Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Giving Your Quilts a Little TLC

We all love making quilts and take care in their construction, choosing the best color combination, precision piecing or applique, appropriate quilting designs  and so on.  One area where I admit I fall short is refolding of my quilts in a timely manner.
About a week ago I was pulling a few quilts to change out for Valentine decorating season and came upon a piece that I had forgotten about, I recognized the backing and realized it was a Valentine piece and also remembered I had not displayed it last how long had it been lying on the bottom on the quilt storage shelf?  I'm guessing about 2 years.  Oh my, that is not good.
And my concerns were realized when I opened the quilt.  Deep creases did not shake out,  You can tell just how it was folded.  This photo was taken this morning and the creases remain almost as prominent as when it was hung about a week ago.
Leaving the piece folded on the same crease line for a period of time, can break down the fibers and as the years pass the fabric will deteriorate and become frayed in that area.  When I take it down for storing I will fold it in thirds and make sure it is not on the bottom of the stack.
A few other tips for preservation of your quilts is to never lay them directly on a wooden shelf, each quilt should have its own protective bag or pillowcase to keep it free of dust and chemicals that the quilt may come in contact with.  Any substance that has been applied to protect the shelf could be harmful to your quilts.  Many think a cedar chest is a safe place for their quilts, but cedar chests are designed for woolens and can cause brown spots to form on our cotton quilts.  And please don't store your quilts in a plastic bag.  Cotton being a natural fiber needs to breathe and that is not possible if it is encased in plastic and also I personally know a lady who had placed her quilt in a large black trash bag to take to the quilt show and had set the bag by the door and went to retrieve other items, upon returning she had found that her husband thinking it was trash and thinking he was being very efficient put the bag on the curb.  They ran to the curb but the disposal people had already  collected the bag and all of her hard work was gone.  If you must put your quilt in a plastic bag make sure it is clear.
Think I will go check on my other quilts to see if they need a little TLC.  Have a great day.

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