Keepsake Quilting FAQ
We've put together some aids and answers on quilting questions and concerns. We hope these how-to's, where-for's and FAQs will help you enjoy quilting and all things quilting related. 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 - (Mon-Fri 8:00am-6:00pm EST)
Mail: Steelcity LLC DBA Keepsake Quilting • 505 Aztec Drive • Archdale, NC 27263 • USA
How do I order a gift certificate?
All of our gift certificates are emailed. We no longer send paper certificates through the mail. Gift certificates are available in denominations of $10, $25, $50, $75 and $100. You may order any combination of these denominations for the total amount that you’d like. For example, if you want to order a $200 amount, you would order two $100 certificates, or whatever combination you like. A Keepsake Quilting emailed gift certificate will be received within 24 hours.How do I redeem a gift certificate?
If the gift certificate was purchased after January 1, 2018, just enter the gift-certificate number on the payment page when checking out. If the gift certificate was issued prior to 2018 or purchased at our Center Harbor retail shop, please call 800-865-9458 to place your order.How do I order fabric yardage?
Running yardage is figured in 1-yard increments, with a 1-yard minimum. One yard is equal to 1 increment. Example: To order 1 yard, enter 1 in the Quantity box. To order 1-1/2 yards, enter 1.5 in the Quantity box. For 2 yards enter quantity 2, 2-1/2 yards enter quantity 2.5, etc.How do I check the status of my order online?
If you are a registered website customer, your purchase history can be found as soon as you log into your online account.
If you purchased as a guest, go to the bottom of the homepage, and click on “Guest Order Status” under “Resources.” Enter the order number and required information. Click “Submit.”
When you log into our website, your account references your customer number. Since your club membership is directly tied into your customer number, the system already knows that you are a club member.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 website 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.”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 website 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 Questions/Secret Answer.Where do I enter my discount code?
From time to time, we offer special promotion codes on either select products or on your entire order. These discount codes are entered at the bottom of the Order Summary box.If an item 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.Why did I not receive an emailed 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. Please check your account to be sure that you've entered your email address correctly. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.Pricing Information
All prices on this website are subject to change without notice. While we make every effort to provide you the most accurate, up-to-date information, occasionally, one or more items on our website may be incorrectly priced. In the event a product or service is listed at an incorrect price due to typographical or technical error, or error in pricing information received from our third-party partners, we reserve the right to refuse or cancel any orders placed for a product or service listed at the incorrect price.Discount Codes
From time to time, we offer special promotion codes on either select products or on your entire order. These discount codes are entered into your shopping cart and your discount amount will be reflected below the subtotal in your cart. Discount codes are not applicable to monthly product clubs, Block of the Month programs, Gold Club memberships, gift cards , items shipping directly from manufacturers or retail partners, sales tax or shipping & handling. Only one discount code can be used per order. Select codes are for single-time use. Discount codes do not apply to previously-placed orders. Coupon codes may be used online or by phone only.
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, and occasionally, 1/2-yard cuts, and may usually be purchased individually by the yard.What is a panel?
A fabric panel is a single piece of fabric, which is sold individually, and not by the yard. Panel sizes range from 23" x 44" to 44" x 44". They feature a large single motif or multiple motifs, such as place mats, pillows or quilt labels. Many panels can be turned into quilts simply by adding backing and batting. A panel can also be used as the center of a larger quilt, or can be cut apart for bags and any number of projects.What is a PatternPlus™?
A PatternPlus is a pattern that also includes one or more additional items such as fabric or embellishments to get you started quickly on your project.Why did I receive a fabric in a kit or fabric collection that is different from the one pictured in the catalog or on the website?
Our goal is always to send you the fabrics that we've pictured, but, on occasion, the fabrics shown become discontinued or delayed from the manufacturer. When that happens, we try very hard to find close substitutes that we feel you’ll be happy with and will work well in your kit or collection.What will I get in my laser pre-cut quilt kit?
Some kits include precut fabrics with the fusible web already ironed on for you, so you can spend less time cutting and more time sewing! The fabrics have been laser cut, leaving small tabs to hold the different shapes together in sheet form, making it easier for you to identify the specific shapes and placements.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.
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.
Buttons and snaps are a potential choking hazard for infants and toddlers, so we suggest you substitute either embroidery or applique for the embellishments, or just leave them off the quilt.What is the minimum yardage for ordering fabric?
When ordering individual fabrics, the minimum cut is one yard.Why is my backing fabric torn rather than rotary cut?
During the manufacturing and finishing process, fabrics can be stretched, distorted and pulled off-grain. This distortion is especially pronounced in extra-wide backing fabric. To ensure that the backing fabric you receive is on the straight of the grain, we tear it instead of rotary cutting it. When fabric is torn, it tears right between two woven threads, ensuring that the grain is straight. Once you wash and stretch your fabric back into shape, you will have a much straighter edge. Having fabric on the straight of grain is especially important for borders and backings.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.To 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 your convenience:
Books: All books are softcover, 8-1/2 x 11", unless otherwise stated.
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!
Kit: A kit contains everything you need for the top and binding of a quilt. such as a doll or critter.
Medley™: A Medley is a group of several fabrics themed according to color, design or creative concept.
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 your project.
Scrap Bags: Made up of fabric left over from cutting kits and collections. Scrap bags contain first-quality cotton fabric. Not really "scraps!"
Prewashing fabric is an individual decision. You may wish to prewash or rinse fabrics to avoid uneven shrinkage and to prevent the colors from running when the quilt is first laundered.
Yardage: Individually machine wash each color of fabric in cool water, rinsing until the water runs clear. Do not wash more than five or six yards at a time, and be sure to unfold the fabric before washing so there’s no rubbing along the fold line.
To prevent unnecessary wrinkling, do not put more than five yards of fabric in the dryer at one time. Tumble dry on a low setting until almost dry, then check the fabric for wrinkling. If it is wrinkled, remove from dryer and iron dry. Continue tumbling unwrinkled fabric until dry.
For fabrics with metallic highlights, machine wash as above using a gentle cycle and cool water. Tumble-dry on a low setting. Do not use laundry products containing brighteners.
Precut fusible-backed shapes: Do not machine or hand wash or put in dryer, since this may cause them to unravel or fray.
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 before storing.
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.
Why and how to label your quilts
By quilt journalist Meg Cox.
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 the label.
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!
How do I use laser-cut fusibles?
Precut fusibles are so handy! Create quickly and precisely, even with detailed shapes. To apply precut fusibles to your fabrics, simply place your laser-cut shapes (one layer at a time with the fusible side down) on the desired area of your background fabric and apply your iron with a low, dry heat setting for 2 seconds. Repeat the process until you have pressed the entire area of the fusible shape with your iron. Let your fabrics and fusibles cool and then you may applique or quilt as desired.
The Difference Between Chain Store Fabrics and Quilter’s Grade Fabrics
We are often asked, “Is there really any difference between the printed cotton quilting fabric 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 quilting fabric 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 finished product.
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 support.
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.