International Quilt Market 2013: Portland, Oregon

Jo’s buddies from Maywood, Gail & Larry

What a whirlwind!  We’ve been back from Quilt Market for a couple of weeks, and I think we’ve finally recovered from covering that show!  We spent Thursday, May 16th, traveling to Portland, Oregon.  It was such a long flight from NH, but luckily there were no delays or issues.  We met at 3am at the office to head to the airport together and arrived in Portland at noon (Pacific time).  We spent the next few days looking at all the new patterns, fabrics and notions!  Jo stops by every single booth at the show to find out what’s new and to ask questions about things that catch her eye.  Rosemary, Karen and I have appointments set up all day with various fabric companies showing us their newest lines.  It always nice being able to see old friends that we only get to see at Quilt Market.  As you may expect, the shows are a tremendous amount of work for us, but we always try to squeeze in some fun too!  Like Jake’s Famous Crawfish Restaurant. Which we liked so much we went twice!  They specialize in delicious fresh fish from the other side of the country.  We’re used to our lobster and mussels here on the East Coast, but what a treat it was to have fresh pacific salmon, sole and rockfish from Oregon.  Simply delicious!

Quilt Market Booths - Hoffman Fabrics

This trip was a little different for us this time, because Rosemary and her husband, Dan, left for Seattle the week before to visit with their son and his girlfriend.  They then traveled down to Portland and met us on Thursday.  Usually, it’s just us “girls” that divide and conquer, but having Dan along for the trip really was fantastic! He was our very own chauffeur taking us to and from the convention center every day—a real treat!  He would scout out the best places for dinner and track down the infamous Portland Voo-Doo donut shops, which everyone was raving about.  I also learned on this trip that Dan is one of those men who is never in a bad mood!  It was a real pleasure having him along.  We’ve joked that he should come with us every time, but I think he might have other thoughts about that.

We left Portland on Monday, May 20th and arrived back in NH very—very early on Tuesday morning.  We took Tuesday to regroup and refresh and were back in the office on Wednesday sorting through all the samples we brought back with us.  We are now busy working on our Fall Catalog that will mail in July.  We are so excited to show you the new beautiful quilts we found at the show and all the fantastic fabrics that will be featured in the catalog.

Stay tuned!
Happy Quilting!


PS. Hungry for more photos from Quilt Market? Check out the Best Booth Winners-2013 Spring Quilt Market photo album on the International Quilt Market Facebook page!

Here’s a slideshow of the rest of our photos!

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KQ Quilt School – Second Class

It had been a month since our first quilting class, so the first order of business, when we gathered together in the break room for our second class, was to ooh and aah over all the Stepping Stones, Bow Tie, Snowball and Flying Geese blocks that had been made since we last got together.

Blocks from first class

Shoo Fly and Churn Dash Blocks

Two old traditional patterns with corner triangles, Shoo Fly and Churn Dash, were the blocks we worked on for this lesson. Beginners were shown how to make triangle blocks by putting squares together and sewing diagonally across the squares. Once the quilters mastered half-square triangles in their Shoo Fly and Churn Dash blocks, they were shown how they could turn those half-square triangles into Pinwheel and Broken Dishes blocks—their homework for next month. Unlike real school, homework is definitely not a requirement. If someone only wants to quilt during class time, that’s perfectly fine. Quilting should be a fun, pressure-free, pastime. Of course, what happened after the first lesson was that many of the gals made far more blocks than were expected and were asking for cutting directions so they could get a head start on their next lesson. We can’t wait to see all the blocks that will show up at the beginning of the next class.

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Special Keepsake Quilting Visitors

Last week, Keepsake Quilting had the pleasure of welcoming a trio of special customers from across the country. Genevia, Lee Ann and Terry came all the way from Texas! We were surprised and honored to hear their story.

Visiting the Cutting Room

Genevia recently retired from Texas Trust Bank, and when they asked what she would like as a retirement gift, she had a fabulous idea. Rather than receive a piece of jewelry or other commemorative item, she asked that they fly her here to New Hampshire so she could visit our store! She has traveled plenty over the years, but had never made it here—and thought this was the perfect opportunity to do so. Texas Trust Bank not only flew her here, but were generous enough to include lodging and more!

Wow, look at all that fabric!

Genevia, Lee Ann and Terry’s visit started at the Keepsake Quilting shop, where they were amazed at our fabric selection and how much we keep in stock. Their visit continued at our distribution center, which houses our call center, catalog and web design, cutting room and more. They were impressed that we do everything within the company, within walking distance of each other! Then they went to our cutting room, where they spoke with employees and were surprised to learn that it is all done by hand and not animated or precut. They wrapped up their visit with lunch with our shop manager Deb, and had great conversation about quilting and how they hope to return to visit in the future.

Thanks so much for visiting ladies, we hope your trip was full of wonderful memories!

Posted in At the Shop, Things we like | 6 Comments

Recipe from the KQ Cookbook: Marinated Asparagus

  Here’s a great take-along side dish that doesn’t need to be heated. It’s very easy to make and can be prepared in advance. And, by the way, it’s absolutely delicious. You’re sure to turn to this recipe again and again.

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

Marinated Asparagus
1-1/2 pounds fresh asparagus spears
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small bunch green onions with tops, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
Paprika Dressing

Snap the tough ends from the asparagus. Place the asparagus in a steamer basket over boiling water. Steam, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes or just until tender-crisp. Drain well and place the warm asparagus, green pepper, green onions and celery in a large container with a lid.

Pour the Paprika Dressing over the vegetables. Chill, covered, for 4 hours or longer. Drain and place on a serving platter. Garnish with pimento strips, or roasted red peppers as we did in our photo.

Yield: 6 servings

Paprika Dressing

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine the sugar, paprika, salt, garlic and vinegar in a small bowl and mix until the sugar dissolves. Add the oil in a fine stream, whisking until the mixture is well blended.

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KQ Quilt School

Laying out fabrics

On a recent afternoon, beginners, longtime quilters, and those who haven’t sewn for years gathered together in the Keepsake Quilting break room for “quilt school.” The first order of business was making sure we all knew how to achieve exact ¼” seam allowances on our machines. We were told that this would make our lives (quilting lives, anyway) so much easier. Next up was rotary-cutter safety and technique. Of course the girls who have worked in the cutting room needed no instruction in this regard and eagerly helped those who were new to the rotary cutter.

Stepping Stones in soft blues and pinks

At the end of the first class, just about everyone had a finished Stepping Stones block, and many were ready to work on Bow Tie, Snowball and Flying Geese blocks at home. It was such fun to see the blocks done in so many different fabrics, from sweet pastels to baby prints to batiks to reproduction prints. We can’t wait to see the different samplers that will be taking shape over the next few months.

Here are more images from our class. Click an image to view larger, and enjoy scrolling through the photos.

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Recipe from the KQ Cookbook: Shaker Baked Carrots

Ginger adds a slight bit of a “kick” to this easy side dish. Add 1/2 cup of any leftover baked carrots to 3 cups hot cooked rice, kasha or barley for an interesting and colorful pilaf. The pilaf is great at room temperature, as well.

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

Shaker Baked Carrots
3 cups grated carrots
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
Combine the carrots, salt, pepper, ginger and brown sugar in a baking dish and toss lightly to mix. Drizzle the butter over the carrot mixture. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.Yield: 6 servings


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Beginner’s Corner: Tools for Beginner Quilters

A group of Keepsake Quilting employees have signed up for a beginner quilting class that will meet once a month. To make sure we are properly armed for class and ready to sew, here’s a list we came up with that many beginner quilters will find helpful!

Tools for Beginner Quilters

45mm Rotary Cutter such as this Olfa Rotary Cutter. This size is best for cutting many layers and general quilting; smaller sizes are best for applique, smaller pieces, or cutting curves.

Cutting Mat an 18″ x 24″ is a good size to start, although many quilters prefer a larger board like our 36″ x 59″ Cutting Mat.

Acrylic Rulers similar to those shown. Especially a 6″ x 24″ or 6″x 12″, or a smaller 6.5″ x 6.5″ for cutting smaller pieces of fabric. Non slip rulers like our Creative Grids Non-Slip Rulers are very helpful!

Dressmaker scissors (7.5″) and small embroidery (4″)  or snipping scissors like our Karen Kay Buckley scissors. The larger scissor is helpful when cutting many layers of fabric, and smaller scissors are great for small, tight areas, applique and snipping threads. It’s best to have scissors that you will use just for fabric and thread, as paper and other materials will dull them faster.

Sewing Machine and Hand-Sewing Needles Our Roxanne needles come in both betweens and sharps. Betweens are usually for hand quilting, while sharps are for piecing or general sewing, although quilters often use one type that they prefer. The larger the number, the smaller the needle. Beginners tend to be more comfortable with a larger needle (smaller number).

Seam Ripper like our lighted, magnifying Mighty Bright Seam Ripper. Remember, even the most experienced quilters have to use the seam ripper!

Sharp, Fine Pins Our Thin Quilting Pins are great for machine and hand piecing. Our Quilters Pins are thick and strong, and great for pinning the top, batting and backing, and pinning binding in place.

A Pincushion or Pin Catcher like the Clover Pin ‘n Stow (shown at left) to store unused or extra pins, and easily pick up strays!

Cotton thread (machine/hand-sewing thread) in neutral colors (tan or light grey) like in our Aurifil Thread Collection.

Sharp pencil or marking tool Our 6 in 1 Marking Pencil has six colors for marking on all different colored fabrics!

Iron and ironing board You’ll want an iron that produces a consistent steam. A slightly heavier one is helpful when pressing fabrics. A smaller pad like our Travel Ironing Pad is very helpful for quilt class.

Masking tape or sticky note pads to mark your machine’s .25″ seam allowance. Our Perfect Piecing Seam Guide is a helpful way to mark a consistent seam.

Last, but not least…Fabric, fabric, fabric! There are so many options for cotton quilting fabric!

We’d love to know if you think our list is missing anything. Which tools did you find the most helpful when you were learning to quilt?

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Recipes from the KQ Cookbook: Spiral Meat Loaf

Make a humble meatloaf company-worthy by rolling and slicing it, showing layers of green spinach, red bell peppers and white mozzarella cheese.

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

Spiral Meat Loaf
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1-1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 egg whites
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (6-oz) can mixed vegetable juice
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 teaspoon salt-free herb seasoning
4 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese
4 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, or 6 jarred roasted red peppers
1 teaspoon salt free garlic herb seasoning

Combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg whites, onion, celery, parsley, salt, pepper, vegetable juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard in a bowl and mix well. Pat the mixture into a 10″ x 14″ rectangle on foil or waxed paper. Drain the spinach and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Spread the spinach over the ground beef rectangle. Sprinkle with the herb seasoning.

Slice the mozzarella cheese thinly and arrange over the spinach. Seed the roasted peppers and cut into slices. Arrange a layer of peppers over the cheese. Sprinkle with the garlic-herb seasoning. Roll up as for a jelly roll from the short end. Place seam side down in a nonstick baking pan. Tent loosely with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes longer or until the juices run clear. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

Yield: 8 servings

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Recipe from the KQ Cookbook: Oreo Cheesecake

When the occasion calls for a special treat, try this Oreo Cheesecake recipe that looks so special when cut. It’s light, creamy and, surprisingly, not super sweet.

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

Oreo Cheesecake
32 ounces cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
4 eggs, at room temperature
3 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
15 Oreo cookies
Oreo Crust
Sour Cream Topping

Beat the cream cheese in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly. Beat for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour. Add the eggs and egg yolks and beat until smooth. Beat in the cream and vanilla. Chop the cookies to yield about 1-1/2 cups pieces. Pour half the cream cheese mixture into the Oreo Crust, sprinkle with the chopped cookies and add the remaining cream cheese mixture.

Place the springform pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes. The edges should be set, and the center should jiggle slightly. Spread the Sour Cream Topping evenly over the cream cheese layer. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let stand until cooled to room temperature.

Refrigerate, covered, for several hours to 3 days. Loosen the cheesecake from the side of the pan and remove the side of the pan. Place on a serving plate. Garnish with whole Oreo cookies.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Oreo Crust

25 Oreo cookies
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Process the cookies in a food processor until crushed to about 2-1/2 cups crumbs. Add the melted butter and process until well mixed. Press evenly over the bottom and 2/3 of the way up the side of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.

Sour Cream Topping

2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl and blend well.

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Recipe from the KQ Cookbook: Black Bean Salsa

A healthy and delicious addition to your football-party fare, this black bean salsa will bring the fresh flavors of summer to you during the coldest months of the year. But don’t wait for football season to give it a try. It’s a quick and tasty choice the whole year through.

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

Black Bean Salsa
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans
1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn
2 large tomatoes
1 large avocado
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons light olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Hot pepper sauce to taste

 Drain the black beans, rinse and drain well. Place in a large bowl. Drain the corn and add to the beans. Seed the tomatoes and chop into small pieces. Add to the bowl. Peel and seed the avocado and chop into small pieces. Place the avocado in a small bowl, add the lime juice and mix gently to coat with the lime juice and prevent browning. Add the avocado with the lime juice to the bean mixture. Add the onion, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce to the bean mixture and mix gently. Refrigerate, covered, until serving time. Place the mixture in a serving bowl. Garnish with avocado slices dipped in lime or lemon juice. Serve with tortilla chips.

Yield: 18 – 20 servings

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