Sunday, February 12, 2012

Show some TLC

February is now upon us. The month of candy, hearts, roses and love. Why not show our quilts some love? I've researched a few tips and pointers on how to care for your quilts so they last as long as you want them to, whether you hang them on your wall or throw them on a bed.

If you tend to make quilts that are meant to be used on beds (like I do!), then you know they HAVE to be washed at some point during their lifespan. You can handwash them in your tub with scent-free color-free detergent, or use this machine-washing technique. It seems to be very popular!

-set your machine to fill up with warm/lukewarm water
-add detergent (ALWAYS use mild soap, scent-free color-free. Obvioulsy, don't bleach!)
-while the machine is filling, distribute your quilt evenly in the tank
-push the quilt up and down with your hands, 3-5 minutes.
-DO NOT LET THE MACHINE AGITATE!!! This causes ripping, breaking, clumping.
-Set your machine to spin (draining the water out)
-Let machine fill up with cool water; agitate with your HANDS to rinse.
-Spin, repeat rinsing twice. NEVER LET THE MACHINE AGITATE!!!

Drying options include laying your quilt flat somewhere, away from direct sunlight, or tossing it in the dryer on low heat just until it is damp and then drying it flat. Machine washing in the above manner is easier than tub washing, and you also get the added bonus of a lighter quilt which in turn means less chance of ripping when you lift the thing up while it's wet.

Now for wall hangings. They'll get dusty. It's a fact of life! If you do not want to wash your hung quilt, you should at least consider using a small handheld vacuum to take out the dust and keep your quilt looking nice. Also, for those you us who have never hung a quilt for display before, there are a few ways to do this including using a rod, velcro, or framing. (Click on the links below for instructions!) If you choose to frame your quilt, consider having it done professionally, with UV protective plexi. Remember: fabric, like paper, will lose its color if exposed to direct sunlight. Consider this when choosing a spot to hang your quilt!

If you want to store your quilts, here a re a few pointers. Never put them in a plastic bag. Like a living entity, they need to breathe! Wrap them in a sheet to protect them and store them in a dark, dry, cool area.

Lastly, lets talk about repairing quilts. I haven't made many quilts and unfortunately, some of them were not treated with great kindess. Result: ripping. Here's a tip I never thought of. Store some scraps of fabric you used for you quilt as well as any special thread to do touch ups as needed. If your binding comes apart, it's better to replace the whole thing rather than try to restitch it.

I hope this little blog segment was helpful for you guys. I know I learned a few tips researching this!




  1. Great post - I had no idea about most of this.

  2. Me neither! I just threw them in the machine and they got damaged. :( But the hand-and-machine method works real well. I tried it!

  3. Thanks for the machine washing tips!