Quilt Care

ALWAYS take photos, either digitally or regular, of each of your quilts.  Burn a CD and/or order duplicate prints. Put a copy of the CD and/or prints in a safe place!

NEW QUILTS: (From 1970 to present.) A good airing outdoors will often freshen your quilt. Launder only when needed as washing causes abrasion.  Do not launder if quilt is torn or has exposed batting.  If your quilt is 100% cotton fabric, the fabric has been pre-washed and it has cotton, poly or blend batting then wash on DELICATE with cold water and ORVIS® soap, (Orvis® soap can be purchased at quilt shops or farm stores.)  Stop the washer cycle and allow the quilt to soak in a full tub of cold water with about ONE TEASPOON of soap for 15-20 minutes.  Repeat the soaking until the dirt is loosened, then “walk” the quilt through the cycle.  By “walk” I mean do not allow the quilt to agitate so you have to skip these cycles.  It’s ok to let it spin and to rinse thoroughly. Air-dry by placing it on a protected bed or outdoors on a sheet with another sheet (secured) over the top to protect it from debris.

QUILT TOPS: Do not launder unquilted tops as this will damage the unfinished seams.  Quilt it and then launder.  Remember to test the fabric for color fastness first.

ANTIQUE and VINTAGE QUILTS: (Antique dates before 1900, vintage from 1900 to 1970.) Do not launder an older quilt unless it is excessively soiled.  Utmost care needs to be given to these old treasures.  First try vacuuming it with a plastic or fiberglass screening (can be purchased at hardware stores) taped along the edges and a soft brush.  This method is used by museums in caring for their quilts.  Use an up and down motion over the screen placed on top of the quilt.  Get a friend to help as this is a tedious chore.  Most stains will not come out----you just have to live with them.

STORAGE: Quilts need to be stored so they are protected from light, dust and if wool, insects. Quilts need to be protected from contact with paper boxes, that aren’t acid-free, and from direct contact with wood.  Sorry----the cedar chest is a “no-no!”  Crazy Quilts need special handling with crumpled rolls of acid-free paper or leftover batting in the folds and sheets of acid-free paper or a cotton sheet spread between the layers.  (Note:  Acid-free paper is not stable and must be replaced every three years.)  It is best not to lay another quilt on top of a Crazy Quilt.  Plastic bins with lids make good storage containers for your quilts.  Place your quilts in pillowcases or wrap in white cotton sheets before storing.  Art and wall quilts do not need laundering.  Use flat rods or wooden slats to hang your quilts through a sleeve attached to the quilt back.  Florescent light causes permanent fading, direct sunlight causes severe damage to fabric plus fading.

PETS: Try to keep your pets off of your quilts.  (OK, I addressed the topic!!!!!)

LABELS: Don’t forget to label your quilts!!!!!