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Storing Your Quilts And Future Quilts

Summary

You've bought the best tools you can find and have made a beautiful work of art, now how do you store your quilts and future quilts?  Here are a few ideas from Quilting Contessa.

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Storing Your Quilts And Future Quilts

You've bought the best tools you can find and have made a beautiful work of art, now how do you store your quilts and future quilts? Here are a few ideas from Quilting Contessa.

Storing Your Quilts And Future Quilts

 

Don't Store Your Quilts!

Don't store your quilts – use them! Display them proudly on the backs of chairs or sofas until it is time to wrap up in them. Display them on the foot of your bed, on a quilt rack or ladder, hang them on the wall, or even frame them.

Dont Store Your Quilts

 

Too Many Quilts to Display?

If you just have too many quilts to use in the ways listed above, then the best way to protect your quilts is by storing them correctly. First make sure that they are clean and thoroughly dry. This does not mean to "cook" them in the dryer, but make sure they have fully air-dried before placing them in storage.

Next, find a white cotton pillowcase to store your treasured quilt in so that air may continue to get to it, but that it is protected from dust and dirt or the oils from a wooden shelf. If you have lots of quilts that will be stored, you may wish to take scraps from the quilt and stitch them onto the hem or cuff of the pillowcase for quick identification of the quilt. By doing so, you have a little extra fabric at the ready in case your quilt is ever damaged.

 

Folding Our Quilts The Correct Way For Storage

Another thing to keep in mind is how to fold your quilt for storage. The best advice you can follow is to fold your quilt in a different manner each time it is placed in storage and to take them out frequently and refold them in a different shape. You don't want to weaken the fabrics over time by always folding them horizontally in fourths and then vertically in thirds. Try folding your quilts on the diagonal sometimes and then into a pleasing shape. By folding your fabric in a different manner each time, you are helping to preserve the integrity of all of the fabrics.

 

How Do Museums Store Quilts?

Quilt museums will often wrap quilts in a piece of acid free tissue paper and also place acid free paper between layers of a quilt to help keep the quilt from developing fold lines. This is a nice way to store quilts, but it can be quite pricey over time and you must beware that you need to change the acid free paper regularly in order to protect your quilt as even the acid free paper becomes acidic over time.

 

Protecting Our Quilts From Creases/Fold Lines

Perhaps a more eco friendly idea to protect our quilts from creases would be using excess cotton batting scraps tucked into the fold of the quilts to keep them from getting creased. We all generally have long skinny pieces of batting left over after making a quilt that we wonder what to do with – this is the perfect way to recycle them to protect our completed quilts and keep them out of the landfill or from cluttering our quilting studio.

 

Storing Quilt Tops

Have you completed a quilt top, but just don't have the time to quilt it, or the money to send it out to the longarm quilter? You certainly want to keep the quilt top coupled with the backing, and binding so that they all can be found when you are ready to complete the project, but what way is best? Well, you don't want to put it in the white cotton pillowcase, because that is the storage for a completed quilt, and we all know that out of sight is out of mind, so where shall we put it? How about a nice padded hanger? You can use a heavy-duty wooden or plastic hanger that has been padded with a scrap of batting to hold your backing, quilt top, and binding, together. Place the hanger in your quilting closet and it will stay clean while it awaits your attention or the funds needed to send it out for completion. Alternately, you may wish to take a scrap of leftover binding from a different project and fold the backing, binding, and quilt top together nicely and tie them up if storage on a shelf is preferred – just make sure that the shelf is covered with some protective fabric so that oils from a wooden shelf do not leach into your quilting fabrics.

Storing Quilt Tops

 

Storage of "Future Quilts"

You have found the perfect pattern and fabrics for a new project and even a few embellishments that you will use to complete the quilt, but it has to wait its turn, so what is a quilter to do? How about preparing your fabric by prewashing it without fabric softener of any kind, drying it completely, and then putting it with the remainder of the supplies so that you don't forget which project you purchased those supplies for? It may sound silly, but what quilter hasn't used a fabric for the wrong project before and only discovered it after moving on to the next project and needing it? Well how shall we store these supplies together? How about fabric totes? They can be reused over and over and they can be hung up in a closet or placed on a shelf to keep your stitching studio tidy. This can also be a good way to easily keep track of how many projects you have acquired which can be helpful to keep us from getting too far ahead of ourselves and becoming overwhelmed. It's also really nice to know that you can go to your closet and grab out a tote knowing that you have all of the supplies you need to get started and the fabric is all washed and ready to start cutting – what a great way to prepare for the next quilting retreat! Why I even know quilters who prepare projects in this way and start placing the totes inside their suitcase as they are acquired so that they are all ready to go when the next opportunity arises to quilt with friends. Then all they have to add is their basic quilting supplies and out the door they go.

Storage of Future Quilts

 

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Glossary

Backing
The fabric on the back of a Quilt Sandwich (Top, Batting and Backing).

Same As: Lining
Batting
The layer in the middle of a quilt sandwich between the Top and Backing layers consisting of wool, polyester, blends, silk, or cotton.

Same As: Stuffing, Filling, Wadding, Filler
Binding
Binding is used as both a noun and a verb. As a noun it is the fabric that's used to cover the raw edges of the quilt sandwich after it's quilted. This edging fabric is referred to as the Binding (noun). As a verb it is the process of putting on this fabric, and it referred to as Binding a Quilt.
Foot
Accessories that are available for sewing machines and are especially made for quilting.
Frame
Four strips of wood that supports the layers for quilting.
Quilt Top
The top layer of a quilt Sandwich.
Author
Quilting Contessa
Quilting Contessa is a collection of various authors around the world that have submitted articles for the QuiltingHub 'How To' quilt wiki.  These are authors that do not write enough to have their own authorship, yet provide valuable content for the site.  If you wish to submit an article, contact us on QuiltingHub.
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