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Thread: Antique quilt

  1. #11
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Blog Entries
    Your church is so fortunate! What a wonderful piece of history.

    I inherited a couple of old quilts (although much newer than yours) and had to do some cleaning. Be very careful--especially that the red embroider floss doesn't bleed! The National Quilt Musuem site has information and you can google other info. The apprasier that checked out my quilts pointed out that the brown "spots" were actually the tiny husks of the cotton boll and seeds as the batting used at that time was not like ours now. So in other words, she told me to quit trying to get them out!(I had been using a toothbrush and soap thinking they were mildew spots !) If that's the case with your quilt, you could put up some note about the making of the quilt and mention that.
    Also, she really emphasized that the quilt, if it is displayed continually, needs to be encased in a glass that does not let the light (even just regular lights, much less sunlight) deteriorate the fabric and dyes. That is expensive, but doable--even then I'd take a page from museums and not put it in an area with any sunlight.
    Of course you know only wash in a bathtub--I put mine in a plastic laundry basket so there would be no tugging on seams or fabric once it got wet. And used a commercial quilt soap (very gentle). then I laid it on a clean sheet IN THE SHADE outside to dry--flat on the lawn. Need to keep checking this and make sure it stays in the shade, etc. I switched out the sheet a couple of times so that it dried faster. Was very pleased with results. I don't display it regularly and even then only in a bedroom that has no use/sunlight!

  2. #12
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Charleston SC
    Great project for a good cause....Good Luck...

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    New Jersey
    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    visit the website for the National Quilt Museum in Nebraska---they have advice and instruction for cleaning/preserving/displaying/storing antique quilts. you could also check to see if you have a local quilt guild - there may be a historian or certified quilt appraiser as a member- or they may know of a local one you can contact
    That sounds like good information. Also, we have a similar family quilt that has been given to the American Folk Art Museum in New York City. They might be able to supply additional information. Good luck with it.

  4. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Reston, VA
    The Smithsonian Textile Museum should be able to help you. They also just completed restoration of the Star Spangled Banner, so they may be able to help you with the type of glass to use and whether the quilt should be stored under something like nitrogen to maximize preservation. I have also seen quilts in a museum in Colonial Williamsburg. Perhaps they also have info.

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