 603-279-6121 for our four color brochure or visit our web
Squam Lakes Chamber of Commerce
Phone #: 603-968-4494
State of NH Division of Travel and Tourism
Phone #: 603-271-2665
Address: PO Box 1856, 172 Pembroke Rd
Concord, NH 03302-1856
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Articles of Interest
The Difference Between Chain Store Fabrics and Quilters' Grade Fabrics
by Jim Salinas
I’m often asked, “Is there really any difference between the printed
cottons found in chain stores for $2.99 to $5.99 per yard and those
found in quilt shops and the best mail order catalogs for $7.99 to
$9.99?” You bet there is!
Premium brands start with high quality greige (gray) goods. Premium
greige goods have a thread count of at least 60 by 60 threads, and most
have thread counts higher than “60 square.” Higher thread counts
produce a silkier hand, less bearding when quilted, longer fabric life
and better printing definition.
Most chain store cotton prints are made from less expensive greige
goods that have 60 square construction or less. In chain stores, 60
square construction is considered to be the benchmark of high quality.
In addition to thread count, fabric quality is also determined by the
diameter of the yarns used, the size of the cotton filaments and the
length of the cotton staple. Although premium raw materials are more
expensive and add to the final price you pay, you get a far superior
Premium brands typically make use of a higher number of screens (the
number of colors used in the print) and more complex and sophisticated
engravings. High screen counts and complex engravings require using
slower and more exacting flat bed presses than the high speed rotary
presses used by domestic printers for most chain store fabrics.
Once the greige goods are printed, they have to be “finished.” The
printed fabric is placed in a chemical bath that sets the dye into the
cotton fibers. Unfinished or poorly-finished goods bleed badly and have
a very coarse, “boardy” hand. Premium brands are finished using more
time-consuming and expensive processes that create the silken hand of
quilters’ grade fabric in addition to superior colorfastness.
It is, of course, an over-simplification to divide the cotton print
industry into chain store brands and quilt shop/mail order catalog
brands. Indeed, chain stores often carry a limited range of premium
brands. But, generally speaking, chain store offerings are price
driven. They cannot easily sell the higher priced fabrics to their
clientele. As a result, chain stores tend to carry the lower priced
(and therefore lower quality) cotton fabrics.
Consider also the element of design. Premier designers tend to design
for premium fabric companies. The technical aspects of the use of premium
greige goods, printing many screens with fine definition, creating a
silken hand through more sophisticated finishing processes - all these
elements enhance a designer’s efforts. World-class design brings a
unique dimension to premium quality fabric. It comes with a price, but
it adds immeasurably to the special nature of quilters’ grade fabric.
There is one more point that should be addressed. That is the issue of
service and expertise. Most quilt shops and mail order quilting
catalogs?the prime sources of premium fabrics?are well staffed with
knowledgeable, friendly, quilting experts. Most shops provide classes
and expertise unmatched by the chains. Quilt shops and mail order
catalogs generally do not sell jobber goods. They offer only first
quality, premium brands at fair prices. These firms deserve your
In conclusion, there is most definitely a difference in fabrics. You
get what you pay for. Premium brands offer a vast quality advantage
over cheaper alternatives for just a modest increase in cost,
especially when you consider the effort, skill and love that will go
into your use of the fabric.
Printed with permission of Moda Fabrics.
Interview with Gabrielle Swain for The Alliance for American Quilts,
Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories project:
In this interview, Gabrielle
describes her quilt history and influences, and discusses at length how
she created this particular piece. You can read the entire interview
and hundreds of others in this oral history project by going to the
Alliance website, www.centerforthequilt.org.
Interviewer Karen Bennick (KB): What is the quilt? Could you describe the quilt to me?
Gabrielle Swain (GS): Sure, I'd be happy to. It's a quilt called
"Even Change." It's a 4-block oak leaf design that is rotated 90
degrees as it turns. Reverse and direct applique. And it has color
temperature study for the basis of the color work in it. So I am
alternating warm and cool with each one of the leaf designs as they jog
over each other. It is hand appliqued, reverse and direct, hand quilted
and machine pieced.
KB: What inspired this quilt?
GS: These are post oak leaves. And in Texas, we have tons and tons
of post oak leaves because they grow native here. They used to use them
to make the fence posts on the farms and ranches. What I did was take
actual size leaves off the ground and just make a sketch of them. Then
I enlarged that, basically it's just blown up, to do the larger
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Antique Quilts in the Twenty First Century-Collections and Exhibitions: An Insider's View
© Shelly Zegart,- a renowned
curator, author, appraiser and broker whose quilt collection is now
owned by the Art Institute of Chicago, is a co-founder and Past
President of The Alliance for American Quilts. This article was first
published in Selvedge Magazine in 2004.
all accounts, the quilt revival that began in the late 1960’s is still
going b. It has recently been reported that more than twenty
million people are currently involved in the business and creation of
quilts. Quilt Festivals are happenings all over the world and people
are taking quiltmaking classes at a furious pace. What does all of this
activity mean for collecting and exhibiting antique quilts?
Through more than twenty five years of working with various quilt
documentation projects, as an appraiser, collector, consultant and
broker of fine quilts, I became familiar with most institutional and
private collections. Asked by Nihon Vogue in 1998 to author a
publication, “American Quilt Collections: Antique Quilt Masterpieces”
as a guide to public and private collections in the United States for
quilt aficionados, led to research into more than one hundred and fifty
collections both public and private.
1992 as moderator for a conference on Collecting at "Louisville
Celebrates the American Quilt.", research led me to the facts that only
a few institutions collected quilts in the late nineteenth-century.
Some included The Concord Museum of Concord, Massachusetts; The Essex
Institute of Salem, Massachusetts; and The New York Historical Society
of New York, New York. The majority of large public collections began
in the early 20th century. In 1910, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in
New York City acquired its first American bedcovering.
A few early private collectors included Electra Havemeyer Webb, a
pioneering collector of Americana, who founded the Shelburne Museum,
and Florence Peto, a famous quilt author and collector. In 1952, the
Shelburne Museum opened; that same year Mrs. Webb began planning an
exhibit of quilts, textiles, and women's needle arts. More than fifty
quilts from her personal collection went to the museum.
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How Should a Quilt Be Washed?
When you consider the many hours put into the creation of a quilt it is
only logical that the utmost care should be taken in preserving its
beauty. Often quilts are destroyed by improper care and cleaning. A
well-constructed quilt, stitched at the proper intervals for the
batting used, will wash beautifully. The weight of a quilt when wet can
cause stress to the fibers of the fabric and batting if lifted
improperly or if too much agitation is involved.
Hand Washing Quilts
For truly delicate pieces, hand washing in a large sink or tub may be
desirable. Fill a large sink or tub with tepid water and add a cleaning
agent that contains little to no perfumes or additives. There are
several products on the market made especially to launder quilts.
Accordion-fold quilt and place in the tub. Soak for 15 to 30 minutes or
longer. Extensive soaking will not harm your quilt. Drain tub and
refill with cool water to rinse. Repeat the rinsing process several
times to remove all residues. Take care in hand washing to avoid
lifting or agitating the quilt to excess while being washed. After the
quilt is rinsed, blot it dry with towels to absorb moisture. Lay out
the quilt on a dry surface where air can circulate around it to dry.
Machine Washing Quilts
If your quilt is in good condition, the washing machine may be used.
Fill the machine with tepid or cold water and add a cleaning agent.
Place the quilt in the machine, gently moving around with your hands
and allow it to soak for 15 to 30 minutes. A "gentle" or "delicate"
agitation cycle may be used for just a few minutes, but is best
avoided. Use the spin cycle to remove the water. Repeat this process to
rinse the quilt, filling the washer, avoiding agitation and then
spinning to remove the water. Lay the quilt flat to dry. You may wish
to gently machine tumble on low or delicate heat or on "air" dry to add
further puffiness to the quilt. Make sure the quilt is completely dry
Dry Cleaning Quilts
Normally, we do not recommend dry cleaning quilts and comforters. Some
fabrics lend themselves to dry cleaning only, making it necessary to
dry clean the quilt. After dry cleaning a quilt it may be necessary to
air the quilt as the fibers may temporarily retain some of the dry
cleaning fumes. Also, dry cleaning does involve agitation and harsh
substances, which can create additional wear and tear on your quilt.
Whenever possible it is advisable to gently home launder your quilts in
the methods described above.
Additional Cleaning Tips
Quilts and comforters should always be treated and cared for as you
would a fine garment. Using proper quilting methods and washing
techniques, quilts can be kept looking fresh and new, year after year.
Wall hangings and quilts can also be vacuumed periodically between
laundering. Remember the basic points for successful washing: warm or
cold water, gentle or no agitation, blotting out moisture and laying
flat to dry. One last important point - be certain your fabrics are of
good quality, that they have been preshrunk and that they are
colorfast; otherwise all your time and work have been wasted. If ever
in doubt about the washability of your quilt or comforter, contact the
manufacturer of the materials used for their recommended methods.
Linda Pumphrey works for Mountain Mist and is a board member of The Alliance for American Quilts.
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Native American Quilting Traditions
by Marsha MacDowell
Quilting has a long history among Native Americans, but many
quilters aren't aware of this rich tradition. Of the various North
American Indian and Native Hawaiian art forms that resulted from
contact with Euro-Americans, perhaps the least well known is
Quilts have been used in nearly every Native community for
everyday purposes such as bedcoverings, shelter coverings, infants’
swing cradles, weather insulation, and providing a soft place to sit on
the ground. In some communities, quilts are also used to honor
individuals, in ceremonies, and in a variety of activities that
strengthen community life.
Origins of Native Quilting
Quiltmaking in Native communities was first learned through
contact with Euro-Americans. Traders, missionaries, government agents,
and settlers all played roles in introducing the quilting fabrics,
techniques. It was not long before Native peoples began to pass on
knowledge of skills they quickly honed within their own contexts for
learning and began to use quilts for purposes unique to their own
cultures. Today quilts are found in many Native communities, and within
these communities they help create a b sense of shared identity.
New Materials and Skills: Native Precedents
Native peoples in the Hawaiian Islands and North America have many
indigenous traditions of textile production and use; the materials and
skills of quiltmaking had many precedents in these communities. When
commercially-manufactured cloth and steel needles became available to
native peoples, it was not surprising that, adept at similar craft
forms, they quickly picked up quiltmaking.
Native needleworkers continually combine or replace old materials
and technologies with new. Finger-woven animal pelt blankets have been
replaced by wool blankets and quilts, hides replaced by cotton fabrics,
and awls and needles replaced by sewing machines and rotary
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Why and How to Label Your Quilts
Meg Cox, whose next book “The Quilter’s Catalog: A Comprehensive Resource Guide” will be published in the fall, is on the board of The Alliance for American Quilts.
A quilt without a label is like a person without a name.
Once that quilt leaves your hands, it may attract enormous
attention and compliments for its beauty. But without a label, it can’t
speak about where it came from.
When you finish a quilt and send it out into the world, a label
announces who made the quilt and often much more. The quilt will be
able to speak for itself now -- and in the future.
Historians are able to decipher a quilt’s background if they have just
a name and a date. Even more important, the label will provide vital
information to whoever owns the quilt after its maker. When the
quiltmaker is long gone, the grown man or woman who slept with that
quilt as a child will know who was the source of this cherished object.
Labels also help lost quilts get found. Theft isn’t the biggest cause
of missing quilts, experts say. Some get lost in the mail while en
route to a loved one or a show. Some get misplaced: a sleepy toddler
might leave her quilt in a restaurant or hotel room.
So that’s why every quilt should be labeled. But what information should the label provide?
Some labels are quite elaborate, but that’s a matter of choice and
art. Historians and appraisers say the minimum on a label should be:
*The quiltmaker’s name. If one person pieced the quilt and another did the quilting, both should be acknowledged.
*Date when the quilt was made, either the start and finish dates or just when it was completed.
*Location(s) where the quilt was made.
*Pattern name or title, whatever the quilter calls the quilt.
*E-mail address if you have one.
Additionally, if the quilt was made for a special occasion like a
special birthday or anniversary you’ll probably want to mention that on
If the quilt is a gift, writing washing instructions on the label is very helpful.
To assure the durability of your label, it’s best to sew through
the layers of the quilt when you attach it to the back. A label that is
simply appliquéd onto the backing can be easily removed.
Use an archival quality marker so the writing won’t wash out. Some
quilters use their computers to print the label on specially treated
cotton that they run through their home printers.
Be creative with your labels, and make them part of the overall
design theme of the quilt. If it’s a flower quilt, fussy cut some
flowers and sew them around the edges of the label. Labels can be big.
Labels can be pieced, with borders. Some quilters use old handkerchiefs
for their labels, which they buy at flea markets and garage sales. Or
you can simply cut a rectangle of fabric from white or off-white
fabric, write down the basic information in marker, and sew the label
securely to your quilt.
Your quilt isn’t finished until the label is sewn on!
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Bus Tour Operators
Bob Neff Tours
Address: 1525 Oregon Pike, Suite 2201
Lancaster, PA 17601
Country Heritage Tours
Phone #: 800-346-9820
Address:PO Box 59
Amherst, NH 03031
Cyr Northstar Tours
Phone #:800-244-2335; 800-341-0322
Address:153 Gilman Falls Ave.
Olde Town, ME 04468
Finer Vermont Tours
Phone #: 800-601-1857
Address: PO Box 252
Killington Vt. 05751
Phone #: 717-394-2821
Address: PO Box 10935
Lancaster, PA 17605
P&Q Tours, Ltd.
Address: Oak Tree Cottage, Evesbatch, Bishops Frome
Worcs. WR6 5BE
Phone #: 61-3-9729-8722
Website: 182 Canterbury Road Heathmont
Victoria Australia 3135
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Favorite Charities for Quilters
The Angel Network of New Hampshire
The Angel Network has worked together with the State of New Hampshire to provide quilts to some of the 1,000 children in the child welfare system. One of the goals of the Angel Network is that each child receives a quilt with a label that reads "ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU ARE LOVED'. The quilt may be the only item they own, and the label reminds them they are loved.
The children never forget the day they are removed from their home. The quilts give them something to hold on to when they are afraid. We also give quilts to the children that are adopted and to the children that live in group homes. We started our program in 2004 and thanks to a lot of good people; we have given over 848 quilts to children ranging from infancy to the ages of 21. In 2009, we distributed 148 quilts.
Our goal, in addition to providing quilts and life books to children in the State's care, is to help the public to understand the needs of New Hampshire's foster children. New Hampshire has a census of 352,000 children and we have confidence that the public will come to the aid of the 1,000 wonderful children in the State's care.
In 2009, The Angel Network has continued to grow! We are excited to announce that in addition to Easter Seals we have added three new corporate sponsors:
• Easter Seals
The Angel Network has partnered with Easter Seals to provide Life Books for 1,000 children. These life books allow the child to know his family history, why he was taken into States care and to help him plan for his future.
• Hart's Turkey Farm – Manchester, NH
Providing gift cards to the kids so they have the fun of going out to dinner. This has gone over big with the kids.
• New England School of Dance
Has contributed $500 in dance lessons to one special child. One ten year old boy in the State's care had a big dream of becoming a professional dancer. With the assistance of our new sponsor and his hard work, he recently made his debut in the Nutcracker Suite!
• Carparts Distribution Center
They had already donated $200 to the Angel Network through the Easter Seals website.
In addition to our corporate sponsors we have many quilting contributors:
• Seabreeze Quilters Guild
They have donated 49 quilts!
• Merrimack Valley Quilters Guild
They have donated 10 quilts with plans for more to come.
• Keepsake Quilting
They have donated many yards of material as well as the development and use of their website to spread the word about the Angel Network.
Your help is needed. The 148 quilts that were distributed to the kids this year could not have happened without all of your assistance, thank you so much!
Below is contact information for the Angel Network and other agencies that focus on helping New Hampshire's foster children:
• To make a quilt for the Angel Network, we will provide you with a quilt pack with 63 squares, borders, binding, backing and batting. All quilts are 41 x 51 inches. Contact Sandi: firstname.lastname@example.org
• To make a monetary donation on behalf of the Angel Network please contact our partner, Easter Seals of NH: http://www.easterseals.com
To become a foster parent: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/DHHS/FCADOPTION/default.htm
To become a CASA advocate: http://www.casanh.org/
To become a mentor, contact your local DCYF office: http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/DHHS/DCYF/CONTACT+INFO/default.htm
We would like to thank Keepsake Quilting and Easter Seals of New Hampshire for their ongoing support to the Angel Network.
The Alliance for American Quilts, a national nonprofit organization,
supports and develops projects to document, preserve and share the
stories of quilts and quiltmakers.
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All Rights Reserved.