Accurate 1/4″ Seam Allowance

As part of our continued dedication to bringing you the best quilting content out there, we’re pleased to bring you this 12-part series from one of our sister sites, McCall’s Quilting. If you missed the first post in this series, Pressing Basics, be sure to check it out! _______________________________________________________________

Ah, the elusive 1/4″ quilting seam! For this Tuesday Tutorial, I am pleased to present another one of our free McCall’s Quilting University (MQU) video lessons, An Accurate 1/4″ Seam Allowance. Your host for this video lesson is Kathy Patterson, senior editor of McCall’s Quilting.

Note: please click any image to go directly to the video lesson.

quarter w tape Tuesday Tutorial: Accurate 1/4″ Seam AllowancesTake a few minutes to learn some great tips from Kathy for this essential quilting skill! Think a 1/4″ quilting foot is enough? Kathy will show you why it’s not. Have you ever had a suspicion that the thread you use might make a difference? Kathy will give you a great tip about what thread is best used for your piecing.

quarter1 Tuesday Tutorial: Accurate 1/4″ Seam AllowancesAfter Kathy walks you through the steps for setting up your accurate 1/4″ seam allowance, she’ll show you how to test its accuracy, as well as how to correct it if it turns out a bit too small or too large.

If your feed dogs would be partially covered with tape or post-its, try moving your machine needle as far to the right as it will go first , if your machine has that capability, then proceed with the accuracy test. Note: make sure you’re not using a straight-stitch needle plate if you need to move your needle to the right!

After you watch the video, be sure to download the free PDF as a handy guide to keep with your sewing machine—you’ll find the link on the video page.

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We’ve Just Added Over 200 Products!

We’ve just added over 200 products to from our new catalog! Click here to shop all of the new products!

snowmanquickkitsquiltkitsskippingstonesmedleymedleysprecuts precut  bagpatterns

What are your favorite products?

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Sew you want to know what’s going on at the shop in October?

pinkfabricsOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness month! In celebration and support, we’re offering 20% off all Breast Cancer Awareness fabric at the shop.

ProjectsThis month we are highlighting our Woven Snowflake Ornaments, Quilted Holiday Pinecone Ornaments, and Lil Punkins Pattern. Come to the shop at any time during this month to see how these super cute and very easy projects are to complete!

On October 12, 13, and 14 we are having our Columbus Day weekend sale at the shop—the more you spend, the more you save!  Spend $50–99.99; save 10%!  Spend $100–149.99 and save 15%! And if you spend $150 or more, save 20%!  If you’ve been waiting to buy all that yardage to back the quilt you are giving as a gift this year, now is the time to come in to the shop and take advantage of this sale!

We hope to see you soon at the shop!

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Pressing Basics from McCall’s Quilting

As part of our continued dedication to bringing you the best quilting content out there, we’re pleased to bring you this 12-part series from one of our sister sites, McCall’s Quilting. _______________________________________________________________

For our first Tuesday Tutorial, I am pleased to present one of our free McCall’s Quilting University (MQU) video lessons, Pressing Basics. Your host for this video lesson is Beth Hayes, editor-in-chief of McCall’s Quilting.

Note: please click any image to go directly to the video lesson.

For new or experienced quilters, pressing techniques can often be overlooked. But as you’ll learn in this video, you should always plan your pressing for best results. Beth will tell you plainly that she prefers to use steam while pressing, but whether you prefer to press with or without steam, you will certainly benefit from Beth’s tips and demonstrations!

1 HST Tuesday Tutorial: Pressing BasicsBeth will teach you the best approach for pressing half-square triangles for perfectly flat seams with no puckers or stretched bias seams.

2 Pinwheel Opposing Seams Tuesday Tutorial: Pressing BasicsShe’ll show you more tips for pressing opposing seams, and getting perfectly aligned star points to lie flat. You just might learn a new technique you haven’t yet tried!

3 strip Tuesday Tutorial: Pressing BasicsWe all enjoy strip piecing, but have you ever ended up with arcing strips that “smile” (or “frown”!) at you? Beth shows you how to avoid this with tips for both sewing and pressing strip sets.

4 sampler block Tuesday Tutorial: Pressing Basics5 hexagon star Tuesday Tutorial: Pressing Basics6 special shapes Tuesday Tutorial: Pressing BasicsBeth will show you a few special blocks, like these sampler and hexagon star blocks, that don’t really follow the pressing “rules”, and will give you tips and examples of how to deal with them.

Improve your quilting skills by taking a few minutes to watch our free Pressing Basics Quilting lesson video at – click here. Remember, this is just one of the FREE quilting video lessons available 24-7 from our library of FREE quilting lessons and videos at

Don’t miss any of our Tuesday Tutorials—click here to see them all.

Please tell us what you learned from the video, and share your own tips by commenting below – we love to hear from our readers!

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Primitive Gatherings Pinwheel Tool

Sew you want to know how to use the Primitive Gatherings Pinwheel Tool? Meet Laurel and find out!

Laurel began working at Keepsake Quilting (at her husband’s suggestion!) about sixteen years ago after spending a few years being a stay-at-home mom. At first she worked exclusively in the shop, but now you might also find yourself talking to her at the call center. When she first began at KQ, Laurel was not a quilter. Had her husband known how avid a crafter she was going to become, he probably would not have suggested the job!  She dabbled at first with checkerboard quilts before discovering a love of tools and notions like Thangles, the 30 degree ruler, and the pinwheel tool we will be explaining below. Her general philosophy is “the brighter, the bolder, the better!”  Her favorite tools are graph paper and colored pencils for planning out her next creations. Currently she is finishing up the Twister Jack pumpkin and a half square triangle baby quilt, as well as always working on a mythical hexagon quilt we at the shop have been hearing about for ages. We’ve watched her gather fabrics for at least the past two years! Some day that hexagon quilt will be done, and we can’t wait to see it!
Because of her love of tools, we knew Laurel would be the perfect person to demo how to use the Primitive Gatherings Pinwheel tool.  This is one of those tools you look at and wonder… how does this work? It’s really very easy!  We thought we’d use our Twister Jack pattern to demonstrate…
The first step is to sew together squares to create your image. The pumpkin looks a little goofy, and once you’ve added the borders, it ends up being a lot bigger than you’d expect for a finished hanging of 24″ x 26″!
Next comes the fun!  We used the Primitive Gatherings tool to make this project, however there are many different versions and sizes of this tool—there’s even one smaller than what we used here!  On the tool you can see two interesting lines at odd angles.
Place the lines on the tool over the lines of your seems, so that the intersection of the lines on the tool fit exactly over the intersecting lines of your squares.
Cut all the way around the tool!  We recommend using the 18mm or 28mm OLFA rotary cutter to do this.
Continue doing this, going row by row, throughout the entire pieced top.  Your original large goofy pumpkin will begin to look a bit like swiss cheese.
We highly recommend pinning and/or sewing each line right away.
You do NOT want to piece this puzzle back together again!
Before you know it, all your rows will be done and you will have a gorgeous pumpkin to hang on your wall! We also have a Butterfly and Twister Sparkler pattern that use this same technique!


Posted in At the Shop, Informational | 7 Comments

Recipe from the KQ Cookbook: Buttermilk Brownies

Buttermilk Brownies

Spreading the warm frosting over the warm brownies creates a layer of gooey goodness for a real chocolatey treat.

The recipe is from the out-of-print Keepsake Quilting™ Cookbook published as a charitable fund-raiser in 2001.


Buttermilk Brownies
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cocoa Buttermilk Frosting (below)

Sift the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Melt the margarine in a saucepan. Add the baking cocoa and water and blend well. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add to the dry ingredients and beat until well blended. Add the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Pour into a greased 10″ x 15″ baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the brownies pull away from the sides of the pan. Spread the warm Cocoa Buttermilk Frosting over the warm brownies. Cool and cut into squares.

Yield: 2 dozen

Cocoa Buttermilk Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1/4 cup baking cocoa
6 tablespoons buttermilk
1 (1-pound) package confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

Melt the margarine in a large saucepan. Add the baking cocoa and buttermilk and blend well. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and remove from the heat. Add the confectioners’ sugar gradually, beating constantly. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the walnuts.

Posted in Hungry Quilter Recipe | 1 Comment

Tips for Visiting the Keepsake Quilting Shop

Sew you want to know some helpful hints for visiting the KQ Shop?

Fall Foyer

Here are a few things you should know if you are going to visit the KQ shop:

  • Our staff members have been quilting anywhere from three to 25+ years. If you are working on a project and get stumped, big or small, supposedly easy, or definitely complex—bring it in!  With our combined 100+ years of experience, we will be able to help you figure out the issue.
  • If you are bringing along a friend who does not quilt, be it a man or best friend, there are a couple of local options for their amusement. Center Harbor is located right on Lake Winnipesaukee, so they could always take a walk down to the water. Right next door is Bayswater Books, and across the street is a coffee shop and Yikes! American Craft Gallery. Remind your tagalong to bring a good book or video game, camp them out at the coffee shop or by the lake, and enjoy your time free of worrying about them!
  • Speaking of time—make sure you give yourself plenty of it! Unless you know exactly what you are looking for (ran out of Heat n Bond Ultra for making the Woven Snowflake ornaments and just need a yard more, etc.), make sure you give yourself a minimum of an hour to wander around. Typically, people end up spending at least fifteen minutes or so just getting their bearings amongst our 13,000 bolts! Many visitors end up spending the morning picking out fabrics, going to lunch, and then coming back for round two!
  • Go here to find places to stay and eat locally.
  • Did you know we will ship your items home for you? This especially comes in handy when flying home, as our shipping rates tend to be better than the extra charges the airline might nail you with. Bring along a return address label to affix to the paperwork! Our standard shipping rates apply.
  • Want to sign up for the catalog? You can do so in the shop. Or even easier, go here!
  • Although we do not cut fat quarters, there are over 1,000 to choose from at our shop. Our fats come from the end of our bolts, so if you find a fat quarter you love, unfortunately it means you weren’t the first to fall in love with that fabric and in all likelihood you are looking at the last of it. You can always ask one of our staff to check our back stock to see if there are more, though!
  • The smallest amount we cut is 1/8 yard, regardless of whether it is a full price or sale bolt.
  • Looking for backing? Of course you could always just bring in the measurements, but we prefer and would love it if you brought in the quilt itself! It’s so much easier to find the right backing with the quilt in hand, and show and tell is one of our favorite things. Plus, if you buy your backing with us, get 10% off any batting you purchase! Shop only special.
  • Looking for window treatments? Make sure you bring in the dimensions of the windows. There is such variety in window sizes these days, it is challenging for us to give you a general guideline without knowing the exact dimensions.
  • Matching a fabric or paint color? Bring in a fabric swatch or paint chip! Our shop is organized by background color, so usually we can point you in the proper general direction, however having the actual fabric or paint color to match makes things a lot easier. Can’t decide which of two fabrics is the right one for the room? We will cut you a thin strip of fabric free of charge so you can go home and make sure you make the right choice. We will even hold bolts for up to two weeks so you have time to check.
  • We do allow pictures taken in the shop, however you must be careful not to zoom in on any particular quilt. Our consignors spend a lot of time working on their creations and we do not have authorization to have their work captured by others, so please be mindful as you take an overview shot of the shop. One of our staff would be more than happy to take a picture of you, too!
  • Did you know we offer free shipping on any catalog item we don’t have in the shop? It’s true! If you come to the shop and we are out of stock of any catalog item you are looking for, we will ship it home to you for free!
  • With gas prices the way they are, why not make your visit to the KQ shop a group event with your guild or friends?  Groups of six or more, be sure to call Deb at 603-253-4026 to get a special discount!

Any questions about visiting? Give the shop a call! 603-243-4026

Posted in At the Shop, Things we like | 3 Comments

Tonga Treats Table Topper and Table Runner Patterns

Sew you want to know how to make our Tonga Treats Table Topper and Table Runner?

Here are two quick and easy patterns that both utilize 5″ squares. We’ve chosen to highlight our Tonga Treats collections because they create such striking visuals; however you can use any charm pack to create these quick, beautiful, and functional table accents.

 Tonga Treats Table Topper – finished size is 32½” x 32½”

Tonga Treats Table Topper



  1. Choose 3 squares in cut and in half to yield six 2½” x 5″ rectangles.Top1
  2. The first row is made of six 5″ squares (row A).
  3. The next row begins with one of your rectangles followed by five squares, ending with another rectangle (row B). Make sure you square the rows up for perfect piecing! Top 2
  4. Alternate row A and B so you have a total of six rows.Top 3
  5. Sew your rows together.
  6. Add the border.
  7. Sew top and backing right sides together, leaving a gap for turning. Turn right side out and slip stitch opening close.
  8. Quilt as desired and enjoy!


Tonga Treats Table Runner – Finished size is 16″ x 52″

Tonga Treats Table RunnerSupplies:

  • 1 pack of Tonga Treats 5″ square 40 piece collection (you will only use 36)
  • ½ yard border fabric – cut four 2½” strips and join together into one long strip
  • ¾ yard backing – cut on fold and piece together to make a 54″ strip
  • Batting piece 18″ x 54″


  1. Make four nine-patch blocks, as shown in these images:Runner images 1-3
  2. Cut each nine-patch block into four equal pieces by cutting it horizontally and vertically. Run 4
  3. These blocks can now be arranged in many different ways. Play around with them!Run 5
  4. Arrange the blocks into two rows of eight blocks and sew together.Run 6
  5. Add your border.
  6. Lay piece of batting down, then backing right side up, and finally top right side down, and sew together leaving a gap for turning.
  7. Turn right side out, slip stitch opening close and press.
  8. Quilt as desired and enjoy!


Posted in At the Shop, Beginner’s Corner, Pattern | 7 Comments

Celebrating 35,000 Facebook Fans!

This week the Keepsake Quilting facebook page hit a new milestone…


Wow, we have 35,000 fans! We can’t believe it, and we have each and every one of YOU to thank!


To celebrate, we are giving away Deb Strain’s NEW Christmas Countdown Fat Quarter Collection for Moda Fabrics. This stack of festive fabrics includes 33 fat quarters and a 23″ x 44″ Christmas-tree panel with 25 numbered blocks to count down to Christmas! These fabrics are small-to-medium scale, so they’re easy to work with and would be a GREAT start for Christmas projects! (retail value of $126.00)


Deb Strain’s new Christmas Countdown Fat Quarter Collection for Moda Fabrics

Here’s how to enter:

Leave a comment below—let us know how you would use these fabrics. Please include an email address, so we can contact you if you win.

Winner to be announced Tuesday September 3rd, 2013!

Giveaway closed.
Congratulations to Tina Y, our random winner! Tina, we’ve sent you an email, please respond ASAP.

Maximum one entry per person. Comments with no contact information are not valid.
Comments must be left on this blog post (not on Facebook, or via e-mail).
Giveaway ends Friday, August 30th at 3:00pm Eastern. Open to U.S. residents only.
Posted in Things we like | 1,089 Comments

September happenings at the Keepsake Quilting Shop

Sew you want to know what’s coming up at the Keepsake Quilting Retail Shop in September?

September Special of the Month: Show and Tell for all! Bring in an item you’ve completed or a work in progress (at least one seam sewn) and get 15% off your purchase.

August 31, September 1 & 2: 15% off all regular priced fabric at the shop! Now is the time to build your stash and get ready for all those Christmas presents you know you’re going to be making!

September 6: Autumn Splendor is a gorgeous wall hanging we’d love to show you how to make! Receive 10% off the pattern and any fabric for this project when you come to the demo at our store!

Autumn Splendor

Autumn Splendor

September 13: We are a big fan of the Twister Jack pattern and using the Primitive Pinwheel tool. Come to the shop to learn how to use this innovative tool and make this spooky wall hanging! 

Twister Jack Quilt

Twister Jack Quilt

September 20: How to use Quick Grid. We have a whole section of projects in the store that utilize Quick Grid. Not sure what it is or why it’s so neat? Come to the shop to find out!

Quick Grid fusible & project

Quick Grid fusible & project

September 21 & 22: Brown and beige colorway sale! All bolts of fabric in the store with a brown or beige background 15% off! This is a retail shop only sale.

September 27: All about ½ square triangles.  How many different ways are there to make ½ square triangles? We did our best to find out! Come see how to use many different tools and techniques to accomplish this simple block.

Don’t forget! This Friday, August 23, we will be demonstrating how to make our Tonga Treats Table Runner and Table Topper and participants will receive 10% off the purchase of any charm pack.  If you can’t make it to the shop, look out for next week’s blog which will show you how to make these simple treasures!

Tonga Treats Table Runner & Table Topper

Tonga Treats Table Runner & Table Topper

Even more exciting?? We are having our spectacular fat quarter sale on August 24th & 25! Over 10,000 fat quarters will be on sale! Prints, solids and flannels will be 20 for $25.00 and batiks 20 for $30.00 (must be purchased in multiples of 20).

Posted in At the Shop | 2 Comments