Many years ago, my family rented a small cabin on Lake Kanasatka in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. We packed our cars, ditched Long Island’s crazy summer crowds, and headed north for some low-key, high-quality R&R together. We so loved everything about the trip, from hiking and exploring to cooking out and lounging lakeside in our PJs, we did it again the next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. And though our family’s grown and no longer fits in the same small cabin, the area remains very special to us. In many ways, it’s a home away from home.
These days it’s difficult to coordinate everyone’s schedules and get away at the same time, but hubby and I still try to head north every fall. We usually stay in North Conway now, a large town (by New Hampshire standards) roughly 40 minutes north of Moultonborough. Despite the distance, we’ll drive back down to the Lakes Region at least once during our stay. We love revisiting places our family always frequented, and I really love visiting someplace our family never frequented.
If you’re a quilter, you’re probably familiar with Keepsake Quilting. Either you’ve sojourned to the popular shop in picturesque Center Harbor, or you regularly receive its seasonal catalog jam-packed with fabric, patterns, and more. I’ve known about the company for years, because the lovely white building is next door to Heath’s Market, a charming little grocery store from which we always bought vacation provisions during our Lake Kanasatka days. But though I appreciated the building and its idyllic harbor-front location back then, I never went inside. Because, quilting? As in the old-timey, time-consuming hobby? I had zero knowledge—or interest.
Of course, that was then and this is now, when I have some knowledge and nothing but interest! Our first trip north after my happy sewing discovery, I made the 40-mile drive from North Conway to Center Harbor three times (!), just to wander through Keepsake’s impressive selection. On recent trips I’ve gone only once, but I always pop in again on the drive home. It’s on the way, after all!
Hubby’s a trouper and usually joins me for the ride. Since these visits can take a while, he’ll entertain himself with a walk around town, or grab a cup of Dunkin’ and hang out in the unmarked-but-unmistakable gentleman’s waiting area.
As lovely as it is outside (and it is!), the shop’s real beauty lies inside, where quilters are treated to an extensive cotton collection that includes traditional, contemporary, novelty, children’s, seasonal, holiday, and reproduction prints, as well as shelves and shelves of batiks. Most bolts are organized by color, making it very easy to find specific shades for current projects—or inspiration for future ones. The shop also carries a good amount of flannel, homespun and wool, and patterns, kits, books, and notions. Whatever your sewing itch, Keepsake can scratch it!
In addition to many fabric finds, during this trip’s visit I made a particularly fun discovery:
As I’d just bought a sweatshirt not even thirty minutes earlier, I made myself leave this shirt on its shelf. But it’s days later and I’m still thinking about it…so I may have to snag it before we head home. It’s on the way, after all!
To learn more about this charming shop on the harbor—and/or shop online!—check out Keepsake Quilting HERE!