Just before I headed to New Hampshire, I was talking to my brother on the phone. He told me there were a couple of quilt shops in the area that I might like to visit when I'm there. He said, "I mean, it's a pretty crafty community, so I imagine the stores are all right." I told him that was great, and I looked forward to it.
As I was driving down the two-lane highway to his cottage, I saw a billboard that said "Keepsake Quilting." My jaw hit the floor! My sister was in the car with me, because I had picked her up at the Boston airport. I said, "Uncle Pea told me there was a quilt store in town, but he didn't tell me it was KEEPSAKE QUILTING! Wow! That's like a destination quilt shop!" Of course, no one else in the car had any idea what I was talking about!
This gives you a little more perspective on it. In fact, this was one of the "anchor stores" in a "strip mall" of sorts. The strip mall included a liquor store (yeah!), a grocery store, and some other shops. What was cool is we had to go to the grocery store now and then, so I could sneak in frequently if I wanted to and get a little fabric petting in.
Everyone was teasing me and saying I better get down there quick. It was the first place I went on the second day I arrived. (We didn't get in until about 8:00 pm the first day, or I probably would have been in there sooner! LOL.) The girls were nice enough to let me take some photos of the shop so I could share them with you, and one even took a photo of Mom and me in the shop.
There was a really impressive batiks area. Here is one aisle of batiks. You can see it's all greens and blues. There were about four more aisles like this. See the kits hanging on the endcap there? It was pretty cool to see all the kits they have for all their different quilts in the catalog.
This is the cutting table and an area right by the front door. They had a lot of precut fabrics in the plastic bags. I thought it was interesting, though. I did by a couple pieces of fabric while I was there (but I exercised very good self control). But they don't cut fat quarters at the shop! I was shocked by that. They said they only cut fat quarters when the get to the end of a bolt. So, if you couldn't find a fat quarter of what you wanted already cut, you had to buy 1/4 yard or 1/2 yard of the fabric.
Here is another section up front. They had lots of nice displays, and the place was just covered in samples. See the whole wall of patterns on that post? Almost every post was covered with patterns. That post is covered with wool working patterns, and beyond it is a great selection of perle cotton and wool.
This whole area of the store was filled with Christmas fabric, ideas for ornaments, etc. I found that the shop had lots of other stuff, that I don't always see in the catalog, like candles, baskets, lotions, etc. Everything is displayed so nicely, too.
All in all, it was a very fun shop to visit. I have found, however, that my tastes these days are leaning toward more of the modern and bright fabrics. This store is very, very traditional. There are tons of batiks, 1930's, wool, novelty, Christmas, and very traditional fabrics. It was fitting with the New England style/taste. So, if you like those kinds of fabrics, you'll be in hog heaven in this shop. It was almost overwhelming. The staff was nice enough, but not as outgoing as I would have expected. I don't have any complaints about them at all. They were very nice whenever I asked a question or asked for help. But it didn't have the feel of a small-town quilt shop where you are greeted when you walk in the door and engaged in conversation. Still, it was pretty fun to visit!
Interestingly, attached to the shop was a yarn shop. This was more dangerous to me than the fabric shop. It is called Patternworks, and I learned it is part of Keepsake Quilting. They are owned by the same company. I didn't know they had a yarn shop. I'm on their mailing list now. This was a very nice yarn shop, with lots of beautiful things. My mom and I actually spent more time (and money) in here than in the quilt shop. I think I visited this shop about five times during the week! Great inventory. The first time I visited the shop, there was a very UNhelpful woman working there. She would not let me take a single photo in the shop! I understand copyright restrictions, but I wasn't wanting to take any photos of specific projects close up. I just wanted a shot of the store. I thought that was overkill. There were several other things she wasn't very helpful with as well. I was really, really turned off to the shop because of her. The next day, I went back for something, and another person helped me. She was extremely nice and helped me a lot. She made my visit enjoyable. The next time I went in, the crabby one was working again, and it wasn't very fun again. So, if you visit, I hope you find the nice woman working! :-)
Hope you enjoyed the visit to Keepsake Quilting!
Until next time,